Reps in the News: Birth Control, Clean Energy; More

Representative Joel Kitchens 

Rep. Kitchens testified before the Assembly Health Committee on AB 304, his bill to allow women to obtain hormonal contraceptive patches and self-administered oral hormonal contraceptives – including common birth-control pills – through a prescription from a pharmacist. Currently, women can get most of their birth control only through a prescription from a physician or an advanced practice nurse.

“I am proposing this legislation because I do not believe that we should be putting up artificial barriers that deny women more access to their reproductive health care – especially when there is no medical basis to do so,” Kitchens said. “Allowing a pharmacist to prescribe birth control will help us make great strides in decreasing the number of unplanned pregnancies in our state, saving taxpayer dollars and reducing generational poverty.​ Research also shows that increased access to birth control helps diminish the number of abortions in our country.

Source: Kitchens newsletter

Congressman Mike Gallagher

Lawmakers came together recently at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where Rep. Gallagher joined his colleagues to wash the memorial and honor those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice. As he said, it was “a small act of service,” but hopefully one that will help more lawmakers see the importance of putting aside politics and changing the culture in Washington. 

Source: Gallagher press release

Governor Tony Evers

Wisconsin will be carbon neutral by 2050 under a plan unveiled Friday by Gov. Tony Evers, who set the goal in an executive order that also created the new Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy. To achieve carbon neutrality within about 30 years, the office is tasked with helping to shift the state away from fossil fuels in favor of energy sources such as solar and wind. 

“For far too long, clean energy has not been a priority in our state, and we’re going to change that,” Evers said at a Capitol press conference.

He said the goal will be met by setting new energy-savings goals for state agencies, helping businesses and communities “make smart energy decisions,” and promoting training for clean-energy jobs, among other measures. The governor cited climate change as the driving force behind an increasing number of severe weather events in Wisconsin in recent years, including historic flooding.

The governor included about $12 million for the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy in his state budget proposal, but state lawmakers removed it. 

“This should have been a priority for the entire Legislature, but it wasn’t,” Evers said. 

That plan would have funded six full-time staff for the office, but now workers will be shifted from Evers’ office and the state Department of Administration to staff the agency under this new plan, with Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes overseeing the effort. 

Source: Wisconsin Public Radio

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Sen. Baldwin joined Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in urging Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin against unilaterally cutting capital-gains taxes for the wealthiest Americans by an additional $100 billion over 10 years – an illegal action that would defy longstanding Justice Department policy.

The request follows a letter signed by 21 Republican senators urging Mnuchin to circumvent Congress and index capital-gains rates to inflation.

“Indexing capital gains would double down on the 2017 $1.5 trillion tax giveaway with at least another $100 billion tax cut. According to the Penn-Wharton Budget Model, more than 86 percent of the benefit of indexing capital gains would go to the top 1 percent of taxpayers, while just 2.5 percent of the benefit would go to the bottom 90 percent of Americans,” the senators wrote.

Source: Baldwin press release

Senator Ron Johnson

Sen. Johnson, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the following regarding the ongoing protests in Hong Kong: “Freedom-loving people around the world stand in support of the courageous citizens of Hong Kong as they struggle to maintain their liberty. Global leaders should stand ready to condemn any intrusion by mainland China that would violate the handover agreement. Leaders in Beijing must understand that intervention against the people of Hong Kong will harm China’s relationship with the U.S. and other democratic nations for years to come. China should exercise restraint and allow the citizens of Hong Kong to settle their differences without interference.”

Source: Johnson press release

President Donald Trump

The chair of the Federal Election Commission is demanding that President Trump either provide evidence to support his claim that he would have won New Hampshire’s electoral votes in 2016 if not for voter fraud or cease mentioning the claim.

Chair Ellen Weintraub wrote in a letter to the president that Trump risks “undermining the faith” of the American electorate in the fairness of U.S. elections. Her letter to the White House came a day after the president told supporters at a New Hampshire campaign rally that it wasn’t their “fault” that he had lost the state in 2016 while insinuating that the state had been “taken” from him.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton edged out Trump in the state in 2016 by a few thousand votes.

The president has long alleged that he would have won the national popular vote against Clinton in 2016 had it not been for millions of illegal votes, a baseless claim that led to the formation of a short-lived voter-fraud commission headed by Vice President Pence and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.