GOP advances extreme social agenda
Limits on birth control, workers’ rights considered
MADISON – With Wisconsin 44th in the nation in job creation, 45th in wage growth and last in the nation in short-term job growth, Republicans held 14 legislative hearings in the Capitol today. Rather than focusing on job creation, many of the hearings, some scheduled immediately after bills were introduced, advanced what Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) calls “an extreme social agenda.”
“Despite Republican claims that their top agenda is repairing Wisconsin’s economy, today’s legislative activity confirmed the extreme social conservatives have high jacked the legislative agenda,” stated Taylor.
One of the bills highlighted today included Assembly Bill 216, which would allow some employers to prohibit their healthcare plan from covering abortion and include a broad exception to current law that birth control be covered in insurance plans.
“Republicans told voters in 2012 their top priority would be repairing our economy,” said Taylor. “So far, Republicans have failed to fix our economy, and it’s easy to see why. Over the course of the past few weeks, it’s become clear that rather than attacking our sluggish economy and advancing pro-active solutions, Republicans are more concerned with attacking a woman’s access to birth control and abortion.”
Assembly Bill 219 also received a public hearing today. The bill was intended to be a compromise on behalf of both workers and employers to address critical unemployment compensation issues facing Wisconsin. In the ultimate bait-and-switch, at the exact same time the public testified on the bill, Republicans legislators in the Joint Finance Committee slipped anti-worker provisions into the budget, making it harder for many unemployed workers to receive unemployment compensation.
“Beating up on Wisconsinites who are out of work isn’t going to fix our economy and it won’t trick the public into thinking Republicans are more reputable on job creation,” said Taylor.
“Republican legislators should focus on getting Wisconsin out of our job slump rather than treating unemployed Wisconsinites and women using birth control as public enemies.”
The Assembly will be in session June 6, 2013. While they haven’t released their agenda, Taylor expects the agenda to be dominated by many of the extreme bills taken up by various committees today.