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DPW Announces Legal Action Over Republicans' Lame-Duck Power Grab PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Courtney Beyer   
Thursday, 21 February 2019 13:23

senateMADISON - The Democratic Party of Wisconsin will announce today the filing of a lawsuit in federal court to stop the unprecedented and illegal laws passed by Republicans during December’s lame-duck session.

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning will join Kevin Benish, associate at Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP to discuss the lawsuit, DPW v. Vos et al. on a press call TODAY at 11:15 AM CT.

WHO: Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning and Kevin Benish, associate at Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP

WHAT: Press Call discussing DPW v. Vos et al.

WHEN: 2:00 PM CT, Thursday, February 21

 
Capitol Update - Under the Dome February 15, 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Wisconsin Democrats   
Saturday, 16 February 2019 11:36

wisc-capitol-dome

MADISON - A recap of this week's events "Under the Dome"

Contents

February 15, 2019

 

Both the Assembly and Senate were in session this week to take up a GOP spending plan that jeopardizes funding for schools, roads, and communities. The plan will create a greater deficit in the state budget while protecting tax giveaways corporations and individuals making over a million dollar per year.

 

Additionally, the Black Legislative Caucus introduced a resolution proclaiming February as Black History Month and honoring individuals from the African-American community and their contributions to the fight for racial equity. Unfortunately, Republican Leaders opted to disrespect black leaders in the legislature by removing Colin Kaepernick, who was born in Wisconsin, from the resolution.

 

On Wednesday this week, Governor Evers announced initiatives that will be included in the state budget that will expand access to clean drinking water. Legislative Democrats praised the announcement as a step toward ensuring all Wisconsinites have access to clean water. This reinforces Gov. Evers’ declaration that 2019 will be the “Year of Clean Drinking Water.”

What Democrats Are Saying

​ Democratic Proposals

LRB1649- Ensure unemployment benefits for federal workers residing in Wisconsin in the event of a government shutdown (Sen. Taylor and Rep. Myers): This bill will would allow the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), which administers the Unemployment Insurance program, to make unemployment benefits eligible to claimants like the “essential” federal employees impacted by the shutdown.

LRB1152- Prohibiting the assembly and senate from passing certain bills following a general election (Rep. Spreitzer and Sen. Ringhand): This amendment prohibits changes to the powers and duties of statewide constitutional officers, judicial branch judges and justices, the legislature, any state agency, or any other public entity created by law.

LRB1058- Prohibiting GPS Monitoring for Truancy Cases (Rep. Stuck): Current law specifies which offenses can be subject to GPS monitoring orders by the courts. Habitual truancy is not one of those offenses. This bill codifies in statute that GPS monitoring may not be ordered in truancy cases. This bill will help to ensure that GPS monitoring is not ordered in any truancy cases in the future.

LRB1404- Voter Protection Act (Sen. Smith, Sen. Miller, and Sen. Hansen): Comprehensive reform bill to better protect voters and make it easier to vote on Election Day.

LRB 1811- Proclaiming February 2019 Black History Month (Sen. Taylor, Sen. Johnson, Rep. Crowley, Rep. Myers, Rep. Bowen, Rep. Field, Rep. Stubbs, and Rep. Haywood): Black History Month gives the nation and Wisconsin, an opportunity to recognize the significant contributions people of African descent have made, to the foundation, growth and development of our country and state. The month reminds us that our national history is diverse and multicultural, and implores us to respect the role that every ethnic group as played in the formation and sustainability of our great democracy.

LRB 0725- SSG Daniel Busch Memorial Highway Bill (Rep. Considine, Sen. Erpenbach, Rep. Plumer, Sen. Olsen): Designating a portion of State Highway 33 the Staff Sergeant (SSG) Daniel D. Busch Memorial Highway.

This Week in the Senate

Senate Session

The Senate this week took up the Republican tax-cut bill, which would add $490 million to the state's deficit over the next ten years.  Several joint resolutions were recognized including, National Speech and Debate Day, American Heart Month, and Republican version of Black History Month. Despite Senate Democrats advocating for diversity and inclusion, the Republican majority passed the amended resolution, excluding Colin Kaepernick from the joint resolution.

 

Also in the Senate this week, the Republicans passed a tax plan-Assembly Bill 4, which benefits large corporations and the wealthy and rather than serving the best interests of hard-working families.

 

Senate Committees

Senate Committee on Economic Development, Commerce and Trade

The committee held a Public Hearing on Wednesday, February 13th on the following bills:

  • Senate Bill 15: Relating to new internship grants and making an appropriation.
  • Senate Bill 16: Related to career and technical education incentive grants and making an appropriation.
  • Senate Bill 17: Related to workforce training grants for seminars in high-demand fields to teach new skills and provide micro-credentials and making an appropriation.

