Senator Carpenter: Thanks DHS Secretary for SeniorCare Attempts, Looks Forward to 2018 (MADISON) – State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) today welcomed the recent news that Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health...
Senator Miller: Statement from Senator Mark Miller on the F-35 landing in Madison Madison – Senator Miller released the following statement on the U.S. Air Force choice to house F-35 fighter jets at Truax Field:
Senate GOP Calls for Yet Another Investigation into Organization They Dismantled Two Years Ago MADISON – Today, Senate GOP Leaders formally asked Attorney General Brad Schimel to investigate the Government Accountability Board...
Senator Shilling: Republicans Open the Flood Gates MADISON, WI – Senate Bill 600 which would eliminate protections for over one million acres of wetlands in Wisconsin...
Senator Erpenbach: Letter on BadgerCare Waiver I write to you today to provide public comment on your short-sighted BadgerCare Reform Demonstration Waiver.
Senator Taylor: House Republicans Advance Tax Plan, Continue Nationwide Push to Benefit Wealthy on the Backs of the Working Class (MADISON) – Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee), issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the GOP tax...
Senator Shilling: GOP Tax Scam is the gift no one asked for MADISON, WI – Despite overwhelming opposition from working families, seniors, farmers and homeowners, Republicans in the U.S. Senate passed.
Senator Shilling: Democrats fight to protect Net Neutrality MADISON, WI – As the Trump administration works to undermine internet access, Wisconsin Democrats are calling for action.
Senator Hansen: Democrats Call on Attorney General to Challenge FCC Decision to Repeal Obama Era Regulation that Protected Internet Equality (Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) announced that he and 34 Democratic legislators sent a letter today to Attorney General..
Senator Bewley Column: Building Commission Approves Project For Northern Wisconsin As we get ready to make the turn into 2018, I wanted to take a minute and share some good news
Senator Erpenbach: Prison Safety and Population Increases Need Legislative Attention In 2018, the Wisconsin prison population will be as high as it has ever been. This overcrowding is a serious safety concern...
Senator Shilling: Clean air at risk under Republican control MADISON, WI – Days after Gov. Walker signed legislation repealing Wisconsin’s moratorium on acid mining, the future...
Weekly Democratic radio address: Empty Seats MADISON, WI – Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.
Senator Vinehout Column: Emergency Medical Workers in New Community Role “We had a patient who called us at least once a week,” a local Emergency Medical Director told me.
Senator Carpenter: Save Our SeniorCare! In what is beginning to seem like an annual tradition, I am once again calling on Governor Walker and legislative republicans...
Senator Erpenbach Column: Trickle Down Policies For most of us, Washington DC and the politics of President Donald Trump and a Republican Congress seem a million miles away. But the reality is that our lives, and the lives of those we love, are impacted by the Federal government and decisions made in Washington DC every single day.
Senator Vinehout Column: Free Tuition for Two-Year and Tech Colleges Means Freedom to Learn “Every Wisconsinite should have access to education or training past high school… To be pursued at whatever point and pace makes sense for individual workers and industries,” wrote researchers at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) eight years ago.
Senator Carpenter: On Saint Nicholas Day Governor Walker Proves Himself a Grinch to Seniors (MADISON) – State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee), released the following statement regarding the SeniorCare prescription drug program.
Senator Hansen to Introduce Bill Requiring Individual Locks on Gas Pumps (Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) announced today that he will be introducing legislation to require gas station owners to use separate, unique locks and keys on their pumps. The announcement comes after recent reports of card skimming in the Green Bay area.
Senator Shilling: Another “Ho-Ho-Horrible” Jobs Report MADISON, WI – Another dismal jobs report brings bad news for families already feeling the pinch this holiday season. The national ‘Gold Standard’ jobs report released this week marks the 6th straight year Wisconsin has trailed the nation in job creation and represents one of the longest periods of economic stagnation in Wisconsin history.
Weekly Democratic Radio Address: Dark Stores Dark Intentions MADISON, WI – Senator Mark Miller (D-Monona) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.
Senator Hansen: Real Incentives, Not Gimmicks will Keep and Attract Young Workers to Wisconsin (Madison)—In response to an announcement from Governor Walker that he is seeking funding for an ad campaign to try to attract young workers to Wisconsin, State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) said gimmicks and ad campaigns are not the answer.
Senator Vinehout Column: Confusing Health Coverage Dominates Thanksgiving Conversations “My family conversations over Thanksgiving were all about health care,” Mary shared with me. “It’s all so confusing.” Mary’s family is not alone. From recent conversations, I’m betting that health care dominated talk at many Thanksgiving gatherings.
Senator Shilling: Working families on losing end of GOP Tax Scam MADISON, WI – As Republicans in the U.S. Senate work to pass their version of the tax plan, a recent CBO score shows that children and families would be affected the most. The plan would raise taxes on the middle class and working families while expanding tax breaks for the wealthiest and adding $1.4 trillion to the deficit over the next decade.
Senator Bewley & Rep. Goyke: Tax "Reform" Puts WI Housing and Jobs in Direct Peril As the US Senate prepares to debate a tax package this week, little-noticed provisions of the version passed by the US House pose a direct and lasting threat to Wisconsin jobs and Wisconsin housing, two state legislators said today.
Senator Shilling & Rep. Hintz: Walker seeks federal approval to limit health coverage and continue cost-shift MADISON, WI – Gov. Walker’s decision to reject the federal Medicaid expansion has cost Wisconsin taxpayers over $1 billion while preventing thousands of families from accessing affordable care. The plan has been derided nationally as cruel, immoral, nonsensical, fiscally irresponsible and stupid. Now, five years into the costly Republican experiment, the Walker administration is seeking an extension to further limit coverage and shift additional costs onto Wisconsin taxpayers.
Senator Hansen: To Introduce Bill to Provide More Permanent Funding for Veterans Trust Fund (Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) announced today that he is introducing legislation to eliminate a controversial tax loophole that has resulted in 11 individuals who make over $30 million per year getting an annual total tax giveaway of $22 million. The savings from eliminating the loophole would then be used to provide a more permanent funding source for the Veterans Trust Fund.
Gov. Walker’s 111,000 jobs deficit MADISON, WI – Not only has Gov. Walker failed to deliver on his jobs promise, but a new report shows his economic policies have contributed to a 111,000 jobs deficit in Wisconsin. The report by the Center for American Progress found that Wisconsin would have added an additional 111,000 jobs had the state simply kept pace with the national rate of job growth.
Senator Shilling: GOP tax plan hurts middle class MADISON, WI – Despite overwhelming opposition from working families, seniors, farmers and homeowners, Congressional Republicans passed the Ryan-McConnell Tax Plan. The plan would raise taxes on the middle class and working families while giving tax cuts to the wealthiest. Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement:
Senator Hansen: Introduces Employee Ownership Reform Bill (Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen announced today that he has introduced legislation aimed at updating and improving Wisconsin’s employee ownership laws. The Employee Ownership Act would create a new model of employee ownership called an Employee Ownership Trust. Although the model has been successful in the United Kingdom for decades, Sen. Hansen’s bill is the first legislation of its kind in the United States.
Senator Shilling: Hunter Safety Tips LA CROSSE, WI – In an effort to promote hunter safety this fall, Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released a 30 second public service announcement encouraging individuals to follow firearm safety tips.
Weekly Democratic radio address: "Supporting Wisconsin Start-ups" MADISON, WI – Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) delivered the Democratic weekly radio address recognizing this year’s National Entrepreneurs’ Day on Tuesday, November 21st.
Senator Hansen: Made in America Act Receives Public Hearing (Madison)—The Made in America Act is receiving a public hearing today in the Assembly Government Accountability and Oversight Committee. The legislation, introduced by Representative Peter Barca and Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) requires that materials used in state construction projects be made in the United States.
Senator Ringhand: Statement on Foxconn earnings report Reuters news service is reporting that Taiwan's Foxconn, the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer and a major Apple supplier, posted a 39 percent drop in third-quarter earnings.
Senator Shilling: Democrats stand with Veterans MADISON, WI – 75 years ago, November 11th was designated as a legal holiday dedicated to the cause of peace. Today, Americans recognize this important date as Veterans Day and honor the service of all U.S. military veterans who answered the call to serve and defend our nation.
Senator Shilling: Gov. Walker’s re-election Hail Mary falls short MADISON, WI – After Governor Walker signed the final $3 billion Foxconn contract, Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement:
Senators Bewley and Hansen Column: Counties and property taxpayers shouldn't be left to address opioid crisis on their own County after county across Wisconsin is facing budget-busting costs related to the state’s opioid crisis. Jails are full and treatment centers, where they exist, are often filled beyond capacity. Time and time again we have heard from county officials that they need more from a state government that has too often left them to face this crisis on their own.
Senator Shilling: Troubled jobs agency finalizes $3 billion Foxconn contract MADISON, WI – Since Governor Walker and Republican lawmakers formed the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) in 2011, the agency has been plagued by scandals, mismanagement and under-performance. Despite ongoing management issues and accounting problems, Gov. Walker’s jobs agency approved the final contract paving the way for the largest taxpayer giveaway to a foreign corporation in U.S. history.
Senator Carpenter: Top Ten Reasons Wisconsin Got Conned (MADISON) – Today, State Senator Tim Carpenter introduced his list of the Top Ten Reasons Wisconsin got conned by Foxconn. In an ode to the famous David Letterman, the reasons are presented 10 to 1:
Senator Erpenbach: Statement on Wisconsin Legislative repeal of “prove it safe” law for mining. “Current Wisconsin law does not prohibit mining in Wisconsin, it just says the mining company needs to prove they can mine without harming our environment – the mining companies just cannot do that.
