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“Historic 24 hours” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 20 December 2019 12:56

historic24hoursMILWAUKEE - What a 24 hours! We review the potential implications of a terrible court ruling endangering the future of the Affordable Care Act. Citizen Action’s national network, People’s Action, endorses Bernie Sanders for President. Ryan Greenwood, People’s Action’s Movement Politics Director, joins to tell us why. We discuss the third impeachment of a president in American history, and the latest GOP effort to suppress the vote in Wisconsin, the purging over 200,000 Wisconsinites from the voter rolls.

LISTEN NOW - EPISODE #422
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Democratic Radio: 2019 End of Year Wrap Up PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Friday, 20 December 2019 10:33

new-year-happyMADISON - This week Rep. Dianne Hesselbein (D - Middleton) reflects on this past year and talks about next year's opportunities.

Audio File of Radio Address not included.

dianne-hesselbeinHello, this is State Representative Dianne Hesselbein with this week’s Democratic Radio Address.

As we reflect on this past year in the legislature, there are many accomplishments to be proud of in 2019. Governor Tony Evers and four other Constitutional Officers were sworn in and for the first time since 1983 they are all Democrats. In our Democratic Caucus, we achieved gender parity and became more diverse, representing constituencies from across Wisconsin.

This year, we fought for Governor Evers’ biennial budget proposal, “The People’s Budget” which included proposals with broad support from Wisconsinites. Even after the gerrymandered Republican majority made significant changes, we were still able to salvage a starting point for Wisconsin’s future. Now, there is a lot more to get done before the session closes next year.

Unfortunately, the Republicans wasted time instead of addressing critical issues and only called us to meet 12 days out of the potential 55 session days this past year. Democrats are ready to get to work to improve the lives of Wisconsin families. There is plenty of time left to address these challenges without ending the session with unfinished business. There are 19 potential session days remaining and my wish for the New Year is for Democrats and Republicans to meet in the spirit of working together to address the challenges ahead of us.

In the New Year, Assembly Democrats hope to address the priorities Wisconsin residents have been clear about since day one of this legislative session.

We have a lot of work to get done for the people of Wisconsin. We have to lower prescription drug costs; close the dark store loophole; pass non-partisan redistricting; implement common-sense gun safety solutions; address our criminal justice system; and strengthen public education in our state.

Next year we will have another opportunity to tackle the issues that the Republican legislature left unaddressed before they went on vacation this year. Democrats are ready to move forward on the issues most important to everyday Wisconsin families.

Thank you.

 
Sen. Darling Approves Her Pay Raise at State Troopers' Expense PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Katie Iliff   
Thursday, 19 December 2019 16:37

state-patrol-traynorBeing a State Trooper is dangerous and it’s downright sad that the Senator can’t support them say Dems.


MADISON, WI – The Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER), which approves state employee compensation plans and contracts with represented state employees met today for the first time since February, 2018. Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) along with other Republicans on the committee approved a motion to increase their own salaries while also blocking action to increase the starting wage for Wisconsin State Troopers.

albertadarling“There is no one more out of touch than Senator Darling when it comes to doing what’s right for Wisconsin law enforcement,” said SSDC Executive Director Katie Iliff. “Wisconsin State Troopers put their lives on the line every single day to keep our communities safe and it’s appalling Senator Darling refuses to ensure they are fairly compensated. Being a State Trooper is a dangerous profession and it’s downright sad that Senator Darling can’t support them like they do our communities and highways.”

The Wisconsin State Patrol is experiencing staffing shortages and raising the starting wage can help with retention and recruitment efforts.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 December 2019 17:03
 
WisDems Comment on 5th Circuit Court Health Care Ruling PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Philip Shulman   
Thursday, 19 December 2019 10:50

americanhealthcareactMADISON, WI - In response to yesterday's 5th Circuit Court decision that jeopardizes the health care of millions of Americans, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler released the following statement:

“The 2018 elections were a referendum on Donald Trump and his broken promises to lower health care and prescription drug costs and protect people with pre-existing conditions. Wisconsin Democrats won every single statewide seat and picked up an assembly and state senate seat that had formerly been safe Republican seats. The president’s continued assault on our health care system, and his endorsement of yesterday’s court decision, has put health care front and center in the upcoming election where Trump will have to explain to Wisconsinites and the American people why his only plan to fix our health care system is to take coverage away from those who need it most.

