Reps in the News: Education Bills; More

Representative Kitchens Testifies on Education Bills

Rep. Joel Kitchens released the following statement after testifying before the Assembly and Senate Education Committees on a series of bills related to education: “All three bills were drafted based on the final recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding, which held nine public hearings across Wisconsin last year to gather input from parents, educators and other stakeholders on how to best improve our state’s education system. 

As co-chair of that commission, I found it a priority to be the lead author on two bills that aim to enhance our four-year-old kindergarten program. More specifically, the bills – AB 464 and AB 46 – would change the age at which a pupil can attend a four-year-old kindergarten class and amend the criteria for how the state counts 4K students as part of the state aid formula … The third bill I testified on was AB 456, which would provide grants to school districts to study whether consolidation or whole grade sharing may be right for them.”

Source: Kitchens press release

Representative Gallagher Criticizes ‘Abandoning’ Kurds

Rep. Mike Gallagher joined a group of Republican lawmakers in pushing back on President Donald Trump’s unexpected plan to withdraw troops from Syria. On Twitter, Gallagher said, “In order to play moneyball in the Middle East, we have to work through local allies. The Kurds have proven themselves to be just that in the fight against ISIS. Abandoning them to the increasingly unstable Erdogan undermines our credibility and national security interests.”

Source: @RepGallagher, Oct. 7

Senator Baldwin Battles PFAS in Wisconsin

Following the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ recent announcement that high concentrations of chemicals containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were detected in surface waters in Dane and Monroe counties, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin released the following statement:

“The dangerous levels of PFAS recently detected in Wisconsin surface waters are alarming and warrant serious action. PFAS chemicals pose a dangerous risk to public health and our environment, especially near Starkweather Creek in Madison and Silver Creek in Monroe County, where the highest PFAS concentration levels were found. … I’ve been working at the federal level to provide resources for environmental testing for PFAS at sites with contamination challenges like Truax Field in Madison and others, establish enforceable standards for PFAS chemicals in drinking water across the nation, and hold federal agencies accountable when they are the cause of groundwater contamination. I’m going to continue my work to protect public health and ensure [that] Wisconsin has clean drinking water.”

Source: Baldwin press release

Courts Flip-Flop on President Trump’s Tax Returns

A federal appeals court has granted President Trump a temporary stay of decision, and he will not have to turn over his tax returns to the Manhattan [New York] district attorney. Earlier on Monday, a federal judge in New York ruled that Trump’s longtime accounting firm must turn over eight years’ worth of tax returns as part of a criminal probe of his business dealings. The president’s personal attorneys immediately filed a notice of appeal.

In the earlier ruling, Judge Victor Marrero said he could not endorse such a “categorical and limitless assertion of presidential immunity from judicial process.” The ruling comes as part of a criminal investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. into alleged hush money the Trump organization paid to two women who claimed they had extramarital affairs with Trump before he took office. The president has denied those accusations.

Source: National Public Radio