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08
Sep
2017

wi-dist-mapsLeague of Women Voters of Wisconsin, other organizations, file amicus brief calling on the Supreme Court to require the state legislature to redraw the voting maps in time for the 2018 elections.


MADISON – The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin joined other organizations this week in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Gill v. Whitford, the case in which a federal district court ruled the Wisconsin Assembly districts unconstitutional based on partisan gerrymandering. The brief calls on the Supreme Court to uphold a lower court ruling which requires the state legislature to redraw the voting maps in time for the 2018 elections. The brief can be found here.

The amicus brief demonstrates how Wisconsin’s 2011 redistricting has resulted in legislation that is much more extreme than would be expected from a more typical shift in the majority from one party to another. By creating “safe districts” in which a particular party is assured of victory in elections, the gerrymandered districts insulate lawmakers from accountability to their constituents.

supreme-court“We have seen a serious breakdown in the legislative process in recent years. We have seen a bill that appeared to be traceable back to the desire of one wealthy donor. We have seen cases where thousands of constituent calls and emails were simply ignored. This is running roughshod over democracy,” said Andrea Kaminski, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.

The brief demonstrates the ill effects of gerrymandering specifically on legislation related to government accountability, funding for public education and protection of our natural resources. The League holds positions in all of these areas and is active in the State Capitol working to pass policies that are responsive to the needs of the public.

Written by League of Women Voters Wisconsin   
 
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06
Sep
2017

school-closedRepublican budget prioritizes special interest giveaways over schools and roads.

Written by Joint Finance Committee Democrats   
 
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05
Sep
2017

clean-drinking-waterComment Period Will Allow Citizens to Weigh in on Drinking Water Crisis.

Written by Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Ryan Billingham   
 
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05
Sep
2017

business_peopleWisconsin was one of the first states to enact a Living Wage law in 1913, at first only for women and minors over age 17. Opponents fought the law in the courts and the legislature, and the Governor and Legislative majority repealed the very definition of “living wage” by the 1980s. The federal minimum wage law replaced it, but has not kept up with the cost of living since 1968.

Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
 
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01
Sep
2017

big-pharmaDems urge legislative action to protect and extend popular Rx drug program.

Written by Wisconsin Senate, Tony Palese   
 
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30
Aug
2017

cedarburgBudget announced by Senator Fitzgerald earlier this summer caps total spending on the Historic Tax Credit at $20 million and limits the funding a project can receive at $5 million.


MADISON - Drive through a quaint renovated small village or town in Wisconsin and you are likely seeing a downtown renovated with Historic Tax Credits. In my opinion the Historic Tax Credit is the most successful rural and small town economic development program administered by Governor Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). As the Legislature considers venturing into the great unknown on high tech manufacturing with checks from our taxpayers for 15 years, that same Republican majority is planning to cap the Historic Tax Credit program.

This cap is defended as needed as an austerity measure. But clearly these budget cuts are not needed elsewhere. The Republican compromise budget announced by Senator Fitzgerald earlier this summer caps total spending on the Historic Tax Credit at $20 million and limits the funding a project can receive at $5 million. These limits will have a significant impact on the program’s success.

fond_du_lacIn 2014, 60 percent of the Historic Tax Credit projects renovated buildings that had been vacant for more than 20 years. The return on investment for taxpayer investments in the Historic Tax Credit has been proven to be 8 to 1. Capping the program will jeopardize projects that will revitalize our communities and provide a known payback to taxpayers. I have heard from local leaders from all over the state and the 27th Senate District asking to leave the program alone, so I know other Legislators have received contact as well.

I cannot figure out why Governor Walker has continually tried to kill this program and why Republican Legislators would consider allowing it to happen. 2016 brought 38 projects into the Historic Tax Credit. Projects all over Wisconsin including Plymouth, Superior, Fon du Lac, Evansville, Platteville, Darlington, Waupaca, Wausau, Prairie du Chien, La Crosse, Manitowoc, Watertown, De Pere, Oshkosh, Neenah and Kenosha. I know of projects in the works in the 27th District as well.

Written by Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District   
 
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