MADISON – Today, in his first legislative session, Representative Alex Joers (D-Middleton) voted against Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR) 3. This rushed partisan advisory referendum submits a ballot question gauging public support for work search requirements, despite there already being laws in place that specifically address this issue. After debate, AJR 3 passed, and the question will appear on the ballot in the April election. Representative Joers released the following statement:

“Legislative Republican’s first order of business this legislative session was to ram through a referendum on something that is already law in the state of Wisconsin. There are plenty of investments that need to be made in our workforce, but we should be honest about the challenges facing our state and take steps to actively address them. Governor Evers has been a leader in this, investing more than $150 million in workforce solutions, an effort that we must continue to build on as a legislature.

“Instead we are using one of our first acts of the new session to pass a referendum that does nothing to increase access to the workforce, this referendum question will only further divide our state. My colleagues and I believe we would be better served by seeking the opinions of the voters on an issue that is actively impacting Wisconsinites and has not yet been decided: reproductive freedom.”

Legislative Democrats offered a substitute amendment to AJR 3 to replace the offered referendum. The question would instead read “Shall Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion law be repealed and the constitutional rights guaranteed under Roe v. Wade be restored?” The amendment was denied by Assembly Republicans.

“Every single Wisconsinite deserves the right to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions. Abortion is healthcare, and the chaos and uncertainty that the overturning of Roe v. Wade has led to is having real effects on Wisconsinites and needs to be addressed by our legislature.

“The data has consistently shown that abortion is one of the issues that Wisconsinites care most about. The failure to address this shows just how out of touch Legislative Republicans are. We need to tackle the issues that matter most to our constituents. I’m disappointed that Republicans set aside bipartisanship and denied that opportunity in our first act as a legislature. I will never stop fighting for the crucial right of reproductive healthcare.”

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