Senator Hansen Statement: The Passing of Heidi Hussli “I, like so many others, am deeply saddened by the passing of Heidi Hussli. Her loss will be felt by her family, friends, students, fellow teachers and colleagues, and the entire community.
Senator Larson: Senator Chris Larson Applauds Superintendent Stanford Taylor’s Vision for Wisconsin’s Public Schools Milwaukee, WI – Senator Chris Larson, ranking Senate Democrat on education, released the following statement today in response to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Carolyn Stanford Taylor’s “State of Education” speech:
Senator Smith: Sen. Smith Congratulates Recipients of CDBG-PF Project Award MADISON – Today, Governor Tony Evers and Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan announced more than $36 million in funding for 42 public infrastructure projects for communities across Wisconsin. Four award recipients are within the 31st Senate District.
Senator Smith Column: Housing Crisis in a Pandemic Six months into a global pandemic, we’ve become familiar with language we’ve never expected to use before COVID-19. “Quarantine” was a word most likely associated with popular sci-fi movies, and “safer at home” was a phrase we probably only heard when we were expecting a big snowstorm.
Senator Hansen: Hansen Says Macco/Steffen Police Officer Bill Faces Major Hurdles in the State Senate (Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) said that based upon his own experience legislation aimed at helping the Green Bay Police Department hire Jose Del Rio, a local DACA resident as a police officer faces major hurdles that could block it from becoming law.
Senator Smith: Congratulates Eau Claire as Recipient of Public Transit Grant MADISON – Today, Governor Tony Evers, Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary-designee Craig Thompson and Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan announced $18 million in public transit grants for Wisconsin communities.
Senator Smith Column: Frances Perkins’ New Deal Annually, our country honors the contributions of American workers on Labor Day, but perhaps it wasn’t until this year, while living through a pandemic, when many really appreciated the essential role many workers have in our day-to-day lives.
Senator Smith Column: Repair Trust in Pursuit of Racial Equality This past weekend, hundreds of thousands of Americans came together at the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C to commemorate the anniversary of the March on Washington...
Senator Taylor: Sen. Taylor Frustrated at Doing Nothing…Again (MADISON) – Today, Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement, regarding the political theater surrounding the special session called by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, to address police accountability following the shooting of Jacob Blake:
Senator Smith: Sen. Smith’s Statement on Policing Reform Special Session MADISON – Today, the Wisconsin Senate gaveled in for a special session on policing reform and immediately recessed, preventing any space for debate or action on the legislative proposals. No Republicans were present during today’s special session.
Senator Larson: launches statewide petition demanding the legislature reconvene to take action on Wisconsin’s multiple concurrent crises MADISON, WI - Today, GOP leadership refused to act on Governor Tony Evers’ special session on police reform. They have also refused to convene on the other major issues facing Wisconsin since April 15th.
Senator Miller: Statement from Senator Mark Miller on the Special Session on Police Accountability and Transparency Madison – “The bills proposed by the Governor are just a beginning on the path to criminal justice reform and economic and social equity. The Senate gaveled open the Special Session and immediately recessed. No Majority Leader Fitzgerald, no Republicans, no action.”
Senator Wirch: Republicans Turn a Blind Eye to Justice Reform Kenosha – State Senator Bob Wirch (D-Somers) and State Representatives Tod Ohnstad (D-Kenosha) and Tip McGuire (D-Kenosha) spoke out today after Republican leadership gaveled in the Governor’s Special Session on Police Reform and immediately recessed:
Senator Carpenter: The Legislature’s Lack of Action is Shameful MADISON)—Today, Senator Tim Carpenter issued the following statement regarding the Special Session on the Use of Force by Law Enforcement scheduled for noon today:
Senator Bewley: Statement on Today’s Special Session MADISON – Upon the immediate recess of today’s special session on justice reform and policing accountability Senate Democratic Leader Janet Bewley (D-Mason) released the following statement:
Senator Erpenbach: Now is Not the Time for Senate Recess (West Point)- The Wisconsin Legislature must rise to meet this moment. In March, Breonna Taylor was killed while officers executed a no-knock warrant on her home. In May, George Floyd was killed after being arrested by the Minneapolis Police...
Senator Taylor: Encourages Colleagues to Take Care of Business (MADISON) – Today, Senator Lena C. Taylor (D-Milwaukee) joined Reverend Jesse Jackson, Jr., the Kenosha NAACP, the Urban League, and Kenosha community leaders in a press conference.
