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Senate confirms Jackson as first Black, female Supreme Court justice PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Hill Press   
Thursday, 07 April 2022 17:02

ketanji-brown-jackson-fbJackson needs to be sworn in before she’s officially a justice on the Supreme Court. Justice Stephen Breyer, whom she is succeeding, has said he will step down over the summer.

Biden targets Putin’s daughters, Russian banks in new wave of sanctions PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Hill Press   
Wednesday, 06 April 2022 14:34

ukraine-conflict-2022U.S. and other international leaders have said the images of civilians discovered bound, shot at close range, piled in cellars and left for dead on the street likely amount to war crimes.

WASHINGTON, DC - The Biden administration on Wednesday announced a wave of new sanctions targeting Russia’s two largest banks, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s daughters, the wife and daughter of Russia’s top diplomat and blacklisted members of Russia’s Security Council.

A senior administration official said the measures are being imposed in alignment with allies in the Group of Seven nations and the European Union and are in response to “the sickening brutality” recently discovered in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha following the retreat of Russian forces.

Read the full story here.

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 April 2022 10:56
Economy adds 431K jobs in March, unemployment down to 3.6 percent PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Hill Press   
Friday, 01 April 2022 10:35

jobs-now-hiringResilient consumer spending and historically strong demand for workers helped power the U.S. economy to another steady job gain.

House passes bill to cap the cost of insulin PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Hill Press   
Friday, 01 April 2022 10:09

diabetes-insulinUnder the bill, Medicare beneficiaries would pay no more than $35 for each 30-day insulin prescription.

WisGOP’s Vote Against Lowering Insulin Costs PDF Print E-mail
Written by WisDems Press   
Friday, 01 April 2022 09:41

diabetes-insulinWisconsin GOP Voted Against Lowering Insulin Costs for the 392,965 Wisconsinites With Diabetes

MADISON, Wis. – Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler released the following statement after every single Wisconsin Republican in Congress voted against a bill to cap the cost of insulin at $35 per month:

“As many as 392,965 Wisconsinites have been diagnosed with diabetes – fully 8.5% of Wisconsin’s adult population. Yet, as the cost of insulin continues to rise, many of these families may be forced to choose between making rent or paying for this life-saving medication. That’s why Wisconsin’s Representatives Kind, Moore, and Pocan all voted to drastically cut the monthly cost of insulin for Wisconsinites today – and why President Biden continues to advocate for lower drug prices for every American.

“Today’s vote is another bitter example of Wisconsin Republicans in Congress valuing large corporations and the pharmaceutical industry over the families they’re supposed to represent. Being able to afford life-saving medication should never be a partisan issue. Voting against this bill is a betrayal that families in Wisconsin will not soon forget.”

Main Street Bounceback Grants Have Helped More Than 3,400 Small Businesses in Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
Written by Evers Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 01 April 2022 08:57

businesses-micro-ethnically-diverseStorefronts opened in all 72 Counties.

MERCER — Gov. Tony Evers, together with Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes, announced, with new recipients in Iron County awarded today, the Main Street Bounceback grant program has now helped fill vacant storefronts in all 72 counties and has helped more than 3,400 small businesses and nonprofit organizations across the state. In April 2021, Gov. Evers announced the state would dedicate $50 million toward helping small business owners open physical locations and communities fill vacant storefronts. An analysis from November 2021 showed that as a share of federal pandemic aid the state has received and directed by Gov. Evers, Wisconsin ranked second in the country for aid directed to economic development, and first in the country in aid allocated to businesses

tony-evers“I’m proud we’ve been a national leader in our work to invest in small businesses and ensure our main streets and our communities rebound and recover,” said Gov. Evers. “Small businesses are an essential part of our state and local economies. This program is about making sure we’re investing in our long-term economic success by helping entrepreneurs and new business owners achieve their business dreams while revitalizing main streets in every corner of our state, creating jobs, gathering places, and new opportunities for communities.”

