By Larry Lee, WSAU Radio
MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) -- Last week, Governor Scott Walker laid out his budget priorities. Wednesday, Democrats presented theirs. The State Assembly Democrats presented what they call “15 bills for 2015.”
There are no surprises in the package, as Democrats continue to call for helping the middle class, creating jobs, and increasing wages for workers.
Minority Leader Peter Barca says the 15 Bills for 2015 are designed to restore economic opportunity for Wisconsin families and workers. Barca says, “With Wisconsin lagging most of the nation in job and wage growth and Republicans having created one of the largest budget deficits in the country, it is more important than ever that we work together to restore economic opportunity here in Wisconsin. Our Democratic agenda would ensure better opportunities for Wisconsin families and workers and make us more competitive in a global economy.”
Katrina Shankland is the Assistant Minority Leader from Stevens Point. “The biggest focus that Assembly Democrats have is on growing the middle class and expanding opportunities for everyone. We want an economy that works for everyone and a government that works for everyone.”
Shankland renewed her call for increasing the minimum wage and for Governor Walker to accept available Federal Medicaid dollars for Badgercare. “We will also be talking about fair wages, giving people access to affordable healthcare to those who need it, so accepting Medicaid expansion, which would save our state 300-million dollars over the next two years and 500-million dollars over the next 3 1/2 years. That would be a great way for the Governor to shore up some of his budget deficit, so were hoping to see some bipartisan support of that initiative.”
Democrats have no chance of passing any of their initiatives without a lot of Republican help. So far, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has not commented on the Democratic leader’s proposals.