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State Should Fund Voter ID Education Campaign PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by GBP Staff   
Friday, 22 April 2016 11:48

votersEAU CLAIRE, WI - Representative Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) feels that the April 5th election proved why the Legislature needs to fund a public education campaign on Wisconsin’s Voter ID law. At least that's why he called on Legislative Republicans Thursday from this northwest Wisconsin town to fulfill their obligation through the Voter ID law to fund a public education campaign.

dana_wachs“There are many stories of people who had trouble voting or were turned away at the polls simply because they weren’t aware of the changes that were made," said Wachs. "At a time when we should be encouraging more voter participation, Legislative Republicans are making it significantly more difficult for people to exercise their right to vote."

Under 2011 Wisconsin Act 23, the Voter ID law, the state was supposed to fund a public information campaign which has still not yet occurred. Rep. Wachs is a co-sponsor of Assembly Bill 987, a proposal that would have provided $500,000 to the Government Accountability Board and the Elections Commission, one of its successor organizations, to conduct a public informational campaign related to the Voter ID requirements. This bill was not given a public hearing in the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections and was not brought forward for a vote.

“I’m very disappointed with the lack of cooperation by the party in control to educate the public and encourage participation in our elections,” added Wachs. “It seems like all they care about is keeping their power and not listening to the will of the people. Voters in Wisconsin deserve better, and we must work to ensure that people can exercise this most precious right.”

Last Updated on Friday, 22 April 2016 12:25
Conservationists to Gather in Celebration of Earth Day PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Jonah Hermann   
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 15:39

earth_day_globePresident Obama to Sign Historic Paris Climate Change Agreement on Friday, Green Bay celebration planned.

GREEN BAY, WI - The Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters will celebrate Earth Day, as well as the signing of the historic Paris Climate Change Agreement, on Friday, April 22nd here in Green Bay. The last two years have been momentous for the fight against climate change, with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and now the Paris agreement.

However, the last two years also rank as the hottest years on record. Community leaders, conservation advocates, and local elected officials will highlight this contrast at the media event.

WHAT: Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters will host a media event to celebrate Earth Day and the signing of the Paris Climate Change Agreement by President Obama.

WHEN: Friday, April 22nd at 2:00pm

WHERE: Fox River Trail, Corner of Lawe Street and Adams Street, Green Bay, WI

WHO: Speakers will include State Representative Amanda Stuck, Brown County Supervisor Erik Hoyer, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters communications director Jonah Hermann, and community leaders who will share their stories of the very first Earth Day in 1970.

VISUAL: Attendees all plan to wear green to symbolize the importance of renewable energy.

# # #

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to electing conservation leaders, holding decision makers accountable, and encouraging lawmakers to champion conservation policies that effectively protect Wisconsin's public health and natural resources.

John Doe Probe of Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake Facilities Ended PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by GBP Staff   
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 14:21

boy-in-docRepublicans use a little known time limit clause on John Doe probes included in "Corrupt Politician Protection Act" to protect Gov. Walker as excuse to end probe of abuse and exploitation of children at state correctional facilities.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 April 2016 15:16
Green Bay Legislators Comment on OCI and the Aetna Humana Merger PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by GBP Staff   
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 09:17

humanainc-gbGov. Walker's Insurance Commission approved the merger of health insurance giants Humana and Aetna in a deal that could cost Northeast Wisconsin more than 3,100 jobs and did nothing to protect health care consumers. Sen. Hansen and Rep. Genrich tried to either block the merger or set conditions to protect consumers and workers.

GREEN BAY - Late last week Governor Walker’s Commission of Insurance, Ted Nickel, approved the merger of health insurance giants Humana and Aetna without any significant conditions. The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) made no public announcement of the decision.

Humana currently employees over 3,000 people in Green Bay and 3,700 workers statewide.

OCI could have required the combined company not to outsource the Humana jobs. Instead, OCI simply requires notification of jobs cuts for three years, without any public recourse if the jobs are eliminated. OCI also could have put in safeguards against large health insurance rate increases, but choose to do nothing to protect health care consumers.

OCI has broad authority under Wisconsin law it could have used to either block the merger or set conditions to protect the interest of consumers and workers. Senator Dave Hansen and Representative Eric Genrich asked OCI to require that there be no net job reductions as a result of the merger.

Instead, the Walker Administration did nothing to safeguard Wisconsin jobs or protect health care consumers in return for allowing this mega health insurance merger to go forward. The deal will allow big insurance companies to further rig the health care system against health consumers and workers.

dave-hansenIn a joint statement issued this morning, Senator Hansen and Representative Genrich said of the merger deal:

“It is deeply disappointing that, when given the opportunity to protect more than 3,100 jobs in Northeast Wisconsin, Governor Walker and his Insurance Commissioner chose to do nothing.

“It is a rare to have the opportunity to intervene in a merger of this size with such great potential to positively impact our workforce and Wisconsin consumers. Sadly, thanks to the inaction on the part of the Governor and his administration, any opportunity to build in these important protections has been lost.

“Given Humana’s proven commitment to our area and state we remain hopeful. However, at a time when Wisconsin still continues to struggle to create jobs, we cannot be anything but disappointed by this administration’s demonstrated lack of concern for both workers and consumers.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 April 2016 09:57
Republican Tax Giveaways Force UW Budget Cuts PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Tuesday, 19 April 2016 13:46

uw-mdsn-studentsMADISON - On the heels of Tax Day, we are reminded that Governor Scott Walker slashed $250 million from the University of Wisconsin’s budget in order pay for the millions in tax breaks he has given to special interests and greedy out of state corporations. Instead of prioritizing the needs of Wisconsin’s students and building on what was the gold standard of public higher education, Walker has gutted the UW-System to pay for tax giveaways to the richest of the rich.

“Scott Walker has slashed the UW-System’s budget to ribbons while giving millions in tax breaks to his special interest and out of state corporate buddies,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Kory Kozloski said on Tuesday. “He is placing the unfair burden of $250 million in budget cuts on the backs of students who are only trying to better themselves with a higher education.”

While Democrats look for solutions to revitalize the UW-System, Republican’s refuse to acknowledge the devastating impacts of their $250 million funding cuts from the UW-System, going so far to cancel meetings that describe the consequences of these cuts. The summaries specify a mix of service reductions and job cuts due to bought out employees, not renewing contracts, lay offs, and closing vacant positions.

UW-Green BayUWM, and UW-Madison have all reported on the negative impacts Walker’s budget cuts are having on their ability to provide a quality education to their students.  This includes cuts to staff, reduced number of classes and services for students, and top professors are leaving the UW-System because of a lack of tenure and resources.

“The UW-System used to be the gold standard of public higher education. If Walker keeps paying for his campaign donors’ tax breaks with budget cuts to the UW system, our higher public education system is going to fall even further behind,” Kozloski said

This is exactly why we need Democrats in office, who unlike the Republicans, have plan a plan that prioritizes our children's future by investing in public higher education. If we ant to build a stronger Wisconsin, we must strengthen and improve the UW-System.

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