Madison, WI – “What’s best for our kids is what’s best for our state.” It’s been Governor Evers’ mantra since he first ran for Governor over 5 years ago. In tonight’s State of the State Address, Evers recommitted to that mantra, and my Republican colleagues would do well to follow his lead as we debate our next state budget.
By most measures, Wisconsin’s economy is in very good shape. Wages are up, unemployment is low, and the global inflation that affected so many families over the past year is finally beginning to ease. But as Evers points out, we are facing tremendous workforce challenges in several industries – particularly healthcare, childcare, education, and hospitality.
Part of the problem is that bargaining power has shifted more toward workers for the first time in a generation, and many employers have been too slow to adjust.
Part of the problem is demographic. Our population is aging, young people are leaving the state faster than they’re arriving, and regressive policies like the 1849 abortion ban, cannabis prohibition, and insufficient investment in green energy and mass transit is making Wisconsin a less attractive place to live and raise a family. Those young families who do have kids are having a difficult time building their careers due to insufficient and expensive childcare.
Governor Evers has a plan to address all of these problems head-on. He’s promised historic investment in public education to help train the leaders and workers of tomorrow. He’ll continue to fight for popular, progressive policies adopted by most of our Midwest neighbors, and he remains committed to enacting Wisconsin’s Clean Energy Plan, bolstered by huge investments from the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act. And finally, he’s pledged to invest heavily in childcare, so that if anybody turns down work to care for their children, it will be by choice, not necessity.
By doing all of these things, and by avoiding the divisive culture war politics and reckless “flat tax” pushed by Wisconsin Republicans, Governor Evers is ensuring Wisconsin is well-positioned to take on our 21st-century challenges and pass with flying colors.