Democratic state representatives held a press conference Wednesday and called on Gov. Scott Walker to convene a special session of the Legislature to further discuss jobs legislation.
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, said the Legislature left a number of important policy items on the table before adjourning for the year. His office released a proposed agenda for the session comprised of 24 bills concerning Wisconsin’s economy, education and job-training programs and healthcare.
Assistant Assembly Minority Leader Sandy Pasch, D-Shorewood, added the legislation her colleagues acted on in the previous legislative session would not improve Wisconsin’s economic situation or create jobs.
“It’s time for [state Republicans] to stop their obsession with fixing elections and take the call of Democrats and everyday Wisconsin families across our state to put their focus on real programs facing people in Wisconsin,” Pasch said.
The proposed agenda includes legislation that would raise the minimum wage, reinstate the Equal Pay Enforcement Act and allow students to refinance their student debt.
State Rep. Andy Jorgensen, D-Milton, said the Legislature failed to address Wisconsin’s economic concerns in the last year and a special session is necessary to discuss them.
“Going into the campaign season, and not focusing on jobs, is a missed opportunity,” Jorgensen said. “Governor Walker has said he wants a lazer-like focus on jobs. I want him to prove it now.”
Walker previously said he would call a special session this year to modify the legally contested voter ID law if the state Supreme Court strikes it down. Walker said in March he would like to see voter ID in place before the November elections, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Jorgensen called Walker’s intention irresponsible, and added, “It has nothing to with jobs, it has nothing to do with public education, it has nothing to do with healthcare … it has to do with his focus on elections and how to suppress the vote.”
Jorgensen said the special session could take place as soon as this spring, if Walker complied with the request.