Thursday September 21, 2017

Always Foward with Education & Reason

State and Local
Gov. Walker’s Economic Depression PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Tony Palese   
Friday, 08 September 2017 19:07

farm familyFamilies losing hope as Wisconsin suffers through another dismal jobs report.

LWV-WI Calls on U.S. Supreme Court to Rule in Favor of Fair Voting Districts PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by League of Women Voters Wisconsin   
Friday, 08 September 2017 18:02

wi-dist-mapsLeague of Women Voters of Wisconsin, other organizations, file amicus brief calling on the Supreme Court to require the state legislature to redraw the voting maps in time for the 2018 elections.

MADISON – The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin joined other organizations this week in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Gill v. Whitford, the case in which a federal district court ruled the Wisconsin Assembly districts unconstitutional based on partisan gerrymandering. The brief calls on the Supreme Court to uphold a lower court ruling which requires the state legislature to redraw the voting maps in time for the 2018 elections. The brief can be found here.

The amicus brief demonstrates how Wisconsin’s 2011 redistricting has resulted in legislation that is much more extreme than would be expected from a more typical shift in the majority from one party to another. By creating “safe districts” in which a particular party is assured of victory in elections, the gerrymandered districts insulate lawmakers from accountability to their constituents.

supreme-court“We have seen a serious breakdown in the legislative process in recent years. We have seen a bill that appeared to be traceable back to the desire of one wealthy donor. We have seen cases where thousands of constituent calls and emails were simply ignored. This is running roughshod over democracy,” said Andrea Kaminski, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.

The brief demonstrates the ill effects of gerrymandering specifically on legislation related to government accountability, funding for public education and protection of our natural resources. The League holds positions in all of these areas and is active in the State Capitol working to pass policies that are responsive to the needs of the public.

Barca to Step Down from Assembly Leadership PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by GBP Staff   
Friday, 08 September 2017 11:29

peter_barcaAssembly Democratic Minority Leader departs effective September 30th in response to dissatisfaction from fellow Democrats.

MADISON - Peter Barca (D – Kenosha) has decided to step down as Assembly Democratic Minority Leader effective September 30th.

Barca announced his decision after a closed-door meeting Thursday with Assembly Democrats. He has been their leader since 2011, when Republicans took control of the Assembly and current Governor Scott Walker began his first term. The Democrats hold just 35 of the 99 seats in the Assembly, their lowest level since 1957.

assemblyDemocratic Rep. Christine Sinicki, of Milwaukee, told Wisconsin Public Radio that Barca was forced out in a "coup" led by younger lawmakers unhappy with his leadership.

In addition to these loses, many Democrats disagreed with Barca's recent vote to support the Governor's $3 billion deal to entice Foxconn into the state at the expense of public education and road funding. No successor has been announced.

Barca released the following statement Thursday evening regarding his decision to step down.

“This afternoon I made the very difficult decision to step down as leader of the Assembly Democrats following deliberate, thoughtful discussions. I am grateful to my colleagues for their support over the last seven years.

"It has been my honor to work as their leader in the fight for family-supporting jobs and an economy that works for everyone. Assembly Democrats have always fought to do what is right for Wisconsin families and workers.

"I will continue this effort but will be able to put much more focus on my district, which will have more challenges than ever in the months ahead.

"We ended our discussion this afternoon with a very constructive strategy session, and we are very focused on the work we must do to improve Gov. Walker’s short-sighted budget. We are well prepared for the work ahead.”

Wisconsin Families Pay More for Less PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Joint Finance Committee Democrats   
Wednesday, 06 September 2017 19:57

school-closedRepublican budget prioritizes special interest giveaways over schools and roads.

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