The national economic crisis is leading to increased calls for help to states.
The effects of the troubled economy can be seen in many areas of the state. Robert Kraig of Citizen Action of Wisconsin says it's clearly having a major impact on the labor market, with state applications for unemployment up 40-percent over last year and the state's unemployment trust fund running close to empty.
Add in the $5.4 billion budget deficit facing the state, and Kraig says the federal government needs to step up quickly. He says we're facing an economic crisis not experienced since the Great Depression, and we need a recovery plan to deal with something of that magnitude.
Kraig says that plan should include direct intervention in the housing crisis, banking reforms, and massive investments in infrastructure projects. He says ever $1 billion spent on infrastructure creates 28,000 jobs, and only a quarter of those are in the construction industry.
Kraig says there also needs to be a focus on workforce training and the creation of "green" jobs to get people back to work.