Thursday September 21, 2017

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State and Local
When “Up” is “Down”, Last Minute Budget Deals Worry Western Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 15:54

sand-mining-wiLate night secret dealings. No notice to local elected officials. No local powers to say “no”. Sen. Kathleen Vinehout writes about a last-minute, late-night budget motion to take away local powers to oversee sand mines and quarries in Wisconsin.

Firearm Self-Exclusion Program to Prevent, Reduce Suicide in Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Assembly Democrats, Britt Cudaback   
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 10:35

gun-control-debateNew legislation would allow persons to voluntarily prevent themselves from purchasing a handgun.

MADISON – In recognition of National Suicide Prevention Week, today State Representative Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) announced new legislation aimed at preventing and reducing suicide in Wisconsin. LRB-3529 would create the Firearm Self-Exclusion Program, which would allow persons to voluntarily prohibit themselves from purchasing a handgun in Wisconsin. The bill is modeled after decades-old self-exclusion programs in other states, notably several other Midwestern states including Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa, that have targeted problem gambling.

melissa-sargent“Suicide is such a taboo, highly-stigmatized subject in our society,” said Sargent, the lead author of LRB-3529. “Each and every one of us either has been affected ourselves or know someone who has been affected by a suicide loss, but we don’t often talk about those experiences or know how to get help when we need it. LRB-3529 provides an important step in preventing and reducing suicide by allowing people to take proactive steps to keep themselves safe when they’re in crisis.”

LRB-3529 is modeled after self-exclusion programs to combat problem gambling, which allow persons to prohibit themselves from entering casinos or cashing in gambling winnings. The bill requires the Department of Justice to create and maintain a list of persons who want to voluntarily exclude themselves from being able to purchase a handgun in Wisconsin. A person wanting to participate in the Firearm Self-Exclusion Program would simply have to fill out an application and would have the choice of selecting a one-year irrevocable term, or a five-year or twenty-year term with an irrevocable period during the first year.

“Nearly half of the suicides that occur in Wisconsin involve firearms, so folks having the opportunity to voluntarily exclude themselves from future handgun purchases—especially if they are persons who have previously experienced suicidal ideations or tendencies—is a simple solution that will save lives,” Sargent said. “We’re not just raising awareness about suicide, we’re making it socially acceptable for people to take action to keep themselves safe. It’s a win-win.”

The bill is co-authored by State Senator Latonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee), and is currently being circulated for co-sponsorship. The period for co-sponsorship ends on September 22nd.

“This bill is commonsense, and I am hopeful it will have bipartisan support. We’re not taking away anyone’s guns, and we’re not putting anyone on the list involuntarily—it’s strictly about self-selecting into a program to help prevent and reduce firearm-involved suicides in Wisconsin, and that’s something I think everyone can get behind, regardless of the letter behind their name,” Sargent concluded.


Melissa Sargent is a State Representative in the Wisconsin Assembly, representing the 48th Assembly District, which covers the east and north sides of the city of Madison and the village of Maple Bluff.

Governor Candidate McCabe to Hold Rally in Green Bay PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Commoners for Mike McCabe, Christine Welcher   
Monday, 11 September 2017 09:51

mccabe-gov-headerPrinciple Over Party campaign will barnstorm the state with a message about getting government working. Will be in Green Bay on Sept 14th at the Brown County Library.

GREEN BAY, WI - After his official kick-off in Curtiss, WI on Sept 12, 2017, McCabe’s Principle Over Party campaign will barnstorm the state with a message about getting government working for all of us and not just a few, a living wage for every worker, health care for all, debt-free education and job training, and high-speed Internet to every doorstep.

The second rally stop will be in Green Bay on Sept 14th. Several stops will be made that day culminating with a larger event from 5pm - 7pm at the Brown County Library. (515 Pine Street, Green Bay) The event is free and all are welcome.

mike-mccabe“Wisconsin is up to its eyeballs in problems. Same goes for our country as a whole. The problems grow out of political and economic inequality. Our society has been made more and more elitist, both politically and economically. It has been divided into royals and commoners,” McCabe said. “I am running for one reason and one reason only – to re-establish the ideal that our government should work as well for the commoners as it does for the royals.”

For 15 years, McCabe led the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonpartisan watchdog group that tracks the money in elections, exposes corruption and works to make people matter more than money in politics. ( He went on to start up the grassroots group Blue Jean Nation, which works to empower regular people to challenge the political establishment.

McCabe does not belong to any political party, but is entering the Democratic primary. The campaign’s website is

Wisconsin Budget Update PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Wisconsin Democrats   
Saturday, 09 September 2017 11:03

capitol-dome-mdsnHere is what happened in the Capitol last week as the Legislature finalized the state budget.

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