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Senate Passes Resolution Honoring Rosemary Hinkfuss PDF Print E-mail
Written by GBP Staff   
Wednesday, 16 March 2016 16:07

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.

Senate Ends Session with No Action on Student Debt PDF Print E-mail
Written by GBP Staff   
Wednesday, 16 March 2016 11:12

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.

Western Wisconsin Locals Raise Questions about Railroad Police PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
Tuesday, 15 March 2016 09:50

fishing-fly1Area sportsmen clash with railroad enforcement on public lands along the Mississippi. Sen. Vinehout writes about the questions she has heard from local residents, enforcement and elected officials on the authority of railroad police. She has authored three bills addressing issues brought forward in her conversations.

Senate Republicans Block Wisconsin's Open Record Laws PDF Print E-mail
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin   
Monday, 14 March 2016 17:31

capitol-nightMADISON, WI – After leading the charge to gut Wisconsin's open record laws last summer, Senate Republicans have continued their fight against clean, open and transparent government. In the final days of the legislative session, Senate Republicans are once again blocking action on legislation (AB873/SB704) to expand access to open records.

"Elected officials should work for Wisconsin families, not out-of-state special interests," said Matt Ullsvik, SSDC Executive Director. "Instead, Senate Republicans continue to wage war on transparency and accountability to hide their misguided political agenda and special interest influences."

Last summer, Several Finance Committee members including Senators Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls), Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) and Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) voted to gut Wisconsin's open record laws and exempt legislators from public scrutiny. Additionally, a recent report by the Associated Press found that the Senate Republican Leader failed to fully comply with a routine open records request last month.

"This year's Sunshine Week is a powerful reminder of the importance of government transparency," added Ullsvik. "Special interest influence at WEDC, large campaign donors getting preferential treatment and the cost of Gov. Walker's presidential campaign were just a few of the major stories revealed thanks to Wisconsin's open record laws. Rather than more Republican attacks on transparency, residents heading to the polls this year should demand more accountability and reject Republican secrecy."

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