Mike Browne, Deputy Director
Solutions for Wisconsin Families Feeling the Pinch of Stagnant Wages and Rising Costs
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Stagnant wages, skyrocketing student loan debt and rising costs for essentials for multi-income families, like child care, are leaving Wisconsin families feeling the financial pinch. They’re struggling to save for their retirement, and a extended personal or family illness could mean economic disaster. That’s why One Wisconsin Now and progressive leaders were in Green Bay to promote the Tomorrow Wisconsin economic agenda to take on these challenges.
“The old ideas of giving tax breaks to the rich in the hope they will benefit all of us has run its course. It doesn’t work,” said State Senator Dave Hansen. “Instead, we’re talking about the Tomorrow Wisconsin agenda to not only improve the lives of every Wisconsin resident, but also help us keep and attract our young people to live, work and raise families of their own here.”
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that Millennial and Generation X voters now comprise the largest electoral bloc in the United States, and in Wisconsin. They face economic and financial challenges that have never before existed.
That’s why the Tomorrow Wisconsin agenda focuses on five key issues:
Student Loan Debt Refinancing
Paid Family and Medical Leave and Sick Days
Affordable Child Care
Job Security and Livable Wages
Access to State Pension System
State Representative Amanda Stuck said, “Hard working families are falling behind. But the good news is that there are commons sense reforms we can make right now that will make a huge difference for families finances, like reducing student loan debt or making child care more affordable.”
State legislation has been introduced to address concerns including a plan to help student loan borrowers refinance their loans, just like you can with a mortgage; a plan to allow private sector workers to participate in the state pension system; the restoration of the state equal pay law for women and men; income tax credits for child care; and lifting limits on expanding the family and medical leave law.
However, the opposition of Scott Walker and the Republican controlled legislature has stymied action on issues like helping student loan borrowers and restoring state equal pay protections while they pander to the wealthy and corporations. Not only are Wisconsin families poorer for the GOP’s obstruction, but Wisconsin is falling behind while other states that are taking action are benefitting from vibrant economies.
Ross concluded by saying that if progressives are to be successful, they need to offer ideas that speak directly to the concerns of Wisconsinites. “Before you can turn voters out, you need to turn voters on. That’s why we’re proposing an economic agenda that speaks directly to the concerns of Gen X and Millennials and why we’re educating them about how Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans have done nothing, or blocked any progress on these fronts.”