Whether you live in Milwaukee, West Allis, West Milwaukee, or Greenfield, a well-paying job with good benefits is essential to support a family and strengthen our community.
But too many Wisconsinites find themselves unemployed and have had little success in finding new employment. Those who kept their jobs have seen little growth in wages and climbing health care costs.
My first priority in the State Assembly will be to help create new jobs, ensure that hard work earns a good wage, and help our district to be a focal point of Wisconsin's economic recovery.
As your Representative, I will work to:
* Expand the Transitional Jobs Program. For two years, Wisconsin has run a successful Transitional Jobs Demonstration Project that has provided thousands of unemployed workers with transitional employment while they pursue permanent careers. The state has failed to find continued funding for this program and it will end soon. It is essential to save and strengthen this program.
* Raise the minimum wage. The state's minimum wage has been frozen at $7.25 an hour since 2009 while the cost of living keeps rising. The time has come to raise it to at least $8.00 and index it for inflation.
* Ensure that workers can earn paid sick time. Workers who need to stay home to care for a sick child or recover from their own illness should not have to risk losing their jobs or their earnings.
* Restore the Earned Income Tax Credit. Full-time work should always be better than welfare (W-2). Full-time workers should be able to live well above the poverty line. The state Earned Income Tax Credit rewards work with lower taxes. But Governor Walker and the Legislature raised taxes on workers by cutting the credit by $56 million. An estimated 22,000 people slid into poverty as a result. The Earned Income Tax Credit should be restored to the level that Wisconsin workers deserve.
No one works harder than Wisconsinites. What we need is leadership to create new jobs and make work pay. As your Representative, I will fight to ensure that the hard-working people of the 7th District have the opportunities they need to drive Wisconsin forward in its economic recovery.