I am running for State Assembly because I believe it is time we return the power to the people. Big corporations and the special interests seem to be the only ones calling the shots while the rest of us are left picking up the pieces when it ultimately doesn’t work out. My commitment is to the representing the people of the 50th Assembly, not a political party or powerful out of state corporations. All too often, it seems as though politicians are working to protect their own jobs more than working to create family-supporting jobs.
This is not acceptable.
Ever since I returned from my service in the Marine Corps, I have dedicated my life to making our community a better place to live, work and raise a family. Looking at the lack of leadership and results from our current Representative, I know that we can do better. We need commonsense and collaboration in Madison – not the divisive party politics and laundry list of excuses we all have grown tired of. The people deserve better, and I will live up to my word.
Please take a few minutes to learn about my stances on these incredibly important issues. If you have a question about an issue that is not on here, feel free to contact me at Shrader50th@gmail.com.
As a Business Loan Officer that has worked with farmers and small businesses over the last two decades to grow and expand their business, I know what it takes to get our economy moving again. Wisconsin ranks in the bottom third of states for private sector job creation and we are one of the worst in the country in entrepreneurship and small business development. We can do better.
To begin with, we must renew our commitment to our public schools, UW System and local technical schools. Providing our kids with a good education here at home ensures they are prepared for the future, have the skills they need to succeed in our ever-changing economy and most importantly, will return to our rural communities after they graduate.
However once they move here, we must keep them here and to do so, Wisconsin must address its significant wage problem and it starts with increasing our minimum wage for the first time in almost a decade. Previously this has failed because of a divisive political environment that favors staying in power over doing what is right. Repealing Right to Work, eliminating harmful changes to Wisconsin’s prevailing wage laws and providing middle class tax relief are steps in the right direction.
Let’s be honest with ourselves, economic development in rural areas of our state has not received nearly enough resources from the power brokers in Madison. I know how to grow our rural economies, and it starts with making sure we get the resources we need to promote the entrepreneurs, innovators and farmers who already call rural Wisconsin home. I know that we can grow a vibrant rural economy that creates jobs and opportunities for everyone. The time to do this is now. There are tremendous opportunities in the 50th Assembly District and with the right resources we can enhance our economy and raise the standard of living for everyone instead of just the wealthy and large corporations.
As a Marine, ensuring our veterans have access to the resources they have earned is one of my top priorities. Too many of our brothers and sisters have returned from their service to our country and are forced to face a litany of unnecessary and unacceptable obstacles. We must continue to fund our local CVSO’s, establish better work programs and educational opportunities for our veterans, and never forget our commitment to these veterans, their widows and children.
Preservation and Conservation
From our rolling bluffs to our dense forests to our endless lakes, rivers and streams, Wisconsin is blessed to have such bountiful natural resources. Coupled with our strong hunting and fishing traditions, it is no wonder we are a top tourism destination! Responsible development that respects the rights of landowners while also protecting our invaluable natural resources is a delicate, yet important balance to strike. We cannot continue to auction off our land, air and water to the highest bidder. Furthermore, increasing investments in conservation programs like Wisconsin’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program is important to preserving our outdoors for generations to come.
Wisconsin spends nearly $16 billion every year on out-of-state energy costs. Cuts to our own Focus on Energy program are short-sighted and make it harder for Wisconsinites to make their homes more energy efficient – putting more money in their wallet while also protecting our environment. Investing in smart renewable energy like solar or manure digesters not only cuts down our energy costs but is a solid investment in Wisconsin’s own local businesses.
Roads, Bridges and Highways
Investing in our overall infrastructure creates good family-supporting jobs, ensures safe roadways, and delivers reliable broadband internet which is increasingly important for our local economic development.
Like so many, I am sick of hearing about the hundreds of millions of dollars being invested in Madison and Milwaukee. Although we may live in a rural community, we, too, deserve to drive on good roads and bridges which have not received the proper maintenance over the last several years. Nearly 70% of Wisconsin’s roads are considered in “poor” condition. Developing a long-term solution to address our transportation crisis is imperative and under the leadership of Rep. Ed Brooks we’ve simply seen excuses, not action.
