Assembly Democrats continue to stand up for Wisconsin families
On Sept. 15, we heard good news: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said our nationwide recession is likely over. But he also cautioned that the pain of unemployment would continue for many Americans.
It’s clear, we’re making progress to an economic recovery—but our work is far from over. That’s my perspective, as the Wisconsin Assembly returns to session.
We have already accomplished so much. Assembly Democrats passed a budget that held the line on income, sales and payroll taxes. We made deep, necessary cuts in spending while preserving key investments in education and local aid for police and fire protection.
Through the budget and stimulus bills, we approved more than $200 million in business-boosting, job-creating tax credits and incentives. We’re encouraged to see our action has already caused two biotech firms to relocate here and has helped Wisconsin hold on to major employers such as Mercury Marine.
We’ve outstretched a hand to struggling Wisconsin workers, approving more funding for technical colleges, the front line in retraining efforts. And we extended unemployment benefits to those in dire need.
While we watch the debate over health care in Washington, we have already taken action to lighten the load of health care costs on Wisconsin families and businesses. Earlier this year, we extended BadgerCare benefits to childless adults. With our action, 98 percent of Wisconsinites now have access to health care coverage.
This fall, you will continue to see Assembly Democrats standing up for Wisconsin families.
We will stand up for Wisconsin families as we build on our efforts to boost business and create jobs, by supporting the green-jobs economy and streamlining wind-energy guidelines.
We will stand up for Wisconsin families by protecting them from drunken drivers—addressing both the need to toughen penalties and the need to tackle the root of the problem, our destructive drinking culture.
We will stand up for Wisconsin families by helping them keep roofs over their heads. We will work to pass the recommendations of the bipartisan Speaker’s Taskforce on Preventing Home Foreclosures, giving consumers the information they need to make smart financial decisions and protecting them from bad actors in the lending industry.
We will stand up for Wisconsin families by answering their call to clean up state Supreme Court races. Assembly Democrats are committed to building on our success in banning fundraising during the budget by confronting the problem of big money in our highest court.
We will stand up for Wisconsin families by protecting our outdoor heritage and tourism economy, by making the Department of Natural Resources independent of the governor.
When I say “we” will do this, I mean Assembly Democrats will fight for your values. But I also hope Republicans will join us. We should work together on these important changes for Wisconsin’s families.
No matter what, you will see that, at a critical time in our state and our nation’s history, Assembly Democrats will continue working to make Wisconsin stronger, primed for recovery and ready for a new economy.
Rep. Mike Sheridan D-Janesville, is speaker of the state Assembly. He can be reached at P.O. Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708; phone 1-888-947-0044; e-mail rep.sheridan@legis.Wisconsin.gov.