Sunday April 18, 2021

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AFSCME Applauds Gov. Evers’s Veto of SB 38 PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by AFSCME Wisconsin, Valerie Landowski   
Friday, 26 March 2021 16:33

coronavirus-office-closed-wiMADISON - AFSCME Wisconsin applauds Governor Tony Evers’s veto of Senate Bill 38, requiring that the Governor submit to the legislature a uniform timeline for state employees to return to their physical places of employment.

AFSCME Wisconsin Executive Director Patrick Wycoff stated, “we frequently hear from frontline essential state workers about their desire to resume working from their offices. However, we also know that to do so prematurely would endanger the communities we serve and jeopardize the progress we’ve made to defeat COVID-19.”

Wycoff continued, “the needs of state workers are diverse, as are our workplaces and the communities we serve. We cannot institute a one-size-fits-all approach. Department of Corrections employees might face different hurdles than Department of Children and Families employees. Even within state departments, where one institution faces a challenge, another might face a drastically different scenario. One thing remains constant: we need targeted reopening plans that prioritize worker and community safety. Those plans must be specific to worksites, departments, and agencies.”

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 March 2021 10:40
 
“Ron Johnson running with Q’Anon” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 26 March 2021 10:44

rojo-qanonMILWAUKEE - We look at Sen. Ron Johnson’s lockstep alignment with Trump’s Q’Anon base, and his new found national infamy among moderates and progressives. Has he gone off the deep end or is this smart politics in Trump’s GOP? We discuss next week’s important Healthcare Week of Action focusing on critical healthcare priorities in the state budget. Claire details the events and your opportunity to get involved, including talking to your state legislators. We expose the Legislative Republican effort to downplay the importance of COVID-19 vaccination at a time when health officials are trying to get as many people as possible vaccinated. We close by welcoming Mike Browne, Deputy Director of A Better Wisconsin Together (ABWT) to discuss how two of their identical open records requests to GOP state legislators produce vastly different results, and what is says about transparency in Wisconsin government.

Listen Now – Episode #485
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Gov. Radio - Badger Bounceback Agenda to Expand Access to Affordable Healthcare PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 26 March 2021 08:30

healthcare-family-drMADISON — Gov. Tony Evers Thursday delivered the Democratic Radio Address on how his Badger Bounceback agenda will expand accessible and affordable healthcare in Wisconsin by expanding BadgerCare and investing in mental and behavioral health resources, addressing health disparities, lowering prescription drug costs, and addressing the caregiving crisis.

Audio file of Radio Address.

tony-evers-capHi everyone, Governor Tony Evers here.

Our Badger Bounceback budget agenda is all about how we can make sure our state recovers from the pandemic better and stronger than we were before the pandemic hit. And if there’s anything COVID-19 underscored, it’s that the health and wellness of our state and our economy depends on the health and wellness of our people.

Whether it’s affordability or accessibility due to lack of broadband for telehealth services or transportation to get into town, too many Wisconsinites continue to face barriers to accessing the healthcare that they need.

That’s why my biennial budget proposal invests in expanding access to affordable healthcare in four critical ways.

We’re proposing expanding BadgerCare to provide coverage to 90,000 Wisconsinites and save our state $1.6 billion dollars, ensuring telehealth services are covered the same as in-person services, investing in mental and behavioral health resources for the folks who need it, and addressing health disparities by investing in health equity initiatives and curbing social determinants of health.

We’re also going to tackle the rising costs of prescription drug prices with over 20 policy solutions to help lower costs and increase transparency because picking up your medications shouldn’t break the bank.

And, folks, all across Wisconsin we are experiencing a caregiving crisis, so we’re investing $600 million in our long-term care, direct care workforce, and family caregivers. And finally, we are also going to continue to protect and ensure coverage for the more than 2.6 million Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions.

Join me in supporting our Badger Bounceback budget by contacting your local representatives to tell them you support these proposals, and let’s get this done. Thank you.

 
Wis Democracy Campaign - $$$ in Spring Elections PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 26 March 2021 08:06

voting-2020MADISON - With the April 6 elections fast approaching, we’ve tallied some of the money flowing into two big races.

In the race for state superintendent, we found a huge money advantage for Jill Underly from outside groups:

Liberal Groups Outspending DeVos group 13 to 1 in Superintendent Race

In the appellate court race in southeastern Wisconsin, we noticed that a Republican outside group is pouring money in. This shows that big money groups are trying to buy even lower levels of the judiciary:

GOP Electioneering Group Drops $56K+ in Appeals Court Contest

And if you want to look back at any of the legislative races from the fall, our Data Analyst David Julseth has provided campaign finance updates through December 2020. Just click on this link, and whichever race interests you:

Online individual contributor database updated -- Fall 2020 legislative elections

For commentary, we published two pieces this week.

