State rep. wants apology from Governor Walker on behalf of single parents

Local News

A statement Governor Scott Walker made about when the right time for people to start having families is drew heat from a state representative who used to be a teenage single mother herself, and she wants him to apologize.

During his 2017-2019 budget proposal, Governor Walker talked about how young people just starting out can have a better chance of reaching the middle class and beyond. 

“The Commission on the Future of the Family reminded us to focus early and often on the ‘Success Sequence.’ It is simple: graduate from school, get a job and wait until you’re 21 and married to have a child. Research shows that those who do so are overwhelmingly more likely to succeed,” Walker said. 
 
Representative Amanda Stuck, a Democrat from Appleton, said she took personal offense to it.
 
Stuck got pregnant at the age of 19 with her first son when she was a freshman at UW Oshkosh. She worked two jobs and earned her master’s degree. She is now married with two sons, but says she remembers the challenges of being a single parent.
 
“But I was determined that I was going to give him a good life, and so I did, I worked two jobs at at time to get through school, went to school full time,” she explained.
 
Stuck says she doesn’t want people going through hard times to hear that there is only one way to be successful based on Walker’s words.
 
“Anybody in that position right now who heard what he said, feels like he just said they’re already a failure,” Stuck said. “It doesn’t matter what they do, they’re already a failure because they didn’t follow that one formula to success.”
 
During a visit to La Crosse on Thursday, Governor Walker defended his statement and said that it is backed up by research studies.

“You get a job you, wait til you’re 21 to have a child, and you’re married, the overwhelming evidence regardless of what the moral factors are, just the scientific evidence shows that people are much more likely to live a middle class or better life going forward,” Walker explained.

Stuck says she would like to see Walker to support policies to help people have those chances, from birth control to student debt relief.

“Walker emphasizing that people should wait to have children, then he should also then be investing in women’s healthcare and making sure places like Planned Parenthood are funded in Wisconsin, so that people have access to birth control,” Stuck said.

While Stuck is hoping Walker apologizes to all single parents and families who have different circumstances, the governor is sticking to his words.

“Encouraging strong, intact, two-parent families because again, the data just shows, research shows, that those families are likely to do better,” Walker said.
 
Stuck will hold a news conference on Friday and bring in single parents to share their stories. 
 

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