Sen. Jennifer Shilling column: Senate Democrats’ Badger Blueprint Focuses on Growth, Innovation and Opportunity

As the days get shorter and the leaves change colors, my Senate Democratic colleagues and I continue to visit with Wisconsin residents of all ages about the challenges facing our state. 

From Bayfield to Beloit, Milwaukee to La Crosse and the hundreds of communities in between – one message has been consistent: Wisconsinites want their elected officials to work together, be problem solvers and put an end to the politics of resentment. 

In response to these conversations, Senate Democrats have crafted the Badger Blueprint, a roadmap of common-sense solutions to encourage growth, drive innovation and increase opportunity. 

Education and infrastructure are critical for our state’s success in the modern, global economy. The Badger Blueprint features several new and innovative pro-growth solutions designed to expand access to quality education, invest in infrastructure improvements and improve local economic development efforts. 

We also continue to hear about the importance of business start-ups for our state’s economy. Unfortunately, Wisconsin was recently ranked the worst state in the nation for start-up activity and rate of new entrepreneurs by the Kauffman Foundation. To improve Wisconsin’s start-up business climate, Senate Democrats are committed to leveraging federal funding for entrepreneurs, partnering with private investors and increasing collaboration between schools, colleges, and the private sector to help Wisconsinites turn their ideas into successful businesses.

To improve workplace flexibility and help working families achieve financial security, the Badger Blueprint will also provide student loan debt relief, make it easier to find affordable childcare and end taxpayer subsidies to companies that outsource jobs.

It’s also time to address the needs of our rural communities and underserved urban neighborhoods that continue to struggle with high unemployment and limited job creation opportunities. Despite their geographic differences, many of these communities share common challenges. The Badger Blueprint would promote much-needed economic growth by expanding worker training and apprenticeship opportunities, improving broadband access and creating good-paying jobs through long overdue infrastructure investments. 

I’m optimistic about the future of our state because Wisconsinites are resilient and hardworking. The Badger Blueprint reflects this sense of optimism and our shared vision for a state that is ready to work together, be problem solvers and address the challenges before us. Together, we can build an economy that works for every Wisconsin resident and strengthens urban, suburban and rural communities alike.

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