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July 24, 2021

6/11/2021 10:36:00 AM
Examples out of a multitude

Dear Editor;
In his latest E-update of April 30, 2021, State Senator Howard Marklein bemoans at length what he describes as Governor Evers' failure to "reach out to the legislature to discuss his ideas" for the new budget, leaving legislators to "craft the state budget in a vacuum."
In fact, it has been Republican recalcitrance and obstruction of Governor Evers' initiatives ever since the Democrats won every statewide office in 2018 that have cost Wisconsin billions of dollars in federal funds.
Governor Evers proposed in his 2021-23 budget to expand Medicaid to cover more than 90,000 uninsured Wisconsinites. A Marquette Law poll in April 2019 revealed that 70% of Wisconsinites favor the expansion. Nevertheless, Republican Assembly Speaker Vos flatly declined to consider accepting federal funds for the expansion, making Wisconsin one of only a handful of states that refuse to accept federal expansion funds and costing the state more than $1 billion in federal dollars.
In March, Governor Evers proposed to suspend Wisconsin's one-week unemployment waiting period in order to make Wisconsin eligible for $25 million in federal funding to help pay for unemployment benefits. However, Republican legislative leaders scheduled floor sessions after the federal deadline expired, making it impossible to consider Governor Evers' proposal and causing Wisconsin to lose $25 million in federal dollars.
On March 31, the conservative majority in the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Governor Evers' public health emergency order after a strong Republican backer brought a lawsuit challenging that order and a mask mandate favored by 72% of Wisconsin voters polled in October. It was only after Governor Evers turned his back on Republican lawmakers and reached out himself to federal agencies to salvage $70 million per month in federal FoodShare benefits that the federal funding for needy and hungry Wisconsinites was saved.
These are only three examples out of a multitude. It is Governor Evers who is following the will of Wisconsin voters. While Senator Marklein wrings his hands that Governor Evers is supposedly obstructing bipartisan cooperation in crafting the new budget, his complaints are partisan hypocrisy at its finest.
Marilyn Martin,
Richland Center

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