Nearly ten years ago, before it was mainstream, I took a leap of faith and worked to bring reliable, high speed broadband to my hometown of Reedsburg. We cannot be afraid to take risks – I believe this is the leadership the 50th Assembly District lacks and the vision we need. For rural communities like ours, reliable broadband internet is the great equalizer for competing with larger, more urban communities. It ensures our kids have access to the same educational opportunities, our businesses are able to more effectively compete in state, national and international markets, and it’s an added incentive for families and businesses to locate in our community.
Increasing Rural Healthcare Access and Affordability
Accessing reliable, affordable healthcare is a problem that too many rural communities face. Having to drive 100 miles to see the doctor or figuring out how to afford sky-rocketing prescription drugs is a common occurrence for too many Americans. Instead of playing Presidential politics, Governor Walker and legislative Republicans need to accept the federal Medicaid expansion dollars which will save our state hundreds of millions of dollars, avoiding the debilitating cuts to our UW System and public schools, while also providing healthcare coverage for an additional 80,000 Wisconsinites.
Furthermore, instead of voting to cut funding for mammograms and cervical cancer screenings like Rep. Ed Brooks, we need to invest in the life-saving health services that our wives, sisters, mothers and daughters need. Politics don’t belong in the exam room – these medical decisions should remain between a woman, her family and her physician, not her local politician.
Long-Term Care – IRIS and Family Care
Like many, I was relieved to learn that legislative Republicans have at least temporarily abandoned their “reforms” to Wisconsin’s long-term care programs, IRIS and Family Care, which have saved Wisconsin millions over the last two decades and ensured our loved ones are able to stay in their homes. After years of work by stakeholders, long-term care participants and legislators, these programs now serve over 55,000 of Wisconsin’s frail elderly and individuals with disabilities. Destroying Wisconsin’s nationally renowned long-term care programs by selling out our most vulnerable citizens to big insurance companies is one of the most disappointing actions we’ve seen from this Legislature over the last few years. I oppose these changes and if elected, will fight to preserve our current long-term care programs.
Copyright © Art Shrader. All Rights Reserved.
Our Public Schools
The best investment we can make for our future is an investment in our children. Strong public schools are the backbone of our community and ensure our kids have the skills and experience they need to succeed as adults. A strong and vibrant educational system is the best tool we have to ensure our local economies continue to grow, and our children have the same opportunities that we have been afforded.
We must stop funneling hundreds of millions from our public schools to pay for subsidizing the private school tuition of those who can already afford it. With over $1 billion cut from our public schools over the last six years, we cannot sit idly on the sidelines as class sizes grow, record numbers of referendums are passing leading to higher property taxes and in some cases, schools are forced to close their doors for good. These cuts are part of an ideology that abandons the Wisconsin Idea, and we are now trading the future of our state away in exchange for very little short term gain.
UW System and our Technical College System
Not only do I believe we need to make a strong investment in our public schools, but we also need to begin reinvesting in our UW System and technical colleges. In today’s economy, the majority of family-supporting jobs require some kind of additional higher education. Wisconsin is one of the only states that continues to make record cuts to our UW System when the overwhelmingly majority of states have begun increasing their higher education funding since the end of the Great Recession. The facts do not lie – we now face larger class sizes, fewer classes and kids are spending more time than ever in school which contributes to our growing student loan debt crisis.
We need to make it easier and more affordable for our kids to go to college. Over 800,000 Wisconsinites have student loan debt, with nearly one-third of debtors being over the age of 40. Those with student loans should be able to refinance and consolidate the same way many of us refinance our homes. No child should ever be stopped from pursuing their education because they cannot afford it. I have listened to the people, and no one is asking for a hand out…they are simply asking that they get a fair shake.
Together an investment in our public schools, UW System and technical schools ensures that our kids are well-educated for the future, have the skills they need to succeed and most importantly, will return to our communities after they graduate, so that everyone can benefit.
Authorized and paid for by Shrader for Wisconsin, Roger Friede, Treasurer.