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Attacking Planned Parenthood Is Attacking Women PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Chris Taylor, State Rep. 76th Assembly   
Monday, 01 February 2016 10:42

women's healthThe Wisconsin Senate passed SB 238/AB 311 last week, a bill that could effectively shut down one of Wisconsin’s oldest and most trusted women’s health care centers, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. Republicans fueled their arguments with misleading and untrue videos released last summer, but this is really about women having the ability to control their own destiny, free from intrusive politicians who think they know better.


MADISON - Last week, the Wisconsin Senate passed yet another bill, SB 238/AB 311, aimed at shutting down one of Wisconsin’s oldest, largest and most trusted women’s health care centers, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI). This most recent attack on women’s health care will make it more difficult and expensive for health centers to provide birth control and other critical health care services to Wisconsin’s women. This disastrous legislation creates a double standard among health care providers and treats the women they serve as second-class citizens.

SB 238/AB 311 requires certain reproductive health centers to bill Medicaid for the actual acquisition costs and dispensing fees for prescription drugs. In Wisconsin, there are over 700 hospitals, clinics, hemophilia centers, and HIV/AIDS organizations that are 340B covered entities. Of those 700 hospitals and clinics, PPWI is the only health care provider who will experience a slash in reimbursement prices.

Though Republicans attempted to fuel their obsession with shutting down Planned Parenthood with heavily edited and misleading videos released this summer, reality struck this week when a Texas grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing and indicted the creators of the videos for paying money for fetal parts. In fact, officials in 10 other states have cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing and another 8 have declined to investigate due to a complete lack of evidence.

Make no mistake, when this legislature attacks PPWI, they are really attacking women’s ability to access life-saving health care, to plan and space pregnancies, and to decide for themselves if and when they become parents. At the end of the day this struggle over reproductive health care is really about women having the ability to control their own destiny, free from intrusive politicians who think they know better.

Last Updated on Monday, 01 February 2016 11:17
 
On the 7th Anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Act PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Friday, 29 January 2016 15:19

martha-laningMADISON - The Democratic Party of Wisconsin's Chair Martha Laning made the following statement on the 7th anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act:

obama_ledbettersigning"Seven years ago today, President Barack Obama signed his first piece of legislation into law, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, empowering women to recover wages lost to pay discrimination.

"The President's actions were a critical step forward in closing the wage gap, but the fight is far from finished.

"Women make just 78 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts, a figure that has barely budged in more than a decade. When race and gender are considered, African American women make 64 cents, and Latinas only 56 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.

"Women typically lose over $400,000 during a 40-year career due to the wage gap. Here in Wisconsin, we've lost out on a critical economic stimulus due to the failure of Republican leaders to address pay equity.

"Democrats in Wisconsin understand that a fair day's work deserves a fair day's pay, and believe that women should always be paid the same as men for doing the same work. We will continue to fight to ensure women in our state receive fair pay for the work they do."

 
Privatizing Water! PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 29 January 2016 14:58

clean-drinking-waterMADISON - This week we revealed that there is one company behind the Republican bills to make it easier to sell off municipal water utilities. Find out who that company is, and how much it spent on lobbying last year, by reading this article:

Bills would make it easier to privatize public water utilities

And guess whose fingerprints are all over these bills? None other than ALEC, as we show here:

ALEC’s fingerprints on bills to privatize public water supplies

The NRA is also throwing its weight around in the legislature. It’s behind two bills, including concealed carry for switchblades and other blades:

NRA-backed weapons bills head to Walker

As you can see, there have been a lot of retrograde bills coming down the pike lately. I had fun testifying at the Capitol on Tuesday against a bill that would restrict local governments from issuing their own ID cards to residents. Here’s my testimony:

WDC opposes Senate Bill 533 regulating photo ID cards issued by local units of government

And here’s a bill we support, as it would safeguard public records in Wisconsin:

Democratic bill would create fine for destroying certain public records

As the legislature hurries to finish up its work in the next month or so, we’ll keep an eye out on the bills – and the money behind the bills.

Last Updated on Friday, 29 January 2016 15:16
 
Where’s Bluto Blutarsky when he’s needed most? PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Saturday, 23 January 2016 11:00

john-belushi-as-blutoALTOONA, WI - I hear it or see it every day. Somebody says it at a meeting. Or posts it as a comment on an Internet message board or social media site. It’s imbedded in a question asked at some public forum. It is on a sign at a demonstration.

Democracy in America has been killed. It’s dead. It’s over.

I disagree for a whole bunch of reasons, not the least of which is that democracy is more verb than noun and verbs can’t be killed. Democracy lives as long as there are at least some among us who are doing it.

There’s no overlooking the fact that democracy is gravely ill in many respects, however. Democracy is dependent on many things, but none more important than the consent of the governed. What passes for consent of the governed nowadays is frightening when you consider what most Americans think of those doing the governing and further consider how elected officials demonstrate that they don’t care what the general public thinks.

The two major parties have very different ways of dealing with these troubling conditions. The Democrats run scared. There is a long list of things they believe but won’t say and things they would like to do but don’t. The Republicans run roughshod. Their answer for pretty much everything is more tax cuts primarily benefiting the rich and more government deregulation. Regardless of what the public wants, that’s what Republicans do. They are one-trick ponies, even though the trick has only made the rich vastly richer, the poor poorer, and the middle class disappear. For decades now it hasn’t produced the widespread prosperity they promise, yet they don’t try anything different. They double down on their one trick.

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 January 2016 11:10
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