Gov. Evers, Secretary and CEO Hughes, and area business owners celebrated the success of the Main Street Bounceback grants during a visit Thursday to Aurora Up North which is a flooring, décor, and accessories store in Mercer. The store is one of two businesses that received a $10,000 Main Street Bounceback grant in Iron County, making Iron County the 72nd county to have businesses that applied and were awarded grants from this program. With this addition, now every county in Wisconsin has benefitted from Main Street Bounceback grants. 

“The businesses and organizations that have received these grants are all different—everything from restaurants and barbershops to mental health providers and chambers of commerce,” said Secretary and CEO Hughes. “The one thing they all have in common is that they are investing in making their communities a better place.” 

Kimberly Norkunas, owner of Aurora Up North and a Marine veteran, and her husband, Chip, have been transforming an old Mercer building that, according to local legend, was once a bar frequented by Al Capone and other gangsters. Most recently a pizza place and then an antique store, the couple is giving the building a new life by using half of the space to sell flooring, which Chip installs. The other half of the store is being transformed into Gunny SunShine’s PX, where Kimberly plans to sell accessories and home furnishings. Having earned the rank of Gunnery Sergeant (E-7) during her 21-year career in the Marines, Kimberly acquired the nickname Gunny SunShine because of her tendency to always be smiling. A native Californian, Kimberly chose Wisconsin when she decided to start her own business. 

“We like the traditions and we love the people,” Kimberly Norkunas said. “It’s a very open arms group of people. It’s like being in front of a roaring fire because everyone’s so warm. Other local businesses here have been giving us tips. I want to accentuate and add on to what they’re doing—not take stuff away.”

In addition to Aurora Up North, the North Pole Bar in Hurley is the second business in Iron County that received a Main Street Bounceback grant. Eva and Bill Bruce decided to buy the bar in order to show others the beauty of Wisconsin’s Northwoods. The bar is located on a snowmobile and ATV trail, and the owners hope to build a campground resort on the property surrounding the North Pole Bar. They hope to make it a place where people can enjoy nature and time with friends and family. 

“Fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, ATVing—it’s really what we want to tell people Wisconsin is all about,” said Bill Bruce. 

At least one more Iron County business has applied for a Main Street Bounceback grant and Kelly Klein, coordinator for the Iron County Development Zone, said he is working with other local businesses that are planning to apply. 

“Helping entrepreneurs get started with new businesses has been a focus of our economic development efforts in Iron County,” said Klein. “The Main Street Bounceback grants have been very helpful for Aurora Up North and the North Pole to get going with start-up costs.” 

Funds for the Main Street Bounceback Grant Program are provided by the federal American Rescue Plan Act and have made a difference to business districts around the state from Washburn in the north to Prairie du Chien in the south. Washburn, a city of about 2,000 people on Lake Superior’s Chequamegon Bay, has received 12 Main Street Bounceback grants so far. 

“We had so many open opportunities, vacant locations,” said Melissa Martinez, director of the Washburn Area Chamber of Commerce. “It helped us fill in a lot of gaps that have been sitting there empty for years and it's really allowed some existing businesses to expand, opening up some smaller spaces for more Main Street Bounceback grants.” 

Crawford County, situated along the Mississippi River in Southern Wisconsin, has received 30 Main Street Bounceback grants so far, with 23 of those businesses located in Prairie du Chien. 

“The economic impact of those dollars is gigantic for our small, rural county,” said Carol Roth, the executive director of Driftless Development Inc. which is the economic development organization for Crawford County. “To large companies, $10,000 may not be as significant, however to these small businesses it’s so important. It also lets these business owners know that someone is supporting them.” 

WEDC is working with nine regional economic development organizations to quickly disburse grant funding to eligible businesses and nonprofit organizations. More information about the Main Street Bounceback Grant Program and how to apply is available on the WEDC website here. The program is scheduled to run through June 30, 2022.

Gov. Evers Takes Action on 13 Bills PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 01 April 2022 08:48

evers-budget-signListing of bills signed and vetoed Thursday.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers took action on 13 bills Thursday. The governor signed:

Senate Bill 235, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 212:

  • Requires the Department of Public Instruction to exclude data derived from a juvenile detention facility, secured residential care center for children and youth, house of corrections, or county jail located in a school district from that school district’s report card if 50 percent or more of the pupils at the facility are in the facility for less than the entire school term.

