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Abele Wants to Work with MPS PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by Milwaukee County, Melissa Baldauff   
Wednesday, 01 June 2016 09:56

mke-walk-public-schoolsMILWAUKEE – In an interview that aired over the weekend on WISN’s UpFront with Mike Gousha, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele again reaffirmed his commitment to working with Milwaukee Public Schools to implement the Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program in a way that is, “as pro-MPS as possible.”

Read WISN’s recap of the interview below, or view online here.

Recap of "Abele wants to work with MPS" on UpFront with Mike Gousha:

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said he wants to work with leaders of the Milwaukee Public Schools to turn around some struggling schools, as required by a new state law.

The Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program was written by state Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, and state Rep. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield. It calls for a few struggling MPS schools to be placed under the control of the county executive, and his appointed commissioner. Abele chose the Mequon-Thiensville superintendent, Dr. Demond Means, to lead the Opportunity Schools program.

But so far, the program has received a chilly response from the leaders of Milwaukee schools.

Appearing Sunday on "UPFRONT with Mike Gousha," Abele said he and Means have tried to address the district's concerns about how the program would work.

Abele said the plan he and Means have proposed would allow teachers in the Opportunity Schools program to remain MPS teachers, stay in their union and keep their salaries and benefits. The program would also start with just one school, and eventually return it to MPS, Abele said.

"We have proposed a way of implementing it that is as pro-MPS as possible," Abele said.

To date, MPS leaders have not agreed to negotiate an intergovernmental agreement with the county for operation of an OSPP school, or even meet with Abele and Means, according to Abele's office.

Abele said it is not an option to just ignore the law and hope the authors of it will go away.

"It is not the case, for anybody who is considering this issue right now, that we can simply say 'We don't want to do anything. Pass.' That is not an option we have," Abele said.

"We have to do something," he said. "If we don't do this, I think you might see something more heavy-handed and honestly, I'm concerned about that," he said.

How to Make Heads or Tails of Wisconsin’s Finances PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
Tuesday, 31 May 2016 08:54

capitol-domeMany indicators show that things are not as rosy as some would have you believe about Wisconsin’s financial health. Do we employ good budgeting practices as we struggle to pay our bills?

Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 May 2016 09:27
Walker Needs to Urge DSPS to Revoke VA Dr. Houlihan's Medical License PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin   
Friday, 27 May 2016 09:58

David HoulihanFor 12 years Dr. Houlihan, also known as the "Candy Man", handed out dangerous opioids like they were M&Ms, and now Republicans are failing to keep him away from patients.

MADISON - Recent reports show Dr. David Houlihan, also known as the "Candy Man" for his reckless prescription of opioids at the Tomah VA clinic, is continuing to practice medicine at a clinic in La Crosse. Houlihan allegedly prescribed "dosages greatly exceeding the recommended daily amount” and led to the death of at least one of his patients.

The Wisconsin Medical Board, made up of appointees of Gov. Scott Walker, has the ability to revoke Houlihan's license, but the governor has yet to ask the board to so.

"For 12 years Dr. Houlihan handed out dangerous opioids like they were M&Ms, and now Republicans are failing to keep him away from patients," said Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Brandon Weathersby. "Gov. Scott Walker must urge the state to pull Dr. Houlihan's license to practice medicine or explain to the people of Wisconsin why he refuses to do so."

The U.S. Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a field hearing on May 31 to hear testimony about Dr. Houlihan's disturbing behavior and pattern of abuse at the Tomah VA clinic.

Veterans were let down by Sen. Ron Johnson when his office sat on whistleblower tips regarding the Tomah VA, allowing them to languish in what the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel described as "the equivalent of a congressional black hole." Now, those very same veterans, and the people of Wisconsin, continue to be let down by Gov. Scott Walker.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 May 2016 10:16
Veterans Service Funding Cuts Jeopardize Health PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by GBP Staff   
Tuesday, 24 May 2016 13:00

vietnamwarBrown County Veterans Service Office (CVSO) among offices denied funding due to State Budget cuts, putting area veterans health at risk.

MADISON - A recent survey of County Veterans Service Offices found nearly half of all CVSOs funding requests were denied by the Department of Veterans Affairs. As a result, State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) called on Governor Walker to restore the grants as soon as possible.

dave-hansen“If they can afford to give away over $2 billion in tax breaks to their wealthy and corporate friends they should be able to fully fund our County Veterans Service Offices,” said Hansen. “Taking money that was meant to help veterans receive the support and services they need when we have so many veterans suffering and so many are homeless shows a shocking lack of respect for those who put their lives on the line in service to our country.”

After a failed attempt by Republican lawmakers to close local veterans services offices and limit access to veteran services and benefits, GOP lawmakers instead called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to limit grants and funding for county offices and staff making it more difficult for veterans to get the services they’ve earned and need.

“The continuing budget crisis we are experiencing is the result of bad fiscal management on the part of the Governor and Republican lawmakers," said Hansen. "They should not be compounding those mistakes by trying to balance their budget on the backs of veterans and their families. Restoring these grants will not break the bank but they will make a positive difference in the lives of our veterans.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 May 2016 16:52
Assembly Democrats Like Bucks Arena Labor Agreement Too PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Thursday, 19 May 2016 14:44

milw-arena-plazaMADISON - On Thursday, the Milwaukee Bucks announced that a deal had been reached with labor groups regarding permanent jobs that will be created with the new Bucks arena district. The agreement includes a commitment to hire at least half of the employees from areas in Milwaukee with the highest unemployment rates.

The starting minimum wage of $12/hour for these jobs will eventually increase to $15/hour. Employees will be free to form labor unions.

dana_wachs“This is a great step for our flagship city and for the rest of Wisconsin," said Representative Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire). "I was proud to support the state’s investment in the Bucks arena when it came to the Assembly floor, and I’m incredibly pleased to hear about today’s announcement."

"This commitment to improving the economic future of Milwaukee and to provide good, family-supporting jobs to people who live in high unemployment areas is something that we can all support and be proud of," continued Wachs. "This project isn’t just about a new basketball arena; it’s about making a strong, positive investment in our flagship city and the state of Wisconsin that will be felt for decades. I look forward to continued good news from this project and like many Wisconsinites I anxiously await the arrival of this new arena.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 May 2016 15:01
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