Wisconsin’s economy is thriving. However, the state’s historically low unemployment has brought new challenges to Wisconsin. The greatest difficulty for many businesses and industries is finding qualified employees.
During his first term, Devin championed the Second Start initiative. This innovative program would help connect former UW students that left college without a degree with skilled trades opportunities. He also supported investments into the Fast Forward program which provides grants to train Wisconsin workers.
Over the next 4 years in the legislature, Devin will focus on attracting skilled employees to Wisconsin and helping connect current Wisconsinites to industries, apprenticeships, and tech start-ups all searching for qualified individuals. Additionally, Devin will focus on making sure that those who are on public assistance programs receive the incentives and assistance they need to re-enter the workforce.
CONTROLLING SPENDING AND CUTTING TAXES
Over the last four years, Devin voted for real tax reforms to make Wisconsin’s tax code simpler and help taxpayers:
- Eliminated the state property tax
- Partially eliminated the personal property tax which hurts small businesses
- Reduced the “marriage penalty” for income tax returns
However, tax reform does not have to come at the expense of fiscal responsibility. The two budgets supported by Devin authorized the lowest amount of overall borrowing in the last twenty years. The state’s pension system is fully funded, and the rainy day fund is at its highest amount in state history. Last year, three national agencies upgraded Wisconsin’s bond rating.
Devin’s plan for spending and taxes is simple: balance the state budget, just like how Wisconsin families need to balance their checkbooks. He will also keep fighting to simplify the tax code while lowering the overall tax burden.
During his four years in the State Senate, Devin has supported funding increases of over $500 per student in K-12 public education. Additionally, fiscally conservative school districts have been given more flexibility over the next five years in order to bring more parity to the discrepancies in the school funding formula. This will help the frugal, low spending school districts direct more dollars into their classrooms.
However, Devin understands more needs to be done. The school funding formula is broken and needs to be fixed. We must do more to shift education decisions to the local level.
Finally, education works best with involved parents. Devin will ensure that parents, especially those with limited means, are afforded every opportunity to choose what school is best for their children.
A strong infrastructure is critical to maintain Wisconsin’s strong economy. That is why Devin supported new funding for improvements of local roads and bridges.
Additionally, one of his top priorities is ensuring that Highway 23 is expanded to four lanes in order to improve safety and help area businesses along this vital corridor.
Devin will continue to support fiscally-responsible investments in roads. After a state audit found waste and inefficiencies at the Department of Transportation (DOT) costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, Devin voted in support of reforming the agency to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being spent as wisely as possible.
As a member of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Devin knows the importance of healthcare. He voted to lower health premiums for those on the individual market. Devin also authored legislation to expand access to mental health services in schools.
With politicians in Washington unable to address healthcare, Devin is committed to advocating for consumer-driven healthcare solutions in Wisconsin. His plan focuses on patient-centered care with an emphasis on quality and value. There also needs to be action to address the healthcare provider shortage, particularly among nurses and physicians.