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Author: Tamarine Cornelius

Immigrants make critical contributions to Wisconsin’s shared prosperity

Immigrants are an intrinsic part of our nation, our state, and our communities. Every day immigrants care for family members, go to school, advocate for positive changes, and connect with other residents in the farmlands, small towns, and cities of Wisconsin. Their contributions help Wisconsin maintain strong, vibrant communities that ensure that Wisconsin is an attractive place to live and raise a family. In addition to their many other diverse roles they hold, immigrants in Wisconsin are also workers. Immigrants make up a small but important part of the state’s workforce and play a critical role in sectors that...

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State funding for child care bill a good first step but still falls short

Wisconsin parents need affordable, high-quality child care in order to fully participate in the workforce and be reliable employees. Wisconsin businesses seeking to expand the state’s workforce also depend on the state’s child care system, since without it far fewer parents would be able to work. But state lawmakers have gradually scaled back the state’s child care subsidies in recent years, leading to a steep drop in the number of families receiving child care assistance, particularly in rural areas. Now Wisconsin lawmakers have proposed a moderate increase in funding for child care assistance for families with low incomes. The...

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Wisconsin millionaires to profit while poor pay the bill under Trump budget proposal

On the heels of a tax cut that will mainly benefit the wealthy and corporations, President Trump’s 2019 budget reflects his stark vision for the country — where the wealthy and powerful gain more wealth and power, while many in Wisconsin face more and more obstacles just to get by. In December, Trump and Congress passed an enormous tax cut primarily benefitting the wealthy and well-connected, causing deficits to balloon. Now he wants to finance the cost for those tax cuts by making everyone else pay the price. President Trump has released a budget that includes over $1.4 trillion...

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Transient budget goals for State at root of long-term harm to local children and families

The different plans for what to do with the state’s budget surplus have one thing in common: they offer short-term benefits at the expense of long-term gains in economic stability. Many lawmakers seem to be viewing the surplus as an opportunity to provide election-year tax rebates—raising questions about whether they are focused more on securing their re-election than promoting broadly-shared prosperity across the state. At the end of the 2019 fiscal year, Wisconsin will have $138 million more in its General Fund than was anticipated when lawmakers passed the two-year budget last year. Lawmakers are seeking ways to spend...

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The $4.5B tax-payer subsidy to Foxconn includes $1.6B in payouts unrelated to job creation

An updated calculation of the public assistance provided to Foxconn shows that the costs have risen as high as $4.5 billion when multiple forms of assistance from state government, local governments, and utilities are included. This comprehensive accounting of public costs allows us to more accurately identify how much each new job created by Foxconn will cost to taxpayers. With an eventual employment target of 13,000 jobs at Foxconn, the cost per job would be $344,000 ($4.5 billion cost divided by 13,000 jobs). Breakdown of the estimated $4.5 billion in state, local, and utility assistance to Foxconn, as estimated...

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Low-paid Wisconsin workers left behind as border states increase wages

Low-paid workers across the country got a raise this month, as 18 states and 20 cities and counties increased their minimum wages, many of them of rates to $12 to $15 an hour. Once the increases are fully phased in, 15 million workers will see long overdue raises. In contrast, Wisconsin’s minimum wage remains at $7.25, the same as the federal minimum wage. It was last raised in 2009 and has lost about 15% of its purchasing power since then. State lawmakers have barred local governments in Wisconsin from setting their own minimum wages that are higher than the...

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