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GOP Blocks Winnebago Co. Executive from Holding Office PDF Print E-mail
News
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 12:03

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.

 
Senate Passes Bi-Partisan Kickboxing Bill PDF Print E-mail
News
Written by GBP Staff   
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 11:12

kickboxing-maleMADISON - Legislation that would extend mixed martial arts regulations to the sport of and other unarmed combat sports is on its way to becoming law after passing the State Senate on a voice vote Tuesday.

The legislation was introduced by Democratic Senator Dave Hansen and Republicans Representative Joel Kleefisch and Senator Rob Cowles in response to the death of Dennis Munson Jr. who lost his life in his first kickboxing competition.

dave-hansen-gb“This is an important step toward extending the lifesaving protections found in mixed martial arts law to competitors in kickboxing,” said Hansen, a co-author of the bill. “We cannot go back in time and save Dennis Munson Jr., but thanks to the efforts of his family and the bi-partisan support here in the Legislature, we are doing all we can to make sure that no other families will have to endure a tragic loss like Dennis Munson’s family has had to bear.”

An Assembly version of the bill, Assembly Bill 76, passed the State Assembly on February 9th, but the Department of Safety and Professional Services said it needed more time to implement the new law. Because the Assembly is set to conclude its business on Thursday the Senate needed to act quickly to pass an amended version of the Senate bill in time for the Assembly to pass it on Thursday.

“In 2009 we took a major step in protecting mixed martial arts fighters. Unfortunately, as we learned, Dennis Munson Jr. did not enjoy those protections when he lost his life in an unregulated kickboxing match," said Hansen.  "With today’s vote in the State Senate and Thursday’s action in the Assembly, we are poised to honor Dennis by extending those protections to all competitors in unarmed combat sports.”

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Legislative writer Jay Wadd contributed to this story.

 
Mississippi Backwaters Cut Off to Citizens by Railroad “Police” PDF Print E-mail
News
Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
Tuesday, 16 February 2016 13:15

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.

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Walker's Delay on Clean Power Plan Will Cost Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
News
Written by Clean Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 16 February 2016 11:56

walker_wavesGov. Scott Walker's politically motivated executive order barring state agencies from working on the state’s Clean Power Plan implementation may cost ratepayers up to $55 million on their energy bills and will almost assure that EPA will impose a federal plan on Wisconsin.

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