 

Study Committees

Legislative Council Study Committee on Child Placement and Support

The committee held a Study Meeting on Monday, February 11th to discuss bill drafts and recommendations, relating to determining child support, eliminating an administrative rule limitation on recovery of birth costs, and determining placement.

 

Joint Committees

Joint Legislative Council

The committee held an Executive Session on Wednesday, February 13th where it received the following study committee reports: Minor Guardianship, Use of Police Body Cameras. Identification and Management of Dyslexia, Investment and Use of the School Trust Funds, and Direct Primary Care.

 

This Week in the Assembly

Assembly Session

The Assembly conducted session a floor session on Tuesday, February 12th, passing the Republican tax bill (Assembly Bill 4) which benefits large corporations and the wealthy rather than serving the best interest of hard working families.

 

The Assembly also passed several resolutions which includes: AR3, relating to proclaiming the month of February 2019 as Career and Technical Education Month in Wisconsin; AJR3, relating to proclaiming February 2019 to be American Heart Month in Wisconsin; AJR4, relating to recognizing February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month; AJR6, relating to modifying the session schedule for the 2019-20 biennial session period. In addition, they passed the Republican version of the joint resolution on Black History Month (AJR8).

 

The entire floor session calendar can be found here.

 

Assembly Committees

There were no committee meetings held this week.

Next Week in the Legislature

Senate Committees

Committee on Agriculture, Revenue, and Financial Institution

The committee will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, February 19th on the following:

  • Peter Barca: Secretary Designee of the Department of Revenue
  • Kathy Blumenfeld: Secretary Designee of the Department of Financial Institutions
  • Brad Pfaff: Secretary Designee of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection,
  • Senate Bill 12: Eliminating deductions for moving expenses for businesses that move out of the state or out of the United States.
  • Senate Bill 13: Notification of changed property tax assessment for agricultural land.
  • Senate Bill 14: An income and franchise tax credit for paid interns and making an appropriation.

 

Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection

The committee will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, February 19th on the following:

  • Joel Brennan: Secretary Designee of the Department of Administration
  • Senate Bill 4: Relating to motor vehicle immobilization devices
  • Senate Bill 19: Relating to: terminology changes for those with an intellectual disability in administrative rules.

Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety

The committee will hold a public hearing on:

  • Kevin Carr: Secretary Designee of Corrections

Assembly Committees

Committee on Education

The committee will hold on a public hearing on February 21st on an update on education from the Department of Public Instruction.

 

Joint Committees

Committee for Review of Administrative Rules

The committee will hold a public hearing and executive session on Thursday, February 21st.

 

Sign Up For Under the Dome Below!


To view updated committee notices, visit the legislative website and click on Committee Schedule: Wisconsin State Legislature.

The State Capitol Update is provided by the Senate and Assembly Democratic Caucuses. For additional information, please send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call toll free: 1.800.385.3385.

Last Updated on Saturday, 16 February 2019 11:52
 
Erpenbach on the GOP Spending Bill PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Jon Erpenbach. State Senator 27th District   
Thursday, 14 February 2019 16:01

wisconsin_senateWednesday's Republican spending bill is nothing more than a political stunt aimed at hindering Governor Evers’ ability to improve Wisconsin for all.


MADISON - Yesterday the senate voted, along party lines, to pass the Republican’s irresponsible spending bill. This bill is nothing more than a political stunt aimed at hindering Governor Evers’ ability to improve Wisconsin for all, and it has led Republicans to vote for a bill that they know they cannot fund. The Republican spending plan will end up costing taxpayers more in the long-run, in order for Republicans to keep in place tax handouts to millionaires. I am disappointed to see their refusal to collaborate, and instead put their corporate donors first.

jon-erpenbachThe Republicans spending plan, paired with their Foxconn aspirations, would exceed the expected budget balance before the process even begins. Governor Evers will be introducing his budget in a couple weeks, and the Republicans are attempting to tie his hands. The voters of the state sent a clear message in November that they want more investments in schools, health care and infrastructure, and by spending down Wisconsin’s general fund (GPR), the GOP would be hindering the Governor’s ability to deliver on those needs.

Due to the lack of school aids under former Governor Walker, taxpayers in Wisconsin have resorted to raising their own property taxes in order to ensure our kids have the resources they need. Wisconsinites have voiced their concerns over growing health care costs, while Republicans continue to turn away Medicaid dollars and threaten health care protections, and our infrastructure is crumbling, forcing communities to resort back to dirt roads. GOP lawmakers have no problem squandering away taxpayer dollars, forcing hard-working Wisconsinites to make up the difference.