“Wisconsin Democrats will continue to fight against Donald Trump and the GOP’s monstrous attacks on everyday people who are simply trying to live healthy and fulfilling lives. We are going to make sure every voter in this state is aware of the President’s broken promises and the steps he has taken to try to take away their health care. And Democrats will never stop fighting to make sure that everyone has the health care they need, as a human right rather than as a privilege.”

 
Jeff Smith - It's Cold Outside for Our Furry Friends PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Wednesday, 18 December 2019 10:47

dog-winter-snowThe Senator talks about looking out for our vulnerable furry friends. He works with a constituent to learn about unattended tethering,  and introduces legislation to prohibit this harmful practice.

Read more...
 
Next President Should Not Hide Behind Justice Department Policy PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Laura Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive   
Saturday, 14 December 2019 16:46

whitehouse-crimals-lkkWe need the Congress to specifically state in law what many of us have always taken for granted - that no one, including the President of the United States, is above the law.


GREEN BAY, WI - Like many patriotic Americans, I believe that no one is above the law, not even the President. However, with the rampant corruption and pending impeachment of Donald Trump, the ambiguity of whether or not a sitting President can be indicted is currently being debated.

Presently, the Constitution is silent on whether a president can face criminal prosecution, the U.S. Supreme Court has not directly addressed the question, and the U.S. Justice Department has a decades-old policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted. Therefore, criminal charges being brought against Trump, regardless of the severity of his crimes, just aren’t going to happen.

The thought of a criminal residing in the White House sickens me, and I would hope it would be troublesome for everyone. Therefore, in order to keep crooks from occupying 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue, in the future, voters must do a better job of vetting Presidential candidates.

In addition, we need the Congress to specifically state in law what many of us have always taken for granted - that no one, including the President of the United States, is above the law or has the right to obstruct justice by ignoring a lawful subpoena in an effort to cover his/her crimes. Every American deserves to be assured of this fundamental principle of our government.

I would hope that all candidates for President will show he/she will follow the law and has no crimes to hide by supporting such a clarification in law.

Last Updated on Sunday, 15 December 2019 08:53
 
“2020 prescription drug plan” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 13 December 2019 11:02

2020-prescription-drug-planMILWAUKEE - We discuss the new House Democratic prescription drug plan that passed the House on Thursday. We review a new study that found for the first time in history, U.S. billionaires pay a lower tax rate than the working class.

Also, Senator Tammy Baldwin joins only 26 other U.S. Senators telling Donald Trump to fire white nationalist advisor Stephen Miller. We close with a discussion of defrauded loan student borrowers who are being further abused by Trump’s Education Secretary, and finally some brief reflections on impeachment.

Listen Now – Episode #421
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Democratic Radio: Get Covered Today! PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Democrats   
Thursday, 12 December 2019 11:21

affordable-care-actMADISON, WI – Senator Janet Bewley (D-Delta) offered the Democratic weekly radio to encourage residents to get covered through the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

The audio file of this week’s address can be found here.

A written transcript of the address is below:

janet-bewley“Hi, I’m State Senator Janet Bewley.

“With winter really setting in across the state, the chances of an accident or getting sick increase for everyone. Fortunately, if you are uninsured or looking for a more affordable health care plan, there is still time to find one through the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace!

“Until December 15th, Wisconsin residents and families can apply for a 2020 health plan, renew their current plan, or pick a new plan.

“Go online to healthcare.gov to explore and compare your health insurance options before open enrollment ends on December 15th.

“Get covered, and get the peace of mind it brings this winter! Visit healthcare.gov today!”