Our Racial Equity and Economic Justice Advocate, Cely Flores, wrote this eye-opening piece on a new bill in Wisconsin that would lift up the wage of restaurant servers. The minimum is a shocking $2.23 an hour here:

Servers Should Not Have to Depend on the Goodwill of Strangers

And I gave talk on Monday night to the Wisconsin Interfaith Voter Engagement Campaign on the nasty voter suppression bills that are circulating in Wisconsin, and the national anti-democracy movement that they are part and parcel of. Here’s the text of my talk:

The Battle for Democracy

matt-rothschildI hope you like this week’s offerings.

Have a nice weekend.

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

***

P.S. Please send us a tax-deductible donation so we can keep doing this urgent work. Just click here. Or you can mail your check in the old-fashioned way to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, 203 S. Paterson St, Suite 100, Madison WI 53703. Thanks!

 
Stubbs on Shooting in Boulder, Colorado PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Shelia Stubbs Press   
Tuesday, 23 March 2021 16:52

guncontrol-protestRepublicans should work with legislative Democrats on passing meaningful gun control reform, says Rep. Stubbs.


Madison, WI – Yesterday, a man in Boulder, Colorado shot and killed 10 people in a local grocery store. On this event, Rep.Stubbs issued the following statement:

“Gun violence continues to plague our communities, and it must be stopped. Yesterday, ten people lost their lives, and now ten families will never be the same. We cannot continue to stand by as our neighbors, friends, family and loved ones fall victim to these senseless attacks.”

shelia-stubbs-rep-district 77“Among those lost in this attack was Officer Eric Talley, who was a father of seven children. At the age of 40, Officer Talley left his career in cloud communications and dedicated his life to serving his community. We lost an inspirational public servant yesterday, and my prayers are with his family and loved ones today.”

“This is the third mass shooting in only one week. In just these three events, 23 people lost their lives to gun violence. Shootings happen nearly every day in our communities, and it is time for change. Gun violence is an epidemic, and our legislators must implement common sense regulations to keep our communities safe.”

“Gun violence tears at the fabric of community health. In addition to the tragic loss of life, gun violence creates an environment of fear, distrust, and danger that impacts all aspects of our lives. If we want to see a better tomorrow, we must make meaningful action today.”

“My prayers go out to the families that lost loved ones in this shooting. Enough is enough, and I pray that leaders on the other side of the aisle do what is right, and work with legislative Democrats on passing meaningful gun control reform.”

 
Wis Democracy Campaign - Say No to Racism! PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 19 March 2021 14:02

ron-johnson-speaksMADISON - This week, we were once again confronted with one of the fundamental problems facing our democracy: racism.

We saw it blurt out of the mouth of Senator Ron Johnson, when he said, on rightwing radio, that he wasn’t concerned on Jan. 6 by the Trump supporters but would have been by Black Lives Matter protesters. I wrote an editorial on this, demanding that Ron Johnson resign, which you can read here:

Ron Johnson, Resign!

And we saw it horrifically spill blood in Atlanta and take the lives of eight people, and notably six Asian Americans. Our Racial Equity and Economic Justice Advocate, Cely Flores, wrote about it here:

We Know a Hate Crime When We See One

We need to call racism out wherever we see it. It is a huge moral wrong, and it prevents democracy from functioning properly. No one has an equal voice when they are discriminated against. No one has an equal voice when they are denied life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness just because of who they are.

Of course, our democracy does not function properly because of big money in politics, too. If you want to find out which outside groups are spending the most in the spring elections, click on this link and then click on the groups that interest you:

Hijacking Campaign 2021 - Independent Expenditures

matt-rothschild-2018I hope you’re able to get out and enjoy the warm weather this weekend.

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

***

P.S. If you appreciate the work we’re doing here, please send us a tax-deductible gift by clicking here. Thanks!

 
“Avoiding target fixation on the filibuster…so we don't crash” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 19 March 2021 09:51

filibuster-2021MILWAUKEE - We weigh in on two national issues, first the horrific shootings in Georgia that appears to be yet another hate crime against the AAPI community, and the looming battle over the Senate filibuster and the future of the Democratic agenda.

We discuss Speaker Vos’s declaration this week that the Legislation will reject the very popular plan to accept available federal money to expand BadgerCare, turning down $1.6 billion dollars supercharged by the rescue package, denying health care to the working poor during and pandemic. Is Vos serious with dozens of potentially vulnerable Republican state legislators weigh their fate heading into redistricting or it a bluff? Vos also plays scrooge yet again, declaring the Assembly is not willing to suspend a one week waiting period for unemployment benefits despite 100% federal funding in the rescue package.

In yet another embarrassment, Legislative Republicans shamefully “honor” racist demagogue Rush Limbaugh while refusing to honor Black History Month. In other news, Foxconn, the white elephant of Racine County, says they might make electric cars… or maybe a monorail. Will they ever make anything that Donald Trump and Scott Walker promised in return for billions of state money?