Senator Carpenter: Statement on the Shooting of Jacob Blake, the Damage to Kenosha, and the Special Session (MADISON)—Today, Senator Tim Carpenter issued the following statement regarding the police shooting that took place in Kenosha on Sunday, and the events of the last 3 nights:
Senator Larson: The Human Cost of Obstruction MILWAUKEE, WI - There is a cost to legislative obstruction. In Wisconsin, this cost can be measured in dead bodies. The current count stands at 1,102. How did we get to this point? A brief timeline:
Senator Smith Column: It’s Time to Act on Student Debt Over the last four months, I was honored to participate in the Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt, established by Governor Tony Evers to address the student debt crisis impacting more than 700,000 Wisconsinites...
Senator Johnson: Republicans Fail to Protect our Communities, Ignore Calls for Racial Justice MADISON – Wisconsin State Senator LaTonya Johnson (D – Milwaukee) made the following statement regarding last night’s shooting in Kenosha and the refusal by legislative Republicans to listen to calls for change:
Senator Wirch: Wirch Statement Kenosha – State Senator Bob Wirch (D-Somers) issued the following statement this morning:
Senator Erpenbach: We Don’t Need a Taskforce (West Point)—In response to another incident involving Police and a Black Wisconsinite, Governor Evers has issued Executive Order #84 relating to a special session of the Legislature on the use of force by law enforcement. State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point), issued the following statement.
Senator Wirch: Wirch Issues Statement on Police Shooting in Kenosha Kenosha – State Senator Bob Wirch (D-Somers) issued the following statement regarding the officer-involved shooting in Kenosha:
Senator Smith: Sen. Smith Reacts to Evers’ Call for Special Session on Police Reform MADISON – Today, Governor Tony Evers (D) called for a special session for the State Legislature to take up legislation aimed at reforming police practices and improving police accountability.
Senator Erpenbach Column: It’s Well-Past Time for Wisconsin to Expand Medicaid WEST POINT – In this month’s primary election, Missouri voted to expand Medicaid. The initiative that made its way onto the ballot will expand coverage to about 230,000 low-income residents, and was supported by over 53% of voters, making Missouri the 38th state, and the sixth Republican-led state..
Senator Smith Column: Big Agenda for Small Farms When it comes to farming, one thing is certain – it connects us all. Many of us in western Wisconsin can trace our roots to farming. But even if we’ve personally lost a physical connection to the family farm, all Wisconsin residents have an obvious connection to Wisconsin’s agricultural heritage.
Senator Hansen: Hansen Calls on Gallagher and Johnson to Support Bi-partisan Legislation to Save Postal Service (Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) called on Congressman Mike Gallagher and U.S. Senator Ron Johnson to support bi-partisan legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate to fund and protect the U.S. Postal Service and to guarantee that people receive their mail on time.
Senator Smith: Sen. Smith’s Statement Regarding His Work on the Student Debt Task Force MADISON – Today, the Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt submitted its policy recommendations in a final report to Governor Tony Evers to help solve the student debt crisis in Wisconsin.
Senator Wirch: Wirch Named 2019-2020 “Friend of Public Health” Madison- Senator Bob Wirch (D-Somers) has been named a “Friend of Public Health” by the Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards (WALHDAB) and Wisconsin Public Health Association (WPHA) for his work to support public health priorities during the 2019-2020 legislative session.
Senator Hansen: To No One’s Surprise Republicans and Corporate Polluters Oppose DNR Rule to Prevent PFAS from Polluting Our Water (Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) responded to reports that the DNR has been forced to shelve tough limits on the release and disposal of toxic PFAS chemicals by corporate polluters like JCI/Tyco after Republicans in the Legislature opposed the proposed standards.
Senator Smith Column: Pass the Healthcare Heroes Act Back in April, I participated in a virtual roundtable discussion with Wisconsin’s frontline healthcare workers. Amidst the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic in Wisconsin, this group of healthcare workers shared deeply unsettling safety concerns related to the scarcity of COVID-19 testing, the lack...
Senator Larson: For the sake of Wisconsin’s schools, state legislators urge U.S. Senate Delegation to pass the HEROES Act Milwaukee, WI – Yesterday, State Senator Chris Larson and 33 other legislative Democrats sent a letter to Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate delegation, urging them to pass the HEROES Act.
Senator Smith Column: Legislature Must Act for Unemployed “I’ve been working my whole life, and was doing fine before COVID-19, and now suddenly, I can’t work, and can’t get unemployment. I’m scared of what life will be like in a few weeks when I run out of money for food, let alone bills,” said a man whose unemployment benefits were delayed 10 weeks.
Senator Hansen: Response to Senator Fitzgerald’s decision to Overturn the Governor’s Emergency Order “In what is no surprise, Senate Republicans wasted no time announcing their intent to overturn Governor Ever’s Executive order requiring people to wear masks in public along with his earlier order that could result in the National Guard no longer being able to help with virus testing or assisting...
Senator Erpenbach: Statement on GOP Emergency “People have been struggling to navigate a UI System filled with barriers created by Senator Fitzgerald and his caucus. The pleas for social justice and safe elections have been ringing across the state for months. And yet, the only time we rush back to the floor is to restrict the Governor’s...
