Madison – Democratic members of the Assembly State Affairs Committee, Reps. Sinicki, Ohnstad, Stubbs, Cabrera, and McGuire, issued this statement on today’s Informational Hearing on WMC’s Back to Business Plan:

“Today, the Assembly State Affairs Committee met to discuss the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce alternative plan to reopen the State of Wisconsin, in opposition to Governor Evers’ Badger Bounce Back Plan.

“First, we cannot thank enough the business owners from across the state who took time out of their busy schedules to discuss their strategies and struggles over the past months. We are truly in this together, so it is important that we continue to listen to one another as we navigate our way through this unprecedented public health crisis. We appreciated the opportunity to do this in the hearing today. We also appreciate that Wisconsin Eye broadcast the hearing live and recorded it for future viewing.

“These things said, after listening to testimony from stakeholders and WEDC Secretary-Designee Melissa Hughes, we believe that WMC’s proposed plan lacks important measures to protect our state during its current healthcare crisis. Without specifically laying out plans to ensure adequate testing and tracking of COVID 19 cases, WMC’s economy-centric plan leaves our healthcare facilities vulnerable to being overwhelmed. It also does not provide solid employee and consumer protections for those individuals who fear exposure to this deadly virus.

“While regional reopenings may sound appealing in theory, the COVID 19 virus does not quarantine itself within local or regional boundaries. It is truly a statewide issue. We have seen very recent outbreaks in new sites like Brown County and Sauk County. An outbreak in a rural area where healthcare resources are already limited could debilitate local healthcare systems and workers. Reopening Wisconsin with WMC’s watered down Back to Business plan would risk giving up all of the vital advances we have made to limit the spread of this pandemic.

“This hearing lacked crucial input from stakeholders who were not invited by GOP leadership. However, we look forward to working with Chairman Swearingen to schedule additional meetings and bring other perspectives to discuss the reopening of Wisconsin, including those of healthcare professionals on the pandemic’s frontline, Wisconsin workers, and consumers.”

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