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Many — if not most — kids counted as enrolled in the Milwaukee Public Schools miss at least three weeks of class throughout the year. In some schools, nearly all kids are chronically absent — that is, absent on more than 10% of possible attendance days.

According to a Marquette Law School poll last fall, 64% of registered Wisconsin voters, and 43% of Republicans, favor full legalization. Thirty percent of Wisconsinites and 50% of Republicans think it should remain illegal. Only 6% of registered voters say they just don’t know.

It’s telling that Gov. Evers, Sen. Larson and the rest keep using words like “the wealthy” and “rich” to talk about their targets. The Wisconsin income tax is levied not on wealth that people have saved but on income — what they earn. If you say “rich,” with its implications of inheritance or luck, you don’t have to grapple with how taxes take what someone is working for.

For decades, the federal government has assumed a larger role in funding and running safety net programs, leaving states with little ability to address flaws such as employment and marriage disincentives and little power to make changes. State leaders must work to change this.

For the people who need it most — poor residents of Milwaukee, families and victims of particularly violent crimes like homicide and aggravated assault throughout the state, children in schools where politicians won’t allow police, and almost anyone awaiting a verdict — Wisconsin’s criminal justice system is failing.