Senator Larson: Convention of States Pushed Through by Senate GOP MADISON – The following is a statement from Senator Chris Larson regarding the GOP vote calling for an Article V convention, at the behest of billionaire special interests.
Senator Miller: Danger Madison – “Today’s Senate session had one theme. Danger.
Senator Shilling: Republicans to allow Acid Mining in Wisconsin MADISON, WI – The future of Wisconsin’s clean water is in danger as Republicans in the State Senate are poised to weaken environmental protections. Assembly Bill 499 (AB 499) would remove the “Prove it First” law that requires mining operations to provide proof that a sulfide mine can operate without polluting groundwater and surface waters with acid drainage.
Senator Vinehout Column: Speed and Secrecy Leaves the Public Out in the Cold In the past eleven years, I wrote 64 times about the problems of speed and secrecy in the legislative process. However, I never saw a calendar as broad and deep in controversy as the most recent one before the State Senate.
Senator Carpenter: WEDC — Seeing Contract Today, A Good First Step, Taxpayer Protection Still Top Priority. (MADISON) – State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee), released the following statement regarding the release of the Foxconn contract on Monday 11/6/17 at 11:11 AM, to the Board of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).
Senator Erpenbach: ACA Healthcare Marketplace Helps More People in WI than Ever: Sign Up Now! Republicans in Washington DC have worked really hard to confuse their constituents about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and health care consumer options. Cutting the outreach budget and even shortening the enrollment period to make it more difficult for people to understand their rights and responsibilities is really attempted political sabotage.
Senator Shilling: GOP seek ban on lifesaving medical research MADISON, WI – Lifesaving medical research could become illegal under a recent Republican proposal. Senate Bill 423, which will ban research that could one day lead to cures for cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, received a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety today. Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement:
Senator Erpenbach and Rep. Riemer: Past Time to Strengthen BadgerCare for Working Wisconsin Families Madison – Since 2013, Republican politicians in Madison have turned their back on over a billion dollars of our own tax money by not expanding BadgerCare. Today, Representative Daniel Riemer (D – Milwaukee) and Senator Jon Erpenbach (D – Middleton) introduced legislation to expand access to BadgerCare for tens of thousands of Wisconsin citizens.
Senator Vinehout Column: WEDC Admits They Are Not Following the Law “We have not been able to verify the jobs,” said Secretary Mark Hogan at a recent public hearing of the Joint Committee on Audit.
Senator Erpenbach: Enrollment Begins in ACA Marketplace Today Madison - As of November 1st, Wisconsin residents and families can apply for a 2018 health plan, renew their current plan or pick a new plan through the ACA’s Health Insurance Marketplace.
Senator Bewley: Encourages Families to Explore Health Options The enrollment period for 2018 health coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) opens today. As of November 1st, Wisconsin residents and families can explore health care opportunities, renew their current plan or pick a new plan through the ACA’s Health Insurance Marketplace.
Senator Carpenter: WEDC — Ripe For Reform (MADISON) – State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee), is circulating legislation that would provide more transparency and accountability to the Board of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).
Senator Larson: One Step Closer to Tackling Wisconsin’s Lead Crisis MADISON – The following is a statement from Senator Chris Larson regarding the Senate passage of Senate Bill 48:
Senator Carpenter: Introduces Bill to End Miller Park Tax (MADISON) – State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) has introduced legislation that will end the sales and use taxes that have been imposed on residents of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Racine and Washington Counties for the sole purpose of supporting taxpayer funding of Miller Park. His bill ends the collection of such taxes no later than December 31, 2019.
Senator Shilling Column: Expand Family Medical Leave Whether it’s caring for a newborn or tending to a sick parent, at some point in our lives most adults will have to take time off from work to care for a loved one.
Senator Shilling: Walker jobs agency leaves taxpayers in the dark MADISON, WI – After years of corruption and mismanagement at Governor Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), taxpayer watchdogs have expressed serious concerns that the troubled jobs agency is not acting in the best interest of Wisconsin residents.
Senator Vinehout: WEDC’s History Raises Concerns about State’s Ability to Oversee Foxconn Deal “Can you find out the nuclear flaw in the Foxconn deal?” a woman asked me. She was referring to words leaked out of secret negotiations between the state and a Taiwanese billionaire.
Senator Erpenbach: Statement on Governor Walker action to increase reimbursement rates for mental health and substance abuse providers “I am glad Governor Walker has joined the fight to improve access to mental health in Wisconsin with his announcement today that he plans to increase reimbursement rates for mental health and substance abuse treatment professionals.
Senator Shilling: Audit of Walker jobs agency intensifies Foxconn concerns MADISON, WI – An audit of Gov. Walker’s troubled jobs agency has uncovered significant accounting problems and ongoing management issues. Since Gov. Walker and Republican lawmakers formed the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation in 2011, the agency has been plagued by scandals, mismanagement and economic disappointment.
Senator Carpenter: Let’s See The Foxconn Contract (MADISON) – State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee), is formally requesting to see the Foxconn contract before the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) gives away $3 billion in taxpayer dollars to Foxconn.
Senator Erpenbach: Funding Elections Commission Staff Ensures Secure and Efficient Elections To make our elections run securely and accurately, we need to repair the damage to the Wisconsin Elections Commission caused by Governor Walker’s veto last month, which removed five necessary staff from the Commission.
Senator Hansen: After WEDC Failure Legislative Review and Approval Should be Required for Contract with Foxconn (Madison)—Responding to reports that the contract with Foxconn contained a “nuclear bomb” that would have left taxpayers unprotected, State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) said that the Legislature should reassert its authority and require that before any contract between WEDC and Foxconn is signed it first be approved by the State Senate and Assembly.
Senator Erpenbach: Statewide Tour Promoting Medical Marijuana Bills Madison - Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison) and Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton), joined by advocates, have embarked on a statewide media tour seeking Legislative action on Senate Bill 38/Assembly Bill 75. The bills allow for limited use of medical cannabis for those with specific, serious, and debilitating conditions, with physician approval.
Senator Vinehout Column: Audit Committee Focused on Protecting Veterans’ Care at King For 130 years, Wisconsin provided care for our aging veterans. Our state committed resources to build a beautiful campus on the Chain O’ Lakes. Known as the Veterans Home at King, the home gives veterans and their families a picturesque retirement.
Senator Shilling: Troubled jobs agency in disarray over Foxconn contract MADISON, WI – Democrats have expressed serious concerns with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) as disorganization and secrecy continue to plague the board’s handling of the Foxconn contract. Amid growing calls for additional oversight, agency officials gave conflicting statements regarding the status of the contract.
Senator Shilling: Foxconn gamble shrouded in secrecy MADISON, WI – Democrats on the Joint Finance Committee sent a letter requesting Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Secretary (WEDC) Mark Hogan submit the pending Foxconn contract to the budget committee for approval. After years of corruption and mismanagement at the WEDC, Democrats have serious concerns that the troubled jobs agency isn’t acting in the best interest for Wisconsin taxpayers.
Senator Shilling: Lives at risk as Trump sabotages health care MADISON, WI – Thousands of Wisconsin families will lose insurance coverage and face higher costs as a result of executive actions taken by Pres. Trump to sabotage the Affordable Care Act. Despite public demand for bipartisan health care solutions, Republican politicians have sought to singlehandedly undermine the health care marketplace, reduce coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions and shift costs onto older Americans.
Senator Shilling: Respect Wisconsin Women MADISON, WI – After legislative Democrats introduced the Respect Women Act to improve access to safe health care, Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement:
Senator Bewley: UW Barron falls victim to GOP budget cuts, again For the second time in just over two years, GOP budget cuts have taken aim at Northern Wisconsin and UW-Barron County, Sen. Janet Bewley (D-Delta) noted today. A reorganization plan announced yesterday would spell the end of not just UW Barron County as we know it, but all of Wisconsin’s 13 independent two-year campuses.
Senator Erpenbach: Respect Women Act Restores Women’s Medical Rights Madison – Today, Representative Chris Taylor (D- Madison) and Senator Jon Erpenbach (D- Middleton) announced the Respect Women Act, a collection of three bills that restores the patient/doctor relationship in Wisconsin and protects women’s access to health care without harassment, intimidation or violence.
Senator Shilling: Audit highlights ongoing GOP neglect at King Veterans Home MADISON, WI – A second audit of the state’s veteran nursing home at King revealed major staffing and health care concerns years after red flags were first raised by residents and whistleblowers. Since 2011, Republicans raided $21 million from the King Home while failing to ensure proper staffing, facility maintenance and health care services. Gov. Walker’s administration plans to raid an additional $26 million from the state’s veteran nursing homes over the next two years.
Senator Vinehout Column: Hemp: Its Time Has Come Farmers in diverse states like Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine and Minnesota are researching a new crop: industrial hemp. Many states are changing laws to allow growing of hemp.
Senator Johnson: Statement on new health clinic in Milwaukee “When women can’t get the health care that they need, when they need it, families lose sisters, mothers, daughters, nieces, and grandmothers to diseases like breast and cervical cancer that are treatable if detected early.”
Senator Shilling: Statement on new health clinic in Milwaukee MADISON, WI – Following the announcement of the new Planned Parenthood health clinic in Milwaukee, Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement:
Senate Democratic Radio Address: Stewardship Heritage Under Attack MADISON – Today, Senator Chris Larson offered the following Democratic Weekly Radio address regarding preserving our shared, public lands and waters.
