Lawmakers react to the Democratic agenda "Wisconsin Way Forward"

Wisconsin State Capitol (WLUK file photo).

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- As the Republican-controlled legislature moved forward this year, Democrats have laid out what they want to see happen.

However, for any of their ideas to become law, Democrats will need Republican support.

On Thursday, Democratic leaders laid out their agenda called "Wisconsin Way Forward."

The plan focuses on reducing student loan debt and increasing funding for child care.

"The policies we'll be advocating for and hopefully advancing, are the ones that are really going to better the lives of working people across the state of Wisconsin," said State Rep. Eric Genrich, D-Green Bay.

Although, Wisconsin Way Forward touches on some ideas Democrats want to focus on, specific policy details were not released.

"Right now we've introduced some broad issues that are based on our values; strengthening families, strengthening communities, and making sure that middle class people get the attention that they deserve," said Democratic State Rep. Jill Billings of La Crosse.

Republican State Representative Mike Rohkrates told FOX 11, it's too soon to say if any of the Democrat's policies would receive Republican support.

"We have our forward agenda on the Republican side, and I think one of the issues we have in this state is that we have many open positions. So we have both a shortage of worker issue, but we also have a skill issue. If we can find common ground that we can find to help improve that than those are areas that I think we can work together," said Rohkrates, R- Neenah.

Democratic leaders said they'll announce specific proposals in coming weeks.

FOX 11 spoke with the lawmakers Friday at the Legislative Children's Caucus informational meeting series called Community Efforts to Strengthen Families.

The series is a way for lawmakers to meet with community groups and learn about family issues in the community as well as way to prevent child neglect and abuse.

"It's surprising that we have over a third of the children that are born in our county are at risk for neglect or abuse, that's a really high number and something that I think is surprising to a lot of people. It shows that we have to be providing a lot of attention and resources to this situation," said State Rep. David Steffen, R-Howard.

This was one of five sessions planned throughout the state, the next one will be held in Stevens Point on Monday.

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