Tax Cuts for Working Families, Investments in Pre-K, Child Care, and Paid Leave, Lower Costs for Health Care, Home Care, and Prescription Drugs, Take on Climate Crisis with Clean Energy Job Creation
Washington, D.C. – As Congress continues to work on passing a budget bill, leading Wisconsin organizations are speaking out in support of passing bold Build Back Better legislation that makes the super wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share of taxes so we can cut taxes for working families, invest in early childhood education and child care, lower the costs of health care, home care and prescription drugs, and create more clean energy jobs and a renewable energy economy that takes on the climate crisis.
“The pandemic has laid bare the severe challenges that working women have faced for years,” said Christina Thor, Wisconsin State Director for 9to5. “Mothers cannot work to support their children without access to adequate, affordable child care. Over half of Wisconsin’s population lives in a child care desert. We need to improve working conditions for providers to grow the workforce and meet the demand. The average annual cost of infant care in a center is over $12,000. This is a huge barrier to women who want to work outside the home. We need to lower the cost to working families. Affordable, accessible, adequate child care is essential to unlocking the potential of Wisconsin’s working women. The pandemic has highlighted that workers need to be able to take paid leave to care for themselves and their families when they get sick. That was true before the pandemic and it is more true than ever during this pandemic. COVID-19, quarantines, or even run of the mill colds force many children to stay home from school or child care. This leaves too many parents to wrestle with an impossible choice: stay home and risk losing their paycheck or job, or go to work while their kids are home.”
“Small businesses are demanding these programs, like paid leave and child care that will help ease the burden of high costs on working families and support entrepreneurs,” said Shawn Phetteplace, State Manager for the Main Street Alliance-Wisconsin. “It's past time to level the playing field, and make sure the ultra-wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share to make it happen. An investment in our overall care economy is an investment in small businesses, and our local community.”
“Parents cannot work to support their children if they do not have access to or cannot afford safe, reliable and high-quality child care,” said Angela Lang, Executive Director of BLOC. “Workers have been forced to choose between going to work sick or caring for a loved one and taking time off without pay to care for themselves or others. Even before the pandemic, far too many Wisconsin seniors and people with disabilities did not have access to the quality home or community care they need and the pandemic has exacerbated this challenge. Meanwhile, home care workers continue to put in long hours of hard work but many still struggle to get ahead due to low wages. We need to lower the cost of child care for Wisconsin families, increase access to child care and help child care centers provide our children with the quality care they deserve. We need to establish a national program that will guarantee paid family and medical leave for Wisconsin workers so that no worker will have to choose between protecting their health, or paying their bills. We need to invest in Medicaid Home and Community-Based Care to ensure people can receive care while leading independent lives outside of institutional care settings and to support good paying jobs for home care workers. I applaud Senator Baldwin for championing these priorities and working to include them in the Build Back Better legislation.”
“I recently became a parent for the first time to my precious daughter, Emery,” said Ramsses Lopez, an OSI worker in Fort Atkinson and member of UFCW Local 1473. “Earlier this year, Congress passed the Child Tax Credit which provides up to $3,600 for families with children. This funding allows my family to make sure that we have everything we need to take care of our daughter, from nutritious food to clothing. If this middle-class tax cut could be extended, that would make a big impact on so many working families’ lives, including mine. Congress should make the Child Tax Credit permanent to help all Wisconsin working families.”
“The Build Back Better budget legislation will be a win for Wisconsin because it will cut taxes and lower costs for families and workers, create jobs, and combat climate change all paid for by making the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share,” said Peter Drummond, Wisconsin State Director of For Our Future. “The legislation will support workers by providing tuition-free community and technical college, lowering child care costs, providing paid family and medical leave, and creating new job opportunities in the clean energy economy, while cutting taxes for the middle class. It will allow for strong labor standards and provide a free and fair choice to join a union and bargain collectively. Senator Baldwin is working to include a reform to provide quality, affordable health care coverage for Wisconsinites who have been locked out of our BadgerCare program. Wisconsin has significant economic and health racial disparities and this legislation will make needed investments to strengthen the economic and health security of our communities of color. Extreme weather caused by climate change has caused damage and increased costs for Wisconsin communities and we need to take action to mitigate the harm climate change is causing our state. Wisconsin needs the Build Back Better legislation to support our communities, workers, and families and I thank Senator Baldwin for her work to pass this critical legislation.”
“By failing to invest in care policies, we’ve left families to fend for themselves,” said Brita Olsen, State Director of Family Friendly Wisconsin. “This has taken a devastating toll on our families, communities, and economy. Across Wisconsin, parents struggle to work without safe and affordable child care, families fight to make ends meet when illness strikes because they don’t have paid family and medical leave, and seniors and people with disabilities lack access to quality home and community care. And, many struggle to afford their medicine because prescription drug costs are simply too high. These are problems that Congress must address so that we can rebuild from the pandemic and finally create an economy that puts families first. The Build Back Better Act would provide much needed relief for working families in Wisconsin without costing them a dime. Instead, it would be fully paid for by finally making the extremely wealthy and corporations pay their fair share. I applaud Senator Baldwin for championing care priorities and working to include them in the Build Back Better legislation.”
“The Build Back Better legislation would boldly tackle drinking water contamination, air pollution, and the worsening impacts of climate change,” said David Tipson, VP Programs & Government Relations for Clean Wisconsin. “Access to a safe and healthy environment is a right, not a privilege for those able to pay. But too often, lower-income Wisconsinites are exposed to more pollution. Extreme weather caused by climate change has increased costs for Wisconsin communities, residents, and farmers and we need to take action to mitigate the damage climate change is causing our state. This legislation includes a bold vision to tackle climate change and create new job opportunities in the clean energy economy while ensuring all communities in our state have access to a clean environment. Clean Wisconsin applauds Senator Baldwin for her work in shaping a legislative package that will help working families while also investing in a livable future in the face of our rapidly changing climate.”
“We are optimistic that our federal leaders see the importance of the moment to act on these climate issues,” said Matt Krueger, Executive Director of WI Land+Water. “We appreciate Senator Baldwin’s leadership in advancing conservation initiatives that will build Wisconsin’s climate resiliency.”
“The Build Back Better plan hits on many of the issues our members have highlighted as priorities, outlining game-changing investments in infrastructure that would benefit small businesses, strengthen supply chains, and revitalize rural communities,” said Darin Von Ruden, President of Wisconsin Farmers Union. “It is also heartening to see the inclusion of investment in climate-smart agriculture and conservation programs. Many farmers have already proven themselves as innovators when it comes to land and water conservation, and this funding will help them continue to implement practices that are aligned with addressing the climate crisis. Many of our farmer members are also self-employed and have struggled with costly health insurance, so we are pleased to see efforts to address health care access and affordability."