Saturday September 19, 2020

Moving Forward with Facts & Reason

FacebookTwitterYoutube
Newsletter
News Feeds:

Progressive Thinking

Discussion with education and reason.

Janis Ringhand, State Senator Dist 15

Janis Ringhand, State Senator Dist 15

State Senator Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) is a former mayor, small business owner and community banker. She serves on the Senate Committee on Revenue, Financial Institutions and Rural Affairs. She serves the 15th Senate District.

PLA Legislation is Bad for Wisconsin

Posted by Janis Ringhand, State Senator Dist 15
Janis Ringhand, State Senator Dist 15
State Senator Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) is a former mayor, small business o
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 28 January 2017
in Wisconsin

construction-workersProject Labor Agreements (PLA’s) are one of the few tools that local governments have left to put “Wisconsin first” when it comes to public construction projects, but Madison legislators want to eliminate it as part of the bidding process.


MADISON - As President Trump takes the initial steps to get America out of poorly negotiated trade deals like NAFTA and TPP, Wisconsin Republicans are negotiating amongst themselves to eliminate guarantees that public construction projects are completed on time, on budget and built using local workers.

The issue at hand is legislation to prohibit local governments from using Project Labor Agreements (PLA’s) as part of the bidding process for government construction projects like schools, libraries and jails. Poorly negotiated, like NAFTA and TPP, this legislation will take job opportunities away from Wisconsin workers on taxpayer funded construction projects.

Project Labor Agreements are one of the few tools that local governments have left to put “Wisconsin first” when it comes to public construction projects. Taxpayers throughout the state will be spending hundreds of millions of dollars building new schools and maintaining those already in use. Project Labor Agreements allow local governments to get up front guarantees to make sure that these schools are built by local workers and completed on time and on budget.

No one wants the jobs for these projects to be filled by workers from Iowa, Illinois, or Minnesota, but this legislation sets the table to allow just that. Project Labor Agreements protect Wisconsin jobs on Wisconsin construction projects. PLA’s are in place for the Northwestern Mutual expansion project in Milwaukee, Lambeau Field, Miller Park and the new Bucks arena. Toyota has used Project Labor Agreements for every American auto plant they have built. Even Wal-Mart is increasingly using PLA’s for their construction projects.

Like NAFTA and TPP, this legislation is another example of poorly negotiated policy from politicians who believe in a one size fits all approach. A one size fits all approach from Madison is bad for local governments, bad for construction workers and bad for Wisconsin.

This legislation is a completely partisan effort to undercut both local government and construction workers. The bill prohibits local government from asking for up front guarantees in the bidding process to make sure that school, libraries, jails and other public construction projects are done on time, on budget and built with local workers.

Instead, the proponents of this legislation believe that local governments should ask contractors to provide workplace guarantees out of the kindness of their heart. We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars in construction projects in every part of Wisconsin. No guarantees for taxpayers, no guarantees for workers.

It’s poorly negotiated, completely partisan and bad for Wisconsin.

Proponents say that they don’t want to force non-union workers to contribute to a union. Wisconsin’s new Right to Work law specifically prohibits forcing any worker to join or make contributions to a union. The proponents of this legislation have brought forth a litany of “alternative facts” to defend these poorly negotiated bills. And last, but certainly not least, proponents of this legislation want to eliminate any up front leverage that local governments might have to guarantee that projects are done on time, on budget and built with local workers.

With wide majorities in both houses of the legislature, Republicans will decide the direction that Wisconsin is going take. The irony is that with one party rule in Madison, Republicans are negotiating with themselves to undercut both taxpayers and workers. The only question is just how far they will go.

Eliminating the use of Project Labor Agreements as part of the bidding process is a bad deal for Wisconsin. It is a poorly negotiated piece of partisan legislation. Unfortunately, the proponents of this legislation say that this is the path we are going to take whether you like it or not.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Is 'Our Financial Watchdog'

Posted by Janis Ringhand, State Senator Dist 15
Janis Ringhand, State Senator Dist 15
State Senator Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) is a former mayor, small business o
User is currently offline
on Friday, 30 September 2016
in Wisconsin

wells-fargoFederal Agency was created as part of the Dodd-Frank Act in response to the banking crisis of 2007-08, which caused the Great Recession. Customers of Wells Fargo, or any other bank or credit union, can monitor their accounts to make sure they don’t see unauthorized products or account activity and report them here.


EVANSVILLE, WI - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in response to the banking crisis of 2007-08, which caused the Great Recession.