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 December 2019 12:05
 
Shilling statement on National Guard report PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Kate Constalie   
Tuesday, 10 December 2019 15:46

wi-national-guard-troopsSwift action by Gov. Evers, Sen. Baldwin and the National Guard Bureau on sexual assault, sexual harassment and retaliation applauded.


MADISON, WI – After being briefed by Gov. Tony Evers’ office and the National Guard Bureau Office of Complex Investigations on a report detailing the Wisconsin National Guard’s handling of allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment, Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement:

jennifer-shilling“I appreciate the swift action by Gov. Evers, Sen. Baldwin and the National Guard Bureau to conduct a thorough review of the Wisconsin National Guard and its handling of sexual assault, sexual harassment and retaliation. I want to commend all of the Guard members and survivors who came forward to share their experiences and expose this very troubling situation. This report is just the beginning of a long road ahead. I encourage other individuals who have experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment or retaliation to report their concerns and help to ensure that justice is served.”

 
Homeless Wisconsinites Left out in the Cold by GOP PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jon Erpenbach. State Senator 27th District   
Friday, 06 December 2019 11:41

homelessState Republican “A Hand for the Homeless” package just another stall tactic says Erpenbach.


WEST POINT - In Governor Evers’ budget proposal, he included funding to combat homelessness in Wisconsin. The funding was based on recommendations from an Interagency Council on Homelessness that was created in 2017. The recommendations were drawn from the council’s “A Hand and a Home: Foundations for Success,” an action plan that asked for $3.75 million annually to prevent and decrease homelessness in Wisconsin. Additionally, in February 2019, Republicans introduced a series of eight bills that had the same goals – the “A Hand for the Homeless” package. With both sides of the aisle working on the issue, there was hope that, before winter hit Wisconsin, the state would release funding and get to work on this pressing issue.

While all the funding was approved in the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) for the purpose of combatting homelessness, Republicans opted to hold the money in their supplemental appropriation fund, instead of releasing the dollars to the agencies charged with implementing the programs. Governor Evers included a detailed list of the programs that the funds would be used for, including increases for the Homeless Prevention Program, State Shelter Subsidy Grants, the Housing Assistance Program, and the creation of grants for Housing Navigation, etc. Yet, Republicans held back the funds, waiting instead for their own package of bills to be signed into law. Once again choosing partisanship over the good of Wisconsin.

This legislation passed unanimously in both Senate and Assembly committees and before the full Assembly, but despite Democratic effort, Republicans blocked the bills in the Senate, and adjourned until January 2020.

On July 15, 2019 the Department of Administration (DOA) requested the release of the funds passed in the budget and several months later they have not received a response. Despite the funding already being designated for this purpose, Republicans are forcing our most vulnerable to needlessly wait while they leave for their holiday vacations.

jon-erpenbachGovernor Evers sent a letter to the Republican JFC Co-Chairs, Senator Alberta Darling and Representative John Nygren, to release the funds on November 14, 2019, and JFC Democrats followed the call by requesting that the JFC convene to release the funding. Still, Republicans have stayed silent on the once bipartisan issue.

Those who are facing homelessness should not have to wait through the freezing Wisconsin winter months for Republicans to decide to do their job. There is support on both sides of the aisle for the legislation that was introduced by Republican Assembly members, yet Senate Republicans refuse to address this crucial issue.

Wisconsinites are sick of the constant political games. This is just another example of Republicans using tactics to stall progress in our state. Releasing the funds that the JFC is holding to combat homelessness should not be a partisan issue, and, with the funds already being slated for this purpose, the cost should not be preventing the programs from being executed.

Republicans have come out in support of these proposals. Democrats have pushed for the bills to be taken up in the Senate. Governor Evers has advocated for the funds. What is holding Senate Republicans back from taking the vote to help those in need?

There are only a few weeks left this year, and the legislature has yet to take up some of the most important issues to Wisconsinites. Wisconsinites expect more from their elected officials than to “play goalie” to issues that would have enormous positive impacts on our communities.

 
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