Thursday May 25, 2017

Always Foward with Education & Reason

State and Local
Student Loan Borrowers Lose Federal Protections PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Tony Palese   
Tuesday, 09 May 2017 10:06

uwec-studentsDemocrats call on Attorney General to defend student loan borrowers.

LA CROSSE, WI – As the Trump administration works to undermine consumer protections for student loan borrowers, Wisconsin Democrats are calling for action. 47 state lawmakers are urging Attorney General Brad Schimel to join twenty-one state attorneys general from around the country who have stepped up to protect student loan borrowers.

jennifer-shilling-2014“Student loan debt and predatory Wall Street lending practices are affecting families across our state,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “With President Trump’s decision to eliminate student loan protections, we need leaders in Wisconsin to come together and stand up for hardworking families. Student loan borrowers who have worked hard to get ahead shouldn’t have the deck stacked against them more than it already is. Rather than siding with Wall Street banks and out-of-state corporations, I hope Attorney General Schimel will join me and my Democratic colleagues to restore critical consumer protections for student loan borrowers.”

Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy Devos recently blocked Obama era reform efforts designed to ensure borrowers understand their outstanding student debt and repayment options. As a result, student loan borrowers and military members will face additional uncertainty over their loans.

Wisconsin is home to nearly one million residents who are carrying a combined $19 billion in student loan debt. In addition to calling for stronger student loan consumer protections, Wisconsin Democrats led by Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine) have introduced the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Act which would expand student loan tax credits and allow borrowers the opportunity to refinance student loans at lower interest rates. The plan remains stalled in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Attorney General Should Oppose Elimination of Rules Protecting Student Loan Holders PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by GBP Staff   
Monday, 08 May 2017 15:12

uwgb-studentsWisconsin should join 21 other states in response to increasing complaints from student loan holders on delays in getting their payments processed, poor communication, the charging of unexpected fees and what has been described as “systemic mistreatment” of borrowers by servicing corporations.

What's Next To Protect Our Groundwater And Defend The ACA? PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
Saturday, 06 May 2017 17:26

hicapNews from the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.

MADISON - It’s been a rough week for citizens who are concerned about groundwater in Wisconsin or healthcare in our nation.

The State Assembly on Tuesday passed SB76, which allows currently existing High Capacity Wells to be repaired, reconstructed, replaced or transferred without further review to assess cumulative effects on the aquifer. With lowered stream and lake levels already in some parts of the state, this is a license to withdraw large amounts of water – a license that never expires. The bill is now headed to the Governor to be signed into law.

Click here to urge Gov. Walker to protect our groundwater by vetoing SB76 or call him at 608-266-1212.

The House of Representatives in a narrow vote approved a bill to repeal and replace major parts of the Affordable Care Act. The representatives had no idea how much it would cost. The bill is now headed to the Senate.

According to LWV-US, if it passes:

  • 24 million Americans will lose coverage by 2020
  • Costs will increase for many seniors and those with pre-existing conditions
  • Women will go back to paying more than men for basic care
  • Women will lose access to safe abortion care and see increases in costs for birth control
  • Millions of children, seniors and people with disabilities who are currently covered by Medicaid will no longer be able to get the care they need

Click here to see how your Representative voted. Call 202-224-3121 to leave a message for Senator Ron Johnson or Senator Tammy Baldwin.

In better news, this week the state legislature’s Joint Finance Committee wisely stripped from the budget a proposal to place the Wisconsin Judicial Commission under the control of the Supreme Court. The League opposed that plan -- as we did in 2015 -- because the Commission must stay independent in case it has to investigate the actions of a Supreme Court justice.

We’re proud of our LWV WI Voter Education Coordinator, Erin Grunze, who has been recognized by GiveGab as a Nonprofit Champion.

Click here to see the latest information about our State Annual Meeting, June 9-10 in Green Bay. We’ve added three Small Group Discussions designed to strengthen local Leagues to our Friday evening schedule. 

* For more depth, click here to see who are the winners and losers under the House healthcare bill.

Walker Must Support Wisconsinites With Pre-Existing Conditions PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Saturday, 06 May 2017 11:12

walker-dodgerHouse GOP members passed legislation on Thursday to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Walker would consider allowing insurance companies to raise premiums on some of the most vulnerable people in the state.

MADISON - House GOP members passed legislation on Thursday to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Part of the bill allows states to seek waivers exempting insurers from a prohibition on issuing higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions. Today, Gov. Walker told the Associated Press that he would consider allowing insurance companies to raise premiums on some of the most vulnerable people in the state.

Immediately after the bill's passage, Gov. Walker applauded House Republicans in a series of tweets for a passing a bill that could kick up to 24 million Americans off of their health care insurance over the next decade.


A major concern of the AHCA is how it rolls back important protections for people with pre-existing conditions, which could increase health care costs for millions of Americans. Insurers still cannot deny coverage outright, but they can hike up premiums to an unaffordable amount - effectively pricing people out of the market. Gov. Walker and Speaker Ryan both look to high-risk pools as an alternative to simply prohibiting insurance companies from raising costs or denying coverage, but even Wisconsin's high-risk pools left out roughly a half million people uninsured.

"The Governor has to know how important it is for people with pre-existing conditions to receive health care coverage and with such broad language defining pre-existing conditions in the AHCA it would be an act of cruelty to allow them to be priced out of their health insurance," Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Brandon Weathersby said on Friday. "The Governor should decline a waiver exempting insurance companies from prohibitions that help individuals with pre-existing conditions get the care they need."

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