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May 14 Designated Hmong-Lao Veterans Day in Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 14 May 2021 11:50

hmong-lao-veterans-saluteGovernor orders flags to half-staff to honor thousands of Hmong-Lao people who fought alongside the United States and ultimately faced harsh retribution from the Vietnamese and Lao governments.

CDC: Vaccinated people can return to normal life PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Hill Press   
Friday, 14 May 2021 09:44

coronavirus-mask3-jennifer-aniston-skynewsFully vaccinated people can take masks off indoors and outdoors safely. Restrictions still apply in public transportation, health care settings, correctional facilities and homeless shelters. Private businesses may enforce own rules.

Senate Committee Moves to Deregulate Natural Hair Braiding PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shelia Stubbs Press   
Thursday, 13 May 2021 15:44

afro-braidingBill specifies that a person does not need to obtain a barbering or cosmetology license in order to perform natural hair braiding.

Madison, WI – On Wednesday, the Senate companion of Assembly Bill 121, Senate Bill 216, relating to the deregulation of natural hair braiding, passed through the Senate Committee on Insurance, Licensing, and Forestry. This bill specifies that a person does not need to obtain a barbering or cosmetology license in order to perform natural hair braiding. On this legislation’s progress, Representative Stubbs (D-77) issued the following statement:

shelia-stubbs“As your representative, I am committed to passing real reforms, and making real change. Deregulating natural hair braiding ensures that burdensome regulation will not interfere with generational cultural practices. Black hair is a vital part of Black culture, and this is legislation will ensure that natural hair braiders are not excluded from their art.”

“In addition, this bill will open up doors for aspiring entrepreneurs, especially entrepreneurs of color and female entrepreneurs. Assembly Bill 121 removes restrictions that limit the success of women of color, and it will improve the economic lives of those who practice the art of natural hair braiding. Their success will not only benefit communities of color, but will benefit the entire state of Wisconsin.”

“I want to thank members of the Senate Committee on Insurance, Licensing, and Forestry for supporting this bill, and for moving it one step closer to becoming law in Wisconsin. Thirty other states have already removed this burdensome requirement, and it is time that Wisconsin follows suit.”

“This legislation will foster success within the natural hair braiding community, and I am proud to have authored this legislation with bipartisan support. Together we are moving Wisconsin forward. I am excited to see this legislation pass on the Senate floor, and be brought to the Governors desk.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 May 2021 15:55
Rally Planned for Fair Maps at State Capitol PDF Print E-mail
Written by League of Women Voters WI, Morgan Grunow   
Thursday, 13 May 2021 15:08

wi-fair-mapsLWV-WI to call for nonpartisan redistricting Monday. Kristin Brey of As Goes Wisconsin to emcee event featuring legislators, activists, and musicians at first in-person Fair Maps rally in more than a year.

Mike Gallagher Sides With GOP Extremists PDF Print E-mail
Written by DPW Press   
Thursday, 13 May 2021 08:30

mike-gallagherNortheast Wisconsin Congressman votes against Liz Cheney, supports Republican election conspiracies.

Last Updated on Saturday, 15 May 2021 08:43
You Are Not Alone: Recognizing Mental Health Awareness Month PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Wednesday, 12 May 2021 14:38

overdose depression Sen. Smith writes about the prevalence of mental illness in the U.S. so we can better support those who may be struggling and help them understand it’s okay to not be okay.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 May 2021 14:58
Legislators Introduce First Nations Parks Pass Bill PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melissa Agard Press   
Wednesday, 12 May 2021 09:19

hochunknation-membersBill would provide free State park admission to Wisconsin’s federally recognized Indigenous tribes.

MADISON - Senator Melissa Agard (D-Madison) and Representative Beth Meyers (D-Bayfield) introduced LRB 2820/1 (& LRB-3361/1), a bill to provide free State Park passes to a member of a federally recognized American Indian tribe or band located in Wisconsin.

Senator Agard, Representative Meyers, and the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council (GLITC) released the following statements:

Senator Melissa Agard:

melissa-agard-sargent“This is an example of what good governance is - this idea was born from a First Nations constituent reaching out to my office with an idea. This is how the government should work - with the will of the people being carried into the state capitol. After all, government should strive to uplift and listen to all constituents.

“Additionally, the First Nations Parks Pass bill provides tribal members access to their land. All state parks occupy land that was taken from Indigenous populations. No one should have to pay to access their own land. This is how we start righting past wrongs in our history - here is how we honor all of Wisconsin’s history. I am proud to author this legislation.”

Representative Beth Meyers:

beth-meyers“In the 74th Assembly District, possibly one of the most beautiful places in the world, we value our state parks and outdoor recreations. Tribal members have been thriving on this land for centuries. This bill recognizes that the Indigenous Tribes of Wisconsin should have heightened access to our state parks.”

Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council Chief Executive Officer Bryan Bainbridge:

“Natural resources are a focus of the State of the Tribes address this year, and I am excited about this bill which recognizes the importance of our natural spaces to Wisconsin’s tribes and tribal members. It is important to acknowledge and allow our tribal members access to state parks. Wisconsin State Parks are some of the original homelands to Indigenous People of Wisconsin, and this legislation honors that history and tradition.”

APIDA Heritage Month Resolution Passes PDF Print E-mail
Written by Francesca Yunjung Hong Press   
Wednesday, 12 May 2021 08:58

asian-american-pacific-islanderHonors the important contributions of Asians, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Desi Americans to the history of the United States.

MADISON - Tuesday, Assembly Joint Resolution 48 relating to recognizing Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month as a time to honor the important contributions of Asians, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Desi Americans to the history of the United States, passed in the Wisconsin State Assembly.

