Wisconsin Democrats Release Legislative Priorities

Ahead of October floor sessions this week, Wisconsin Democrats released a list of legislative priorities called “Forward Together.” Legislators released the initiative at press conferences around the state on Oct. 7. The package is “focused on values that put families, workers, and communities first.”

The initiative contains several proposals under eight broad categories:

Under Affordable Health Care, Democrats hope to address rising out-of-pocket health care costs by lowering the cost of prescription drugs, protecting families from surprise medical bills, and expanding Medicaid. Democrats circulated a Medicaid expansion bill in August, but the Republican Legislature rejected a similar proposal in the 2019-21 state budget.

Under Quality Schools, Democrats’ proposals include increasing special education funding, full day 4K, and addressing student loan debt.

Under Clean Water, Democrats want to strengthen clean water protections through initiatives including replacing lead pipes and preventing PFAS contamination.

Under Financial Security, Democrats aim to raise the minimum wage, broaden paid family leave, and cut taxes.

Under Hometown Success, Democrats propose improving broadband access and addressing “dark stores.”

Under Justice Reform, Democrats aim to lower recidivism and increase public safety by reforming marijuana laws, among other criminal justice initiatives. A bipartisan proposal to legalize medical marijuana is circulating this session, as well as a Democratic proposal to legalize both recreational and medical marijuana.

Under Safe Communities, Democrats propose implementing universal background checks, addressing suicide prevention, and protecting domestic abuse survivors. Gov. Tony Evers has indicated he may call a special session on gun reform in the near future.

Under Democracy for All, Democrats aim to expand voting rights with nonpartisan redistricting, election security, automatic voter registration, and campaign finance reforms.