Senator Smith: Statement Regarding Overturning Executive Order #82 and Emergency Order #1 MADISON – Today, Republicans outlined plans to overturn Governor Tony Evers’ (D) Executive Order #82 to declare a Public Health Emergency and Emergency Order #1 to require face masks in Wisconsin. Senator Jeff Smith (D-Brunswick) offered the following statement:
Senator Smith: Encourages Farmers to Apply in Second Round of Farm Support Program MADISON – This week, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and the Department of Revenue (DOR) announced a second round of funding for the Wisconsin Farm Support Program. Applications for the second round will be accepted between August 10th and August 24th with...
Senator Smith Column: Questions Remain Unanswered for Schools The first day of school has always been an exciting time for children. About this time of year, heading into August, families begin to plan their schedule and stock up on school supplies. For some it might mean new supplies or even new clothes. Kids want to make a good impression that first day...
Senator Hansen: Democrats Announce Legislation to Help More Workers Receive Unemployment Insurance Benefits (Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and Democrats in the Legislature announced they will be introducing legislation to expand workers’ access to the unemployment benefits they’ve earned. The package which contains eight bills will make it possible for more Wisconsin workers to get...
Senator Smith: Introduces Legislation to Help Republicans Solve Unemployment Crisis MADISON – Today, Senator Jeff Smith (D – Brunswick) introduced legislation alongside his Democratic colleagues to streamline Wisconsin’s unemployment insurance system and help workers receive quicker payments during future mass-layoff events.
Senator Bewley: Democrats Introduce Bill Package to Remove Barriers to Unemployment Insurance MADISON - Today, Legislative Democrats introduced a package of bills aimed at removing hurdles and expediting the Unemployment Insurance process for Wisconsinites. Since March, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has witnessed an unprecedented number of unemployment claims due to....
Senator Erpenbach: Legislative Democrats Announce Unemployment Package WEST POINT – “Republicans spent years putting in place hurdles that hardworking Wisconsinites have to navigate in order to receive Unemployment Benefits that they have earned.
Senator Bewley: Task Force on Broadband Step in the Right Direction MADISON – Senate Democratic Leader Janet Bewley (D-Mason) released the following statement on the Governor’s Executive Order creating a Task Force on Broadband:
Senator Smith: Statement on Creation of the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Access MADISON – Today, Governor Tony Evers announced the creation of the Broadband Access Task Force. The Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Access will include representation from telecommunication experts, professionals in the fields of education and healthcare, and state legislators.
Senator Smith Column: A Trip Worth Taking Right Here Sometimes it seems like we forget what a beautiful state we live in. It’s easy to do when we’re so accustomed to the beautiful, great outdoors surrounding us. Thousands of years ago glaciers carved our northern region and left behind rich soils and minerals and an iconic landscape.
Senator Hansen: Encourages People to Apply to Serve on Governor Evers’ People’s Map Commission (Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) is encouraging constituents who are interested in creating a non-partisan redistricting process and fair maps for future elections to apply to serve on Governor Evers’ People’s Commission on Maps.
Senator Smith: Statement on Supreme Court Ruling MADISON – Senator Jeff Smith (D – Brunswick) released the following statement regarding today’s Wisconsin Supreme Court decision limiting Governor Tony Evers’ partial veto authority. This decision comes the day after the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled to uphold the lame-duck laws passed...
Senator Smith: Statement on the People's Map Commission MADISON – Today, Governor Tony Evers announced the official application and selection processes for The People’s Maps Commission, the nonpartisan redistricting commission to redraw Wisconsin’s electoral district maps.
Senator Erpenbach: Statement on The People's Maps Commission West Point - Today, Governor Evers announced the official application and selection process for The People’s Maps Commission, the nonpartisan redistricting commission to draw fair, impartial maps following the 2020 U.S. Census.
Senator Hansen: Statement in Response to Governor’s Announcement of People’s Map Commission “Thanks to Governor Evers the people will have input into the creation of non-partisan district maps for the first time in our history.
Senator Smith Column: Student Debt and our Future Most of us have to take on some debt at some point in our lives, whether we take out loans to purchase a car or to help us become homeowners. Oftentimes, people borrow with clear expectations, understanding the whole process. Student loans are different and for many reasons.
Senator Hansen: It’s Time to Take MA Expansion Funding (Madison)—After voters in the heavily Republican state of Oklahoma voted in favor of Medicaid expansion and the federal funds that come with, State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) said it is time for Wisconsin to do the same.
