Monday March 27, 2017

Always Foward with Education & Reason

State and Local
Hansen to Honor UWGB Women’s Basketball Team PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by GBP Staff   
Thursday, 16 March 2017 16:53

uwgb-women-bb-2016UW-Green Bay has had a winning record every year since 1981 and by securing their 40th-consecutive winning season this year they now own the 2nd longest active streak in the nation. The Phoenix will face Purdue Friday in the 2017 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.

MADISON - State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) will be introducing a senate resolution honoring the accomplishments of the UWGB Women’s basketball team. By defeating Detroit Mercy 64-52 in the championship game of the Horizon League Championship the Phoenix captured their 15th tournament championship in the last 20 seasons and another trip to the NCAA tournament.

dave-hansen-gb“Enough cannot be said about the UWGB women’s program. They are one of the best programs in the country year in and year out and a great source of for our university, our community and our state,” said Hansen who is a UWGB graduate.

UW-Green Bay is one of only three Division I programs that has had a winning record every year since 1981 and by securing their 40th-consecutive winning season this year they now trail only Tennessee (43) for the longest active streak in the nation.

“This is a very exceptional group of young athletes who are well-coached and who have shown us yet again the kind of success that comes from hard work, discipline and team effort. There is an expectation of greatness at the start of every season and they lived up to that and more.”

The Phoenix will enter the 2017 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament as a No. 8 seed in the Lexington Region and will face the No. 9-seed Purdue in the First Round in Notre Dame, Indiana.

Voters Tell Ryan 'Protect Public Lands, Water, and Great Lakes' PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Conservation Voters, Ryan Billingham   
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 15:27

lake-michigan-shoreNew Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Protecting Public Lands

Medical Leave: 'Treat family like family' PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Tony Palese   
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 14:41

baby-towelSenate Democratic Leader urges passage of paid family leave bill.

MADISON, WI – Caring for a newborn or an ailing relative is a stressful time for many families, especially since these situations often force workers to take unpaid leave for weeks or months at a time. While Wisconsin was a trailblazing state in the 1980’s when it became the first to pass a state Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), many are now looking to reform and improve the nearly 30-year-old statute. A new proposal unveiled by Wisconsin Democratic lawmakers dubbed the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act would make numerous changes to ensure Wisconsin’s family protections reflect modern workplace realities.

jennifer-shilling“One of the biggest frustrations I hear from workers is that we’re the only industrialized country in the world that doesn't guarantee employees paid family leave,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “With more dual income households, it can be difficult for a family to make ends meet if a parent can’t work and has to go unpaid for three months after giving birth or when caring for a close relative. It’s time we bring our state into the 21st century, reward hard work and recognize the importance of building strong, healthy families.”

The effort to reform and improve Wisconsin’s outdated FMLA law has gained momentum in recent years as families and businesses increasingly recognize the importance of workplace flexibility. In a national poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in 2016, 72% of respondents surveyed said they supported paid family leave.

“Right now, we’re losing too many of our young, talented workers to neighboring states,” added Shilling. “If we want to make Wisconsin more competitive, we need to look at innovative ways to reward hard work, expand economic opportunities and help businesses retain talented employees. This bill eliminates administrative barriers for small businesses and ensures that we treat our workplace family like we’d treat our own family.”

The federal FMLA allows for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for most workers to care for a newborn or a spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition. The Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act would make Wisconsin workers eligible for up to 12 weeks of paid leave for personal or family illness, or to care for a new child. It would also expand the definition of eligible family members for whom an employee could take paid leave to include siblings, grandchildren and grandparents. Similar to insurance coverage, it would be supported through payroll contributions from workers and employers.

This proposal is part of a broad effort by Democrats to strengthen the middle class. Additional Democratic bills prioritize access to health care, student loan debt relief and child care affordability.

Legislators Introduce Family Medical Leave Insurance Act PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by State Senate Democrats   
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 12:02

dadsonProposal gives working families much needed benefit to care for sick family member or themselves without having to give up pay.

Madison, WI – State Senator Janis Ringhand (D – Evansville) and Representative Sondy Pope (D – Cross Plains) introduced the Family Medical Leave Insurance Act (FMLIA). The Act creates a Family Medical Leave Insurance program completely paid for by employees. Under the program a participating employee is eligible to receive a percentage of their pay during the time they take family or medical leave from work. The program would not cost employers any money. Employees pay for the benefit by contributing a certain percentage of their check into a trust fund. The percentage was to be determined by Department of Workforce Development in consultation with Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.

janis-ringhand“I’ve had to take time off without pay to care for my son after he broke his femur bone. Luckily my husband had a good union job and our family still had a source of income. For far too many families living paycheck to paycheck it’s not an option to give up one day’s pay much less a longer period. Studies have shown that allowing people to earn a portion of their salary while off caring for a sick family member is a win for the employee and employer. It’s time Wisconsin had such a program,” said Ringhand.

sondy-popeIn addition, the Act seeks to expand Wisconsin’s current Family Medical Leave law by allowing employees to take family leave to care for anyone covered under the current law plus grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and any eligible employee who has an eligible family member deployed overseas by the military.

“Our Family Medical Leave law needs updating to reflect the dynamics of modern families. Even President Trump has indicated support for allowing people to take paid time off from work under certain instances,” said Representative Pope.

The Act is modeled on already-existing programs in California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island that have created self-sustaining funds to ensure workers can earn a portion of their wages when ill or carrying for a sick relative.

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