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Democrats Want Immediate Action on Creating Jobs, Rebuilding Middle Class PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by Assembly Democrats, Laura Smith   
Thursday, 10 March 2016 19:24

unionworkersWisconsin economy continues to lag one year after Governor Walker imposed so-called “Right to Work”.

MADISON – Assembly Democratic legislators renewed their call Wednesday for immediate legislative action on creating jobs and bringing back Wisconsin’s middle class. With Wisconsin still lagging behind in several important economic indicators one year after Governor Scott Walker signed the so-called “Right to Work” bill into law, it is critical that the legislature take immediate action to help create jobs for Wisconsin families, increase wages and grow our state economy.

New figures released Wednesday by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show Wisconsin now ranks 40th in private-sector job growth over the past four years – dead last among the 10 Midwest states. In 2015, more than 10,000 Wisconsin workers received layoff notices – the highest single-year number since Governor Walker took office – and Wisconsin’s middle class is shrinking faster than any other state.

peter_barca“Today is a floor period on our calendar, and instead of giving Republicans more time to try to boost their campaign chances in their home communities, we ought to be getting to work to grow our economy and help middle-class Wisconsinites who are in crisis,” Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) said. “Unfortunately, the Republican agenda has been extremely harmful to working people and businesses in Wisconsin. We know Republicans will not restore worker rights so at least we should work together to grow our economy and strengthen and rebuild our middle class.”

This session Democrats introduced a series of measures to help boost economic growth and wages, including a “Bring Back the Middle Class” package. That package includes much-needed student loan debt relief, more retirement security, earned sick days for workers to care for themselves and their loved ones and more affordable childcare opportunities for Wisconsin families.

katrina_shanklandd-stevenspoint“We need to get back to basics and focus on the core priorities of the people of Wisconsin by boosting retirement security and earned sick days, providing common-sense student debt relief and making affordable childcare available,” Assistant Democratic Leader Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) said. “With our economy and middle class lagging, it is more important than ever that we bring back Wisconsin’s middle class. We once again call on our Republican colleagues to put their own political interests aside and work with Democrats to do the right thing for hardworking families in our state.”

One year ago, Gov. Walker signed the so-called “Right to Work” measure into law and, as predicted by Democratic leaders opposing that law, Wisconsin’s economy has continued to lag. Today Assembly Democratic leaders called on Republican legislators to use the sense of urgency that they used in ramming through “Right to Work” to instead grow Wisconsin’s economy and rebuild the middle class.

“So-called ‘Right to Work’ – which was passed into law in a matter of weeks in an extraordinary session – showed us that when Republicans want to get something done quickly they will stop at nothing,” said Rep. Andy Jorgensen (D-Milton), Assembly Democratic Caucus Chair. “Unfortunately, Republicans have only used that zeal to lower wages and harm the middle class. We implore them to join us in putting that same urgency to work in growing our economy and rebuilding Wisconsin’s middle class.”

There has been no shortage of proposals from Democrats to grow Wisconsin’s economy. More than a year ago, Assembly Democrats put forward “15 Bills for 2015,” an Economic Opportunity Agenda designed to help create good-paying jobs, connect workers with available jobs and increase wages. The bills Democrats put forward would invest in small businesses and help grow well-paying jobs, increase the state minimum wage, expand rural broadband access, fully restore the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income working families and emphasize keeping jobs here rather than shipping them overseas.

“With the recent reports about poverty in Wisconsin at a 30-year high, we must work together to restore economic opportunity here in our state,” said Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa (D-Milwaukee), Assembly Democratic Caucus Vice Chair. “Our Democratic agenda would ensure better opportunities for Wisconsin families and workers and make us more competitive in a global economy. It is not too late to work with us to pass these bills and get Wisconsin back on the right track.”

Senator Hansen to Introduce Resolution Honoring UWGB Men’s Basketball Team PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by GBP Staff   
Thursday, 10 March 2016 18:46

uwgb-bball-menExciting play leads to team’s 5th NCAA appearance and first since 1996

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 March 2016 19:10
Environmental Groups Call on EPA for Action in Kewaunee County PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by Clean Wisconsin   
Wednesday, 09 March 2016 21:38

clean-drinking-waterCounty residents deserve immediate action on clean, safe drinking water.

MADISON - Clean Wisconsin and five other environmental organizations sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today, requesting federal support for clean, safe drinking water for Kewaunee County residents.

“It is unacceptable that more than one-third of the private drinking water wells in Kewaunee County are unsafe, contaminated with bacteria, nitrates and other pollutants,” says Elizabeth Wheeler, senior staff attorney, Clean Wisconsin. “After 18 months of little action, it’s time for EPA to step in.”

Clean Wisconsin and other groups filed a petition with the EPA in October 2014, asking for intervention under its federal Safe Drinking Water Act powers; since then, neither EPA nor Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have provided clean drinking water to residents. While the DNR has convened a lengthy stakeholder process, rollbacks of existing protections, like groundwater monitoring, threaten DNR’s ability to ensure that drinking water sources are protected from contamination from spreading too much manure on the land

“Unfortunately, proposals to protect groundwater around the state, in Kewaunee County and beyond, continue to be blocked by the Legislature and by the DNR’s interpretation of its own authority to manage our waters,” says Wheeler. “Kewaunee is the latest victim of a fundamental, systemic problem in our state, and surely won’t be the last. Sadly, since our petition was filed, Wisconsin has fewer protections in place instead of more.”

Today’s letter, signed by Clean Wisconsin, Midwest Environmental Advocates, Midwest Environmental Defense Center, Kewaunee Cares, Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin and Environmental Integrity Project,  requests that EPA:

  • Immediately provide Kewaunee County residents with clean water;
  • Expedite test results of well water contamination;
  • Issue emergency rule changes to ensure DNR has authority to protect our water; and
  • Provide more research and groundwater monitoring on sources of pollution.

The letter also asks the EPA to closely monitor the DNR’s efforts to develop a timely, enforceable plan to implement recommendations from the workgroups it convened.

“Kewaunee County residents have been waiting for years for our state and federal governments’ help in solving this critical issue,” says Wheeler. “The Flint, Mich. drinking water crisis should be a wake-up call to our leaders that residents in Wisconsin expect their strong support, and that the time to act is now.

Find the letter to the EPA here.


On behalf of its more than 30,000 members, supporters and its coalition partners, Clean Wisconsin protects Wisconsin's air, water and natural heritage.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 March 2016 12:12
LAB Investigation of State Corrections Needed PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by GBP Staff   
Wednesday, 09 March 2016 09:34

boy-in-docMedia reports last month revealed state officials at the highest levels have known for years of attacks and sexual assaults at Lincoln Hills School for Boys without either contacting or fully disclosing the details to concerned local officials or even the family members of the victims. This mistreatment of inmates and the underlying issues it reveals in DOC cause twelve legislators to request independent investigation by Legislative Audit Bureau.

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 March 2016 11:55
Democratic Leaders Speak Out about Rebecca Bradley's Offensive Remarks PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by GBP Staff   
Tuesday, 08 March 2016 15:44

rebecca-bradley-walkerWisconsin's political landscape was rocked Monday morning by the bombshell revelation that Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote articles as a columnist for the Marquette Tribune mocking the LGBT community and those suffering from AIDS, describing them as "queers", "degenerates" and "murderers".

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 March 2016 16:49
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