Senator Smith: Statement on 2-week Early Voting Limit Decision MADISON – Yesterday evening, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision to restrict early, in-person voting for Wisconsin elections. In response to this decision, Senator Jeff Smith shared the following statement:
Senator Smith Column: Patriotism - Protecting the Health of Americans As we move through a year that has already been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we think ahead to when we can resume normal activities, be part of community gatherings and celebrate holidays, like Independence Day.
Senator Bewley: Statement on the Madison Protest The unrest we have seen in Wisconsin and across the nation is the consequence of intense, concentrated and justified anger over systemic injustice. For the most part, they have been peaceful. Last night they were not, and what happened was not acceptable. As the Governor said, an act of injustice...
Senator Smith Column: Aging in Rural Wisconsin Growing old is an inevitable part of life. When it comes to aging, we can’t help but wonder where we’ll live when we retire, the quality of life we’ll have and how we’ll stay healthy. While most of us want to remain in our homes for as long as possible, aging in place is almost a must...
Senator Smith Column: The Movement America Has Been Waiting For This Friday, on June 19th, our country celebrates Juneteenth, an important holiday commemorating the emancipation of slaves dating back to 1865. In the 155 years since the Emancipation Proclamation was read to freed slaves, many Americans have believed our country simply fixed its biased attitudes a
Senator Smith Column: What We Can Learn From Dairy Month Last Friday, I had the chance to connect virtually with some good friends in western Wisconsin to celebrate June Dairy Month. We had a conversation about the ways dairy has made an impression on our own lives and the impact the dairy industry has on the State of Wisconsin.
Senator Smith: Celebrate our Farmers During June Dairy Month MADISON – Today marks the beginning of June Dairy Month, a celebration of Wisconsin’s dairy farmers and their economic and cultural contributions to our state. Their perseverance and hard work has deservedly earned Wisconsin its title of America’s Dairyland.
Senator Smith Column: Be the Change We Need In the months since Wisconsin has been impacted by COVID-19, we’ve all thought about the day that our lives will begin to return to normal. It’s an understandable thought to have. After all, the pandemic has forced us to make changes in nearly every aspect of our lives.
Senator Bewley: Republicans Can’t Rewrite Their Own History MADISON – As friends and neighbors continue to grapple with the economic fallout of COVID-19 trauma, Republicans continue to hold themselves unaccountable. The lack of urgency from Republicans to act this spring cost the state $25 million in federal funds for unemployment benefits.
Senator Ringhand: Senate Hearing Highlights Republican Roadblocks to Unemployment Today, the Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform showed that legislation enacted by Republicans during the Walker administration has made it more difficult for hard working Wisconsinites to receive the Unemployment Insurance benefits that they have earned.
Senator Smith: GOP Unemployment Blame Game Blows Up in Their Faces MADISON – Today the Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform held an informational hearing in response to unemployment insurance challenges impacting Wisconsinites, perpetuated by the COVID-19 global pandemic, antiquated systems within the Department of Workforce Development and...
Senator Hansen: Republicans Knew of Problems with Unemployment Processing Since 2014 and Did Nothing (Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) said Republicans knew of the state’s unemployment system’s inability to handle large numbers of applications but did nothing to fix the problem.
Senator Hansen: Rep. Nygren and Republicans Are the Ones Responsible for Unemployment Chaos (Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) called out State Representative John Nygren, Assembly Chair of the Joint Finance Committee, and his Republican colleagues for deliberately deceiving the public about the main cause of the problems people are experiencing in applying for...
Senator Smith: A Positive Step Forward to Support our Farmers MADISON – Today, Governor Tony Evers announced the Wisconsin Farm Support Program, a $50 million investment to provide direct financial support to Wisconsin farmers impacted by this global pandemic.
Senator Smith Column: Disappointment and Opportunity Disappointment and opportunity may not always belong in the same sentence, but when addressing conflicts they often work together. We can be disappointed, but we have to consider the opportunity before us to move forward and be better.
Senator Shilling: Submits Senate Resignation MADISON, WI – This morning, Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) submitted a letter of resignation to Senate President Roger Roth indicating her intention to resign from her position as State Senator at the end of the day (May 15, 2020) in order to explore career opportunities.
Senator Ringhand: Statement on Supreme Court ruling Last night the conservative majority of the Wisconsin Supreme Court tossed aside Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order. Senator Ringhand issued the following statement on the decision.
Senator Bewley: Statement on Supreme Court Decision MADISON – Senate Democratic Leader Janet Bewley (D-Mason) released the following statement after the Supreme Court announced its decision to strike down Governor Evers’ Safer at Home order:
Senator Smith: Statement on Supreme Court Decision MADISON – Senator Jeff Smith (D – Brunswick) shared the following statement regarding today’s Wisconsin Supreme Court decision on the Safer at Home order:
Senator Smith Column: The Importance of Being Prepared As we become responsible adults we are faced with many decisions that can affect our future and the future of our families. We choose a career, decide where we work and how to prepare for retirement. We may choose a life partner, start a family, move and continue to make important decisions...
