Sunday February 23, 2020

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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.

 
Democratic Radio: Forward on Climate PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Democrats   
Friday, 06 December 2019 10:11

hurricaneFor young people, climate change is urgent, and it makes their future difficult to imagine.


MADISON - This week, Representative Greta Neubauer (D - Racine) discusses the issue of climate change.

Audio File of Radio Address not included, text is below.

greta-neubauerHello, this is Representative Greta Neubauer with this week’s Democratic Radio Address.

Over the last decade I have dedicated myself to working on the issue of climate change.

It has become clear to me that if we want to make real progress in the fight against climate change, we need to develop solutions in our home states and communities.

We need to find thoughtful, collaborative ways to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, begin the transition to a more sustainable and just economy, and develop the family-supporting jobs Wisconsin needs.

As a state legislator, I make it a point to visit schools throughout my district. A few weeks ago, I was meeting with high school freshmen and I asked them to write down an issue they care about. I was blown away to see “climate change” on so many of their papers. I asked them why this issue is personal for them, and they talked about their fear for the future and the impacts of climate change that they already feel in their community.

For young people, climate change isn’t an issue that feels far away. It is urgent, and it makes their future difficult to imagine.

Our young people are right when they tell us that we don’t have any time to lose. No matter where we live, we all feel the effects of climate change and the fossil fuel economy, especially low income families, people of color, and our rural communities.

This week, legislative Democrats introduced a package of bills to begin addressing the effects of climate change, speed up our transition to 100% carbon-free energy, and build our next economy.

These bills were designed with input from people across Wisconsin to meet our priorities and invest in our shared future. From supporting our farmers, to building the clean-energy manufacturing sector, to investing in our kids and our schools, we can build up our communities and bring new opportunities to Wisconsin. These bills are just the beginning.

In the coming months, the Governor’s Climate Change Task Force will begin our work, meeting with people across the state to develop more Wisconsin-centered solutions to the climate crisis.

With this package of bills and the Governor’s task force beginning their work, I am confident that together we can move Forward on Climate.

Thank you.

 
Rep. Hintz on Shooting at Oshkosh West High School PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Gordon Hintz, Rep. 54th Assembly District   
Wednesday, 04 December 2019 17:05

school-guns-wiThe premise that students today must simply learn to live with the constant prospect of terror and violence when they attend school, or go about their lives in any other public space is unacceptable.

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The Ho-Chunk Code Talkers: Honoring Native American History PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Wednesday, 04 December 2019 09:56

wwii-code-talkersNative American Heritage Month is an important time to remind ourselves of our country’s past, the role of the World War II Ho-Chunk Code Talkers, and honor Native Americans’ contributions to our country.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 December 2019 10:37
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Democratic Radio: Democrats Call for Action to Address Homelessness PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Democrats   
Friday, 29 November 2019 15:25

homelessBipartisan legislation would fund homeless shelters all across Wisconsin.


MADISON, WI – Senator Jon Erpenbach (D – West Point) offered the Democratic weekly radio to discuss legislation to address homelessness.

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

A written transcript of the address is below:

“Hi, this is State Senator Jon Erpenbach.

“As the temperatures continues to drop here in Wisconsin, we are facing the fact that, due to political games, Republicans have pumped the brakes on many ideas and proposals that the majority of Wisconsinites support. Including proposals that would help Wisconsinites who are homeless.

jon-erpenbach“That’s why my Democratic colleagues tried to pass bipartisan legislation to fund homeless shelters all across Wisconsin. This legislation passed unanimously in both Senate and Assembly committees and before the full State Assembly. Despite the bipartisan efforts, Senate Republicans said no and have adjourned until January 2020.

“The funding was already approved in the budget, and both Governor Tony Evers and the Democrats are calling upon Republicans on the Joint Committee on Finance to meet and release these funds, so that we can get to work to help those that need it most.

“Homelessness is an issue that persists in communities all across our state. While we sit down with our families and loved ones to give thanks, it is important to remember that we do not forget those who do have no place to call home. I hope that my Republican colleagues will join us in remembering what season it is and what it is all about – it’s all about giving back.

 
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