Congressmen Reid Ribble
Ribble and Matt Cartwright (D-PA) introduced the bipartisan Children’s Savings Accounts Offer Parents Plenty of Reasons to Understand aNd Invest in Tuition Yearly (CSA OPPORTUNITY) Act with the support of six House colleagues. One well known type of Children’s Savings Account (CSA) is the 529 plan. Created in 1996, 529 Plans allow parents to save money for college while offering both federal and state tax benefits. Unfortunately, money set aside in a 529 Plan counts against the asset limitations set forth in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Low Income High Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This in turn forces families to choose between putting aside money for college and keeping essential assistance. The CSA OPPORTUNITY Act would exempt 529 Plans from TANF, SSI, and LIHEAP asset limitations. The bill would also exempt non-529 CSAs from TANF, SSI, LIHEAP, and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) asset limitations. More than 1.3 million American children born each year – and more than half of minority children – are born into families with negligible savings to invest in their futures. Yet research and practice have shown that even a small amount of savings increases the likelihood that a child will attend college.
Source: Ribble press release
Senator Frank Lasee
On Monday, Dec. 8, Senator Frank Lasee, Senate District 1, participated in the “Take Your Legislator to Work Day” program at the Door County YMCA. Senator Lasee was the guest of Ms. Elizabeth Gierhahn through a program offered through the Wisconsin Board for People With Disabilities which seeks to raise awareness about the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities and to show our state legislators “Real Jobs with Real Wages!”
Elizabeth led Senator Lasee on a 30-minute tour of her workplace at the YMCA where she is the attendant in the Peterson Aquatic Center’s water slide. Elizabeth shared with Senator Lasee that “what she likes best about her job is getting the opportunity to work with and help the children.”
Source: Door County YMCA press release
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Baldwin announced that an effort she has championed in Congress will finally be resolved with a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Senator Baldwin’s provision in the NDAA, a major step forward for the project started in 1997, will transfer Badger Army Ammunition Plant land and allow it to be put to its agreed upon reuse. “I have been working on this since I first entered Congress, so I take great pride in bringing people together, giving the community a voice, and getting the job done,” Baldwin said. “This land transfer has been held up in bureaucratic proceedings for far too long. Senator Baldwin’s legislative provision will finally allow the land to be transferred and for our People to preserve and protect this special place,” said Ho-Chunk Nation President Jon Greendeer. “We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Senator Baldwin and her office for her unrelenting determination to see this transfer take place.”
“It is not often that Native nations have their ancestral lands returned. This land transfer demonstrates the power of collaboration between tribal nations and the federal government,” said Representative Susan Waukon, Ho-Chunk Nation – District 1. “We are truly humbled and cannot express our gratitude enough for Senator Baldwin’s commitment and hard work over the years.”
Source: Baldwin press release
Senator Ron Johnson
When Johnson seeks re-election in 2016, don’t look for the Wisconsin Republican to open his own checkbook this time around. Johnson said on C-SPAN that he’s not going to self-finance another campaign. “I made my $9 million investment in this country,” Johnson said. “I gave it once, I don’t think I should do it again.” Johnson was CEO of PACUR, a polyester and plastics manufacturing company, before he entered politics in 2010. Backed by Tea Party groups, Johnson defeated Democratic incumbent Russ Feingold that year in his first bid for political office. The senator is widely considered a top target for defeat in 2016, when Republicans will have to defend 24 Senate seats and Wisconsin could be in play for the presidential race. Democrats have won the last seven presidential contests in Wisconsin.
Johnson contributed $8.8 million of his own money in 2010, according to campaign-finance data kept by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. There is currently about $670,000 in his campaign account. To put Johnson’s wealth in perspective, he is ranked 30th on CQ Roll Call’s list of wealthiest members of Congress and has a net worth estimated at $13.52 million.
Source: USA Today
President Barack Obama
Last year, to kick off Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 8-14), President Obama issued a call to action to students, teachers, businesses, foundations and nonprofit organizations to join the growing grassroots campaign to support computer science education in K-12 schools. This year the administration is announcing new commitments that will help give millions of additional K-12 students access to computer science education, including: Commitments by more than 60 school districts, including the seven largest school districts in the country, to offer computer science courses to their students. Together, these districts reach more four million students in more than 1,000 high schools and middle schools, in partnership with Code.org; more than $20 million in philanthropic contributions to train 10,000 teachers by fall 2015 and 25,000 teachers to teach computer science to in time for the school year beginning in fall 2016; new steps to increase the participation of women and under-represented minorities in computer science, including a new computer-science classroom design prize and innovative outreach efforts.
Source: White House press release