Senator Hansen: Statement in Response to Supreme Court Decision Congratulations workers! Thanks to the corporate controlled State Supreme Court you’re going back to work whether you feel safe or not. Because now that they have repealed the Safer at Home order if your employer calls you back to work and you don’t feel safe you will lose your unemployment.
Senator Bewley: Statement on Turning the Dial MADISON – Senate Democratic Leader Janet Bewley (D-Mason) released the following statement regarding Governor Evers’ actions turning the dial to responsibly further reopen Wisconsin businesses:
Senator Hansen: Statement in Response to Area Assembly GOP Press Conference on “Re-opening” “Today’s press conference at an Appleton dairy by Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke and area Assembly Republicans to call for regional re-opening at a time when Brown County is seeing the fastest increase in COVID-19 cases is as dangerous as it is tone deaf.
Senator Hansen: Justice Roggensack’s comments show she is unfit to serve “As Brown County continues to increase at the fastest rate in the state, Justice Roggensack’s comments that workers at meat packing plants “are not regular folks” are as dangerous as they are insulting, demonstrating a sense of elitism and ignorance one might expect from our current president but no
Senator Smith Column: Connecting During Crisis Think about it – thanks to technology it’s possible to do so much from the nearest Wi-Fi location during this global pandemic. Some people can work from home or have a video call with their loved ones, and children can get their lessons from their teacher.
Senator Ringhand: Serve as Assistant Leader for Senate Democrats State Senator Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) was chosen to serve as Assistant Leader for the Senate Democrats for the remainder of the legislative term.
Senator Bewley: Thanks Colleagues for Vote of Confidence Sen. Janet Bewley (D-Mason) released the following statement after being elected Senate Democratic Leader:
Senator Shilling Column: Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary Reminds us to Cherish and Protect Wisconsin’s Environment Fifty years ago, on April 22, 1970, former Wisconsin Governor and U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day. A day dedicated to celebrating the nature around us and promoting conservation, it acts as a symbol of progressive ideology championed by one of Wisconsin’s own.
Sen. Shilling: Shilling to Step Down as Democratic Leader MADISON, WI – In announcing her decision to step down as the Senate Democratic Leader, Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement:
Senator Hansen: Statement in Response to GOP Criticism of Governor Evers’ Badger Bounce Back Plan: The Virus Doesn’t Follow the Calendar or Municipal Boundaries “Republicans’ demand that Governor Evers provide a plan to re-open the economy ignores the science of the pandemic and President Trump’s own guidelines for re-opening the economy is irresponsible.
Republicans’ Push to End Safer at Home Order is Irresponsible and Dangerous Once again Republicans are putting partisan politics above people’s health and safety
Sen. Larson: Reacts to COVID-19 Legislation Milwaukee, WI – Today, Senator Chris Larson offered this reaction to the lackluster legislation brought forward by Republican legislative leaders and passed in an embarrassingly biased virtual session.
Sen. Erpenbach: Senate Passes Bi-Partisan COVID-19 Response Bill West Point – Today, the Senate passed Assembly Bill 1038 to help address the COVID-19 Pandemic. Our state is facing significant challenges as we respond to COVID-19, and we need to do everything we can to provide relief to workers, families, businesses, and farmers who are suffering as a result.
Sen. Schachtner: Statement on Coronavirus Relief Package (MADISON) – Today, Senator Patty Schachtner (D-Somerset) shared a response regarding her vote on the coronavirus relief package, Senate Bill 932:
Senator Bewley: Statement On Covid-19 Legislation Delta, WI – Today, the Wisconsin State Senate passed 2019 AB 1038, a very preliminary attempt to address the COVID-19 crisis. Senate Assistant Minority Leader Janet Bewley released the following statement:
Sen. Hansen: Today’s vote on Pandemic Legislation Today was an important day in the State Senate.
Sen. Smith: The work does not stop here Sen. Smith’s Statement Regarding the Passage of the COVID-19 Response Bill
Sen. Shilling: Senate Democrats Push for Stronger COVID-19 Response More Action Needed to Help Communities During Health Crisis
Sen. Risser: Reaction to Senate’s Extraordinary Session Today the Wisconsin State Senate passed legislation in response to the State’s COVID-19 crisis.
Sen. Erpenbach: Republicans Prioritize Power over Wisconsin COVID-19 Relief West Point – Senator Jon Erpenbach released the following statement:
Sen. Bewley: Responds to Senator Fitzgerald's public statements. Madison – Wisconsin Senate Assistant Minority Leader Janet Bewley released the following statement regarding Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald’s attempt to do an end run around Governor Evers:
Sen. Smith: Column-Pandemic paycheck protection. During this unprecedented public health emergency, we have a lot to think about. While keeping ourselves and our loved ones healthy, we’re also thinking of ways to maintain our livelihoods and pay the bills.
