Contact: Representative Melissa Sargent

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (608)-266-0960

MADISON – Representative Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) released the following statement in response to today’s floor vote on AB-56, the GOP 2019-21 budget proposal:

“Here we go again– my Republican colleagues in the State Legislature have once again overridden the will of the people. Wisconsin voted for Governor Tony Evers back in November, yet time and time again we have seen the GOP working to strip away his power and threaten our state’s democracy. Not only did the people of our state vote for Governor Evers, but they voted in referenda across the state in overwhelming support of legalizing marijuana. They expressed their support again and again for Medicaid expansion, which would provide access to affordable and quality healthcare for Wisconsinites while saving millions of dollars for our state. They made their voices heard when it came to crucial issues such as education funding, renewable energy investments and environmental protections, meaningful gun reform, transportation solutions, a fair minimum wage, non-partisan redistricting, and more.

Unfortunately, the pleas of ordinary Wisconsinites have clearly been swept under the rug, as drunk on power lawmakers choose to blatantly ignore the needs of the hardworking people of our state. The implications of the budget before us today are striking– with the provisions in this GOP budget proposal over 82,000 people will not have access to health coverage, over 15,000 people will be arrested for marijuana possession in our state, hundreds-of-thousands of workers will continue to make $7.25 or below and struggle to provide for their families, and our state will continue to miss out on key opportunities for revenue creation.

Governor Evers’ budget proposal represents not just a financial plan for our state, but a moral blueprint for a government that reflects our Wisconsin values and would work for the everyday people of our state. The Governor’s budget proposal is the People’s budget. It reflects what the people want, and powerfully outlines a vision for a better Wisconsin. It outlines a Wisconsin where the people have access to the medicine they need through legalizing medicinal marijuana, our state expands Medicaid ensuring quality healthcare for thousands of Wisconsinites, our infrastructure is finally fixed, and education is renewed with critical investments after years of neglect.

We need to ensure that Wisconsin is a place where everyone is safe, can reach for their dreams, and where we invest in a better tomorrow. The People’s Budget works to ensure these goals, and proves its commitment to creating a Wisconsin that truly works for everyone through proposing long-term and sustainable solutions for our state’s future.

The will of the people is the law of the land, and we as elected officials have a duty to uphold the wants of our constituents– our bosses– and to work in the best interest of the people, not powerful special interests. When we put the people first our state will prosper, and I am disheartened and disappointed to see that we are failing to put people over politics here today.”

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