Senator Vinehout Column: Proposal to De-license Occupations Gains Steam in Senate Imagine you are with your loved one who is in the hospital. Night comes. You prepare to leave, gently kissing your loved one “good night”.
Senator Vinehout Column: Two Worlds Apart: The Capitol and the Great River Road “Oh, my gosh,” I said to the Senate page. “I need that book.” The ‘book’ was a 744-page binder written by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) detailing, in plain language, the decisions in the massive state budget
Senator Shilling: 1.4 trillion reasons to support student debt refinancing MADISON, WI – Despite the continued call for student loan relief, Republican legislators have yet to put forward any substantive solutions to lower current student loan payments for Wisconsin’s nearly one million student loan borrowers. Democratic efforts to allow individuals to refinance student loans at lower interest rates and expand tax credits for families with student loan debt have been stalled by the Republican majority.
Senator Shilling: GOP healthcare proposal - from bad to worse MADISON, WI – Despite overwhelming opposition from working families, medical experts and healthcare advocates, Congressional Republicans are making another attempt to dismantle health care coverage for millions of Americans. The Graham-Cassidy bill would raise premiums, limit coverage and enact an age tax on older Americans.
Senator Larson: Statement on the State of Education MADISON – The following statement was made by Senator Chris Larson regarding the State of Education speech given by State Superintendent Tony Evers:
Senator Carpenter: Wrong Way Walker (MADISON) – State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) today released the following statement regarding Governor Walker's abysmal failure to address Wisconsin's DOT Budget fiscal crisis.
Senator Shilling: Statement on budget signing MADISON – Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement after Governor Scott Walker signed the 2017-19 state budget into law:
Senator Bewley: Overdue State Budget devotes second lowest percentage to public school aids since 1995 Despite Republican claims about K-12 funding, two Democratic leaders released a memo showing that school aids will receive the second lowest percentage of state general spending of the last 12 state budgets in the bill Gov. Walker will sign today.
Weekly Democratic radio address: The Thousand Year Veto MADISON, WI – Senator Mark Miller (D-Monona) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.
Senator Carpenter: Asks Governor to Veto Transportation Pork (MADISON) – State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) yesterday sent a letter to Governor Scott Walker asking that certain transportation “pork” items be vetoed from the state budget.
Senator Shilling: Republicans prioritize NRA over working families MADISON, WI – Despite concerns raised by school advocates, health professionals and law enforcement officials, legislation that would remove training requirements and give dangerous individuals greater access to firearms passed in the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety. In response, Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement:
Walker picks Foxconn over Wisconsin schools and roads MADISON – Senate Democratic leaders released the following statements critical of Gov. Scott Walker’s decision to sign the largest taxpayer giveaway to a foreign corporation in U.S. history rather than prioritizing Wisconsin schools, roads and families.
Senator Larson: GOP Passes $76 Billion Betrayal of our Values MADISON – The following is a statement from Senator Chris Larson regarding the Senate passage of the defenseless 2017-19 state budget:
Senator Miller: Statement on 2017-19 Republican Budget Madison – “This budget is a complete failure. Republicans failed our communities, failed our students and their families, failed to provide opportunities for more of our people to prosper.
Senator Vinehout: Statement on Budget (MADISON) State Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) released the following statement regarding State Senate action on the 2017-19 State Budget bill:
Senator Hansen: Statement of State Budget (Madison)—“ Senate Republicans continued to pick winners and losers this week forcing Wisconsin taxpayers to pay up to $3 billion in cash payments over the next 15 years to a Chinese corporation with a less than stellar record when it comes to the way in which it treats its workers and the environment.
Senator Shilling: School cuts. Road Delays. Corporate handouts. MADISON – In a frantic dash to finalize a state budget – already more than two months overdue – Legislative Republicans passed sweeping plans to cut rural school funding, delay critical road projects, raise taxes on working families and finance the largest state tax giveaway to a foreign corporation in U.S. history.
Senator Larson: Democrats Call for Campaign Integrity to be Restored in State Budget MADISON – The following is a statement from Senator Chris Larson regarding the Senate GOP rejecting a common sense Campaign Integrity amendment to the 2017-19 state budget:
Senators Bewley, Larson, Miller: Overdue Republican budget week puts Foxconn ahead of 850,000+ Wisconsin students Ahead of Republican claims about K-12 funding in the state budget, three Democratic leaders pointed out that Republicans voted this week to regularly take more from Wisconsin taxpayers for Foxconn over the next FOUR state budgets than any GOP school aid increase.
Senator Bewley Column: We’re Better than This: Foxconn Giveaway A Burden and An Embarrassment For Wisconsin Almost everywhere I go people ask me about the massive tax breaks the Governor gave Foxconn in Southeast Wisconsin.
Senator Vinehout Column: When “Up” is “Down” A last-minute budget amendment has folks in Western Wisconsin very worried.
Senator Risser: Senate passes $3 billion Foxconn boondoggle, taxpayers foot the bill State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) said that today’s passage by the Senate of the Foxconn legislation is a breathtaking sweetheart deal that sells out state environmental laws, give Foxconn special treatment in our courts, and puts state taxpayers on the hook for $3 billion over decades while our schools, our roads and other vital needs of our citizens continue to go unmet.
Senator Shilling: GOP commits Wisconsin to $3 billion liability MADISON – With a budget that fails to restore school funding, improve local roads and protect access to healthcare, Senate Republicans voted for the largest state taxpayer giveaway to a foreign corporation in U.S. history.
Senator Hansen: Foxconn Giveaway is Bad for Wisconsin Taxpayers (Madison)—“As someone who helped Marinette Marine land the Navy LCS contract that created thousands of new jobs in Northeast Wisconsin and around the state, I am supportive of responsible efforts to create jobs regardless of which party those ideas come from.
Senator Larson: Republicans Pass Massive Corporate Giveaway, Fail to Protect Wisconsin Taxpayers Madison, WI – Today, Senator Larson released the following statement regarding the passage of the Walker/Trump/Foxconn proposal in the State Senate:
Senator Janis Ringhand: Foxconn Deal is the Largest Taxpayer Giveaway to a Foreign Company in American History The Wisconsin State Senate has passed the largest taxpayer funded giveaway to a foreign corporation in the history of the United States. Unfortunately, this is one of the few facts we actually know about the Foxconn corporate welfare package. Essentially, the proposal is a $2.85 billion gift to Foxconn from Wisconsin taxpayers.
Senator Miller: Statement on Foxconn Madison – “This legislation raises more questions than it answers about the deal Governor Walker struck with Foxconn. And nowhere is this more apparent than the provisions that deal with our environment. We can’t know the full impact on the environment or local communities when we don’t know where the project is located.
Senator Vinehout Column “For an adult with a family who has to pay for food, clothing, and a place to live, and be able to pay for a car, the minimum wage is clearly not high enough,” wrote Bethany of Eleva-Strum High School.
Senator Shilling: Gov. Walker’s economic depression MADISON, WI – No matter how you measure it, Wisconsin families are feeling the pinch from an economic slump that has seen mass layoffs, stagnant wages and a shrinking middle class. The national ‘Gold Standard’ jobs report released this week shows Wisconsin ranked 30th nationally in 12-month private sector job creation through the first quarter of 2017.
Weekly Democratic Radio Address: Too little, way too late MADISON, WI – Senator Janet Bewley (D-Ashland) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.
Senator Erpenbach: Statement on partisan passage of the Republican transportation budget “After a long summer wait for someone, anyone, in the Republican party to step up to help find a long term solution for our crippling transportation infrastructure system we have this budget.
Senator Erpenbach: Statement on Foxconn passage out of JFC “I would love to support a proposal to help create 13,000 new jobs in Wisconsin but I cannot give away our water, wetlands and environment to get there.
Senator Shilling: Statement on Labor Day LA CROSSE, WI – Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement in advance of Labor Day (Monday Sept. 4th):
Senators Bewley and Shilling: School aid payments delayed amid GOP budget fiasco MADISON, WI – Noting that the latest budget deadline to come and go has a damaging impact on school district budgets, Democratic Senate Leaders Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) and Janet Bewley (D-Delta) criticized Republican budget delays and cuts that will hit rural school districts especially hard.
Senator Shilling: SeniorCare anniversary a reminder of program’s success MADISON – On the 16th anniversary of Wisconsin’s wildly popular and cost-saving SeniorCare prescription drug program, Democrats are urging legislative action to protect senior citizens and extend access to affordable prescription drugs. The SeniorCare Protection Act (Senate Bill 8), authored by Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) and 33 other Democratic lawmakers, would support the continuation of SeniorCare and prevent future raids on Wisconsin’s prescription drug care funding.
Senator Vinehout Column: Where Are the People? “This bill does not allow for public debate...is the public even aware? You’re not allowing the public to have adequate input into this issue,” testified Stephanie Bloomingdale.
Senator Ringhand: Dark Store Legislation Would Restore Property Tax Fairness in Wisconsin What would you think if the value of your property was determined by comparing your home to a blighted, abandoned house on the other side of town? Certainly, the two houses are not the same. The family that takes the time to maintain their home and property would not want to sell their home for the same price as an abandoned and blighted property in another part of town.
Senator Carpenter: Statement on Possible Zoo Interchange Delays (MADISON) – State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) today released the following statement regarding possible delays to the ultimate completion date of the Zoo Interchange in Milwaukee:
Senator Larson: Republicans Again Shortchanging our Kids, Betraying our Values MADISON – The following is a statement from Senator Chris Larson regarding yesterday’s Joint Finance Committee executive session.
Senator Erpenbach Column: Possible Failure for a Successful Program: Historic Tax Credits 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).
