Thursday September 21, 2017

Always Foward with Education & Reason

State and Local
Public Gets a Say on Manure Spreading Rules PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by League of Conservation Voters, Ryan Billingham   
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 17:36

clean-drinking-waterComment Period Will Allow Citizens to Weigh in on Drinking Water Crisis.

Road Construction Delays Hurt Verona Road Businesses PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 10:23

madison-beltlineLegislative Democrats and small business owners in southwest Madison community outline how delays in critical road construction projects on have hurt Verona Road businesses, call on Gov. Walker to “Get It Done, Already”.

MADISON - Members of the Verona Road Business Coalition (VRBC) joined Assembly and Senate Democrats today to urge Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans to stop delaying critical transportation projects. Small business owners with VRBC criticized the ongoing delays of the Verona Road construction project as fears loom that the project will again be delayed pushing its completion date to 2022.

"Small businesses are the backbone of Wisconsin communities here in Madison and across the state", said Deirdre Garton, co-owner of Quivey's Grove, and co-founder and executive board member of the VRBC. “I’ve watched as my fellow business owners have taken hit after hit. Nine of the businesses in our coalition have either shut their doors or closed all together since the construction began and many of our members are taking losses as high as 20 percent of revenue. We can’t wait any longer.”

terese_berceau“This governor doesn’t seem to get the connection between jobs and transportation,” said Rep. Terese Berceau (D – Madison). “This is the second state budget in which Gov. Walker and Republicans have delayed completion of the Verona Road project. We’ve got roughly 60,000 drivers on that road every day maneuvering traffic cones and crumbling pavement. For folks trying to get to businesses along Verona Road, it is even more difficult. Get it done, already.”

jon-erpenbach“This is Governor Walker’s fourth state budget where he failed at his campaign promise to stop kicking the can down the road. Wisconsin needs a long term viable transportation funding solution for our rural roads, our bridges and our highways. Delaying any transportation project again in this budget costs taxpayers more out of pocket and in the long run. Businesses from all over this state are living in limbo because of the failure of the Governor Walker to lead as he promised,” said Senator Jon Erpenbach (D - Middleton).

Construction on the Verona Road project began in 2013. The governor's failure to address the transportation funding crisis has lead to cuts and delays in critical highway projects, including the Verona Road project, which was delayed another year in the most recent budget.

Verona Road is a critical thoroughfare for Verona, Fitchburg, and Madison workers and residents. As area businesses continue to hire workers, the need for adequate transportation along the Verona Road corridor increases. Epic Systems hires approximately 1,000 new workers each year.

Other transportation projects are also delayed, including the Interstate 94 North-South project in Racine and Kenosha. While this project is now included in a bill to fund incentives for the proposed deal with Foxconn, funding is dependent upon a federal grant that the state has not yet received. The northern portion of the Milwaukee Zoo Interchange is also delayed.

A 2017 audit of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) found that the agency significantly underestimates the costs of major construction projects leading to increased costs to Wisconsin taxpayers. Thousands of miles of Wisconsin roads are in need of repair as are more than 2,000 Wisconsin bridges. Still, Gov. Walker and Republicans in the Legislature continue to fail to agree on a sustainable funding solution to the state’s transportation crisis. Roughly 22 cents of every dollar Wisconsin spends on transportation goes towards debt rather than road repairs.

Here are the results of a survey of Verona Road businesses impacted by the construction.

Wisconsin’s Long Journey toward a Living Wage PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 07:51

business_peopleWisconsin was one of the first states to enact a Living Wage law in 1913, at first only for women and minors over age 17. Opponents fought the law in the courts and the legislature, and the Governor and Legislative majority repealed the very definition of “living wage” by the 1980s. The federal minimum wage law replaced it, but has not kept up with the cost of living since 1968.

Seniorcare Anniversary A Reminder Of Program’s Success PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Tony Palese   
Friday, 01 September 2017 11:00

big-pharmaDems urge legislative action to protect and extend popular Rx drug program.

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