Making substantial spending decisions prior to the budget being introduced is reckless and irresponsible. We will have months of discussions and decision making once Governor Evers introduces his proposal in a couple weeks, and Wisconsinites deserve a sustainable tax relief plan. We need to put money back in the pockets of the middle-class, while creating opportunities and growing our communities. It is possible to give the middle-class a tax cut, and make needed investments in our state. It is time that we stop playing politics, and reach across the aisle on real, smart solutions that work for all.

 
Team Evers Responds to DPW Chair Martha Laning's Decision. PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Tony Evers for Wisconsin Press, Sean Elliott   
Thursday, 07 February 2019 17:39

martha-laningMartha is leaving the Party stronger, more competitive, and ready to secure more wins on behalf of Wisconsinites. We on Team Evers are grateful for her leadership.


MADISON - The following is the response from the Tony for Wisconsin campaign to State Democratic Chair Martha Lanings's announcement Wednesday that she will not seek re-election in the Party’s June leadership race.

tony-evers“Chair Laning’s leadership and vision were an important part of our success in November,” said Sean Elliott, Tony for Wisconsin's finance director. “Martha’s drive and passion to see a better future for our state helped deliver historic victories for Wisconsin Democrats. Though Martha has led the Party through some of its most challenging moments, through all the obstacles, she has maintained a relentless optimism in Wisconsin Democrats’ ability to win and lead.

“The robust Party infrastructure Martha has built will continue to support and deliver victories for Wisconsin Democrats for years to come. Martha is leaving the Party stronger, more competitive, and ready to secure more wins on behalf of Wisconsinites. We on Team Evers are grateful for her leadership and years of service to the cause, and we look forward to working with the Party’s next chair.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 February 2019 17:57
 
DPW Chair Martha Laning to Step Down PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Courtney Beyer   
Thursday, 07 February 2019 17:01

martha-laningState Democratic Chair since 2015 will not seek re-election in the Party’s June leadership race.


MADISON - Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning, who has served in the role since being elected in 2015, has offered the following statement on her decision not to seek re-election in the Party’s June leadership race:

“Four years ago, I ran to become Chair because I knew that Wisconsin Democrats needed a strong party infrastructure, a robust and engaged grassroots network, and a clear vision for what it means to be a Democrat. Like so many people in our state, I was deeply concerned about how the policies of Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans were taking opportunity away from our kids, jeopardizing the future of our communities and turning Wisconsin into a state none of us recognized anymore. I wanted to do my part to help.

Martha Lanning talks to media after delegates to the 2015 Democratic Party of Wisconsin convention elect her as party chair.

“Four years later, I am incredibly proud of the Party we have built. For the first time since 1982, Democrats hold all five constitutional state offices, lead by Governor Tony Evers who will put the people first as he champions our Wisconsin values. We re-elected our Senator Tammy Baldwin so she could continue her work improving the lives of Wisconsinites and protecting those that need it most.

“These victories didn’t happen by accident. We launched an unprecedented year-round, every-year organizing program to empower activists across our state to inspire, engage and turn-out Democratic voters. We bolstered our candidate services team to support down-ballot candidates and helped them run competitive campaigns. We ensured the Party had the financial resources to support our ambitious plans.

“Given these accomplishments and the bright future ahead for Wisconsin Democrats, I believe this is the perfect time for me to transition to my next challenge. I will not stand for reelection as DPW Chair this coming June and welcome the opportunity to support new leadership as they take the helm this summer. I remain committed to the Party and to our Democratic values, and I will continue to lead the Party with the same transparency and vigor as we prepare for the next Chair’s race and leadership transition following June’s election.

“It has been an honor to work with so many caring and passionate activists who give their time to help make our vision a reality. I am humbled to work with a staff that doesn’t see the work just as a job, but as a calling to build a stronger Wisconsin. Chairing the Democratic Party of Wisconsin has been an incredible opportunity, and I couldn’t be prouder of the work we’ve done together to move Wisconsin forward.”

 
Supreme Court Candidate Still Refuses to Apologize for Homophobic Blog Posts PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Courtney Beyer   
Monday, 04 February 2019 16:16

brian-hagedornScott Walker's former legal counsel likened homosexuality to bestiality, would be another extreme partisan on the Supreme Court


MADISON - In Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn’s first public interview since news broke that he once authored a blog with radical, hateful content, Hagedorn refused to apologize or even walk back statements he made as extreme as likening homosexuality to bestiality. Talking to conservative radio host John Muir, Hagedorn lashed out at those criticizing his posts, rejecting suggestions that if elected, he consider recusing himself from cases where he’s expressed a personal political belief.

“It’s unacceptable that it’s been four days and Wisconsin voters still don’t know whether or not Brian Hagedorn still holds these extreme, partisan beliefs,” said Courtney Beyer, Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson. “Wisconsinites want their courts to be independent, but Hagedorn won’t even commit himself to the basic expectations of fairness and transparency. Brian Hagedorn is just another extreme partisan whose fringe, radical beliefs belong nowhere near our courts."