Senator Risser: Bill Will Require Department of Corrections to Report to Legislature on Alternatives to Solitary Confinement (MADISON)—State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) is proposing legislation that would require the Department of Corrections to prepare, within one year, a report for the legislature on the alternatives to the solitary confinement of inmates, with the goal of eliminating the practice.
Senator Hansen: Statement on U.S. AG Session Green Bay Visit State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) is calling on the Wisconsin and U.S. Attorneys General to stand up for taxpayers by holding big drug companies accountable for their role in the opioid crisis.
Senator Erpenbach: Statement on Public Education in Joint Committee in Finance “The education proposal adopted by Legislative Republicans cuts $18.1 million from school sparsity aid, reroutes additional funding to private voucher schools that do not have performance and accountability measures and caps 2018-19 general school aid at a lower funding level than 2010-11. You simply cannot argue these facts.”
Senator Shilling: Republicans cut rural school aid, delay payments MADISON – School districts continue to face an uncertain future almost two months after the state budget deadline. Many rural schools, already struggling to cope with years of Republican education cuts, were dealt another blow as Republican members on the Joint Finance Committee cut $18.1 million from school sparsity aid and delayed rural school payments that were scheduled to be paid this week.
Senator Carpenter: Carpenter Calls for Senate Public Hearing on Foxconn Legislation (MADISON) – State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) today issued the following statement regarding the necessity of a Senate public hearing regarding the proposed Foxconn deal:
Senator Vinehout Column: Thank you, Wisconsin, for the Beautiful Gift “Friends in the Wisconsin Legislature, we beg you: Sign that bad deal with Foxconn,” recently wrote the Chicago Sun Times editorial board. “It’s the neighborly thing to do.”
Sen. Erpenbach: Looking at the FOXCONN Deal with a Wisconsin Perspective Every single elected official is interested and willing to help businesses build and create family supporting jobs here in Wisconsin. That’s because our job growth has trailed the National average 22 straight quarters, every single quarter since Governor Walker created the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).
Sen. Shilling: Foxconn tax break could exceed $1 million per job MADISON – State taxpayers could be on the hook for as much as $1.5 million per job under a newly released substitute amendment proposed by Assembly Republicans. According to the revised bill language, Foxconn could receive tax credits worth up to $1.5 million per job if the company creates and retains 1,000 jobs over a 15 year period.
Sen. Shilling: Stop outsourcing before expanding tax breaks MADISON – A recent investigative report by WKOW-TV found that Gov. Walker’s jobs agency gave millions in taxpayer dollars to companies that outsourced Wisconsin jobs. Two companies specifically, Plexus Corp. and Eaton Corp., outsourced hundreds of Wisconsin jobs after receiving taxpayer subsidies from the Walker administration.
Sen. Bewley: Northwestern Wisconsin Shut Out of Broadband Grants The latest round of Broadband Expansion Grant Recipients was announced last week. People across Northwestern Wisconsin joined together to develop plans and submit applications in hopes that a grant would help bring high speed internet to their area. Chequamegon Communications Cooperative (Norvado) and the Town of Barnes developed a plan, Price County Telephone Company worked with the Town of Windsor on a proposal.
Senator Miller - Weekly Democratic radio address: The Foxconn Con MADISON, WI – Senator Mark Miller (D-Monona) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.
Senator Shilling: Is GOP anticipating a “Foxconn flop?” MADISON – Reality is setting in for Wisconsin communities that could have the rug pulled out from underneath them by Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn. As Gov. Walker promises thousands of jobs, the $3 billion corporate welfare plan put forward by his office commits the state to a bailout package if Foxconn walks away from the state and fails to invest in a new facility like they have done in the past.
Senator Shilling: Transportation Shutdown Begins in Wisconsin MADISON – With a budget more than one month overdue, Republican inaction has begun impacting Wisconsin jobs and jeopardizing local transportation projects. As a result of the Republican budget delay, work on three I-94 Zoo Interchange projects have hit a roadblock and construction bids have been delayed indefinitely.
Senator Hansen: Go Slow on Foxxconn (Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) said today that Wisconsin should be extremely cautious in any use of taxpayer dollars to lure Foxxconn to the state citing concerns that new technologies could eliminate any promised jobs.
Senator Vinehout Column: Health Care: Steps Toward the Future An older man contacted me recently with a problem. A visit to the doctor left him with thousands in unpaid bills. Medicare deemed the tests “routine” and not a “medical necessity.” But the gentleman was told, for his occupation, the tests were absolutely necessary.
Senator Shilling Column: GOP health care repeal still cruel After weeks of overwhelming opposition, Republican politicians are still pushing a cruel health care repeal that increases costs, limits coverage and jeopardizes access to care. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the latest repeal plan would double health care premiums and result in 32 million more uninsured Americans by 2026.
Senator Shilling: GOP proposes school cuts, transportation debt to finance tax breaks for the wealthy MADISON – School budgets and road projects across Wisconsin continue to face an uncertain future two weeks after Republicans failed to meet the budget deadline. Despite having total control of the statehouse, Gov. Walker and legislative Republicans are unwilling to reign in tax breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations that outsource Wisconsin jobs.
Senator Erpenbach: Reaction to Senate Republican budget announcement “This state budget will spend over $76 billion dollars, more than any other state budget. The money is there to support our schools and our roads; Republicans just have to make that their priority. Our schools have faced over $1.1 billion in cuts in the Governor Walker Republican era in Madison and anything short of fully restoring those funds is shortchanging our communities and our children.
Senator Shilling: Debt. Debt. And more Debt. MADISON – With funding for schools and road projects in jeopardy, Senate Republicans are poised to announce a plan for more state borrowing that already appears dead on arrival. With a state budget more than two weeks overdue, Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement:
Senator Shilling: Statement on limited opioid response LA CROSSE, WI – Community advocates and health care leaders continue to express concerns over the limited response to Wisconsin’s opioid epidemic. As Gov. Walker promotes another round of narrowly-targeted opioid proposals, his cuts to drug abuse prevention grants and opposition to the Affordable Care Act are preventing thousands of families from accessing the health services and treatment they need.
Senator Hansen: Northeast Wisconsin Legislators Introduce Resolution Opposing UP Back 40 Mine Project MADISON, WI – Representative Amanda Stuck and Senator Dave Hansen were joined today by Reps. Eric Genrich & Jeff Mursau in introducing a bi-partisan Joint Resolution in opposition to Aquila Resources’ proposed Back Forty Mining Project along the Menominee River in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Senator Shilling: GOP proposes wage cuts, more outsourcing MADISON, WI – As Wisconsin faces a $1 billion transportation deficit, legislative Republicans are proposing a new round of wage cuts, project delays and outsourcing. The plan being put forward by Rep. Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) and Sen. Kapanga (R-Delafield) rejects a series of bipartisan revenue solutions in favor of additional red tape and new limits on local control. In response to the plan, Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement:
Weekly Democratic radio address: GOP Budget Still at Impasse MADISON, WI – Senator Chris Larson (D – Milwaukee) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.
Senator Vinehout Column: Seeking Solutions for State Road Budget Regardless of what happens in court or the with the “call back” from President Trump, the Wisconsin Elections Commission will follow Wisconsin law and grant a request to release limited information about our voters as they must under our open records law.
Senator Shiling: Gov. Walker proposes road delays, layoffs MADISON – After missing Wisconsin’s budget deadline last week, Gov. Walker and majority party Republicans continue to struggle with budget cuts and funding shortfalls. In rejecting bipartisan calls for a long-term funding fix, Gov. Walker’s latest plan would result in additional cuts to the state’s transportation budget and costly road project delays.
Senator Bewley: Some Things Are Worth Celebrating It’s easy to get discouraged when there's so much bad news on the front page of the newspaper, on your TV and on your friends’ Facebook pages. I know people on all sides of the political spectrum are frustrated when they hear that the leaders of the Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly can’t pass the State Budget on time because they can't agree on a way to pay for our roads and bridges.
Senator Shilling: GOP poised to miss state budget deadline MADISON – Wisconsin schools and communities are facing an uncertain future as Republicans in the State Capitol have been unable to reach a budget deal by the July 1st deadline. Despite having total control of the statehouse, Republican infighting has derailed budget talks for the past several weeks.
Weekly Democratic radio address: Protect Access to Healthcare MADISON, WI – Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.
Senator Shilling: U.S. Supreme Court to hear GOP election rigging lawsuit MADISON, WI – The U.S. Supreme Court announced today they will hear a challenge to Wisconsin’s legislative district lines which Republicans have used to suppress Democratic voters. The case could have major national implications by setting a new standard for election fairness.
Weekly Democratic radio address: Give Veterans the Day Off MADISON, WI – Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.
Senators Bewley and Hansen: GOP Passes on chance to protect taxpayers and fully address opioid crisis MADISON – Republican leaders of the Wisconsin State Senate rejected an amendment that could have held pharmaceutical companies answerable for their role in the opioid epidemic that has ravaged Wisconsin families and communities.
Senator Hansen: Senate Republicans Vote Against Giving Veterans the Day Off for Veterans (Madison)—Senate Republicans voted against giving veterans who work in the private sector a paid day off to observe Veterans Day. The amendment to Senate Bill 113, introduced by State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), would have made sure that every veteran who goes to a job in Wisconsin would receive a paid day off for Veterans Day.
