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29
Apr
2017

wisc-supremecourt-justicesLeague of Women Voters supports Assembly Bill 137 requiring notice of contributions made to the campaign committee of a judge or justice to parties in a pending case.


MADISON - The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin believes there are three important measures in establishing criminal sanctions. Society is protected from criminal acts by deterrence, incapacitation and reform of offenders. We have a justice system whose purpose is to review criminal acts and take appropriate action to protect society and help prevent further criminal acts. Ultimately our criminal justice system is in the hands of judges, and citizens in Wisconsin should have absolute confidence that judges will be fair and impartial.

We would certainly never suggest that campaign contributions automatically undermine a judge’s neutrality. That would be an affront to the distinguished women and men serving on Wisconsin’s bench. But we have seen that contributions supporting a judicial campaign can erode public trust, even if the judge may be acting fairly.

It is good that judges have campaign committees that handle the money, and are not allowed to accept contributions themselves. However, most people do not make that distinction, and that public perception is what we are concerned about. Any citizen who has to appear in court should have absolute confidence that a campaign contribution will not influence the judge’s impartiality. In the unfortunate absence of objective recusal rules addressing this problem, notice of financial contributions to the campaign of a judge or justice by a party in a pending case is essential.

The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin supports AB 137, which requires notice of certain contributions made to the campaign of a judge or justice. This legislation provides that whenever an someone makes a contribution to the candidate committee of a court of appeals, circuit, or municipal judge or supreme court justice in a pending civil or criminal action or proceeding over which the judge or justice is presiding, the contributor must within five days notify in writing the judge or justice and the parties in the case of the date and amount of the contribution.

Public trust is enhanced by openness and information. Requiring notice of contributions made by parties in a pending case is an important step in boosting public confidence in the courts in our state.

Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
 
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27
Apr
2017

wisconsin-rustedIn recent years, Wisconsin appears to have lost its ambition to be first or best. Roads are going to hell, we rank 49th in Internet speed. We’re lagging badly in renewable energy development and jobs. Recovery starts with wanting to be a state of firsts again.

Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
 
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25
Apr
2017

sand-mining-wiThe Sylla’s struggle with bad water, caused it seems by a high capacity well operated by a sand mine near their farm. Brown water is coming from their well and a horse died from exposure to toxins likely in the water. A bill in Madison, which would grant the well owner a permit in perpetuity, makes situations worse.

Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
 
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24
Apr
2017

trump-walkerPublic Health and substance use disorder experts also critique proposed premiums, time limits, work requirements.

Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig   
 
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21
Apr
2017

clean-drinking-waterMilwaukee session offered concerned citizens and water experts an opportunity to discuss the varied and growing threats to our shared waters and to learn about the crucial steps needed to best safeguard them.


MADISON, WI - Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee), Rep. Amanda Stuck (D-Appleton) and Rep. Jonathon Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) held the first listening session of their Save Our Water Tour, which accompanies the reintroduction of the Save Our Water Act (Senate Bill 176). The listening session offered an opportunity for concerned citizens and water experts to discuss the varied and growing threats to our shared waters and to learn about the crucial steps needed to best safeguard our waters. Future listening sessions are being planned for Appleton and Madison.

“We live in perilous times where climate change, lead, invasive species, overuse, pollution, and privatization threaten our shared waters,” said Sen. Chris Larson. "As we learned today from water experts and our neighbors, these growing threats to our water cannot be ignored. Today’s listening session made it clear that we must protect our water as an invaluable resource and safeguard access to clean water as a basic human right in order to ensure the health, safety, and security of our communities."

amanda-stuck“Water is one of Wisconsin’s most precious resources, something which we all rely on whether living in big cities like Milwaukee, along once polluted rivers like Appleton, or relying on ground water for drinking and agriculture, our abundance of water is something that sets our state apart,” said Rep. Amanda Stuck. "We heard from many people about the challenges facing our water and the need for Legislators to work on efforts to increase the quantity, quality, and sustainability of our fresh water in Wisconsin."

“Water is a fundamental and sacred human right, plain and simple," said Rep. Jonathan Brostoff. "That right is more important than the profits of the already wealthy out-of-state shadow interest groups that are putting Wisconsin communities at risk for their own short-term gains. This bill is a clear statement of our values: The people of Wisconsin come first.”

Last session, Republican legislators pushed for a bill to allow out-of-state, for-profit companies to come into Wisconsin and buy up our public water utilities, even limiting transparency and citizens’ ability to stop such takeovers. While the bill passed the State Assembly, it never received a vote in the State Senate and did not become law. Sen. Larson and Rep. Stuck introduced the Save Our Water Act, an anti-privatization legislation in response and were joined by Representative Brostoff in reintroducing that legislation this session. The GOP takeover bill, combined with the tragedy in Flint have helped build awareness to the threats facing our water.

Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
 
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21
Apr
2017

green-bay-citydeckBrown County's proposed Town of Holland landfill site will dump over 8 Million cubic yards of waste at the head of the East River impacting communities and the environment downstream in De Pere, Allouez, and Green Bay.

Written by Steve Deslauriers, Green Bay   
 
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