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17
Feb
2016

senateRepublican action ‘Height of Hypocrisy’ as majority party continues to ignore student loan debt crisis, mass layoffs and child safety.


MADISON – Senate Republicans voted to pass Senate Bill 707 Tuesday while once again refusing to take up the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Bill and address Wisconsin’s growing student loan debt crisis.

mark-harrisSB 707 was introduced by Republican Party leaders to block Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris, a Democratic candidate in the 18th Senate District, from serving in the Legislature.

“Families are tired of watching Republican politicians prioritize their campaign interests over the needs of Wisconsin communities and the middle class,” said Senate Democratic leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “At a time when we should be working together to restore school funding, address the student loan debt crisis, create jobs and improve child safety, Senate Republicans want to limit the freedom of local voters. The fact that we’re in the last days of session and this bill tops the Republican to-do list shows the height of their hypocrisy and the extent of their misplaced priorities.”

jennifer-shillingRepublican lawmakers had no problem with Gov. Walker running for office on the taxpayers’ dime. No complaints were raised when conservative Rep. Bob Ziegelbauer served as Manitowoc County executive for more than six years. In fact, Republicans recently urged Sen. Paul Farrow to stay in office while simultaneously serving as Waukesha County Executive so he could vote on the state budget and support the Milwaukee Bucks arena deal.

“This is what we’ve come to expect from Republican lawmakers who have been focused on limiting access to public records, dismantling the Government Accountability Board and opening the floodgates for corporate campaign contributions,” added Shilling. “Republicans have their priorities backwards, and it’s time we act to strengthen the middle class and encourage economic opportunities rather than caving to partisan politics. Wisconsin families continue to stand with Democrats in calling for action on school funding, student loan debt relief and improved child safety.”

***

Legislative writer Tony Palese contributed to this story.

Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
 
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16
Feb
2016

ice-fishingSen. Kathleen Vinehout is working on a bill to restore the ability of people to cross railroad lines to access public lands. Laws meant to protect energy providers from protesters are being felt by folks who cross over land to access public areas, such as fisherman along the Mississippi River. A new Republican bill (AB 547) could make matters worse.

Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
 
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16
Feb
2016

walker_wavesGov. Scott Walker's politically motivated executive order barring state agencies from working on the state’s Clean Power Plan implementation may cost ratepayers up to $55 million on their energy bills and will almost assure that EPA will impose a federal plan on Wisconsin.

Written by Clean Wisconsin   
 
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15
Feb
2016

boy-in-docUnder the Walker Administration there have been severe and systemic problems at the Department of Corrections, and the resignation of Secretary Ed Wall is not enough to solve them. Assembly Democrats officially request Audit of the Department of Corrections.


MADISON – Following the resignation of Corrections Secretary Ed Wall last Friday, Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) said that the Walker Administration and Republican legislators must also be held accountable for the crisis at the Department of Corrections. Assembly Democrats also officially requested an audit of the Department of Corrections in response to the severe health and safety concerns.

peter_barca“While a leadership change is warranted, the Walker Administration and Republican legislators must also be held accountable for the crisis at the Department of Corrections,” Rep. Barca said. “Under Gov. Walker and Republicans, our correctional institutions have become dangerously mismanaged and a toxic environment for staff and inmates."

The Walker Administration and Republican lawmakers have known for years that there were significant problems at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake and yet took no action. Wisconsin deserves accountability not only at the Department of Corrections but also throughout the Walker Administration and from Republicans in power to ensure that all our correctional facilities are the safest possible for workers, inmates and the citizens of Wisconsin.

In response to the ongoing issues at the state’s correctional system, members of the Assembly Democratic caucus also formally requested the Joint Committee on Audit to audit the Department of Corrections. A copy of their letter is available here.

Written by Assembly Democrats, Laura Smith   
 
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