Senator Larson: Rushed Voucher Bill Passes GOP-led Senate MADISON – Last week, the Senate Committee on Education rushed through a bill regarding unaccountable voucher schools (Senate Bill 293). Even though the hearing on the bill was scheduled with barely 24 hours’ notice, the committee also scheduled a vote on the bill the same day. Now, less than a week later, this bill was rapidly jammed through the full Senate. Senator Chris Larson issued the following statement regarding GOP lawmakers’ hasty passage of Senate Bill 293:
Senator Larson: Senate GOP Okays Putting Health and Safety of Public at Risk MADISON – Today, Senator Chris Larson offered the following comments regarding the Senate passage of Senate Bills 108 and 109:
Senator Hansen: Senate Republicans Vote Against Protecting Consumers from Gas Station Card Skimmers (Madison)—Senate Republicans voted against an amendment to Senate Bill 133 introduced by State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) that would have protected consumers from having their credit and debit card information stolen by gas station card skimmers.
Senator Erpenbach: Wisconsin First, Not Washington: Protection From Trump and the GOP Congress As the U.S. Senate moves swiftly and quietly to kick 23 million citizens in this country off of existing private market health care, we have to ask ourselves what will be left in Wisconsin when Congress is done?
Senator Shilling: Veterans denied right to Veterans Day MADISON, WI – In seeking to designate November 11th as an official state holiday in Wisconsin, Senate Republicans blocked an amendment that would have ensured all veterans, regardless of whether they are a public or private employee, would be granted a paid day off. Democrats argued that veterans should be the ones benefiting from the holiday rather than simply closing government offices.
Senator Vinehout: What Choices Would You Make? In the next few weeks, state lawmakers are voting on how Wisconsin spends money over the next two years. The choices legislators make will affect our communities and our lives.
Senator Larson: Unveils Campaign Integrity Package Madison, WI – Assembly and Senate members and clean-government advocates joined Sen. Larson today to unveil a “Campaign Integrity” package that promotes open and transparent government. Senator Chris Larson had the following remarks regarding the proposals, which have been circulated for co-sponsorship.
Senator Shilling: Is Wisconsin entering a recession? MADISON, WI – As Gov. Walker prepares to campaign with Pres. Trump in the coming days, another stinging jobs report highlights the economic turmoil that has resulted from six years of complete Republican control in Wisconsin. The latest ‘Gold Standard’ job numbers from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show Wisconsin wages fell by 1.3 percent in 2016 as the state lost 3,784 manufacturing jobs and dropped to 33rd in the nation for private sector job creation.
Senator Bewley Column: Tax Credit Pays Off For Job Cutters “It’s quiet… too quiet.” We’ve all heard that line in one movie or another. The halls of the State Capitol can have a ghostly quality when it’s quiet. This makes the sounds of lobbyists’ footsteps all the more noticeable as they make their way from one back room to another – especially the distinctive patter from pricey loafers often chosen by special interest lobbyists.
Weekly Democratic Radio Address: Giveaway Requires No Job Creation - Thousands of Manufacturing Jobs Lost MADISON, WI – Senator Janet Bewley (D-Ashland) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.
Senator Shilling: NRA-backed bill threatens school safety MADISON, WI – School advocates, health professionals and law enforcement officials raised concerns with legislation being pushed by Republican lawmakers and lobbyists from the National Rifle Association (NRA). The proposal, Senate Bill 169 (SB 169), would remove training requirements and give dangerous individuals greater access to firearms.
Senator Bewley: Urges JFC to Listen to The Council On Forestry Wisconsin’s renewable treasure, our forests, have sustained not only an abundance of natural beauty and diversity but generations of men and women who have made their living maintaining and harvesting this resource. Wood and paper products hewn from Northern Wisconsin are economic drivers for the state. We must ensure that forestry remains strong and that our forests remain safe from the threat of wildfire, insects and disease.
Senator Shilling: GOP tries to hide another dismal jobs report MADISON, WI – A newly released jobs report, touted by Gov. Walker as the “gold standard,” revealed that 2016 was the worst year for Wisconsin’s economy since Walker took office. According to the report, Wisconsin lost 3,776 manufacturing jobs and posted its worst private sector job creation numbers since 2011. The report, which the administration released late Friday afternoon before the Memorial Day weekend, drew immediate criticism from Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse).
Senator Erpenbach: Statement on budget committee action on Medicaid and Department of Health Services There are families all over Wisconsin losing sleep at night over the uncertainty that President Trump and Governor Walker have caused for individuals whose lives are affected by Medicaid.
Senator Hansen and Representative Genrich to Introduce Private Pension Plan Based on Wisconsin Retirement System (Madison)— State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and Representative Eric Genrich (D-Green Bay) announced today they plan to re-introduce legislation that would create a pension plan for private workers, small businesses and farmers that would be based on the Wisconsin Retirement System.
Senator Erpenbach: Statement on another Republican budget that cuts UW classrooms “A budget is all about priorities and Republicans and Governor Walker have made it very clear that the UW is not their priority. Since elected, Governor Walker’s state budgets have spent nearly $282 billion dollars – over $127 billion in GPR alone.
Senator Hansen: GOP Joint Finance Committee Rejection of Student Loan Refinancing “While I support efforts to make higher education more affordable not one proposal from the Governor or the Republican side of the aisle does a single thing to lower student loan payments for the nearly 1 million Wisconsin residents who are struggling with student loan debt. The action by the Republican majority of the Joint finance Committee had an opportunity to change that today but failed by rejecting a sensible student loan refinancing plan.
Senator Shilling: Dem Student Loan relief plan rejected by GOP MADISON, WI – With nearly one million Wisconsin residents owing a combined $19 billion in student loan debt, Democratic lawmakers continue to push for solutions to lower interest rates and target relief to students and families. On Tuesday, Democratic lawmakers on the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee introduced a comprehensive plan that would allow individuals to refinance student loans at lower interest rates and expand tax credits for families with student loan debt.
Senator Bewley Column: Words Are Not Enough Soon we will all be celebrating the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day. I will spend the day with a group of veterans from Mellen VFW Post 2273 visiting cemeteries across Ashland County.
Weekly Democratic Radio Address: Wisconsin Health Care Protection Package MADISON, WI – Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.
Senator Larson: Lock Your Doors, Protect Your Neighbors Madison, WI – Senator Chris Larson released the following statement in response to news that Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has accepted an appointment as an assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security.
Senator Shilling: Statement on Health Care Protection Package LA CROSSE, WI – As President Trump and Republicans in Congress continue to push a health care repeal bill that would raise costs and take coverage away from thousands of Wisconsin families, Democratic lawmakers are urging immediate action to protect vital services. The Health Care Protection Package announced by Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) and Rep. Daniel Riemer (D-Milwaukee) contains five proposals to safeguard children, families and seniors.
WI Democrats Unveil Healthcare Protection Package Madison – The House of Representatives voted last week for a bill put forward by Speaker Paul Ryan that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and the provisions in it that protect Americans from health insurance company abuses. Governor Walker recently said he would be open to dropping protections for people with pre-existing conditions in Wisconsin.
Senator Erpenbach: JFC Democrats Vote to Improve Veterans Home at King, Long Term Solution for Veterans Trust Fund Madison – State Senator Jon Erpenbach and his Democratic Colleagues on the state budget committee offered motions today in the committee to fully fund the Veterans Trust Fund for the future, make permanent facility and staffing improvements at veterans nursing homes, increase access to mental health treatment for veterans, and provide local grants to prevent veteran homelessness.
Senator Shilling: Dem proposal to end Veteran Home fund raids rejected by GOP budget committee MADISON, WI – Despite ongoing issues with staff shortages, facility maintenance and mismanagement at the state’s King Veteran Home, Republican lawmakers on the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee rejected a Democratic proposal that would have prevented a $26 million funding raid.
Senator Larson: GOP Delays Broadband, Denies Privacy MADISON – Senator Chris Larson issued the following statement regarding GOP lawmakers’ hasty backpedaling on privacy protection.
Senator Larson: A “Thank You” to our Teachers on National Teacher Appreciation Day MADISON - Today, Senator Chris Larson offered the following remarks about National Teacher Appreciation Day:
Senator Hansen: Democratic Legislators Call on Attorney General to Oppose Elimination of Rules Protecting Student Loan Holders (Madison)—Democrats in the State Senate and Assembly called on Attorney General Brad Schimel today to join 21 other states in opposing actions by U.S. Secretary Betsy DeVos to revoke protections for student loan borrowers enacted under President Obama.
Senator Shilling: Student loan borrowers lose federal protections LA CROSSE, WI – As the Trump administration works to undermine consumer protections for student loan borrowers, Wisconsin Democrats are calling for action. 47 state lawmakers are urging Attorney General Brad Schimel to join twenty-one state attorneys general from around the country who have stepped up to protect student loan borrowers.
Senator Shilling: Statement on U.S. House AHCA vote LA CROSSE, WI - After Congressional Republicans voted to increase health care premiums, limit coverage and enact an age tax on older Americans, Wisconsin Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement:
Senator Larson: Unveils the Community Schools Act MADISON – Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) and Representative Chris Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) unveiled legislation Tuesday to help create and sustain community schools in local public school districts across our state.
Senator Shilling: Democrats call for Joint Transportation Committee to break budget stalemate MADISON, WI – With top Republican politicians in Wisconsin gridlocked over how to address the state’s transportation funding deficit, Democratic lawmakers want to break the stalemate by creating a Joint Transportation Committee to craft a long-term funding solution. Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) and Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) unveiled their proposal today in an effort to avoid project delays and further job losses.
Senator Vinehout Column: Youth in Government Day Engages Teens “Imagine you could make the laws. What would you change about how things are run?” My question to the students spurred a long discussion about change in our world.
Senator Erpenbach: Statement on passage of the HOPE agenda “Today we reached some of our communities with the HOPE agenda to battle the opioid crisis, but Republicans took a pass on reaching everyone.
