Sunday February 18, 2018

Always Forward with Education & Reason

FacebookTwitterYoutube
Newsletter
Feeds:
Articles for State & Local

State and local news category



Vinehout, Vruwink Introduce “Moving Broadband Forward” Bills PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Beau Stafford   
Thursday, 15 February 2018 15:33

broadband-cablePackage of four bills provide $100 million a year in grants for broadband expansion for the next two years.


MADISON – State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) and State Rep. Don Vruwink (D-Milton) introduced their “Moving Broadband Forward” bills on Wednesday.

The package of four bills provide $100 million a year in grants for broadband expansion for the next two years. The legislation also removes costly and time-consuming roadblocks when municipalities want to start their own broadband utilities.

Under the bill, municipalities and the state Department of Transportation would be allowed to install empty conduit lines for future fiber optics as part of road and sidewalk projects. This eliminates the need to dig trenches a second time. The “dig-once” policy could save up to ninety percent of the cost of installing future fiber optics.

Also, the bills require that for a service to be called or advertised as “Broadband” it must consistently allow users to download at 25 Mbps (megabytes per second) and upload at 3 Mbps.

kathleen-vinehout“Wisconsin has not been serious about expanding broadband,” Vinehout said. “The Governor returned $23 million in federal stimulus broadband money in 2011. Since 2014, Wisconsin has approved only $3.9 million in broadband expansion grants. Minnesota spent $85 million during that same time.”

The Federal Communications Commission recently reported that thirteen percent of Wisconsinites lack access to at least one broadband service provider. In 2016, according to the tech firm Speedtest, Wisconsin ranked 49th in average internet speed.

“Wisconsin is lagging the nation badly in broadband service, especially compared to Minnesota. We have a lot of catching up to do,” Senator Vinehout said. “We won’t be able to Move Broadband Forward without a significant investment and a commitment to fixing the problems with current law.”

don-vruwink“The Legislature so far has dropped only pennies into the bank of our broadband infrastructure,” Vruwink said. “In this day and age, high-speed internet is as essential as electricity. It is vital to the economic success of our small towns, villages and cities. Currently, municipalities that want to become internet service providers face too many bureaucratic obstacles. This bill removes the unnecessary obstacles.”

“Broadband expansion today is the rural electrification of the 1930s and ’40s,” Vruwink said. “I’ve heard from many business owners, farmers, and families around the state who do not have access to broadband internet. That puts them at a competitive disadvantage.”

“We must get serious about Moving Broadband Forward,” Sen. Vinehout said. “Real broadband is an essential service for families, for students, and for businesses. It will do far more to keep and attract young people to Wisconsin than an advertising campaign in Chicago.”

 
Legislators Introduce Juvenile Corrections Bill PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Zachary Benson   
Wednesday, 14 February 2018 16:39

boy-in-docBill to address the serious allegations of abuse and mistreatment in Wisconsin's juvenile corrections system, including the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake facilities.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 February 2018 17:00
Read more...
 
Moving Broadband Forward for Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
Tuesday, 13 February 2018 16:46

broadband-map-northwoodsSen. Vinehout  is introducing bills, with Rep. Don Vurwink, focused on moving broadband expansion forward in Wisconsin. The bills would provide $100 million annually for broadband expansion and direct funds to areas of most need and provide accountability.

Read more...
 
Bill Lays Foundation For Youth Corrections Overhaul PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by BOWEN PRESS   
Tuesday, 13 February 2018 14:57

lincohn-hills-youth-prisonKleefisch-Bowen bill would close Lincoln Hills by 2020, move less serious youth offenders to local county-run residential care centers and keep more serious offenders with the state DOC.


MADISON – On Tuesday, bipartisan coalition of legislators announced Assembly legislation that would close Lincoln Hills by 2020, instead opening county-run secure residential care centers for less serious youth offenders while keeping Serious Juvenile Offenders (SJOs) under the supervision of the state Department of Corrections (DOC).

david-bowen“Today’s announcement is the culmination of over a year of discussions with legislators on both sides of the aisle, judges, system stakeholders and advocates as I have made the reform of our youth corrections system a key focus of my work as a legislator,” said Rep. David Bowen (D-Milwaukee). “Providing evidenced-based, secure local options for judges was our goal, and this bill uses an existing, but unused, option to accomplish that goal. Allowing counties to run local, secure residential care centers focused on trauma-informed care with a low number of beds and low staff to student ratios will transform how we treat young people and deliver improved outcomes in addition to cost savings.”

Assembly Bill 794 (AB 794), the legislation that much of today’s announcement was built upon, would allow counties to collaborate or work alone in establishing secure residential care centers, moving less serious offenders into community-based treatment centers with a proven track record of reducing recidivism.

“Protecting our families is the most important goal,” said Representative Joel Kleefisch. “For those less serious offenders, it’s in our state’s best interest economically and ethically to ‘not throw away the key’ when it comes to arming those kids with the tools to become productive members of society.”

A public hearing on the agreed upon bill will be held this Thursday at 9 a.m. in the Assembly Committee on Corrections.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 February 2018 16:01
 
LWV WI Opposed to January 2018 Special Session Welfare Reform Bills PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by League of Women Voters Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 13 February 2018 09:55

store-checkoutMADISON - Last week, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin registered in opposition to the Special Session bills that seek to reform welfare in Wisconsin by punishing the poor and creating punitive barriers to needed assistance. Rather, the League suggests the legislature create proposals that meet the needs to move people out of poverty with sustained opportunities. You can read the statement here.

The League also joined with over twenty organizations last week in a coalition letter and joint press conference to call on the Governor to reconsider these bills which you can view here thanks to Wisconsin Eye.

The Welfare Reform bills are currently scheduled to be voted on in the Assembly on Thursday, 2/15. The Legislative Committee continues to track these bills and more. We appreciate their vigilance during this floor session. And we appreciate League members contacting their representatives. You can find yours here.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 February 2018 10:18
 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 155
Copyright © 2018. Green Bay Progressive. Designed by Shape5.com