Representatives in the News

Representative Joel Kitchens

Kitchens’ microbeads legislation was signed into law by Governor Scott Walker, along with two other bills relating to optometrists and habitually truant students. The microbeads initiative, Senate Bill 15, provides a clear timeline to end the manufacture and sale of personal care products that contain microbeads, tiny, non-biodegradable plastic particles that are found in personal care products such as body wash and toothpaste. However, the beads are so small they cannot be filtered out when they reach water treatment plants, so they end up being released into Lake Michigan and other local water systems. These microbeads are readily consumed by fish and are a threat to our sport and commercial fisheries. Many toxins attach to the microbeads, causing serious human health concerns. “Microbeads have proven to be a serious problem as we have found large quantities of them accumulated in Wisconsin’s inland lakes and streams as well as the Great Lakes,” said Kitchens. “This is an issue that affects us all, so I am very thankful to Governor Walker for signing this bipartisan bill into law and keeping our water clean and protecting our fisheries for generations to come. I authored this bill because it is very important to me and the 1st Assembly District. No other district has as much shoreline or has an economy so dependent on clean water. I think this bill is a great step forward and it is encouraging that the Legislature can address this public health and environmental concern in a bipartisan fashion.” Also signed into law on July 1 was Senate Bill 74, which restores the ability of optometrists to prescribe hydrocodone combinations to their patients. Kitchens authored the legislation at the request of optometrists in the community. Rep. Kitchens’ final bill was Senate Bill 122, which modernizes the process for schools to notify parents if their child is habitually truant from school. The measure allows schools added flexibilities to best connect with the parents of habitually truant students.

Source:  Kitchens press release


Governor Scott Walker

Walker approved $5.8 million to improve 0.8 miles of Hwy. 42 from Country Walk Drive to Scandia Road, 0.11 miles of Hwy. 57 from Hwy. 42 to Canterbury Lane and 0.08 miles of Gateway Drive from Hwy. 42 to Hwy. 57 in Sister Bay. Construction began Monday, July 6, and will finish by mid-June 2016. Vinton Construction Company, Manitowoc, is the prime contractor. This project involves the complete reconstruction of Hwy. 42, Hwy. 57, and Gateway Drive in Sister Bay. Work includes new storm sewer, sanitary sewer, water main, curb and gutter, pavement, sidewalk, driveways, lighting, pavement marking, signing and landscaping. There will be traffic impacts during the project, with detours around the staged work areas. During Stage 1, Hwy. 57 will be closed and detoured until Sept. 3. The detour will be Hwy. 57 to Country Walk Drive to Hwy. 42. Access to local businesses and residences will be maintained throughout the entire project. When completed, this project will:

• Provide a safer roadway through the Village of Sister Bay;

• Improve bicycle and pedestrian mobility through the village

• Increase the village’s storm sewer capacity

• Improve the quality of the storm water entering Lake Michigan

• Improve the village’s sanitary sewer and water system

Motorists are advised to use caution and remain alert when driving through this or any workzone. For more information, go to:

Source:  DOT press release

Representative Reid Ribble

Ribble announced the introduction of a bill he authored to restore Congress’s ability to set priorities and control federal spending. H.R 2884, the Power of the Purse Act of 2015, removes the “firewall” that exists within sequestration between defense and non-defense discretionary spending, allowing Congress to regain the power of the purse. “Benjamin Franklin said that a nation is best off when control of its money is handled by those who are the most ‘immediate representatives of the people,’” Ribble said, “and by removing the arbitrary firewall that exists under the sequestration budget caps between defense and non-defense discretionary spending, we restore that control to Congress. While it is crucial that we continue to work to rein in federal spending and cut our deficits, the people’s elected representatives must have the power to direct spending where it is needed most. The Power of the Purse Act of 2015 allows Congress to do just that.”

Source:  Ribble press release

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Two years since the Supreme Court gutted core protections in the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder, states and localities throughout the country have passed sweeping laws that disproportionately suppress the voting rights of minorities. These laws have left voters without the protections they need to exercise their constitutional right to vote. To restore and advance the voting protections for all Americans, Baldwin has joined a group of Senate and House Democratic lawmakers, led by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.), to introduce the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA) of 2015. “For nearly 50 years, the Voting Rights Act helped secure the right to vote for millions of citizens. I was deeply troubled by the 2013 Supreme Court decision to gut a fundamental provision of the law that protected Americans against voting discrimination and helped ensure a fair and equal voting process. Since that decision, we have seen how the clocks have been turned back on the most fundamental of our American rights and how there is a real threat to voter participation among Americans who have experienced discrimination when voting. I am proud to join with my colleagues in the Senate and House to make this right by working together to end voting discrimination and guarantee that all Americans have equal access to the polls,” said Baldwin.

Source:  Baldwin press release

President Barack Obama

The President offered an update on the military mission against ISIS, emphasizing the long-term nature of the effort and the importance of local forces and stable governments as keys to stopping the terror group’s rise. Obama pointed to the more than 5,000 air strikes against ISIS in Iraq, Syria and new regions like North Africa, and the efforts of a “galvanized” Iraqi government in the wake of the fall of Ramadi, as signs of stepped-up efforts against the terrorist group. “This will not be quick. This is a long-term campaign. (ISIS) is opportunistic and it is nimble,” Obama said, delivering remarks from the Pentagon.

Source:  CNN