January 4, 2022 — Low-paid workers across the country are getting raises because 21 states and 35 cities and counties increased their minimum wages around the beginning of the year. Those raises will lift workers out of poverty, help struggling families make ends meet, and make it easier for workers to achieve financial security. Unfortunately, Wisconsin workers won’t get any of those benefits, as Wisconsin lawmakers have refused to increase the state’s minimum wage for more than a decade.
November 16, 2021 — Wisconsin’s use of incarceration to lock up a staggering share of its population of color inflicts serious harm on individuals and communities. New figures show that the racial disparities in Wisconsin’s incarceration rates far exceed disparities at the national level, which themselves are stark. The result is a system that deepens the divide between Whites and people of color, and uses public resources to do so.
August 19, 2021 — On August 22 of this year, the law creating the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program (TANF) turns 25 years old, and that’s not a cause for celebration. At the national level and here in Wisconsin, TANF is serving only a small fraction of the families who are living in poverty and are eligible for assistance.
August 9, 2021 — The huge tax cut that Wisconsin lawmakers passed in the state budget far outstrips the minimal investments they made in critical priorities like education, health, and workforce development. The size of the tax cut will make it harder for schools, communities, and families with low incomes to get the resources they need to thrive. Diverting billions of dollars to a tax cut that leaves out people with low incomes will also make it more difficult for the state to address the racial disparities that hold back Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Legislature Shows Budget Priorities by Voting Against Expanding Health Care, and For a Tax Cut for the Wealthy
May 13, 2021 — Last week the legislature’s budget committee removed a provision from the state budget that would have provided health insurance to almost 100,000 Wisconsin residents with low incomes, and would save the state more than a billion dollars in tax revenue over the next two years. On the same day, the committee preserved a tax cut that funnels millions of dollars into the pockets of a small group of the extremely wealthy who have rigged the system for their own benefit. This combination of actions demonstrates the legislature’s priorities so far in the budget process: making it more difficult for people with low incomes to meet their basic needs, while refusing to accept proposed changes that would require big corporations and the top 1% to pay their fair share.
May 6, 2021 — Republican legislators would like to kill off the idea of expanding BadgerCare eligibility by removing it from the Wisconsin budget, but it won’t go away that easily. It will keep coming back because the case for expansion is so compelling.
April 5, 2021 — Governor Evers’ proposed budget includes changes that would reshape Wisconsin’s tax code to give less of an advantage to wealthy and powerful interests, by reining in wasteful tax breaks for the rich and redirecting some of the benefits to the middle class and people with low incomes.
State tax policies can be a powerful tool for expanding opportunity and enhancing racial equity. But Wisconsin’s tax system is a major driver of economic inequality and contributes to the increasing concentration of income and wealth in a few hands —hands that are most likely to be white, due to a long history of racial discrimination.
February 15, 2021 — Wisconsin state lawmakers are rushing to pass a new tax break for businesses, with a minimum of opportunities for public input. The tax cut would significantly reduce the amount of resources Wisconsin has to invest in families, schools, and communities that have been battered by the pandemic and the recession, and it would fail to help many small businesses who are the intended beneficiaries.
February 4, 2021 — Working families with low incomes could get an economic boost from a tax cut included in the federal COVID-19 package — but in order for them to get the full benefit, state lawmakers need to take action to tweak Wisconsin’s tax code. By not acting, the legislature will deny parents $31 million dollars to protect their families from the impacts of the pandemic.
December 14, 2020 — Wisconsin Assembly Republicans have released a proposal that is theoretically a plan to fight COVID-19 but in reality is a thinly-veiled attempt to strip power from schools, local officials, and the Governor, and transfer that power to legislative leaders.