Sen. Risser: Republicans Continue to Ignore Governor’s Calls for Special Sessions MADISON – Today the Republican controlled state legislature refused to meet for a special session called by Governor Evers.
Sen. Hansen: Governor Evers’ Decision to Protect Both Public Safety and the Integrity of Our Election “I support Governor Evers’ decision to suspend in-person voting until June 9th. No person should have to risk their life to exercise their right to vote.
SEN. JEFF SMITH: REPEAL THE ONE WEEK WAITING PERIOD MADISON – During this unprecedented public health emergency, Senator Jeff Smith (D-Brunswick) is urging the legislature to repeal the one week waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits.
Sen. Shilling: Will Not Seek Re-election After 20 years of service, Democratic Leader looks to chart a new course
Sen. Ringhand: Waive the waiting period for Unemployment Insurance State Senator Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) is calling for the legislature to repeal the one week waiting period for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.
Sen. Smith: Stay Safer at Home Every day, as we learn more about COVID-19 and adjust to the disruptions in our daily routine, we’re being tested on how we, as a community, step up to a challenge and work toward a solution.
Sen. Hansen: Urges People Filing for Unemployment to File Online If Possible With the overwhelming number of people applying for unemployment benefits, State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) urged workers to file online if possible.
Sen. Wirch: Businesses Looking to Give Back to Workers on Front Lines of COVID-19 Fight Kenosha - We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to the healthcare personnel, law enforcement, fire fighters, paramedics and more who are out there fighting the coronavirus on a daily basis.
Sen. Wirch: Amidst Coronavirus Crisis, Don’t Let Census Get Lost in the Shuffle Kenosha - As our daily lives have undergone drastic changes over the last few weeks, and as it seems that all people want to talk about is the ongoing pandemic, it would be easy to overlook the fact that we are in a census year.
Sen. Ringhand: Stay Safe, Stay Informed – Up to date COVID-19 information online President Trump announced Sunday evening that he was extending social distancing guidelines through the end of April rather than easing them as early as this week.
Sen. Schachtner: We are Safer at Home Social distancing is a little easier when your nearest neighbor is a mile down the road and there are fewer community centers or public playgrounds for all of us to easily congregate.
Senator Shilling Reacts to Senator Risser Retirement MADISON, WI – Following Senator Fred Risser’s (D-Madison) announcement that he will not seek re-election, Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement:
Sen. Ringhand; Vote by mail. Absentee ballots available until April 2. (Madison)—State Senator Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) is urging voters to request an absentee ballot now so they can safely vote by mail in the April 7 election.
Sen. Hansen: Make sure your voice is heard! Request an absentee ballot now. (Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) urged voters to request an absentee ballot now so they can vote safely in the upcoming election.
Sen. Taylor: Praises access provided by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. – On Tuesday, Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) learned that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel made the decision to help local residents stay informed during the Coronavirus public health crisis.
Sen. Wirch: Scammers Look to Cash in on Coronavirus Kenosha - Any time there is a disaster, either natural or man-made, you can be sure that scammers will be there lurking, trying to take advantage of the situation to fill their pockets.
Sen. Smith. Column: Take COVID-19 seriously. We must take COVID-19 seriously. On March 13th, showing tremendous leadership, Governor Evers declared a public health emergency in Wisconsin and has since strengthened precautions
Sen. Larson: Announces Voter Protection Legislative Package Today, Senator Chris Larson along with Representative Jonathan Brostoff released a package of 7 legislative proposals aimed at protecting access to the ballot and ensuring electoral integrity.
Sen. Shilling: Why Filling out the 2020 Census Matters Each household should participate by April 1st
Sen. Ringhand: COVID-19 Pandemic Illustrates Importance of Paid Family Medical Leave State Senator Janis Ringhand urged her Republican colleagues to pass the Family Medical Leave Insurance Act, Senate Bill 596
Sen. Shilling: Preparation, not Panic: What you can do to prevent the spread of Coronavirus With the World Health Organization proclaiming the COVID-19 outbreak as an official pandemic, and states across the country declaring a state of emergency
Logic behind Healthcare We’ve been hearing a lot in the news lately about our health.
Sen. Erpenbach, Sen. Bewley, and Sen. Smith: Legislators Team with Governor on Flood Prevention and Resilience Plan MADISON - Wisconsin has endured years of flood damage affecting farmers, displacing families, damaging businesses and destroying infrastructure.
Sen. Shilling: Expanding Medicaid Would Lead to a Healthier, Happier Wisconsin With the 2020 presidential election just around the corner, the topic of health care is more hotly-contested than ever. While each candidate has their own opinions on how it should be reformed, there’s one theme that weaves through each debate: our system is broken, and we need to fix it.
