Governor’s Budget Creates an Economy that Works for Everyone


MADISON – The following is a statement from State Senator LaTonya Johnson regarding today’s agency briefings in the Joint Finance Committee on Governor Tony Evers’ 2019-2021 state budget:

“Hardworking Wisconsin families deserve decent wages and workplace fairness. Policies that reward work bolster our economy, creating a strong and prosperous state for all of us. The governor’s 2019-2021 state budget includes provisions that will improve quality of life and move our economy forward.

“During his testimony in front of the Joint Finance Committee, Department of Workforce Development Secretary-designee Frostman reminded the Committee of statutory language that prevailed in our state for over a century before being stripped away in 2015: ‘Wisconsin's minimum wage shall be a living wage, defined as providing reasonable comfort, reasonable physical well-being, decency and moral well-being.’ For too long, Wisconsinites, even those who work full-time, have struggled to get into the middle class and have been unable to support their family on poverty wages.

“The People’s Budget as proposed by the governor will help 50,000 people in our state who currently earn just $7.25 an hour by increasing our minimum wage incrementally. This plan helps our workers without placing too great a burden on businesses, ensuring Wisconsin’s economy works for everyone.

“In addition to addressing wages, Governor Evers ensures we have the workplace flexibility Wisconsin families need. For instance, the governor strengthens our Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by allowing grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings be included in the protections afforded by the Act. Further, the state budget takes us back to a time when local communities could determine their own FMLA laws to ensure the needs of all of our state’s unique communities are met.

“Governor Evers’ People’s Budget puts Wisconsin workers first and treats them with dignity and respect. I applaud the governor’s budget and look forward to working alongside Secretary Frostman to strengthen our workforce and economy. Instead of doubling down on corporate tax giveaways that have failed to translate into broadly shared prosperity for Wisconsin’s working families, the governor’s budget puts workers first by increasing the minimum wage, expanding FMLA, and repealing attacks on labor and workers’ rights.”