MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker, who plunged the state to last in the Midwest in jobs on his watch, is touting a “Wisconsin comeback” in his stump speeches and TV ads. As Wisconsin celebrates Women’s Equality Day and the 94th anniversary of passage of the 19th amendment grating women the right to vote, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted the unwelcome “comeback” under Walker of regressive policies that hurt women and their families.
“Nearly a century ago the franchise was extended to women in a great step forward to giving them the equal treatment they deserve,” said Ross. “But today in Wisconsin Gov. Walker is trying to turn the clock back with the most unwelcome comeback of workplace and health care inequality.”
As Governor, Walker has orchestrated the comeback of policies on women’s health that turned the clock back at least 50 years of progress. His cuts to state funding for Planned Parenthood resulted in the closing of five health care clinics that provided women with access to comprehensive health care services including cancer screenings. Walker also tried to pass legislation to roll back insurance coverage for birth control, and now he’s trying to roll it back by administrative order.
In the workplace where jobs are scarce under Gov. Walker’s worst in the Midwest ranking, he signed a repeal of a state law to help enforce equal pay for women, making it harder to hold bad actors accountable and potentially costing Wisconsin families money. And Walker has refused to support the common sense Higher Ed, Lower Debt Act reforms to allow student loan borrowers to refinance their student loans like you can a mortgage. Student loan debt is a particular crisis for women struggling to enter or stay in the middle class.
Lastly, and most egregious given today’s anniversary, Walker continues to fight for a voter identification law which studies show would disproportionately hurt women voters from accessing the ballot box.
Ross concluded, “Gov. Walker’s not lying when he says there’s a ‘comeback’ in Wisconsin, but his last in the Midwest ranking shows it’s not jobs. Instead it’s things like the health care and workplace inequality of a bygone era making a comeback in Gov. Walker’s Wisconsin today.”