Weekly Democratic Radio Address: Wisconsin Democrats Support Women’s Health Access Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) offered the Democratic weekly radio address regarding the Respect Women Act.
Sen. Smith: Local Transporation Grants to Improve Rural WI Roads Smith’s Statement regarding Governor Evers’ Grant Announcement for Local Transportation Projects
Respect Wisconsin Women Democrats introduce bills to strengthen health care for women
How Partisan Gerrymandering Limits Access to Care West Point - On February 24, 2020, the Center for American Progress released a report on how gerrymandering has prevented more than 2 million uninsured people from getting covered through the Medicaid expansion
Sen. Smith: Policymaking by the People, for the People Before a bill becomes a law, a process exists to ensure policymakers develop the most effective policy proposal, and with good reason
Sen. Erpenbach: Republicans chose to Increase Penalties Instead of Educational Opportunities West Point - Wisconsin’s criminal justice system has some of the worst racial disparities in the country. Years of Republican budget cuts and prisons exceeding capacity have created more dangerous situations for correctional officers, inmates, and communities.
Sen. Hansen: Republicans Break Their Promise to Provide 2/3 Funding for Public Schools Senate Republicans had an opportunity to make good on their promise to restore the state’s commitment to provide 2/3 funding for our public schools and cut property taxes
Weekly Democratic Radio Address: “This Month, and Every Month, We Celebrate Black History” Senator LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee) offered the Democratic weekly radio address regarding the celebration of Black History Month.
Republicans Vote to Legalize Discrimination Right-wing politicians rush bill to deny health care based on gender, sexual orientation, and pre-existing medical conditions
Sen. Shilling: GOP Blocks K-12 Funding While Voting to Send More Youth to Prison Prisons get almost $1 billion boost at expense of students and homeowners
Student Debt Relief Clears First Hurdle MADISON, WI – A proposal introduced by Senator Shilling that would help address the burden of student loan debt in Wisconsin has passed the Joint Finance Committee with bipartisan support.
School Funding and Property Tax Relief in Jeopardy MADISON, WI – Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement after Republicans announced a shortsighted plan that ignores the Governor’s proposal to invest surplus funds in Wisconsin public classrooms and lower property taxes:
Sen. Smith: Pay Attention Before Your Car is Towed Every day, we consume so much new information. While watching TV, reading the local paper or scrolling through social media, we may even feel overwhelmed by all the news available to us.
Sen. Erpenbach: Voucher Programs are a Costly Detriment to Wisconsin MADISON - It hasn’t been long since many Wisconsinites have had to vote on referendums to keep their public school doors open, and now in this new year, our schools continue to be underfunded.
Sen. Shilling: Democratic Leaders Back Education Special Session MADISON, WI – Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) and Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) released the following statements after Governor Tony Evers called for a legislative Special Session to invest in Wisconsin public school classrooms and lower property taxes
Sen. Erpenbach: Democrats Propose Bill to Close the Ghost Gun Loophole MADISON - On February 5, Senator Erpenbach and Representative Hesselbein circulated a proposal to close the ghost gun loophole to keep Wisconsinites safe. Over a year ago, our community fell victim to this loophole when a gunman opened fire in a Middleton workplace.
Sen. Shilling: Pushes for Angler and Hunting Access LRB-5428 would allow pedestrians to cross railroads
Sen. Hansen: Bart Starr Memorial Bridge Bill Gets Public Hearing Bill would name Walnut Street Bridge after Packers legend
Sen. Shilling: Co-Authors Buy American Act LRB-3753 supports American businesses, manufacturers and workers
Sen. Smith: Connect Wisconsin with Better Broadband Governor Tony Evers shined a bright light on the urgency of strengthening our rural communities by calling a special session to take up agriculture bills, creating the Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity and establishing the Office of Rural Prosperity
Sen. Erpenach: Democrats Find another Avenue to Provide Student Debt Relief Madison - On Friday, January 31, Senators Erpenbach and Shilling, and Representative Hesselbein circulated a proposal to help address the burden of student loan debt in Wisconsin. T
Sen. Erpenbach: It’s Time to Stand Up for our Agricultural and Rural Communities Wisconsinites overwhelmingly support a proposal that benefits our state, Republican leadership cries “partisanship”, and blocks action until an undetermined future date.
Sen. Hansen: Bipartisan Bill to Address PFAS Contamination Introduced On Thursday, State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and State Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette), issued the following statement after introducing a bill aimed at addressing the growing issue of PFAS contamination:
Sen. Smith: Ranking Democrats on Agriculture Call for Action on Special Session Senator Smith and Representative Considine Speak Out
Sen. Smith: Introduction of "Better Broadband" Bill Package MADISON – Today, Senator Smith (D-Brunswick) introduced six bills aimed at improving broadband expansion in Wisconsin.
