State Rep. Katrina Shankland
Op-Ed

10 Things Walker Can Do To Reunite Wisconsin

Instead of "divide and conquer" why not try a kinder, gentler approach?

By - Oct 2nd, 2015 11:14 am
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Gov. Scott Walker. Photo from the State of Wisconsin.

Gov. Scott Walker. Photo from the State of Wisconsin.

Now that Gov. Scott Walker has suspended his campaign for president, I hope this means that he’ll immediately reimburse Wisconsin taxpayers for his many out-of-state campaign trips, including the cost of his additional security and travel. I also have a to-do list for him and the Republican legislature:

1. It’s time to bring back the middle class and make it easier for working families to get ahead. Let’s start by making childcare more affordable, allowing people with student loan debt to refinance their loans, creating a private retirement fund modeled after the Wisconsin Retirement System, and passing earned sick day legislation so that Wisconsin workers have time to take care of their loved ones.

2. Strengthen BadgerCare. Now that the governor is no longer running for president, he shouldn’t have a single reason to turn down the federal tax dollars that the people of Wisconsin have already paid. We could cover 80,000 more people and save $360 million over the next two years, which we could immediately invest in education and other priorities.

3. Stop privatizing the services and institutions that support our communities. Long-term care services should remain local and should not be handed over to private for-profit insurance companies. The state should stop giving public money to private schools, and instead renew Wisconsin’s commitment to our public schools, colleges, and universities by fairly funding them.

4. Invest in our infrastructure — stop kicking the can down the road. Republicans have repeatedly failed to invest in our roads, which are sorely in need of repair. We must adequately fund construction and repairs to our roads and bridges, as well as expand rural broadband access and invest in high-speed rail.

5. Honor workers by valuing their hard work with policies to help them thrive. If Republicans truly cared about “reducing dependence on government,” they would raise the minimum wage and empower Wisconsin workers. From workplace protections to paid family leave, giving workers a fighting change will pay dividends through higher revenue and stronger communities.

6. Stop using women’s health issues as a political football, like bragging about defunding Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood provides vital cancer-screenings, sexually transmitted infection screenings and birth control to people across the state, including low-income men and women and people who live in rural areas. We should strengthen access to these services.

7. Stop prioritizing campaign donors over our natural resources. Instead of running clean energy businesses out of state, make Wisconsin a leader in clean energy again. Restore the DNR to a nonpartisan, evidence-based agency that is governed by science, not politics. Fund our state parks and our recycling programs, and return control of shoreland zoning standards to local governments.

8. Strengthen voting access instead of eroding voters’ rights. Restore weekend voting hours and implement automatic voter registration.

9. Reform government so that it truly works for everyone, not just out-of-state billionaires. Voters should choose their representatives — not the other way around. Commit to campaign finance reform and to ending dark money’s influence in politics.

10. Unite us around our shared love of Wisconsin. We love the Packers, our thousands of lakes, our Friday night fish fries and our families. We unite around our hard work ethic and our pride in our state and our people. Instead of a “divide and conquer” agenda, let’s work on one that unites us and addresses our shared challenges.

While I’m disappointed that the governor has put his own personal ambitions above the people of this state, he can do right by us by taking a look at this list and approaching these ideas in good faith. It’s time to have a government that represents everyone and an economy that works for everyone. Democrats are supporting the people’s agenda by championing these issues in the Legislature — we invite the governor and legislative Republicans to join us.

Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point, represents the 71st Assembly District.

Categories: Op-Ed, Politics

11 thoughts on “Op-Ed: 10 Things Walker Can Do To Reunite Wisconsin”

  1. Alba says:

    Since none of these will make money for any of his campaign donors, I don’t see them happening.

  2. Tweed says:

    “Long-term care services should remain local and should not be handed over to private for-profit insurance companies.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.
    Long term care doesn’t make it to the headlines very often but effects 10’s of thousands of Wisconsinites.

  3. SteveM says:

    #8…just reading that sentence will make Republicans’ eyes bleed.

  4. Ryan says:

    I really don’t understand what’s so bad with getting everyone to have a free voter ID. All the European countries that the left wants us to be like mandate those IDs and they have no problems. Then again they don’t have anywhere near to the amount of minority citizens that the US does. It’s hard to get the black community out to vote when all they have to do is show up and be registered, God forbid they have to have a free government issued ID to do it.

  5. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Thanks for outlining all of the Marxist programs that Doyle/Barrett’s people have pushed to Obama and Doyle, and never work. Why not nationalize all the banks, utilities and car manufacturers too?
    Obama has been using all of these turkeys. He has been the worst president in history, since Hoover, for the working people. Billionaires have done real well.We even gave them a new arena with money we could use to teach kids to read and more cops.

  6. Jennifer says:

    I would be less concerned about the voter ID requirements if the IDs were indeed free.

    Free IDs are free + the cost of accumulating the needed proof of identity + the cost of taking off work between 8am and 4:30pm on a weekday + the cost of taking the bus or cab or Uber to/from the less-than-convenient locations of the DOT service centers. Free like a puppy.

    To make voter ID requirements equitable, the IDs need to be available in locations convenient to voters who do not drive during hours when they do not have to work. I haven’t seen much of this happening.

  7. A busdriver says:

    @ Ryan your bigoted comment shows how ignorant you are but, that’s the kind of comments people make when they KNOW they are inferior intellects. For the verbally challenged like yourself. Only a stupid bigot will make the comments you just did.

  8. Duane says:

    How do you get a scorpion to stop being a scorpion?

  9. Paul says:

    Jennifer, who doesn’t have an ID these days, you need one for banking, traveling and collecting government services.
    Two full weeks of voting and also voting via the postal service is more than enough.
    Planned Parenthood should be defunded for their selling of body parts, these other services are available at other clinics, and with the federal money more will open.

  10. Barb- West Bend says:

    All good suggestions for Gov. Walker to consider if he were willing to work across party lines. But he is strictly a partisan Governor, and he must follow his party’s to-do list. Though a failed Presidential candidate he has been very successful as Governor in implementing the Republican agenda.

  11. DaveM says:

    Here’s Walker’s actual ten point plan plan:(1)Round up all Muslims and house them in internment camps, except the “handful of good ones”, (2)Build a wall on Wisconsin’s northern border to keep out the Canadians,(3)Although the minimum wage is lame,institute a maximum wage to increase profits for job creators,(4)Phase out all state funding of education in order to keep reducing taxes,(5)Take over MPS and replace all with voucher funded parochial schools,(6)Repeal all state government open records laws,(7)Outlaw the teaching of evolution in all Wisconsin schools,(8)Since union protesters are equivalent to ISIS members, broaden Act 10 to cover any ISIS members located in Wisconsin, (9)Replace Government Accountability Board with panel of Republicans, (10)Outlaw abortion more than one week after conception.

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