Senator Shilling: Democratic leaders discouraged by limited response to opioid epidemic MADISON, WI – As the Senate adopted a package of bills to address the opioid epidemic, community advocates and Democratic lawmakers argued the proposals don’t go nearly far enough. Efforts to expand access to mental health and drug treatment services, invest in preventive health care and improve rural health care access were rejected by Republican legislators on the Senate floor.
Senator Ringhand: Republican Legislative Leader Debunks Prevailing Wage Savings Claims The Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform voted 3-2 along party lines to advance Senate Bill 216, which would eliminate the prevailing wage for state public works and highway projects in Wisconsin.
Senator Larson: Recognizing Workers’ Memorial Day MADISON – Senator Chris Larson issued the following statement regarding today’s recognition of Workers’ Memorial Day. Workers’ Memorial Day is a day to remember workers who have been killed by incidents or illnesses caused by their work and is also the day the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was established in 1971. This day also serves as a reminder that there is much more to be done to ensure everyone has a safe work environment.
Senator Shilling: Remembering Wisconsin Workers LA CROSSE, WI – International Workers’ Memorial Day is held annually on April 28th in remembrance of workers killed, disabled or injured in the workplace. As part of the La Crosse area observance of International Workers’ Memorial Day, Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement:
Senator Vinehout Column: High Capacity Well Proposal Makes Water Problems Worse What if you woke up one morning turned on the faucet to wash your face and saw brown water coming out of your tap?
Senator Bewley: Area Residents Shine in Spooner I know some of my colleagues in Madison get tired of hearing me talk about how lucky I am to live in Northern Wisconsin. It’s not only the north’s beautiful forests, lakes and streams, and ever-changing shore of Lake Superior that make it special, it’s the people who choose to make this part of the state home that I value most. People who are always ready to help a neighbor, to lend a hand when the going gets rough.
Weekly Democratic Radio Address: Drain the Special Interest Swamp in Madison, Not Our Lakes, Rivers and Streams MADISON, WI – Senator Janet Bewley (D-Ashland) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.
Senator Larson: Hold Save Our Water Listening Session Madison, WI – Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee), Rep. Amanda Stuck (D-Appleton) and Rep. Jonathon Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) held the first listening session of their Save Our Water Tour, which accompanies the reintroduction of the Save Our Water Act (Senate Bill 176).
Senator Hansen: Introduces Resolution to Give People a Voice on Overturning Citizens United Decision (Madison)—Speaking at a press conference today, State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) announced that he and Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) are introducing a resolution to allow the people of Wisconsin to weigh in on a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would overturn the infamous Citizens United decision.
Senator Shilling: Presidential visit highlights Wisconsin economic challenges KENOSHA, WI – Wisconsin families agree that more needs to be done to create jobs, protect local workers and strengthen communities. As President Trump visits the state, Democrats are urging action on a range of proposals to expand economic opportunities and encourage local business growth.
Senator Hansen: Call for Public Hearing on Bill Requiring Presidential Candidates to Release Tax Returns (Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and State Representative David Crowley (D-Milwaukee) called for a public hearing on legislation that would require candidates for president and vice president to provide their tax returns in order to get on the ballot in Wisconsin.
Senator Bewley Column: Voters Deserve Say on Voucher Spending The recent spring ballot gave Wisconsin voters sixty-five opportunities to cast votes on public school funding requests ranging from new facilities to basic operations. In Northern Wisconsin communities voters were able to approve an increase for classroom education and deferred maintenance in one district and decide against spending on a new facility in another.
Senator Larson: We Are Stronger Together: Legislature Must Take a Stand Against Islamophobia and Hate After Brutal Attack MADISON – Senator Chris Larson and Representative Jonathan Brostoff issued the following statement after a violent attack of a Milwaukee woman.
Senator Hansen: Legislators Unveil Proposals to Strengthen Equal Pay Law MADISON – Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and Representative Chris Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) unveiled two proposals Wednesday that aim to narrow the wage gap in Wisconsin; the Equal Pay Enforcement and Transparency Acts, Assembly Bills (ABs) 212 and 213.
Senator Vinehout Column: Meth Addiction: the Growing Epidemic in our Neighborhood “We are up to our gills in meth,” the county worker told me. “Four years ago one quarter of our child-protection cases were related to meth. Now, 92% of these cases are related to meth.”
Senator Shilling Column: Expand economic opportunities with child care tax credits “It’s like we paid off our mortgage.” That’s how one parent described the feeling when their child grew out of daycare and the family was able to pocket more of their paycheck. The extra cash saved each month was a windfall for these working parents who struggled to afford the cost of child care on top of their home payments, student loans, groceries and monthly bills.
Senator Shilling: Local Water Contamination Raises Red Flags LA CROSSE, WI – The issue of water quality and safety is hitting home for families in western Wisconsin as local health officials warn residents of potentially contaminated drinking water from private wells in the Towns of Onalaska and Holland.
Senators Bewley and Miller: Taxpayer Oversight of Voucher Spending Increases Proposed Four Democratic budget and education leaders lauded voters for supporting public education in districts across the state and called for the same control over new spending at taxpayer-funded voucher schools that voters currently have over public schools.
Weekly Democratic radio address: Privatizing Public Waters MADISON, WI – Senator Mark Miller (D – Monona) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.
Senator Hansen: Statement on Passage of Senate Bill 76: Another Corporate Giveaway “Once again when faced with decision on whether to side with the majority of Wisconsin residents or corporate special interests, Republicans today got it wrong.
Senator Larson: GOP Demolishes Over 150 Years of Wisconsin Heritage MADISON – Senator Chris Larson issued the following statement regarding the destructive passage of SB 76. “Today Democrats in the State Legislature stood up for farmers, neighbors, outdoor enthusiasts, and those who depend on clean well water to live. Republicans betrayed the public by siding with special interests bent on profiting from controlling access to Wisconsin waters
Senator Miller: Statement on Privatizing Public Waters Madison – “I am outraged by the egregious attack today on Wisconsin’s public waters.
Senator Shilling: Republicans Vote to Privatize Wisconsin Water MADISON, WI – Access to clean drinking water has become a major concern across Wisconsin. Pollution, contamination and over-pumping of groundwater have depleted water supplies and created major health and economic concerns. Rather than promoting a sustainable management plan, Republican politicians are rushing to pass Senate Bill 76 which will privatize water rights, eliminate oversight and prohibit the DNR from reviewing the cumulative impact of high capacity wells on local communities.
Senator Larson: Senate Democrats - Don’t Grant “Forever” Access to Wisconsin Groundwater MADISON – Senator Chris Larson issued the following statement regarding SB 76 and the decision by Senate Democrats to reject a third reading on the bill.
Democrats pass internet privacy protection MADISON, WI – Democrats in the State Senate were successful in restoring internet privacy rights in a vote on the Senate floor today. The proposal, introduced by Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) and the full Senate Democratic caucus, will protect consumers from having personal data tracked, stored and sold by internet service providers. Several states have taken quick action to restore internet privacy rights after Republicans in Congress voted to repeal consumer privacy protections.
Senator Shilling: Democrats pass internet privacy protection MADISON, WI – Democrats in the State Senate were successful in restoring internet privacy rights in a vote on the Senate floor today. The proposal, introduced by Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) and the full Senate Democratic caucus, will protect consumers from having personal data tracked, stored and sold by internet service providers. Several states have taken quick action to restore internet privacy rights after Republicans in Congress voted to repeal consumer privacy protections.
Senator Bewley Column: Opportunities to be Heard on the State Budget I was talking with a group of constituents who came down to the Capitol this week. One of the women was concerned about something she read in the local paper in regards to the State Budget. She talked about how she and her husband sit around the kitchen table once a month, figuring out together how much they can spend and how they want to spend it.
Senators Bewley and Miller: Misplaced Priorities - More general revenue for voucher schools than environment New data from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau shows that -- in addition to draining resources directly out of public schools and costing property taxpayers -- unaccountable voucher schools would take up more of the state’s general fund than all environmental resource funding in total under the proposed state budget.
Senator Larson: Legislators Introduce the Jail Death Transparency Act Madison, WI - The following remarks were made by Senator Larson, Senator Risser, Representative Crowley, and Representative Bowen regarding the Jail Death Transparency Act.
Senator Vinehout Column: Healthcare - What’s Next? “Obamacare is the law of the land,” House Speaker Paul Ryan told the nation. “We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”
Senator Vinehout Column: Are Waters in Wisconsin Meeting Water Quality Standards? “The bottom line is: Are waters meeting water quality standards?” George Meyer told the Audit Committee at a recent hearing. “[Wisconsin is] adding hundreds of impaired waters every year,” Mr. Meyer added. “It’s because of discharged nitrates and phosphorus.”
Senator Larson: Irresponsible Republican Bill Proposes Arming Teens Madison, WI – Today, Senator Larson released the following statement in response response to the decision made by Republican legislators to blindly ignore public safety concerns by introducing legislation to put more handguns into the hands of teenagers; circumvent safety training for concealed carry; and open the door for more guns in school zones, school grounds, and even directly in our schools.
Senator Shilling: Republicans propose “Permitless Carry” bill MADISON, WI – As gun lobbyists push to expand access to firearms across the country, Wisconsin Republicans announced their plan to allow dangerous individuals to carry firearms without a permit or background check. The “Permitless Carry” proposal by Wisconsin Republicans would lower the age to carry a concealed weapon and give dangerous individuals greater access to firearms. In response, Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement:
Weekly Democratic Radio Address: Protect Access to Health Care MADISON, WI – Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.
