Two Bills from Rural Wisconsin Initiative Signed

Representative Joel Kitchens

Kitchens was among 22 rural legislators who came together in January to launch the Rural Wisconsin Initiative, a package of bills meant to bridge the rural-urban gap and to bring leadership and focus to the discussion about the future of rural Wisconsin. Eight of their bills garnered positive attention from their legislative colleagues, with two bills signed into law and six among priorities for next year’s biennial budget. AB 793 expands the teacher loan repayment program from Milwaukee to rural areas. The program adds an important recruiting tool to the toolbox of rural school administrators. AB 820 establishes the Broadband Forward! Certification, which enables communities to voluntarily agree to standards that make it easier to implement broadband projects. Visit to learn more.

Source: Kitchens press release

Governor Scott Walker

The Governor signed Assembly Bill 630 and Senate Bill 546 into law on April 19 at the Waukesha County Courthouse. “Many of the crimes against our children are internet crimes, which are sometimes harder to detect and prosecute,” Walker said. “Senate Bill 546 gives our law enforcement officers more effective ways to combat internet crimes against children and rescue these victims from further abuse or harm. Assembly Bill 630 also protects our children by closing a loophole and clearly defining what kinds of videos and photos are acceptable to take of children without their consent.”

Source: Walker press release

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Baldwin joined several of her colleagues in introducing a new reform to ensure that states that choose to expand eligibility for Medicaid after 2014 may access the same level of federal matching funds as states that expanded earlier under the terms of the Affordable Care Act. The States Achieve Medicaid Expansion (SAME) Act of 2016 was introduced by Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Angus King (I-ME), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Gary Peters (D-MI). “In Wisconsin, Governor Walker has put politics ahead of progress and taken our state in the wrong direction,” Baldwin said. “Instead of accepting a federal investment in our BadgerCare program and expanding Medicaid coverage, he has kicked Wisconsinites off their coverage, created a coverage gap, and exposed Wisconsin taxpayers to higher costs while covering fewer people. I support this legislation because it is my hope it will point our state in the right direction.”

Source: Baldwin press release

Senator Ron Johnson

Johnson, member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, said after voting in favor of legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration: “This reauthorization includes several provisions I sought, including an amendment to prohibit the FAA from charging large general aviation fly-in events, like EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, additional fees for their air traffic controllers to work the towers. Since an abrupt policy shift in 2012, the FAA has levied well over a million dollars in new fees, threatening the very future of EAA. What the FAA is doing to AirVenture and other similar fly-in events is wrong and needs to stop.”

Source: Johnson press release

President Barack Obama

The President has said the classified pages of the 9/11 Commission report that do not “compromise major national security interests” may “hopefully” be soon released, but argued against any potential legal action against Saudi citizens. Obama, who flew to Saudi Arabia on April 19, discussed in an interview with Charlie Rose his relationship with the Saudi regime and the controversially classified 28 pages of the report, which some believe contain links between 9/11 terrorists or Al-Qaeda and Saudi officials. Former U.S. Senator Bob Graham, who has seen the pages as intelligence committee chair, had already told the CBS program 60 Minutes that he believes the Saudi government helped the 9/11 hijackers.


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