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4 Wisconsin mayors express frustration with the spending bill not having passed yet

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 6:53 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Mayor Katie Rosenberg joined mayors from Racine, Madison, and Sheboygan by Zoom on Thursday to discuss how the spending bill would impact their cities if it gets passed. All four mayors said they were frustrated that the bill hasn’t been passed yet.

They discussed frustration with congress taking longer than expected and needing relief for their cities.

Mayor Katie Rosenberg of Wausau believes an important issue that needs to be addressed is improving childcare in Wausau. Rosenberg said Wausau lost 55% of childcare providers during the last recession.

She thinks the Build-Back Better program can help. “And this plan ensures that every three and four-year-old has access to universal Pre-K,” said Rosenberg.

The bill would help provide better wages for people who work in early childhood education.

“We know that childcare providers are seriously underpaid, and they are so critical to the development of people,” said Mayor Rosenberg.

The spending bill would aim to make childcare more affordable for families. Families in the area can pay anywhere from $700 to $1,200 a month for one child.

“That is not affordable for many families, so I think it helps kind of subsidize a little bit of that and make sure that we’re getting high-quality care, but also at an affordable rate for parents,” said Mayor Rosenberg.

Many parents are making the choice to stay home to watch their children due to limited childcare options. And the pandemic only made that worse.

Extending the current child tax credit Mayor Rosenberg said would allow people to decide if they want to reenter the workforce.

“This is really an opportunity to just get back to where we want to be and everyone can decide for themselves what brings them purpose instead of having the economy just dictate for them,” said Mayor Rosenberg.

The Build-Back Better spending plan is supported by all but two Democrats in the Senate. The two holdouts oppose the bill’s price tag.

Republicans say the bill is a “Democrat wish list” of spending priorities.

Ten Republicans voted in favor of the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

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