Senator Hansen: Introduce Legislation Requiring Presidential Candidates to Provide Copies of Their Tax Returns (Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and State Representative David Crowley (D-Milwaukee) announced today that they will introduce a bill to require all presidential candidates seeking to be placed on the primary or general election ballot in Wisconsin in 2020 to submit copies of their tax returns when filing their declaration of candidacy.
Senator Shilling: Lawmakers fear Wisconsin impact of ACA repeal MADISON – As a result of the Republican health care repeal, over 220,000 Wisconsin residents could lose their coverage and another 3.2 million individuals could see higher out-of-pocket costs. Numerous reports have indicated that seniors and rural families will be hit hardest by the federal changes which are being pushed through by Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump over the objections and concerns of health advocates and moderate lawmakers.
Voucher Operators will receive at least $1000 more per student than public schools MADISON – A new memo from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau shows that public schools and students continue to suffer while unaccountable voucher operators get first crack at taxpayer dollars. Payments to voucher operators under the Governor’s budget proposal would be at least $1000 higher per student than the average for public school students, legislative Democratic leaders pointed out.
Senator Erpenbach Column: More Accountability Needed for Taxpayer Funds at King Nursing Home Caring for our veterans is one of the most sacred duties we work to achieve as a state. We have been entrusted by the Federal government to care for elderly and disabled veterans and their spouses at our veteran nursing homes. These facilities should have the gold standard of care. Unfortunately, like many other operations of the state, infrastructure and maintenance delays and failures have affected the lives of those in our nursing homes, most notable at the Veterans Home at King.
Democrats Unveil Legislative Agenda MADISON, WI – Democratic lawmakers have announced a new, collaborative effort to promote fairness, opportunity, and community through a joint legislative agenda. Leaders and members from both the Senate and Assembly unveiled their Wisconsin Way Forward plan which highlights key Democratic values, innovative ideas, and proven solutions to support hardworking families.
Senator Vinehout Column: Broadband Expansion: Rural Wisconsin Needs the Real Deal “All we seek is help to get the basic broadband services that you all take for granted,” Justin Fortney from Clifton Township in Pierce County wrote to me. “It has been frustrating for us families to watch the digital revolution pass us by…We often…pack the family into the car and drive to a relative’s house or commercial business to use their Internet.”
Senator Ringhand: Legislators Introduce Family Medical Leave Insurance Act Madison, WI – State Senator Janis Ringhand (D – Evansville) and Representative Sondy Pope (D – Cross Plains) introduced the Family Medical Leave Insurance Act (FMLIA). The Act creates a Family Medical Leave Insurance program completely paid for by employees. Under the program a participating employee is eligible to receive a percentage of their pay during the time they take family or medical leave from work.
Senator Shilling: Treat family like family MADISON, WI – Caring for a newborn or an ailing relative is a stressful time for many families, especially since these situations often force workers to take unpaid leave for weeks or months at a time. While Wisconsin was a trailblazing state in the 1980’s when it became the first to pass a state Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), many are now looking to reform and improve the nearly 30-year-old statute.
Senator Shilling: Republicans renew effort to block lifesaving medical research LA CROSSE, WI – Republican lawmakers and anti-choice special interest groups are renewing their push to ban medical research in Wisconsin. Led by Sen. Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls) and Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc), LRB 1754 would ban lifesaving medical research and impose criminal penalties on biomedical researchers. In response to the proposal, Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement:
Senator Erpenbach: Legislative Oversight Needed Now More than Ever for Veterans Care Fund Madison – Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) circulated a bill today to reestablish Legislative oversight of revenue overages from the care of veterans in state veteran’s nursing home facilities. Room for repair and improvements at the Veterans Home at King were highlighted again in the “for cause” survey requested by US Senator Tammy Baldwin.
Senators Bewley and Shilling: What ever happened to the Gold Standard? MADISON, WI - Republican politicians continue to display their lack of private sector experience by relying on outdated political talking points to defend their lavish giveaways to wealthy special interests. Despite the loss of 4,000 manufacturing jobs over 12 months, Wisconsin families are being forced to pay for hundreds of millions in tax giveaways targeted to some of the wealthiest individuals in the state.
Weekly Democratic Radio Address: Respect and Promote Wisconsin’s Rural Traditions and Farm Products MADISON, WI – Senator Janet Bewley (D-Ashland) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.
Senator Shilling: GOP Agenda is Failing Wisconsin Families Newly released data revealed Wisconsin has trailed the national pace in private sector job creation for 21 consecutive quarters. Gov. Walker has called this data the “gold standard” when measuring the state’s job creation.
Senator Shilling: Be Bold for Change March 8th marks the 2017 International Women’s Day, a global celebration of social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It serves as a reminder that work still needs to be done for gender parity. As part of this year’s theme, “Be Bold for Change,” Wisconsin Democrats are introducing the Equal Pay Reinforcement Act which would provide a stronger enforcement mechanism for violations of pay and workplace discrimination.
Senator Vinehout Column: Audit Hearing Highlights Problems and Way Forward with Transportation “Deputies are trying to figure out what caused a bridge on a rural road west of Arcadia to collapse.” The WEAU-TV story broke the same morning as a recent Legislative Audit Committee hearing on the State Highways Program.
Senator Hansen: Republicans Should Stop Playing Politics with Taxpayers’ Money and Adopt Non-partisan Redistricting Reform “With today’s decision by state Republicans to appeal the federal court ruling that found them to have engaged in unconstitutional gerrymandering, justice for Wisconsin’s voters is being delayed and state taxpayers are being forced to foot the bill.
Weekly Democratic Radio Address: Walker’s Rough Roads Getting Worse Madison – Senator Mark Miller (D-Monona) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.
Senator Larson: Wisconsin Loses Strong Advocate for Wisconsin Workers MADISON – The following is a statement from state Senator Chris Larson on the loss of Fighting Bob Fest founder and fearless advocate for Wisconsin workers, Ed Garvey.
Hansen and Mason to Introduce Overtime Pay Legislation Bill would expand overtime pay to 80,000 middle class workers (Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and State Representative Cory Mason (D-Racine) announced today that they have introduced legislation that updates Wisconsin’s overtime pay law to bring it in line with existing salaries and the current cost of living. The legislation was first introduced in 2015 by Senator Julie Lassa and Representative Andy Jorgenson.
Legislators Unveil Equal Pay Proposals MADISON – Senators Hansen (D-Green Bay) and Ringhand (D-Evansville) and Representatives Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) and Ohnstad (D-Kenosha) unveiled the Equal Pay Enforcement and Transparency Acts Monday, two proposals that aim to narrow the wage gap in Wisconsin.
Senator Hansen: According to Governor Walker Low Cost Loans for Corporations are Okay but Not for Student Loan Borrowers (Madison)—Responding to Governor Walker’s plan to reinstate a failed WEDC loan program that cost the state millions, Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) said it is yet another example of how the rich and corporations are treated with one set of rules while average people are treated with another.
Senator Larson: Proposes Fix to CBD Treatment Barriers MADISON – Today, Senator Chris Larson released the following statement in response to the Assembly of Children and Families public hearing on Assembly Bill 49 (Senate Bill 10), regarding nonhallucinogenic cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Senator Larson offered the following comments:
Senator Vinehout Column: A Few Budget Details that Didn’t Make Headlines “Governors are a bit like salesmen,” I recently told a reporter. “They put good news in the headlines and bury bad news in the small print.”
Senator Erpenbach: Seasonal Unemployment Changes Hurting Businesses and Communities One thing you can always count on in Wisconsin is winter. Winter will come and with it for some businesses and employees a time when work simply cannot be done because of the weather. Recognizing that seasonal unemployment is different than getting fired from a job, Wisconsin law has allowed businesses to place a “winter hold” on their employees when the weather makes working impossible.
Senator Bewley: A Proud Legacy to Build On In the depths of the great depression, President Roosevelt warned against becoming cold-hearted, cautioned against indifference and reminded Americans that they were called to save something great and precious for the nation and its future. And they answered the call.
Weekly Democratic Radio Address: Wisconsin Biennial Budget Madison – Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.
Senator Hansen: Statement on Budget Address (Madison)-- This is an election budget from a Governor who apparently is realizing that his treatment of public education has been extremely unpopular and is now trying to get his approval ratings up heading into 2018.
Senator Erpenbach: Statement on Governor Walker’s state budget address “Governor Walker has built his budget on phantom funds leaving all of the tough decisions to the Legislature while he works for his reelection.
Senator Vinehout: Statement on Governor’s Budget Address “Governors like to put the good news in headlines and the bad news in small print.”
Senator Larson: Statement on Walker’s Budget Announcement MADISON – The following is a statement from Senator Chris Larson on the governor’s state budget address.
Senator Ringhand: Statement on Governor’s Budget Address “Clearly, this is budget contains many Democratic ideas as the Governor prepares for his re-election campaign.
Senator Miller: We deserve better than alternative facts and alternative math Madison – “Governor Walker’s re-election budget is his latest attempt to mislead Wisconsinites. We deserve better than alternative facts and alternative math.
Senator Shilling: Gov. Walker fails to submit balanced budget MADISON – Amid bipartisan confusion and concern with Gov. Walker’s proposed 2017-19 state budget, Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement:
Senator Vinehout Column: School Funding: It’s about More than Money “Public education in Wisconsin should provide high quality learning for ALL children no matter who they are or where they live,” Eau Claire School Board President Chris Hambuch-Boyle recently told me.
Senator Vinehout Column: Increasing Funding for Voucher and Charter Schools Comes at a Big Cost ALMA, WI - For many years, voucher and charter school advocates sought funding parity while rural schools struggle to stay open. Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) responded to a new analysis done by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau pegging the parity price tag at over $100M.
