Sunday February 18, 2018

Always Forward with Education & Reason

Senator Chris Larson remarks on Gov. Walker’s ‘State of the State’ PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7   
Thursday, 25 January 2018 16:24

walker-state-denialThe Governor's smooth talking spin on the State of our State ignores the facts that reflect the reality our neighbors are facing every day.

MADISON, WI – On Wednesday the legislature gathered once again to hear Governor Walker’s State of the State address. True to form Governor Walker donned his rose-colored glasses and told the state that our lackluster economy, healthcare crisis, underfunded schools, job creation failures, dismantled environmental safeguards, threats to our drinking water, and struggling middle class are not a problem. Like Trump, he is ignoring the facts that reflect the reality our neighbors are facing every day.

Just a few things Governor Walker is running away from:

 Rejecting the Medicaid expansion for the people of Wisconsin, costing our taxpayers over $700 million  Selling out our state’s future to a foreign company, costing taxpayers a staggering $4.5 billion

 Pushing for the dismantling of our conservation heritage

 Devastating the ability of our neighborhood schools to educate our children by cutting nearly $1 billion for their futures. Cutting more money from public schools than ever before

chris-larsonOn behalf of my neighbors, I will continue to fight for a fair economy that expands opportunities for families and strengthens our community. I am committed to:

 Strengthening our neighborhood schools by restoring the over $1 billion in state aid that was cut by Republicans

 Making child care more affordable and expanding access to paid leave

 Updating our infrastructure to meet the needs of our current generation

 Adequately funding lead abatement to stop the poisoning of our children

 Protecting our environment

 Legalizing the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana

 Protecting and promoting Wisconsin born and grown businesses

Despite the smooth talk offered by the governor, Wisconsinites are still stuck cleaning up Walker’s mess of the last seven years. His apparent rush from his record of partisan extremes is a little too late to mediate the damage he has done. Our neighbors are calling out for sensible leadership that will serve the people, not just the wealthy and well-connected.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 January 2018 16:52
Senator Hansen: State of the State Address PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Dave Hansen, State Senator Dist 30   
Thursday, 25 January 2018 10:41

walkerGov. Walker can spin his record anyway he wants, but is more spin what we really needed?

GREEN BAY - The Governor’s latest series of flip flops on health care, education and the lack of jobs in our rural communities just shows how desperate he is about his chances in the upcoming election.

- Not that long ago he took President Trump’s side in supporting the ability of insurance companies to deny people with preexisting conditions.

- In his first term he inflicted the biggest cut to our public schools in our state’s history—costing many of our schools some of their best teachers and forcing local school districts to beg taxpayers for enough money to keep the lights on.

- And offering $50 million to rural communities in north and western Wisconsin is a pittance compared to the $4 billion he is giving to a Taiwanese billionaire to help create jobs for people living in northern Illinois.

dave-hansenGovernor Walker has also failed to keep his promise to create 250,000 jobs.  He has failed to take responsibility for driving our transportation system into the ditch, and he has signed into law some of the most egregious corporate attacks on our environmental protections that will lead to more of our wetlands being lost and more of our lakes, streams and drinking water being polluted.

And, despite his claims to the contrary, Governor Walker has still done absolutely nothing to lower student loan payments for the over 800,000 people in this state who are struggling under the weight of high cost student loans.

Governor Walker can spin his record anyway he wants, but as we have seen around the country and in western Wisconsin, the people want change.  And next fall they will have the ultimate say on whether his speech today was a success.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 January 2018 16:47
Rep. Riemer: Walker’s Healthcare Plan to Weaken Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Assembly Democrats, David Groshek   
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 11:29

critical-illnessWould allow health insurance companies to charge people with pre-existing conditions more.

MADISON, WI - Representative Daniel Riemer (D – Milwaukee) released the following statement responding to Governor Walker’s election year announcement that he wants the Wisconsin State Legislature to pass a bill (Assembly Substitute Amendment 1 to Assembly Bill 365) that would allow health insurance companies to charge people with pre-existing conditions more if they do not meet certain conditions:

daniel-riemer“Current federal law already protects people with pre-existing conditions. All Wisconsin Legislative Democrats support full pre-existing health condition protections (Senate Bill 265/Assembly Bill 363). Governor Walker’s plan would weaken those protections by allowing health insurance companies to charge people with pre-existing conditions more,” said Rep. Riemer.

“Governor Walker’s plan takes us backwards. There is no stability in his plan if it means that health insurance companies can provide fewer protections for people with pre-existing conditions that are in current federal law.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 January 2018 11:40
Erpenbach: Governor Walker’s Re-election Health Care Plan PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Jon Erpenbach. State Senator 27th District   
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 11:32

walker-rejects-fedmoneyGov. Walker has finally decided to join most Americans and support the Affordable Care Act, so now it’s time to bring our Federal taxpayer dollars back.

MADISON - Even though last year he fought for repeal, in his re-election campaign now Governor Walker has finally decided to join most Americans and support the Affordable Care Act. Democrats in Wisconsin have always worked to strengthen our health care system and now Governor Walker finally joins us in that fight. Now it’s time for Governor Walker to bring our Federal taxpayer dollars back to Wisconsin and expand BadgerCare – our state has now lost over $1 billion because of Governor Walker’s refusal to expand BadgerCare.

jon-erpenbachThese newly loved Democratic plans are a drop in the bucket compared to what accepting funds to expand BagerCare could do for the people of this state. Finally, without a CHIP extension, Wisconsin will have a huge hole in our Medicaid budget so maybe this plan should include a Governor Walker guarantee Congress will extend CHIP for the children of this state.

On Reinsurance funds: Reinsurance is a tool that has been used by other states including Minnesota who funded $500 million. Governor Walker’s plan is less than half of what Minnesota invested which begs the question, is it really enough to lower the premium for participants?

On $50 million in Medicaid savings – The Medicaid report just came out and counts on Congress renewing CHIP. I wish Governor Walker could waive his magic wand to make Congress renew CHIP for the children of Wisconsin, where is that promise? Without it we will have a huge hole in our Medicaid budget.

On SeniorCare Medicare Part D exemption permanent – That’s up to the Federal government – the current SeniorCare extension was just filed (down to the wire). Seniors have basically had to beg Governor Walker to renew it for the past ten years. Again – glad he is finally willing to commit to always renewing the SeniorCare waiver – something he has NEVER been willing to do before.

On the preexisting conditions bill – I am curious why Governor Walker did not like this proposal when it was an Erpenbach/Riemer proposal. Clearly coverage for preexisting conditions is – and has always been – a huge concern for the people of Wisconsin. Governor Walker did not speak up when President Donald Trump and Congress tried to repeal ObamaCare – it is interesting that he is speaking up now.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 January 2018 11:50
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