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17
Mar
2016

Merrick GarlandMADISON - On Wednesday, March 16, President Barack Obama announced his nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the United States Supreme Court. Judge Garland has served as the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 1997.

Following this announcement, Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire), the ranking Democrat on the Assembly Committee on Judiciary, expressed his support for Judge Garland and urged United States Senate Republicans, including Sen. Ron Johnson from Wisconsin, to do their job and give Judge Garland a hearing and a vote on confirmation.

dana_wachs“First of all, I’m very pleased with President Obama’s selection of Judge Garland for the Supreme Court,” said Wachs. “His extensive background, integrity, and outstanding legal acumen make him an ideal candidate for our nation’s highest court. I see no reason why Senate Republicans should not support him as many of them did when he was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals.”

In 1997, the moderate Garland was confirmed to his current position with bipartisan support, including support from seven current members of the Senate. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has publicly expressed support of Garland in the past for the Supreme Court.

However, since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February, many Senate Republicans have said that they will block any nomination made by President Obama and will wait for the next President to make the appointment.

“Article II of the United States Constitution mandates that the President ‘shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint.......Judges of the Supreme Court,’” added Wachs. “There is no flexibility in this. Those who have sworn to uphold the Constitution are mandated to hold hearings and take action on the President's selection. As ranking Democrat on the Assembly Committee on Judiciary, I am asking that Senator Ron Johnson and his Republican Senate colleagues do their job! Hold a fair hearing and vote!”

Written by Assembly Democrats   
 
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16
Mar
2016

rosemary-hinkfussMADISON - State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) announced today that prior to concluding its 2015-16 Legislative Session the State Senate passed a resolution honoring the life of Rosemary Hinkfuss.

Senate Resolution 11, introduced by Hansen, passed the State Senate unanimously with all senators being named co-authors in honor of the former state representative from Green Bay.

“Rosemary was a great lady, a loving mother and grandmother and a great community leader. It is only fitting that she be honored this way and I am glad that every senator from both sides of the aisle joined in honoring her,” said Hansen.

Former State Rep. Rosemary Hinkfuss died two weeks ago.  Rosemary, who would have turned 85 in September, served in the Assembly from 1988-94, representing the 88th District. She also served on the Brown County Board and Green Bay City Council from 1974-92. She was also the first female member of the Green Bay Packers Board of Directors.

Written by GBP Staff   
 
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16
Mar
2016

uwgb-studentAfter all their talk, Republicans do nothing to help the nearly 1 million Wisconsinites with student loans. They go home without even a vote on the plan they hailed as a $5.2 million tax cut, Gov. Walker’s affordability plan.


MADISON - Almost 1 million Wisconsin residents have nearly $20 billion in student loan debt and increasingly that debt follows them for most of their life. Nearly 60% are over the age of 30 and an increasing number of people are having their Social Security checks garnished to pay their student loans.

But on Tuesday, another session ended with Senate Republicans still blocking the increasingly popular 'Higher Ed/Lower Debt' bill. That bill would make it possible for burdened Wisconsinites to refinance their student loans at lower interest rates.

Republicans even left without a vote on Gov. Walker’s affordability plan, a $5.2 million tax cut, saying they couldn’t afford to pay for it.

dave-hansenThe result? Nothing was done to help lower the cost of crippling student loan payments.

“After blocking a vote on the increasingly popular Higher Ed/Lower Debt bill that allows student loan refinancing, Senate Republicans amazingly did absolutely nothing to help those nearly 1 million people with student loans," said State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), a co-sponsor of the bill. “It’s as if they asked themselves ‘what’s the least we can do to look like we care?’ and then did even less. Today they did nothing."

"After all their talk, Senate Republicans refused to even hold a vote on the key provision of Governor Walker’s affordability plan, a $5.2 million tax cut," concludes Hansen.

Written by GBP Staff   
 
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