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Erpenbach: Governor Walker’s Re-election Health Care Plan PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District   
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 11:32

walker-rejects-fedmoneyGov. Walker has finally decided to join most Americans and support the Affordable Care Act, so now it’s time to bring our Federal taxpayer dollars back.

MADISON - Even though last year he fought for repeal, in his re-election campaign now Governor Walker has finally decided to join most Americans and support the Affordable Care Act. Democrats in Wisconsin have always worked to strengthen our health care system and now Governor Walker finally joins us in that fight. Now it’s time for Governor Walker to bring our Federal taxpayer dollars back to Wisconsin and expand BadgerCare – our state has now lost over $1 billion because of Governor Walker’s refusal to expand BadgerCare.

jon-erpenbachThese newly loved Democratic plans are a drop in the bucket compared to what accepting funds to expand BagerCare could do for the people of this state. Finally, without a CHIP extension, Wisconsin will have a huge hole in our Medicaid budget so maybe this plan should include a Governor Walker guarantee Congress will extend CHIP for the children of this state.

On Reinsurance funds: Reinsurance is a tool that has been used by other states including Minnesota who funded $500 million. Governor Walker’s plan is less than half of what Minnesota invested which begs the question, is it really enough to lower the premium for participants?

On $50 million in Medicaid savings – The Medicaid report just came out and counts on Congress renewing CHIP. I wish Governor Walker could waive his magic wand to make Congress renew CHIP for the children of Wisconsin, where is that promise? Without it we will have a huge hole in our Medicaid budget.

On SeniorCare Medicare Part D exemption permanent – That’s up to the Federal government – the current SeniorCare extension was just filed (down to the wire). Seniors have basically had to beg Governor Walker to renew it for the past ten years. Again – glad he is finally willing to commit to always renewing the SeniorCare waiver – something he has NEVER been willing to do before.

On the preexisting conditions bill – I am curious why Governor Walker did not like this proposal when it was an Erpenbach/Riemer proposal. Clearly coverage for preexisting conditions is – and has always been – a huge concern for the people of Wisconsin. Governor Walker did not speak up when President Donald Trump and Congress tried to repeal ObamaCare – it is interesting that he is speaking up now.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 January 2018 11:50
“SD 10 Surprise” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 19 January 2018 13:51

sd_10_surpriseDemocrat Patty Schachtner wins in Senate District 10.

STATEWIDE - We start with the electoral wave that hit the west coast of Wisconsin on Tuesday with the surprise victory of Democrat Patty Schachtner in Senate District 10. We welcome Eric Couto, executive director of Wisconsin Progress, to discuss the implications of the SD 10 upset and the critical role of recruiting and training great candidates to run for office.

Our panel takes a closer look at the Governor’s race following the release of campaign finance reports and the first public poll. Robert analyzes the junk science in the new Congressional report which absurdly concludes Medicaid is worsening the opioid crisis. Finally we chat with Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative member Sue Anderson who invites our listeners to the Runaway Inequality Book Club discussion this Sunday, January 21. the goal is to better understand the failings of the neoliberal economy.

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Governor’s Call for Special Session on Welfare PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dave Hansen, State Senator Dist 30   
Friday, 19 January 2018 12:50

walkerWalker's call for special session on welfare reform last Thursday was attempt to divert people’s attention from latest Republican failures says Green Bay Senator.

GREEN BAY - Adam Jarchow lost in Tuesday’s senate election in part because he and his Republican friends chose to attack struggling families.

dave-hansenDespite voters’ rejection of these types of attacks, Governor Walker sees them as his opportunity to excite his supporters and shift their attention away from the fact that he, President Trump and Republicans in Madison and Congress have failed to help improve their lives.

Instead of giving a Taiwanese billionaire over $4 billion that will do little to help the vast majority of people in this state, a more informed governor might have decided instead to invest that money into our own families, businesses, schools and roads all across the state.

Now, seeing that his reelection ploy is not working, he is trying to divert the people’s attention by calling a special session to wage new attacks on working families and the poor.

Governor Walker’s call for a special session is another sign that he and legislative Republicans are running scared. It is a transparently political move that is just another reason so many people are voting for real change in Wisconsin and around the country.

Last Updated on Saturday, 20 January 2018 13:26
Stop Partisan Attack on Public Servants PDF Print E-mail
Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
Friday, 19 January 2018 11:57

wisc-elections-commContact your State Senator now. The partisan attack is unfair and Mike Haas deserves confirmation for continuity and expertise in our elections.