Listen Now – Episode #484
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Press Clips

 
Governor's Radio Address on the Capital Budget PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Thursday, 18 March 2021 10:16

tony-eversMADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today delivered the Democratic Radio Address on the capital budget and how his Badger Bounceback agenda will help Wisconsinites bounce back from this pandemic.

Audio file of Radio Address.

Hi Wisconsin, Governor Tony Evers here.

Last month, I announced my Badger Bounceback agenda, which included our capital budget that will make significant investments in state infrastructure across Wisconsin.

I’m proud capital budget is one of the strongest investments to date in Wisconsin’s state facility infrastructure and economic recovery.

It includes a $2.38 billion investment that would provide approximately 29,000 family-supporting jobs and an estimated overall $4.3 billion economic impact. From investments in our UW system campuses, protecting our natural resources and state parks and forests, to taking care of our veterans at our Veterans Homes, we know that Wisconsinites across our state will feel the economic impact of this budget, which includes projects in 31 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

As we work to recover from this pandemic, these investments will be critically important in helping our economy and our state bounce back from this pandemic stronger than we were before this pandemic hit.

But at the end of the day, our Badger Bounceback agenda won’t be possible without you. You can help make sure we bounce back from this pandemic by contacting your legislator. Go to legis.wisconsin.gov and find your legislator’s contact information and ask them to support our Badger Bounceback agenda so we can get past this pandemic and bounce back, together.

Thank you.

 
Hintz On Atlanta Shootings PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Gordon Hintz Press, Rep. 54th Assembly District   
Wednesday, 17 March 2021 13:23

asian-american-pacific-islanderTragic shootings that transpired in Atlanta last night are a product of fear mongering and xenophobia, says Hintz.


MADISON – Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) released the following statement in response to the shootings last night in Atlanta, which took the lives of eight people:

gordon_hintz“Racism and anti-AAPI rhetoric is not new to this country. The tragic shootings that transpired in Atlanta last night are a product of fear mongering and xenophobia that has been sowed and heightened against the AAPI community under the previous administration.”

“Hate has no home in our community. We must all commit to taking action to root out anti-AAPI rhetoric where it exists here in our country and in our state.”

 
Expanding BadgerCare is the Best Bang for our Buck PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District   
Monday, 15 March 2021 15:28

badgercare-saveExpanding BadgerCare, as proposed in the budget, would net a $1 billion dollar incentive payment, and a recent Marquette Law Poll shows that 70% of Wisconsin residents approve.


MADISON - Who doesn’t love a good deal? It’s common for folks in Wisconsin to want to make sure they are getting the best bang for their buck.

So why shouldn’t the Wisconsin legislature do the same? For years, Democrats have been pushing to expand BadgerCare because it ensures greater access to affordable, quality coverage, lower premiums and generates millions to be re-invested in programs that benefit all Wisconsinites. More coverage for less, that’s a great deal.

It’s a deal that just got better under the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Under this plan, if Wisconsin were to expand BadgerCare – as proposed in the Governor’s budget – Wisconsin would receive an additional billion dollar incentive payment.

Yes, you read that correctly. ONE BILLION DOLLARS. That’s in addition to the $634 million dollars of general purpose revenue Wisconsin would save and the 1.3 billion federal dollars we would leverage.

For those of you concerned about those big numbers and what that means for Wisconsin’s bottom line, it’s important to remember that Wisconsin would not save any money by choosing not to participate. Instead our tax dollars would go to other states that DO choose to participate. We are only one of twelve states that don’t.

If we have learned anything from the last year it’s the importance of access to affordable and quality healthcare. And once again, Gov. Evers is prioritizing healthcare for Wisconsinites by introducing a budget that makes critical investments in health services while also expanding BadgerCare.

jon-erpenbachWe’re now a full year into the COVID-19 pandemic and the stakes couldn’t be higher for our state’s ability to bounce back. The only thing standing between our state and over a billion dollars are legislative Republicans dead set on sticking it to the Governor.

During the last budget Republicans foolishly rejected BadgerCare expansion and there is absolutely no reason to make the same mistake again. Especially when there is even more money on the line.

There is no way to refute the fact that BadgerCare expansion is good for our state. States that have expanded their own programs saw positive impacts on their economies including: lower premiums, an increase in providers in rural areas, reductions in medical debt, reductions in infant mortality rates, and better reimbursements rates that helps attract and retain medical professionals.

More importantly it’s what you, the people of Wisconsin, want! The most recent Marquette Law Poll shows that 70% of Wisconsin residents approve of expanding BadgerCare.

It is the fiscally smart thing to do and the best deal for Wisconsin. To reject it would be a costly missed opportunity. Republicans have their second chance, and we should all be putting pressure on them to do what is right.

Jon Erpenbach represents the 27th Senate District which covers Sauk, Dane, Iowa, Columbia and Green County.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 March 2021 15:50
 
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