There is a lot to get excited about in this budget. Our Policy Team has made their way through the nearly 600 page documents and here is out top 5 list:
BadgerCare Expansion: Governor Walker and the Republicans callously rejected federal funds available to Wisconsin under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This budget expands BadgerCare to cover an additional 83,000 Wisconsinites while saving taxpayers $834 million over the next 6 years. Because low-income, uninsured women and more likely to forego healthcare and preventative services because of costs, this is a necessity for Women in Wisconsin.
Healthy Women, Healthy Babies Initiative: Wisconsin’s infant mortality rates for African-American babies are the highest in the nation. This budget includes a $28 million investment to support healthier pregnancies and births, including funds to pilot a Medicaid doula reimbursement program.
Focus on Childcare: Finding affordable, quality child care is one of the biggest hurdles for getting and keeping a job. This is particularly true for women as primary care givers. This budget includes a $376.9 million increase in child care subsidies and focuses on economically disadvantages areas.
Repeal of harmful hurdles: This budget fixes some serious abuses of power that Walker and the Republicans jammed in the lame duck session. This budget restores the ability of our Attorney General to settle cases and eliminates the legislatures ability to intervene in lawsuits.
Local Preemption Repeal: This budget repeals the prohibition that prevents local government from passing paid family leave and other local initiatives. While we strongly believe paid family leave should be a statewide initiative, this repeal would allow local governments to lead the way until our legislature is willing to enact real change for all Wisconsin workers and families.
WAWH will be advocating for these and other important budget items that align with our vision: Every Wisconsin woman - at every age and every stage of life - is able to reach her optimal health, safety and economic security. These items must not be taken out of the budget.
What can you do?
Cecely Castillo, Policy Director