MADISON - The State Senate will vote Tuesday, January 23 on the appointments of two public servants who have been unfairly targeted for partisan reasons and without any evidence of wrongdoing. Elections Commission Administrator Mike Haas and Ethics Commission Administrator Brian Bell both have the unanimous support of the bipartisan commission boards they work for, yet Sen. Fitzgerald has promised he will oust both administrators with the vote on the 23rd.

We at the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin have worked directly with the Elections Commission, and we have found that Haas has served in his position honorably and without bias. It is especially concerning to us that elected officials are attacking him without cause in an election year when the public needs confidence in our democratic processes and in the integrity of our elections.

In a breach of good governance, Fitzgerald has refused to allow a public hearing where the administrators could defend their names. That is why your State Senator needs to hear from you before voting on the matter on Tuesday.

Contact your State Senator now. Tell her/him that the partisan attack is unfair and that Mike Haas deserves Senate confirmation for continuity and expertise in our elections. To find your own State Senator, click here and enter your address above Find Your Legislator, near the little map of Wisconsin.

For more background, see LWV WI director Erin Grunze’s remarks starting at minute 3:15 in this press conference video.

Democratic Radio: The Rising Price Tag of Foxconn PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wisconsin Assembly Democrats   
Thursday, 18 January 2018 17:09

foxconn-wisconsinFoxconn was sold to Wisconsin taxpayers six months ago at $3 billion and now the total public cost is calculated to be as much as $4.5 billion. The price tag keeps going up.

MADISON, WI – This week State Representative Gordon Hintz (D - Oshkosh) offered the weekly Democratic radio address.

Audio File of Radio Address

Text of Radio Address

gordon_hintzHello, this is State Representative Gordon Hintz with this week’s Democratic Radio Address.

The Foxconn project is a bad deal and getting worse every day for Wisconsin taxpayers.

Governor Walker originally wanted to give $3 billion to a Taiwanese billionaire so he would build a factory in southeastern Wisconsin.

Now this week, the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau calculated that the total public cost to be as much as $4.5 billion.

That’s a 50 percent increase in just six months.

Foxconn is already the largest taxpayer giveaway by a state to a foreign corporation in our nation’s history.

Every Wisconsin family should be alarmed that the price tag keeps going up.

Foxconn follows Governor Walker’s track record on job creation and economic development.

Long on promises but short on results.

The Kestrel Aircraft Company received $25 million under Governor Walker’s watch to create 600 jobs in Superior.

Instead, Kestrel defaulted on millions of dollars in state loans and left local residents holding the bag.

Walker made outrageous promises to the G-Tac iron-ore mining company to bring mining back to Wisconsin.

They left the state in 2015 without ever creating a single job.

When Governor Walker was campaigning in 2010, he promised to create 250,000 jobs in four years, a number he has failed to reach in seven years.

The results speak for themselves.

Committing $4.5 billion over the next 15 years on a highly automated plant in a world with constantly changing technology is not just expensive, it’s risky.

$4.5 billion for Foxconn will come at the expense of K-12 education, higher education, and statewide transportation infrastructure.

Wisconsin Democrats understand that our state needs homegrown investment, not more of the same failed taxpayer giveaways from Governor Walker.

Wisconsin deserves better than the Foxconn deal.

Last Updated on Friday, 19 January 2018 17:28
President Trump's Racist "sh*thole" Remarks PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wisconsin Assembly Democrats   
Saturday, 13 January 2018 16:56

donald-trumpThis president is incapable of empathizing with the struggles of Americans, especially Americans of color, so it's of little surprise that he holds such disdain for people in other parts of the world.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 January 2018 12:26
Walker's Political Cover-up at Lincoln Hills PDF Print E-mail
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Melanie Conklin   
Friday, 12 January 2018 15:54

boy-in-docAnother Walker Non-Answer on Lincoln Hills Raises a Significant Question: "What changed to make your office finally address this crisis?"

MADISON - On Tuesday, Gov. Scott Walker’s clumsy cover-up of his neglect of the crisis at Lincoln Hills grew even more flimsy as he struggled to answer a basic question about its closure.

The following is an exchange between Walker and WSAW:

WSAW Reporter: "Why did it take so long to have your office do anything with regards to Lincoln Hills and the overcrowding. I was told by your office that you've been working on it for a little over a year, but you also found out about this six years ago."

Walker: "Well, the changes have been made by the Department of Corrections consistently over the last several years. We take safety and security -- so what was announced this past week wasn't the first step; it's one of many steps." (sic)

scottwalker-questionWalker’s evasive non-answer leaves the public wondering about the “many steps” Walker suddenly claims to have taken to address this crisis because he has done nothing to substantiate his claim that the plan to close Lincoln Hills has been in the works for over a year. 

This leads to a natural question: If there were many steps being taken before, why Walker’s sudden interest in finally addressing this situation?

