Governor Evers’ Price range: ‘Sure, We Can’ | Columns

At the beginning of his speech, in which he presented his plan for the Badger Bounce Back Budget on Tuesday, Governor Evers said something critically important:

“Don’t let anyone tell you that we can’t afford to spend while supporting Wisconsinites who need help to recover.”

Governor Evers got it right. We can fix what was broken during last year’s fighting and build on pre-pandemic normalcy to make life better for all Wisconsinites than it was before the pandemic. We can recover from this deadly virus and head for a better future.

Some politicians have tried to force the wrong decisions on Wisconsinite. You told us we have to choose between helping the elderly and young people and those who for some reason need a little help or, alternatively, supporting our businesses and growing the economy. The past year has shown that there has never been any tension between these goals. Our economic well-being as a community is related to our schools, our public health departments, our hospitals, and more. The Badger Bounce Back Budget says “yes” to public health, “yes” to well-funded schools where all our children can thrive, “yes” to supporting local business and innovation, and “yes” to financial responsibility and thought-provoking for the next generation.

This budget is the focus of the future. Wisconsinites are sure to hear a lot about some of the key topics like Medicaid’s expansion, historic investments in public schools, and economic support for our agriculture, innovation, and small business. These actions are important and will change the lives of so many Wisconsin families. But I want to focus on some of the changes that might fly under the radar in public debate and politics – it is these guidelines that build for the future of our families and illustrate the long term thinking in this budget.

Governor Evers’ budget would expand the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which would give more workers family leave and permission to care for a grandparent, grandchild, or sibling, and would give FMLA medical quarantine. We know that not all families look the same, but we all want to make sure our loved ones are looked after when they are sick. No Wisconsinite should leave a family member in need of care at home for fear of losing their job. This isn’t revolutionary, but it does give working families the flexibility and stability to keep a job and care for a loved one in need.

The Evers budget also includes tax savings for low and middle income families, many of whom have failed to restore the way high net worth individuals and businesses have been affected by the economic fallout from the pandemic. It offers Wisconsinites low- and middle-income tax breaks of $ 450, creates a non-refundable credit for family carers, increases earned income tax credit for working families, and offers credits for rent, property tax, and childcare for low-income families. Many families have made efforts during this pandemic to balance virtual schooling, caring for an older family member, and healthcare costs. This budget recognizes the important and often ungrateful work of bringing up children or caring for the elderly and helps to compensate for them.

The Badger Bounce Back Budget is full of thoughtful provisions that alleviate some of the burdens on families and communities in Wisconsin. Basically, the Evers budget is a budget of compassion, a budget that prioritizes justice, a budget that cares for our communities, a budget for a better future. It’s a budget of “yes”.

The people of the state of Wisconsin have already joined the governor with an emphatic “yes” to a better future and rejected the policies of division and scarcity of the past. Many of us already support the policy proposed by Governor Evers. And as the governor said, nothing will change without us. The Badger Bounce Back Budget invests in us and it can become a reality when we show our support. We have shown time and time again that a chorus of “yes” from across Wisconsin united across race and place can overcome the handful of politicians who put corporations and the rich before families. When the Wisconsinites stand together, we can make not only this budget a reality, but a better future for ourselves and our children as well.

Nicole Safar is the managing director of A Better Wisconsin Together.

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