Monday May 29, 2017

Always Foward with Education & Reason


Featured on the Green Bay Progressive Today!

students-ecTrempealeau County Youth in Government Day brings students into the courthouse to visit with officials and staff about their work. It gave Kathleen Vinehout a chance to spent time with them discussing her role as Senator and engage in a conversation about what they would change if they had the opportunity.

WHITEHALL, WI - “Imagine you could make the laws. What would you change about how things are run?” My question to the students spurred a long discussion about change in our world.

Almost 100 high school students recently participated in Trempealeau County Youth in Government Day. The daylong session was designed to encourage youth to become engaged in government. Students visited with county officials and staff about their work running county services.

During lunch, I spoke with the students about being a Senator and lawmaking. I encouraged them to think about laws as something they could someday change.

trempealeau-coTeens told me they often think of the law as permanent. The day at the courthouse taught them things can change. They can be a part of change. The teens offered ideas that reflected their interests and experiences. Some focused on immediate concerns, “Get rid of the school dress code,” said Isabelle. Some had a larger vision.

“I want to save the horses sent across the Mexican border for meat,” said Raquel. We talked about the work of horse rescue groups who give time and money to help abandoned horses.

“We need to protect the environment. If we protect our environment, we protect human health and animal habitat,” one young woman explained.

“Fewer people are going into agriculture. Let’s offer free tuition to encourage more agriculture students and farmers.” Several students voiced agreement. “Everyone needs to eat – we need more farmers.” “Look at the average age of farmers in Wisconsin,” said another.

“We need cheaper college tuition,” said one young man. Others agreed. “Look what they did in New York – they made college free.” Another student noted, “Even in Kurdistan they have free college tuition.” I’m not sure about Kurdistan, but there are countries do not charge students tuition.

“We need to give everyone equal opportunity,” said Kayla, whose broad vision spurred others to think of ways to provide opportunity to all of our neighbors.

Shelly talked of helping homeless children. “Give them a home, lower the cost of adoption,” she said. We talked about the county’s role in helping children whose parents could not take care of them. Several students mentioned their visit with county social workers who spoke about children in need.

Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   

hicap-residentsAn action alert on high capacity wells in Wisconsin. Contact your Assembly representative by Tuesday morning.

STATEWIDE - SB76 (and companion bill AB105) allows currently existing High-Capacity Wells to be repaired, reconstructed, replaced or transferred without further permit review for cumulative effects on the aquifer. In certain parts of the state there are already lowered stream and lake levels from withdrawals. This bill is a license to withdraw large amounts of water and this license never expires!

hicap-wellSB76 has already passed the Senate and is now on the calendar for a vote in the Assembly tomorrow. In the Assembly Rep. Cory Mason has offered several amendments to reduce the harm caused by SB76, but chances for passage of those amendments are not strong.

Please note the link below to the background information and contact your Assembly representative by Tuesday morning.

The League supports the Public Trust standard for the water in Wisconsin, which holds that water - both above and below ground - impacts the lives of all citizens in this state. It must be protected for the use of ALL citizens.

For a link to background information, click here.

To find your own Assembly Representative, click here and enter your address under Find My Legislators, next to the little green map of Wisconsin.

Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
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