 
Radical, hateful content found on blog of Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Courtney Beyer   
Thursday, 31 January 2019 15:03

Brian HagedornHagedorn's partisan agenda has no place on Wisconsin's highest bench.


MADISON -- Reporting from Dan Bice at the Journal Sentinel has shined a spotlight on the extremely radical content found on the blog of Supreme Court candidate and former counsel to Scott Walker, Judge Brian Hagedorn. Bice reports that Hagedorn maintained a blog where he regularly wrote posts dehumanizing members of the LGBTQ community, even going so far as to relate homosexuality with bestiality. Hagedorn is vying for a seat on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court against Chief Judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals Lisa Neubauer.

“Hateful statements like these are wholly disqualifying,” said Martha Laning, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “Wisconsinites expect their judicial system to be fair and independent, but Hagedorn’s extreme beliefs and radical, partisan agenda put him out-of-step with these values. Hatred like this goes against everything we in Wisconsin believe in, and it has no place on our state’s highest bench.”

Hagedorn's spokesperson offered no apology for his past remarks in a statement released to Bice and refused to admit whether or not Hagedorn still held these beliefs.

 
Sen. Hansen in Response to Gov. Evers’ State of the State Address PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Jay Wadd   
Wednesday, 23 January 2019 17:02

tony-eversAfter 8 years of Scott Walker divide and conquer, it's refreshing to see a Governor willing to find common ground.


MADISON - On Tuesday, newly elected Governor Tony Evers gave his 2019 State of the State Address in the Assembly Chambers of the Wisconsin State Capitol. Green Bay's Senator Dave Hansen was there and had the following response.

dave-hansen“After 8 years of divide and conquer from Scott Walker to hear a message of hope it was a breath of fresh air to hear our new governor talking about wanting to work together on behalf of the people for a change.

“He delivered a positive message of hope and a willingness to work together to move Wisconsin forward, not just for the special interests but for all the people, especially those who have been left behind by the policies of the last 8 years.

“It has also been refreshing to see a Governor travelling the state holding listening sessions that are open to anyone who wants to attend them compared to the invite-only affairs that Scott Walker held.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to find common ground on some of the big issues like pre-existing conditions, public school funding, roads and finding ways to create good paying jobs throughout our state.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 2019 17:15
 
Senate Dem Leader Praises Gov. Evers State of the State Address PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Kate Constalie   
Wednesday, 23 January 2019 12:01

tony-eversShilling reaffirms Senate Democratic commitment to Governor’s priorities


MADISON, WI – Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement in response to Gov. Evers’ State of the State address:

jennifer-shilling“For too long, we’ve seen misguided priorities under Republican control that favor the wealthy and well connected. This is a new era in our state, and it is refreshing to have a Governor that is committed to focusing on the people of Wisconsin rather than playing political games. Senate Democrats are eager to work with Gov. Evers on the issues impacting Wisconsin families every day. We will deliver on his plan to improve health care, strengthen schools, fix our roads and invest in pro-growth policies that build up the middle class.

“Democrats are committed to lowering property taxes, strengthening local schools and giving Wisconsin children the best possible education by restoring millions in state aid cut by Republicans. We are going to grow our economy from the ground up by raising wages, expanding access to paid sick leave and making child care more affordable for working families. We remain dedicated to jump-starting small business development, investing in 21st century infrastructure by fixing our crumbling roads and bridges and expanding high-speed broadband internet access.

“With Gov. Evers’ leadership, these goals are all within our reach, but we need to find new ways to work together, invest in our communities and expand opportunities for everyone – not just the wealthiest one percent.”

 
Staush Gruszynski Responds to State of the State Address PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Wednesday, 23 January 2019 11:43

tony-evers-2019-sosSays people of Green Bay want access to affordable healthcare, public schools fully funded, and our roads fixed. Governor Tony Evers on track.


MADISON – State Representative Staush Gruszynski (D-Green Bay) offered the following remarks after attending Governor Tony Evers’ first State of the State Address at the State Capitol on Tuesday evening.

staush-gruszynski“Governor Tony Evers’ State of the State Address shows that the Governor has a clear agenda that sets politics aside to put the people of Wisconsin first. Like the Governor, I am ready to work with my colleagues in the legislature to move Wisconsin forward, which is exactly what my constituents asked me to do. The people of Green Bay want access to affordable healthcare, they want to see our public schools fully funded, and they want us to fix our roads. So does Governor Evers, and so do I,” Gruszynski said.

Gruszynski was elected to represent the 90th Assembly District in November 2018 and serves on the following Assembly committees: the Committee on Forestry, Parks and Outdoor Recreation, the Committee on Local Government, the Committee on Sporting Heritage, the Committee on Tourism, and the Committee on Rural Development.

 
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