More Jobs with Better Wages
I have been traveling across our state, to our small towns and big cities, hearing from our fellow Wisconsinites about what we need to move Forward again.
I hear over and over about our state's economy. Wages remain too low for too many Wisconsin workers. We are lagging behind the rest of the country. Too many are working several part-time jobs just to get by. Too many are struggling to provide for their families, living paycheck to paycheck, without opportunity for advancement.
As governor, I will
- Raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
- Reverse Act 10 and Right-to-Work.
- Restore Prevailing Wage.
- Create a fairer, more progressive tax structure.
- Invest in our small businesses, education, health care, and infrastructure.
Provide greater local control to our counties, municipalities, and school districts.
Donald Trump is trying to destroy the Affordable Care Act. As Governor, I will support the Affordable Care Act and work to make health care more affordable.
Scott Walker turned down hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid payments by the federal government. This was merely the return of our own federal taxes. I will lobby for and accept all federal funding to meet our health care obligations. I am not willing to put politics ahead of people’s lives.
To improve our health care system, we will:
- Support BadgerCare for All. This sensible law will allow patients to buy an affordable health plan through BadgerCare Plus as Trump shrinks access to the private market.
- Accept federal funding for Medicaid expansions.
Walker and the Republicans have seriously lowered Wisconsin’s environmental and water standards. Those standards were developed over decades by governors and legislators from both parties. High capacity wells and CAFOs are taking too much water out of our state and have contaminated wells in some areas. Some Wisconsinites drink bottled water because of the pollution.
Walker exempted Foxconn, a foreign company, from important Wisconsin laws protecting our clean water. But Wisconsin companies like Harley Davidson and Miller Brewing have to obey those laws. I do not want Chinese industrial water management anywhere in Wisconsin. If foreign companies come to our state, they will obey Wisconsin law.
To protect our clean water resources, we will:
- Restore water quality standards to protect our families.
- Restore a fully independent DNR with adequate resources and an adequate number of scientists.
- Create a state fund to assist municipalities and residents in removing lead service lines.
- Require all foreign companies to obey all American and Wisconsin laws.
Wisconsin used to be known for having the best public education in the country. Then came Scott Walker. We will fully fund public education in this state. We will stop the Walker policy of slashing education after his election and then restoring a little funding before his re-election. The long-term impacts of his education policies are disastrous for Wisconsin’s economy.
This means we will fully fund our public schools, technical colleges, and the UW System. We particularly need to restore the University of Wisconsin’s status as a premier research institution. Walker has vandalized the University of Wisconsin, tried to change the mission statement, eliminated statutory tenure, and made deep cuts to funding.
It also means fixing the student loan crisis. Banks, abetted by their Republican cohorts in the Legislature, are profiting at the expense of our students. We should not force a lifetime of debt on those young people who are trying to find a place in the 21st Century economy.
To restore the excellence of public education in Wisconsin, we will:
- Fully fund public education in this state, in both urban and rural districts, including transportation and broadband. This will require fixing the funding formulas so that no district is unfairly disadvantaged.
- Fully fund the UW System campuses and WTCS.
- Reaffirm the mission statement of the University of Wisconsin.
- Restore statutory tenure.
- Promote and advertise the excellence of the University of Wisconsin.
- Fight to pass legislation that allows borrowers to refinance their student loan debt when rates drop.
- Establish the Wisconsin Student Loan Authority to regulate and guarantee student loans at Wisconsin colleges and universities, based on the best practices of existing Student Loan Authorities around the county.
Roads and Infrastructure
The plan of Walker and the Republicans for roads and infrastructure is neglect and debt. We have rural areas going back to gravel roads. Walker also turned down more than $800 million in train funds from the federal government which was simply a return of our federal taxes.
To restore our roads and state infrastructure, we will:
- Lobby for and accept all federal funds for transportation and infrastructure projects.
- Pay for necessary road and infrastructure projects through a combination of user fees on gas, registration, and trucks.
Wisconsin has a long history of clean government reforms going back to the 19th Century. Scott Walker has progressively corrupted this state over the past seven years. He broke up one of the best government accountability agencies in the world and tried to gut the state’s open records law. He created and still oversees a giant slush fund in the form of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to benefit his donors.
Every policy must start with clean government. I will clean up the corruption in Madison. In particular, I will reform the WEDC to a department that makes honest loans by honest standards, without regard to political contributions. I will restore a clean government accountability agency, and I’ll work with journalists, legislators, and citizens to make our state the most transparent in the country.
To restore clean, honest government, we will:
- Reform the WEDC to a department that makes honest loans by honest standards, without regard to political contributions.
- Reaffirm our commitment to open records and transparency in government.
- Create automatic voter registration. Every American citizen living in Wisconsin who gets a license at the DMV will be automatically registered to vote. Licensees would be allowed to opt-out of voter registration if they choose.
- Establish a neutral reapportionment commission to redistrict legislative districts every ten years to prevent partisan legislators from picking their voters, rather than voters picking their legislators.
Scott Walker got taken to the cleaners in the Foxconn deal. He does not have the skill or experience to negotiate a $3 billion deal. He gave away our state’s resources to a foreign corporation in exchange for a promise to create jobs near the Illinois border. But there are no guaranteed number of jobs and no guaranteed wage levels.
Part of the $3 billion could have been spent on our most important economic public assets, including the University of Wisconsin System and public education. Part of it could have been used to invest in start-ups and small businesses in all 72 counties of our state. Part of it could have been used to repair our roads. These three things would have created more jobs statewide and brought more money into all communities, including rural communities and urban communities, throughout Wisconsin.
As governor, I will hold Foxconn to their duty of good faith and fair dealing and other contractual obligations under Wisconsin law. If they violate those obligations, I will move to recoup the money paid to them.