Representative Hong (D-76) released the following statement:

francesca-yunjung-hong“The passage of the APIDA Heritage Month resolution is a historic moment for Wisconsin. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Representative John Spiros (R-86) and Senator Dale Kooyenga (R-5) for seeing this bill through and my colleagues in the Legislature for their support.

As long as the story of Wisconsin is told, so will the story of Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi Americans, for those two stories are intertwined and of one another. Our heritage as APIDA is one to be celebrated, one to be remembered, and I am glad that after many years, the legislature has finally recognized our important communities.

For too long, APIDA Wisconsinites have suffered intense racial violence and ostracization at the hands of systemic white supremacy. This moment, therefore, is one where we must not only honor the resilience of the APIDA community, but also one where we mourn that which we have lost and promise that which we have not given.

Today, as an original author of this resolution and as the first APIDA legislator in Wisconsin history, I am also weighed down by the sadness of this moment. I acknowledge that my joy will never be complete if my Black colleagues and Black Wisconsinites continue to see the resolution honoring Black History Month denied on the basis of hatred and racism.

The Legislature must continuously reorient its purpose to fight systemic injustices. We cannot refuse to enact policy that uplifts every Wisconsinite, regardless of who they are.

We must be better than what we have been.”

Legislators Introduce Speaker's Taskforce on Racial Disparities' Bills PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shelia Stubbs Press   
Wednesday, 12 May 2021 08:45

kenosha-protests-aljazeeraTaskforce Co-Chairs hope we are one step closer to seeing meaningful reforms in our state.

Madison, WI –Representative Stubbs (D-77) and Representative Steineke (R-05), the Co-Chairs of the Speaker's Taskforce on Racial Disparities, introduced seven pieces of legislation that address the recommendations of the Subcommittee on Law Enforcement Policies and Standards. On these bills, Representative Stubbs issued the following statement:

“For seven months, the Speaker's Taskforce on Racial Disparities’ Subcommittee on Law Enforcment Policies and Standards has worked with community leaders, leaders in the faith community and experts in law enforcment to address the real issues in our policing system. I am very proud of the work we have done, and to see our recommendations reflected in policy”

shelia-stubbs“Hard work is about compromise, and I thank all of the members of the Taskforce for coming to the table and helping craft a real path forward. This unprecedented process included many valuable voices, and I am proud to say we are now one step closer to seeing meaningful reforms in our state. These bills mandate police accountability, invest in comprehensive trainings, and will promote a better relationship between community and law enforcment.”

“These seven bills, along with amendments to bills in the Senate, address 14 of the 18 recommendations reported by the Taskforce only a month ago. This progress is real, and addresses many key areas of our law enforcement system.”

“But the work does not end here. While these bills have bipartisan support in the Senate and the Assembly, they still need to be passed through committee, and voted on in both houses. This is a step in the right direction for law enforcement, for our communities, and for the great state of Wisconsin.”

Last Updated on Saturday, 15 May 2021 08:56
Agard Welcomes New Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melissa Agard Press   
Tuesday, 11 May 2021 08:41

dane-co-chMADISON - Monday, Kalvin Barrett was sworn in as the new Dane County Sheriff, the first Black man to serve in this role. In a ceremony at the Dane County Courthouse, Sheriff Barrett officially assumed his responsibilities and spoke of his priorities for the role and the department.

melissa-agard-sargentSenator Melissa Agard (D-Madison) released the following statement on Sheriff Barrett:

“Congratulations to our new Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett! His appointment to the role is historic and his vision for the Dane County Sheriff’s department will create positive change across Dane County.

“Sheriff Barrett spoke about many things that matter to the 16th Senate District, including: creating a department that values diversity, building trust within communities, keeping the jail population low through evidence based-programs and jail-diversion programs, as well as creating opportunities for community engagement.

Sheriff Barrett spoke of repairing fractured relationships and building upon relationships already formed.  “Sheriff Barrett will continue to be a progressive voice in our law enforcement community as former Sheriff Mahoney did. I wish Sheriff Barrett the best of luck in this new role and look forward to his continued  leadership across Dane County.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 May 2021 09:41
Republicans Turn their Back on Wisconsinites with Budget Votes PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melissa Agard Press   
Friday, 07 May 2021 10:15

door-county-peopleWith Republican led votes to strip nearly 300 provisions from the budget, the people of Wisconsin lose out on life-changing and life-saving provisions.

MADISON - Thursday, the Joint Finance Committee met to strip hundreds of provisions from the proposed 2021-23 state budget. On the chopping block are: cannabis legalization, expanding Medicaid, gun safety measures, provisions to address climate change, and much more.

Senator Agard (D-Madison) released this statement following the JFC vote:

melissa-agard-sargent“Budgets reflect priorities and values. By taking out these provisions, Republicans are turning their backs on what people across our state value and prioritize: legal cannabis, affordable healthcare, common sense gun legislation, clean water, and so much more. They are turning their backs on life saving and life changing budget provisions that could positively impact every corner of our state. It is shameful to see my Republican colleagues continuing to put politics over the people they serve.

“Governor Evers crafted this budget by doing what all elected officials should be doing - listening to the people of Wisconsin and addressing their needs. A majority of Wisconsinites support affordable healthcare, legal cannabis, and much more that was taken out of the budget. We cannot afford to continue ignoring the needs of our state. The people of Wisconsin are our bosses, we cannot legislate without listening to them.

“If Republicans want to take up these issues separately, then let’s actually take them up. I call on my Republican colleagues to move the polices forward that they claim do not belong in the budget. Let’s discuss these policies on their merits in public hearings, executive sessions, and on the floor. We all lose when we ignore the will of the people. Shame on Wisconsin Republicans for ignoring them now.”

Last Updated on Saturday, 08 May 2021 10:21
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