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16
Jul
2015

sunshine_lawMADISON - On Thursday, July 16th, Representative Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) introduced two proposals that would help to restore Wisconsin’s once proud tradition of fair, honest government.

The first proposal would stop the “Revolving Door” of legislators leaving their positions and then immediately becoming employed as lobbyists by prohibiting them from doing so for two years from the date they leave office.

dana_wachsThe “Revolving Door” proposal was introduced by Rep. Wachs during the previous session and received bi-partisan support. However, it was not brought before either the Assembly or Senate for a vote or even given a public hearing.

“This proposal will close the revolving door for legislators to become lobbyists and will ensure that the people who are elected to serve and represent us will not just ‘cash in’ for a high-paying special interest job at the earliest opportunity,” said Wachs. “Several other states have a ‘cooling off’ period for former legislators. We should do the right thing and take away this tool from powerful corporate special interests in Wisconsin.”

The second proposal introduced by Rep. Wachs is a Joint Resolution that would create an advisory referendum for the 2016 general election. The referendum would ask Wisconsin voters whether the Legislature should adopt a nonpartisan system for redistricting of legislative and congressional districts in Wisconsin.

“Wisconsin’s current system of redistricting is being used to consolidate long-term legislative control in a partisan manner,” added Wachs. “This practice frustrates the ability of voters to be heard. This referendum will give Wisconsin voters an opportunity to tell us how they want to be represented.”

With the recent Federal and State appellate court decisions that have addressed gerrymandering in other states, it is time we give Wisconsin voters a voice on this issue.

This proposal also received bi-partisan support during the previous session, but was not given a public hearing. A motion to bring this bill to the Assembly floor was rejected on a party-line vote.

“I look forward to discussing these proposals with my Legislative colleagues,” said Wachs. “Wisconsin has a proud tradition of fair and honest government that has been tarnished over the last few years. We can rise above corporate special interests and hyper-partisanship and give our state back to the people of Wisconsin.”

Written by Assembly Democrats   
 
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15
Jul
2015

milwaukeeMILWAUKEE – As both visitors and residents enjoy the Wisconsin summer, the Fund for Lake Michigan is continuing to make wide-ranging investments to improve swimming beaches, protect wildlife habitat and promote water quality.

From the restoration of Cat Island in Green Bay to the revitalization of Simmons Beach in Kenosha, the fund now counts over $11 million in projects funded over the past four years.

The Fund announced another $1.9 million in grants for 27 projects this summer -- including major investments along the lake shore and at popular tourist destinations.

Kohler Andrae State Park, the Ridges Sanctuary in Door County and Milwaukee’s Bradford Beach are among the many sites that will benefit from the Fund’s grants this year.

“When people take their family to visit a beach or hike along the shoreline the last thing they want to see is green scum,” said Vicki Elkin, executive director of the Fund for Lake Michigan (FLM). “I’d like to think the fund is doing its part to help Wisconsin protect its hard-earned reputation for clean water, great parks and wonderful natural resources.”

Crafted out of a legal settlement related to construction of the coal-fired Oak Creek power plant, the FLM receives a $4 million annual contribution from plant owners including We Energies, Madison Gas and Electric, and WPPI Energy.

“We’ve been thrilled with the success of the fund so far and frankly humbled by the number of applications from local governments and non-profits who care deeply about the lake and appreciate the value it brings to their communities,” said Elkin.

Written by Fund for Lake Michigan, Vicki Elkin   
 
Page 347 of 409

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