Senate Bill 398, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 213:

  • Adds September 11 to the list of special observance days observed by schools; and
  • Specifies the day is to remember the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, and to honor law enforcement officers and fire fighters.

Senate Bill 589, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 214:

  • Updates the allowable version of the Foundations of Reading test to reflect the phaseout of the 2012 version currently used.

Senate Bill 828, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 215:

  • Allows the recipient of the on-line early learning pilot program funds of $500,000 as established by 2019 Wisconsin Act 170, Waterford Upstart, to expand the school districts that may participate in the program beyond the six specified in the original legislation, so long as children in those six districts are given priority for participation and the Department of Public Instruction approves the program changes.

Senate Bill 829, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 216:

  • Requires that a county return the net proceeds from the sale of a tax delinquent property to the former owner of the property for any such sale rather than only when both the property was used as a homestead in the five years prior to the county’s acquisition of the property and the owner requested such payment within 60 days of notice from the county; and
  • Modifies the calculation of the net proceeds resulting from the delinquent property sale to remove a current law fee from the calculation.

Senate Bill 833, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 217:

  • Eliminates the current law sunset date for awarding grants under the dual enrollment program, allowing the Higher Educational Aids Board to issue grants from funds that were already appropriated in the 2021-23 biennial budget; and
  • Explicitly allows students attending an independent charter school to participate in the Early College Credit Program in the same manner as students at public and private schools.

In addition to signing the above bills, Gov. Evers vetoed seven bills. The governor’s veto messages are available below: 

Veto message for Senate Bill 89

Veto message for Senate Bill 117

Veto message for Senate Bill 296

Veto message for Senate Bill 563

Veto message for Senate Bill 597

Veto message for Senate Bill 609

Veto message for Senate Bill 612

$5 Million Investment to Expand Access to Telehealth Services PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Thursday, 31 March 2022 09:09

counseling-services-youthFunded by the American Rescue Plan Act, DHS will use $2.5 million to expand and enhance child psychiatry telehealth services. The rest to fund community connections.

New Law Promotes Awareness and Understanding of Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Young People PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Wednesday, 30 March 2022 11:21

school-sportsGovernor signs Bill Tuesday inspired by Waukesha student athlete who passed away in 2019.

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 March 2022 11:35
Bridge in Wood County Renamed PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Wednesday, 30 March 2022 10:52

lavonne-zenner-mem-bridgeGov. Evers signs Bill Tuesday designating the bridge on State Highway 13 and County Highway A over U.S. Highway 10 as the Deputy LaVonne Zenner Memorial Bridge.

WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Gov. Tony Evers Tuesday signed Senate Bill 507, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 211, designating the bridge on State Highway 13 and County Highway A over U.S. Highway 10 in Wood County as the Deputy LaVonne Zenner Memorial Bridge. 

tony-evers“Deputy Zenner was an active member of her community committed to serving her friends and neighbors, and it is an honor to designate this bridge in her memory,” said Gov. Evers. “It’s people like Deputy Zenner who truly embody what it means to be a Wisconsinite and make our state and communities better places to live. So, I want to thank the bipartisan legislators who worked to send this bill to my desk on behalf of the Wood County Sheriff’s Department to honor her memory and service.”

Only three weeks after being hired as a full-time deputy for the Wood County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy Zenner tragically passed away on Aug. 3, 1989, when she was involved in a car accident on her way to meet her field training officer. She was only 39 years old and was survived by her parents, her husband, and her two children, Angela and Eric. In addition to her law enforcement service, Deputy Zenner was an active member of the Marshfield community and in recognition of her dedication to serving her community, the Wood County Sheriff’s Department sought out the designation of this bridge in her memory.

Senate Bill 507, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 211:

  • Designates the State Highway 13 and County Highway A bridge over U.S. Highway 10 in Wood County as the Deputy LaVonne Zenner Memorial Bridge.
Manchin shoots down Biden's new billionaire tax plan PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Hill Press   
Wednesday, 30 March 2022 09:49

joe-manchin-2022Democratic Senator says he believes everybody has to pay their fair share, but unrealized gains is not the way to do it.

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