Monday June 26, 2017

Always Foward with Education & Reason

State and Local
Advocates for Open and Transparent Government to Unveil “Campaign Integrity” Package PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by State Senate Democrats   
Tuesday, 06 June 2017 15:06

wisconsin-koch-industriesPowerful special interest groups and wealthy corporations continue to have an overwhelming and growing effect on elections across Wisconsin. Join us Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at 11 a.m. at the Wisconsin State Capitol, Senate Parlor.

MADISON – Assembly members and advocates join Sen. Chris Larson to circulate for co-sponsorship “Campaign Integrity” package that promotes open and transparent government

Powerful special interest groups and wealthy corporations continue to have an overwhelming and growing effect on elections across Wisconsin and nationwide. Our neighbors feel their voices and our democracy are being drowned out by the constant flood of money into political campaigns. Join us for a press conference to unveil the Campaign Integrity package

chris-larsonWHO: Senator Chris Larson

Assembly Co-sponsors 
Matthew Rothschild, Executive Director, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Jay Heck, Executive Director, Common Cause Wisconsin

WHEN: Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at 11 a.m.

WHERE: Wisconsin State Capitol, Senate Parlor

This event will be open to the public and the press. If you would like more information about this event, please contact Sen. Larson’s office at 608.266.7505.

91% Of Wisconsinites Against GOP Repeal Of Training And Permits For Conceal Carry Gun Owners PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Jordan Krieger   
Friday, 02 June 2017 15:35

gunRepublican legislators want to repeal need for permits, training, carry in school zones and more for all gun owners. We need for some reasonable regulations, says Sen. Taylor.

MADISON – On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety held a public hearing on Senate Bill 169 – repeal of permits, training, school zones and more for gun owners. While hundreds of Wisconsinites emailed, called and showed up for the public hearing on the bill that would allow individuals to carry weapons without a permit into school zones, GOP legislators seemed determined to move forward regardless of the will of the people.

lena-taylor.Repeatedly in the committee, Sen. Lena Taylor (D-MIlwaukee) asked speaker after speaker if they believed constitutional rights should be unfettered, using freedom of speech and voting rights to expose the hypocrisy of the authors, committee members, and proponents of the bill. Senators Risser and Taylor not only exposed the bill’s elimination of ALL training requirements, the state’s protection of school zones, but also prohibitions at hospitals, and police departments. Taylor insisted:

“The issue is not about anyone being against the right to self-defense, or one’s second amendment rights, but instead about reasonable regulations as our state and nation have always supported,” said Taylor.

In committee, Taylor discussed the regulation balance in our nation, from those created in Colonial Boston, when storage of gun powder was established; to the Supreme Court’s refusal to provide individual’s an unfettered right to bear from 1876 to 1939 four times, to what seemed to be the constant quote of the day, Justice Scalia in the Columbia v. Heller Supreme Court decision, where he said, “we do not read the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation, just as we do not read the First amendment to protect the right of citizens to speak for any purpose.”

Senator Taylor left the hearing to attend the Joint Committee on Finance executive session, but said, “let me make it clear, I STAND WITH THE 91 percent of OUR PEOPLE who support our present training, requirements unlike my Republican colleagues!”

USDA Seeks Applications for Community Development Grants PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by USDA, Jessica Mancel   
Friday, 02 June 2017 11:18

kewaunee-countySTEVENS POINT, WI – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is inviting applications for two grants to support economic development and Community Facilities technical assistance in rural communities.

USDA is making grants available under the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) program to strengthen the rural economy. Qualified intermediary organizations receiving RCDI grants will provide technical assistance and training to help nonprofit organizations and communities develop their capacity to undertake housing, community facilities or economic development projects. Applicants must have capacity-building experience for these types of projects and must provide matching funds at least equal to the RCDI grant. Grants range from $50,000 to $250,000. Eligible recipients are nonprofit organizations, low-income rural communities or federally recognized tribes. RCDI grants are not provided directly to businesses or individuals. For more information on how to apply, see page 24281 of the May 26 Federal Register. The deadline to submit paper applications is July 25, 2017.

Another grant is being provided through the Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training Grant Program. Congress authorized this new program in the 2014 Farm Bill to help rural communities develop their applications for Community Facilities loans and grants. Communities can use the grants to hire specialized personnel, pay for feasibility studies, retain consultants to prepare financial assistance applications and identify and plan for long-term community facility needs. Public bodies, non-profit organizations and Federally-recognized Tribes are eligible to apply for this funding. The maximum grant is $150,000. For more information on how to apply, see page 23525 of the May 23, 2017, Federal Register. The deadline to submit paper applications is July 24, 2017.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; homeownership; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit

Rep. Gordon Hintz Introduces Sturgeon Spearing Bill PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Thursday, 01 June 2017 16:59

FISHINGBill would reserve five certificates for sturgeon spearing licenses to the group Sturgeon for Tomorrow.

MADISON – Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) and Representative David Murphy (R-Greenville) introduced a bill yesterday that would reserve five certificates for sturgeon spearing licenses to the group Sturgeon for Tomorrow, Inc. to utilize as prizes in a raffle. These certificates are also known as “Governor’s Tags” and will support Sturgeon for Tomorrow, a group that closely works with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on the propagation, habitat, education, and enforcement of the lake sturgeon population of the Lake Winnebago System and throughout the state.

“The bill is a simple measure that would best utilize surplus licenses for which there is the highest demand, to help raise funding to support and sustain a healthy sturgeon population for generations to come. I appreciate Sturgeon for Tomorrow for approaching my office with this idea.

“The sturgeon spearing season brings people from around the world in the middle of winter to our community and is a huge economic driver for the Lake Winnebago region. Sturgeon spearing is a tradition that I am proud of and enjoy seeing the shanties on Lake Winnebago each February. It is groups like Sturgeon for Tomorrow that help keep these traditions going with the hard work they do year round.”

Sturgeon for Tomorrow was founded in 1977, and has grown to be the largest citizen advocacy group for sturgeon in the world, currently consisting of five chapters and over 3,000 members. They hold an annual fundraising dinner, and have donated over $1 million to the DNR for sturgeon research, management, and education since their inception. Funds from the Governor’s Tag raffle will also go toward these purposes and facilitate successful sturgeon spearing seasons in the future.

The average amount of Upriver Lakes tags not purchased between 2007 and 2016 is 13 tags, and in both 2015 and 2016 there were 16 leftover tags. Because there have been available harvest tags leftover consistently, reserving 5 tags as Governor’s Tags for Sturgeon for Tomorrow will unlikely reduce the number of individuals that would like to purchase a tag. The Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association holds a similar tag raffle. Funds from the purchase go toward Black Bear management, research and education.

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