Just two months ago, Walker told the AP that he was leaving it up to the Department of Corrections make whatever changes it felt were needed for security at Lincoln Hills. He made no mention of any ongoing planning, continuing to show a complete lack of personal concern over the crisis. That would be an unusual response from someone who at that point had been actively working on a plan to close Lincoln Hills for more than a year.

Walker’s timeline is suspect -- horrifying stories of abuse and mismanagement at Lincoln Hills have regularly emerged for years through aggressive reporting on the crisis.  The only things that have changed recently are the threat of a tell-all book from Walker’s former Department of Corrections secretary Ed Wall and the fact that Walker is facing a tough re-election.

“All signs point to Walker moving on Lincoln Hills in order to cover up his years-long neglect of this crisis and his utter lack of leadership,” said Martha Laning, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “The people of Wisconsin expect more than a governor who only does his job in campaign years.”

Walker chases “Disillusioned” Chicago Millennials - Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 12 January 2018 15:41

walker_chasesThe laughable $7 million WEDC ad campaign recruiting white millennials in Chicago, Trump administration’s decision on Medicaid work requirements, GOP House resignations increasing the odds of a Democratic sweep in 2018, and more...

STATEWIDE - We discuss the Trump administration’s decision to legalize the imposition of  Medicaid work requirements designed to force people off health coverage. We look closer at the historic number of GOP House resignations that are increasing the odds of a Democratic sweep in 2018. The panel analyses the state of Wisconsin’s gubernatorial election with this week’s addition of Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, and Walker's curiously overwrought reaction. We dissect the laughable $7 million WEDC ad campaign recruiting white millennials in Chicago with idyllic images of Madison and Milwaukee. Ironically in the same week Walker blasted Madison as crime ridden socialist wasteland.

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Democratic radio "Governor’s potholes and policies driving people away" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wisconsin Senate, Bridget Esser   
Thursday, 11 January 2018 15:20

walkerA 2017 National Movers Study showed more people moved out of Wisconsin than into it last year. Wisconsin was one of the top 10 states in the Nation for people moving out and 60% of those moves were for jobs.

MADISON, WI – Senator Mark Miller (D-Monona) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.

The audio file of this week’s address can be found here:

A written transcript of the address is below:

mark-miller“Hello, this is Senator Mark Miller with this week’s democratic radio address.

“Despite Governor Walker’s statements to the contrary, Wisconsin is clearly not open for business. According to a 2017 National Movers Study by United Van Lines, more people moved out of Wisconsin than into it in the last year. The study shows that Wisconsin was one of the top 10 states in the Nation for people moving out and 60% of those moves were for jobs.

“With crumbling roads and aging water systems, a willingness to throw $3 billion in taxpayer money away to a Chinese manufacturer and the administration’s continued disdain for public education at all levels, there is little wonder why people don’t feel optimistic about the state of the state.

“This is not the Wisconsin we hoped for, this is not the Wisconsin we deserve. State economies rise and fall with the national economy. The critical measure is how a state compares to the rest of the country. By that measure, Walker has moved Wisconsin backwards. In the last 7 years there have been huge cuts in funding crucial services, more and more put on the credit card to balance the budget, giant tax breaks given to the wealthy and now a proposal to spend $7 million to beg people to come back to Wisconsin, something has got to give.

“Perhaps Governor Walker’s New Year’s Resolution should be fixing problems instead of creating new ones. I don’t think he wants to be known as Governor Pothole, but until the roads become a priority over wooing Chinese billionaires, resident’s cars will need to be realigned each year before moving out of state.”

Walker’s Latest Hypocrisy on Schools PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wisconsin Senate, Kate Constalie   
Monday, 08 January 2018 09:58

teaching-studentsGov. Walker introduces proposal to fund program he vetoed four months ago.

MADISON, WI – After vetoing additional funding for low-spending school districts just four months ago, Gov. Walker announced today that if re-elected, he will propose doing exactly that. Despite school districts struggling with tight budgets, teacher shortages and growing classroom sizes for years, Gov. Walker and Republican lawmakers instead prioritized the largest state taxpayer giveaway to a foreign corporation in U.S history.

jen-shilling“Republicans must think taxpayers have a short memory when it comes to their actual priorities. This is another hollow campaign gimmick from Gov. Walker to further his own political ambitions at the expense of local schools,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “If Gov. Walker and Legislative Republicans were serious about funding our local schools, they wouldn’t have scrapped this plan in the 2017-19 budget. Instead, Republicans prioritized the largest taxpayer handout to a foreign corporation in U.S. history and are now in damage control mode as Election Day looms. School districts are still struggling from years of historic cuts and can’t wait until 2022 for the possibility of funding relief.”

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