Sen. Smith: It’s Time to Prioritize Rural Prosperity I wrote about Governor Tony Evers’ State of the State Address and the urgency of prioritizing rural prosperity. I shared information about Evers’ three-part plan to support our farmers and invest in our agricultural industries and rural communities.
Senator Erpenbach: Applauds Governor Evers’ Accomplishments and Vision for Wisconsin West Point - On Wednesday, January 22, Governor Tony Evers delivered his second State of the State Address. 2019 proved to be both a successful and trying year for the legislature.
Sen. Risser: Applauds Governor Evers’ State of the State Address MADISON – Last night during the State of the State Address, Governor Evers delivered a resounding call to action on the challenges facing our state. It is truly refreshing to listen to a Governor who has taken the time to visit all 72 counties and listen to the concerns of its citizens
Sen. Larson: State of the State Reaction Senator Chris Larson released the following statement applauding Governor Tony Evers State of the State Address.
Sen. Larson: Named State Legislator of the Year by the readers of Shepherd Express Milwaukee, WI –Senator Chris Larson released the following statement regarding being named State Legislator of the Year by Shepherd Express.
Sen. Hansen: RESPONSE TO GOVERNOR’S STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS Governor Evers focused on those things that will make our state stronger by investing in our rural economy and farm communities, helping lessen the burden on people being crushed by high-priced student loan debt,
Sen. Smith: Statement Regarding Gov. Evers’ State of the State Address Senator Jeff Smith (D-Brunswick) issued the following statement regarding Governor Tony Evers’ State of the State Address:
Sen. Erpenbach: More Work to be Done for Wisconsin Communities State of the State Highlights Positive Democratic Vision
More Work to be Done for Wisconsin Communities State of the State Highlights Positive Democratic Vision
SEN. SMITH: STATEMENT REGARDING REPUBLICAN’S REJECTION OF CRITICAL AMENDMENTS MADISON – During today’s Senate floor session, Republicans failed to carry out substantive changes to some of the most pressing issues facing Wisconsinites.
Sen. Shilling: Republicans Reject Closing the “Dark Store Loophole” Homeowners to face higher property taxes under Republican control
Sen. Shilling: Co-Authors Bill to Address Vaping Usage LRB-5169 seeks to reduce the sale of vapor products to youth
Sen. Erpenbach: Republicans Continue to Neglect Homeless Wisconsinites On the coldest day of 2020, Republicans have once again left funding to combat homelessness off of the agenda.
Sen. Smith: LEGISLATORS REQUEST PUBLIC HEARING FOR NON-PARTISAN REDISTRICTING REFORM LEGISLATION MADISON – Senator Jeff Smith, a member of the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protections, along with bill co-sponsors, sent a letter to Committee Chair Senator Duey Stroebel, requesting a public hearing on Senate Bill 288.
Senator Smith Column: Good Government Demands Redistricting Reform Every new year is an opportunity to reflect on what we can do better moving forward. When the New Year is the first of a new decade we think even bigger. What can we do in this new decade to become the sibling, parent, neighbor, colleague or citizen we’re expected to be?
Senator Shilling: Statement on Senator Hansen Retirement MADISON, WI – Following Senator Dave Hansen’s (D-Green Bay) announcement that he will not seek re-election, Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement:
Senator Hansen: Statement on Retiring from the State Senate at the end of the current term “After much thought, reflection and discussion with my wife Jane and my family, I have decided not to seek re-election to the State Senate and retire at the conclusion of my current term.
Democratic Radio Address: It’s Time for Wisconsin to Move Forward on Medical Cannabis MADISON, WI – Senator Jon Erpenbach (D – West Point) offered the Democratic weekly radio highlighting legislative efforts to legalize medical cannabis.
Senator Shilling Column: Democratic 2020 Vision As I look back on 2019, I am proud to remember the achievements and priorities of Wisconsin Democrats. It was a new era for our state with a new Governor focused on the needs and values of Wisconsinites.
Senator Smith Column: Let's Finish What We Started During this time of year, we’re surrounded by reminders to set goals for the next twelve months and fulfill our New Year’s resolutions. As the weeks pass by, we typically find ourselves falling back into our old habits and routines.
Senator Smith: Wisconsin Voters Deserve Fair Maps MADISON – Today, Senator Smith (D – Brunswick) and Representative Diane Hesselbein (D – Middleton) introduced LRB-5162/LRB-3797, to establish a constitutional amendment for non-partisan redistricting reform.
Senator Schachtner Column: A Hope for Strong Communities this New Year The holidays have unofficially wrapped up. When the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve, we found ourselves in a new decade and with the hustle and bustle of the holidays behind us.