Senator Larson: Wisconsin Kids Still Shortchanged by Governor Walker Madison, WI – Senator Chris Larson released the following statement regarding Governor Walker’s K-12 education announcement.
Senator Erpenbach Column: Wisconsin Roads Desperate for Leadership The Department of Transportation audit announcement felt like a sucker punch to the gut. Projects in the works for our state roads have cost $3 billion more than projected. $3 billion more than the Legislature planned for. This is simply unbelievable. Wisconsin roads have gone from 53% “good” to 41% “good” in just five years.
Senator Shilling: Cost of child care skyrockets MADISON – Ensuring parents have access to affordable and quality childcare remains a top priority for Democrats as the 2017-18 legislative session gets underway. To help make child care more affordable for families, Sen. LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee) and Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) are introducing legislation that would create a targeted child care income tax credit.
Senator Bewley Column: A Blank Check It's been a few years since my daughters were teenagers and almost as many years since most people used checks to pay all their bills. But I’m guessing that anyone reading this can relate to the time my girls asked me to give them a signed blank check
Senator Larson: Calls on U.S. Senator Ron Johnson to Oppose DeVos Nomination Madison, WI – Senator Chris Larson released the following statement urging U.S. Senator Ron Johnson to oppose the nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education.
Senator Bewley: A Drop In The Bucket State Senator Janet Bewley released the following statement regarding the rural school proposal Governor Scott Walker said he plans to incorporate into his 2017-19 biennial budget:
Senator Shilling: Rural Schools Deserve Better MADISON, WI – After cutting $1 billion from Wisconsin’s K-12 schools since 2011, Republicans continue to prioritize tax breaks for the wealthy over funding for local schools. Several recent reports have highlighted massive tax breaks that have ballooned out of proportion which largely benefit individuals making over $1 million a year.
Senator Bewley: More for Madison, Less for Northern Wisconsin There’s nothing easier than imposing limits on someone else that you won’t apply to yourself. A recent report from the highly respected and non-partisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance highlighted the fact that the people who control Wisconsin’s state government are forcing local government to operate under revenue restrictions that they don’t apply to themselves.
Senator Miller: Statement on U.S. District Court Decision Madison – “The decision by the federal court to require new redistricting maps by November 1, 2017 is great news for Wisconsin. Voters should always pick their elected officials instead of elected officials picking them. I hope that legislative republicans are more competent with their second chance.
Senator Hansen: Response to Court Redistricting Ruling “The court’s decision to require new maps is good news for anyone who supports free, fair and competitive elections. The responsibility now falls on the Governor and Republican leaders to comply with the court’s order.
Senator Shilling: Statement on GOP Election Rigging Lawsuit MADISON, WI – In a historic win for election fairness, a Federal Appeals Court has determined that Republican politicians in Wisconsin broke the law by drawing heavily skewed partisan district maps in 2011.
Senator Shilling: AUDIT - Wisconsin road crisis worsens MADISON, WI – Wisconsin’s unsafe roads are costing drivers more in repairs, delaying commute times and resulting in additional traffic accidents. A new audit reveals that Wisconsin roads, ranked 4th worst in the nation, are deteriorating at a rapid pace due to Republican budget cuts and project delays. According to the report, “The proportion of state highways rated in good condition decreased steadily from 53.5 percent in 2010 to 41.0 percent in 2015.”
Weekly Democratic Radio Address: Protect Wisconsin's Natural Resources Madison – Senator Mark Miller (D-Monona) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.
Senator Vinehout Column: Audits Raise Cautions about Pension Fund Management “GOOD NEWS” read the text with a short article about how our pension funds grew 8.5%. My friend forwarded the article with a cryptic note, “apparently the lies keep working.”
Senator Shilling: Working families struggle as GOP tax breaks for millionaires skyrocket MADISON – Working families are paying millions more in taxes while corporations and the wealthy continue to benefit from Republican tax breaks according to a new budget memo. The figures, released by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, show that Republican tax breaks for the wealthy will cost working families more than twice as much as originally projected.
Senator Erpenbach: Republican Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit costing millions more than expected – benefits just a few of the state’s wealthiest individuals “Updated numbers show that $22 million of the Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit created by Legislative Republicans is being given to just 11 millionaires in Wisconsin."
Senator Larson: Wisconsin Lawmakers Join Nationwide Effort to Safeguard Abortion Rights Madison, WI – Today, Sen. Chris Larson and Democratic colleagues commemorated the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide, by announcing an Abortion is Health Care Resolution.
Senator Shilling: Statement on Gov. Walker’s proposed work restrictions MADISON – After years of Republican policies that have cut family wages, shrunk the middle class and increased student loan debt, Gov. Walker is proposing more restrictions on working families in need of assistance. His latest proposal creates new rules and regulations for workers struggling to make ends meet while adding additional layers of state bureaucracy. In response, Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement:
Senator Vinehout Column: School Visit to the “ARCTIC Zone” Prompts Thinking Anew about Education Two six-graders recently showed me around their classrooms. Desks were not in straight rows. Students were not waiting their turn with raised hands. I looked around the room. There actually were no desks at all, but tables and different types of chairs.
Senator Shilling: Protect Seniors by extending SeniorCare MADISON – Protecting senior citizens and access to affordable prescription drugs are top priorities for Democrats as the 2017-18 legislative session gets underway. The SeniorCare Protection Act is being authored by Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) and is co-sponsored by several Democratic leaders including Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). The bill would ensure the continuation of SeniorCare and prevent future raids on prescription drug care funding.
Senator Bewley: State Of The State Isn’t Found In Madison Speech I listened carefully to the Governor’s State of the State Address this week for anything positive that I could tell the people I’d be returning to about the issues they are most concerned about: jobs, roads and schools. An effective leader inspires people. Regrettably, no one I talked to after the speech felt inspired. Instead of a vision for our future, we were treated to an incomplete, and in many ways unconvincing, defense of the status quo.
Weekly Democratic radio address: "Save Our SeniorCare" MADISON, WI – Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) offered the Democratic weekly radio address today. In his radio message, Sen. Carpenter encouraged residents to help protect access to affordable prescription medication through SeniorCare.
Senator Vinehout Column: New DNR Report: Who Should Pay to Protect and Encourage Fish and Wildlife? Wisconsin is number one in hunting! Don’t take it from me. The Department of Natural Resources has studies to back it up. A new DNR report noted Wisconsin had the number one Boone and Crockett Trophy whitetail entries from 2005-2010 and the number one black beer harvest of all states.
Senator Miller: Introduces Water Sustainability Act Madison – Today Senator Mark Miller (D-Monona) and Representative Cory Mason (D-Racine), along with a long list of co-authors and supporters, introduced the Water Sustainability Act.
Senator Ringhand: Statement on Governor Walker’s speech The rich and well connected have done extraordinarily well under Governor Walker, while the rest of us remain anxious and uncertain about the future.
Senator Vinehout Column: Statement on the Governor’s State of the State Address The Governor presents a rosy picture of our state. But there are storm clouds on the horizon. Wisconsin’s economy has lagged the rest of the county. Minnesota recovered lost jobs two full years before Wisconsin. And the country as whole recovered jobs lost during the Recession a full year before Wisconsin. Wages in Wisconsin trail our neighboring states of Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan.
Senator Larson: Statement on the State of the State MADISON – Today, Senator Chris Larson offered the following comments regarding the governor’s State of the State address.
Senator Shilling: Rreacts to State of the State MADISON, WI – Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement in response to Gov. Walker’s State of the State address:
Senator Erpenbach: Response to Governor Walker’s State of the State Erpenbach response to Governor Walker’s State of the State “Wisconsin is not better off than we were six years ago. Our roads and bridges are unsafe. The transportation budget has a $1 billion dollar deficit. Governor Walker’s Wisconsin has trailed the national average in 12 month job creation for the 20th consecutive quarter. That is every quarter since Republicans and Governor Walker took control.
Senator Hansen: Response to Governor's State of the State “The Governor made a lot of promises in his speech today not unlike the promise he made in his 2010 campaign to create 250,000 jobs—a promise that remains unfulfilled to this day.
Senator Hansen: Gov. Walker's comments attacking Higher Ed/Lower Debt Plan “Governor Walker gave $22 million to 11 of the state’s richest individuals but hasn’t lifted a finger to help the 1 million Wisconsin residents struggling under the burden of student loan debt.
Senator Hansen: Hansen Seeking Sponsors for Redistricting Reform Bill (Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) announced today that he is seeking sponsors for legislation to create a non-partisan redistricting process. Seeking sponsors marks the next step toward introduction of the bill.
Senator Bewley: Announces Committee Assignments State Senator Janet Bewley (D-Delta), who was recently voted Assistant Minority Leader by her colleagues, will serve on six legislative committees during the 2017-18 session. The Northern Legislator will also continue in her roles as a member of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Board, the Wisconsin Council on Forestry and the State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse.
Senate Dem Leader lays out priorities for 2017-18 session MADISON, WI – Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) welcomed new and returning members to the legislature today at the inauguration ceremony for the 103rd Session of the State Legislature. In her inauguration day remarks, Sen. Shilling laid out her vision for the future and policy goals to strengthen the middle class, boost family wages and invest in the future of Wisconsin.
Sen. Larson Announces Committee Assignments for 2017-2018 Legislative Session Madison – Today, Senator Chris Larson was named the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Committee on Education, the Senate Committee on Administrative Rules, and the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules. Senator Larson has also been appointed as a member of Senate Committee on Insurance, Housing, and Trade and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Small Business, and Tourism.