WI Lawmakers Reintroduce 'Economic Justice Bill of Rights'
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Wisconsin's legislative session has concluded, but Democrats still are pushing for a so-called "Economic Justice Bill of Rights."
Among other things, the resolution holds people are entitled to the right to unionize and access affordable health care and housing. It is nonbinding and essentially an affirmation of support for those principles.
Rep. Francesca Hong, D-Madison, said a previous version of the resolution, which stagnated in the Legislature, served as inspiration for several bills in this past session.
"We are fighting for these values outlined in the Economic Justice Bill of Rights because we value humanity, Wisconsinites, their dignity, and we know that everyone deserves a right to safety," Hong outlined.
The chances of the measure passing through the Republican-held Legislature are slim at best. When the first version of the resolution was introduced last March, it was referred to a legislative Rules Committee, where it stagnated for a year before expiring with the end of the session a few weeks ago.
Rabbi Bonni Margulis, president of Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice, said the COVID-19 pandemic exposed deep economic inequities, and the resolution could be a first step toward addressing disparities. Hers is one of several social-justice organizations supporting the measure.
"As we have seen low-income and communities of color bear the brunt of COVID, we've had to acknowledge that disparities in health outcomes are directly linked to lack of access to good-paying jobs, health insurance, safe affordable housing, clean air and clean water," Margulis explained.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wisconsin's unemployment rate hit 3% in January, matching pre-pandemic levels, which were the lowest since at least 2002.
Unless Gov. Tony Evers convenes a special session, and Republican leaders agree to take up new bills, lawmakers are not scheduled to return to the Capitol until 2023.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
Boston's 'Mass and Cass' area, with its large homeless population and open-air drug market, remains a trouble spot for city officials, but staff at …
Maryland's Juvenile Restoration Act has been in effect for more than a year now and its impact has people talking about additional reforms. The act …
Local candidates that signed onto a no-corporate-money pledge made midterm election gains in Charleston. Katie Lauer, co-chair of West Virginia …
Health and Wellness
A new statewide initiative aims to help connect domestic-violence survivors with medical providers, with a focus on treating traumatic brain injury…
A successful program that helps low-income households weatherize homes and lower energy bills is setting its sights on improving the health outcomes o…
The Arizona New Parent Guide is a resource that is intended to help new parents meet the challenges of having a baby and support their baby's health …
This story is based on original reporting by Elizabeth McGowan for Energy News Network, and is part of the Solutions Journalism Network-Public News …
In just two months, it should be easier for providers of children's services in Pennsylvania's child-welfare and foster-care system to get the …