On Thursday, March 16, Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse), Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha), and other Wisconsin Senate and Assembly Democrats held a news conference to unveil the “Wisconsin Way Forward” joint legislative agenda. Characterized as a plan focused on fairness, opportunity, and community, legislative Democrats provided general ideas without yet providing specific policy details. Those proposals, indicated Democrats, will be announced in the weeks to come.
Topics that were listed in the agenda call for equal pay protections, a fair living wage, and support for small businesses in Wisconsin. Additionally, the agenda proposes increased investment in transportation and infrastructure along with an end to corporate tax breaks. To encourage opportunity, the agenda endorses quality public education at an affordable cost, accountable government, and a defense of the right to vote through independent redistricting. Finally, their agenda seeks to strengthen Wisconsin communities through affordable healthcare, access to clean drinking water and public land, and the development of community partnerships with local control.
Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning released a statement regarding the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly Democrat’s agenda, asserting “The bold ideas announced by legislative Democrats highlight our shared values and are exactly what our state needs right now.” Although the agenda received praise from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, it is unlikely that the Democrats will be able to proceed with their legislative priorities without support from a Republican-controlled legislature.