As independent financial regulators, the CFPB, enforces regulations on banks, payday lenders, debt collectors, and other financial companies operating in the United States and helps consumers to take more control over their economic lives.

On September 8, the CFPB fined Wells Fargo Bank $100 million for widespread illegal sales practices. An additional $85 million in fines were imposed on Wells Fargo by other government agencies.

wells-fargo-creditcardWells Fargo illegally opened new accounts and transferred funds from existing accounts in order to meet sales targets established by senior management executives. They used customer’s personal information to create hundreds of thousands of unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts, going so far as to create PIN’s for accounts without the consent of their customers.  While senior executives then received millions of dollars in cash bonuses these illegal practices led to consumers being charged fees for insufficient funds, interest charges, annual credit card fees, and other late fees.

If you were one of the thousands of people who incurred fees as a result of an unauthorized Wells Fargo account, the CFPB has ordered Wells Fargo to refund all of your money. Some payments have already been made; others will be sent in the coming months.

Customers of Wells Fargo or any other bank or credit union should always monitor their accounts to make sure they don’t see unauthorized products or account activity. If you suspect that you had an unauthorized account opened, you can submit a complaint to the CFPB, at www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/ or by calling toll-free (855) 411-2372.

The creation of the CFPB as well as the consumer protections included in the Dodd-Frank Act were positive responses to one of darkest hours in our financial history. Since 2011, the CFPB has returned nearly $12 billion to 27 million victims of shady and illegal financial practices.

Even with the overwhelming success of the CFPB, there is a concerted effort by Wall Street to loosen regulations on banks, payday lenders, debt collectors and other financial companies.

Those looking to loosen financial regulations are operating on very short memories. Just eight years ago, reckless Wall Street practices nearly destroyed our economy. Millions of people lost their jobs and millions more lost their homes. Trillions of dollars in retirement savings were wiped out and taxpayers had to bail out banks that were deemed “too big to fail”.

Efforts to hamstring the CFPB and loosen banking reforms will not help the small consumers, investors or taxpayers on Main Street. It will simply allow powerful Wall Street interests and banks that are “too big to fail” to run amok and wreak financial havoc again.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

It’s Time to Invest in Our Transportation System

Posted by Janis Ringhand, State Senator Dist 15
Janis Ringhand, State Senator Dist 15
State Senator Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) is a former mayor, small business o
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 10 July 2016
in Wisconsin

road-closed-delayGov. Walker tells Transportation Secretary not to include any tax or fee increases in his budget request for state highway system improvement. As a result, system is going to continue to deteriorate and highway projects throughout the state will be delayed.


MADISON - Recently, former Republican State Senator and current Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow wrote that our transportation system is in crisis. I agree with him. Unfortunately, his former Republican colleagues in the State Senate and Governor Walker think the solution is to let our crumbling infrastructure continue to deteriorate while motorist safety suffers and economic development opportunities are lost.

Under the direction of Governor Walker, the Secretary of Transportation was told that his budget request should not include any tax or fee increases. Walker also says that proposed spending on megaprojects in southeast Wisconsin should be minimized. The result of Walker’s directive, according to the Secretary, is “that the non-backbone system, which is about 90 percent of the state highway system, is going to continue to deteriorate in condition" and “it would delay highway projects throughout the state.”

Wow, what a lack of leadership! I was a mayor and alderperson before getting elected to State Legislature. In local government we identified the problem and then worked out a solution collaboratively. Unfortunately, Governor Walker and my Republican colleagues are putting their strict adherence to a political ideology above what is good for the state and its residents.

Eventually, we will have to fix and upgrade our roads. According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel when that time comes it will cost taxpayers a lot more money. “Faced with delays and inflation over the past five years, four major state highway projects have accumulated overruns in excess of $700 million,” according to the paper. I shudder to think what Governor Walker and Senate Republicans inaction will cost years down the road.

In the meantime taxpayers will have higher vehicle repair bills because our roads are beat up and littered with pot holes. For the average Wisconsin driver a penny increase in the gas tax costs $4.53 per year. That’s a better deal than paying for expensive car repairs.

However, we don’t have to go down this road. Transportation shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Let’s adopt the local government model work together and solve this crisis while simultaneously improving road safety and creating economic opportunities. For Governor Walker and legislative Republicans to do nothing is simply irresponsible.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
Tweet With Us:

Share

Copyright © 2020. Green Bay Progressive. Designed by Shape5.com