Rep. Peter Barca: Wisconsin is Number One in Job Loss Under Walker and the Republicans
By: Rep. Peter Barca
This legislative session has been defined by lost opportunities, bad choices and an agenda that has hurt working families across Wisconsin. The most important issue by far is jobs for struggling families. Unfortunately, this has been Gov. Walker’s biggest shortcoming.
The United States has added jobs every month for 17 months now. All but six states added jobs last year. All Wisconsin’s neighboring states gained jobs during that time. This is all good news for our country and region.
However, we cannot share in that celebration here. Wisconsin lost 12,500 jobs. And not only was our state one of six that lost jobs – Wisconsin lost three times more jobs than Missouri, which had the second-highest job loss.
This is terrible news for our state and our struggling families. And an appropriate reaction would be to spend this last week while the legislature is still in session focusing like a laser on job creation.
Instead, the Republicans have chosen to focus on bills that are socially extreme, hurt public education and harm women’s health care. Democratic attempts to bring jobs bills promoting manufacturing, angel investment and technical college job training were shot down.
Gov. Walker pledged last fall to work in a bipartisan fashion on job creation. He said his top two priorities were venture capital and mining, and he failed on both accounts. Now he is blaming others for his failure to roll up his sleeves, work together and get the job done.
The legislative session is nearly over, and Republicans have shown no desire to devote any serious focus to job creation. In the strongest possible terms, I renew my call for a bipartisan process to select bills that will help put people back to work quickly.
It is never too late to work together with a laser focus on job creation, as we have wanted to do for the past year. We owe it to Wisconsin’s struggling families and small businesses to help them recover and give them long-term economic security.