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19
Feb
2016

clean-drinking-waterLocal Senator says backlash against the Republican proposal to allow an out-of-state corporation to buy and operate public water utilities in Wisconsin forced it to be removed from the Senate calendar.


MADISON - According to State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), an outspoken opponent of the bill, widespread backlash against a bill that would make it easier to turn control of public drinking water over to out-of-state corporations led to the bill’s apparent demise in the State Senate Friday.

dave-hansen“I was so happy to see the public outcry against this bill," said Hansen today.  "Thanks to everyone who spoke out, the bill was removed from the Senate calendar and it looks to be defeated."

The controversial bill was introduced at the request of Aqua American, a Pennsylvania corporation that buys public water utilities to operate for profit. In many cases that has been a bad deal for residents in communities where Aqua America took over control of their drinking water.

In order to increase profits in some communities, Aqua America has fired staff, reduced quality and raised rates. One community saw their average water rate skyrocket from $153 to $707 an increase of 397%.

“Assembly Bill 554 was nothing more than a giveaway to Aqua America, a Pennsylvania corporation that wanted to gain control over Wisconsin’s drinking water,” said Hansen. “Clean water is one of our greatest assets and its protection should remain the responsibility of the public. It should not be sold to a faceless corporation that is only interested in making a profit from it. I’m glad so many agree and made their voices heard.”

Written by GBP Staff   
 
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18
Feb
2016

school-closedTom Tiffany silent as Rhinelander and Northland Pines school districts forced to approve referendum.

Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin   
 
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17
Feb
2016

senateRepublican action ‘Height of Hypocrisy’ as majority party continues to ignore student loan debt crisis, mass layoffs and child safety.


MADISON – Senate Republicans voted to pass Senate Bill 707 Tuesday while once again refusing to take up the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Bill and address Wisconsin’s growing student loan debt crisis.

mark-harrisSB 707 was introduced by Republican Party leaders to block Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris, a Democratic candidate in the 18th Senate District, from serving in the Legislature.

“Families are tired of watching Republican politicians prioritize their campaign interests over the needs of Wisconsin communities and the middle class,” said Senate Democratic leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “At a time when we should be working together to restore school funding, address the student loan debt crisis, create jobs and improve child safety, Senate Republicans want to limit the freedom of local voters. The fact that we’re in the last days of session and this bill tops the Republican to-do list shows the height of their hypocrisy and the extent of their misplaced priorities.”

jennifer-shillingRepublican lawmakers had no problem with Gov. Walker running for office on the taxpayers’ dime. No complaints were raised when conservative Rep. Bob Ziegelbauer served as Manitowoc County executive for more than six years. In fact, Republicans recently urged Sen. Paul Farrow to stay in office while simultaneously serving as Waukesha County Executive so he could vote on the state budget and support the Milwaukee Bucks arena deal.

“This is what we’ve come to expect from Republican lawmakers who have been focused on limiting access to public records, dismantling the Government Accountability Board and opening the floodgates for corporate campaign contributions,” added Shilling. “Republicans have their priorities backwards, and it’s time we act to strengthen the middle class and encourage economic opportunities rather than caving to partisan politics. Wisconsin families continue to stand with Democrats in calling for action on school funding, student loan debt relief and improved child safety.”

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Legislative writer Tony Palese contributed to this story.

Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
 
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16
Feb
2016

ice-fishingSen. Kathleen Vinehout is working on a bill to restore the ability of people to cross railroad lines to access public lands. Laws meant to protect energy providers from protesters are being felt by folks who cross over land to access public areas, such as fisherman along the Mississippi River. A new Republican bill (AB 547) could make matters worse.

Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
 
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