Reps in the News: Evers Calls for UW-Extension Funding

Governor Tony Evers

Gov. Evers is proposing to restore $3.5 million to the University of Wisconsin-Extension under the next budget and to boost the number of county agriculture agents. His proposal calls for $1.5 million in the first fiscal year and $2.5 million in the second to “improve local access to research and expertise” of UW-Extension and add 20 full-time, county-based agriculture agents. UW-Extension’s Cooperative Extension Division saw budget cuts of $3.6 million per year as part of a $250 million reduction in state funding for the UW System in the 2015-17 budget. As state funding has declined, the agency’s ability to fill positions statewide has become limited. In fiscal year 2017, figures provided by the agency show UW-Extension had 78 agriculture agents, a number that dropped to 64 during the last fiscal year.

Congressman Mike Gallagher

Rep. Gallagher delivered testimony before the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, which was established at the start of 2019 to study, hold public hearings about, and develop recommendations for improving the internal operations of Congress. The committee selected Gallagher – a leading advocate for common-sense Congressional reform – to share his ideas about how to ensure that Congress can more effectively serve the American people.  

Gallagher said the recent government shutdown proved that the budget process is broken and chaotic.

“I bet you could have locked any group of 30 people from northeast Wisconsin in a bar together, and we could have figured out an acceptable solution to the last budget crisis in 35 minutes rather than 35 days.”

Source:  Gallagher press release

Senator Tammy Baldwin

As a member of the bipartisan Senate Great Lakes Task Force, Sen. Baldwin expressed concern about President Donald Trump’s proposed 90 percent cut to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), cutting the program’s funding from $300 million to $30 million in the fiscal-year 2019 budget request.

GLRI has invested $331 million in 416 projects in Wisconsin. This has helped the state combat the introduction and spread of invasive species such as Asian carp and zebra mussels, which pose a major threat to the ecology and economy of the Great Lakes by devastating the food chain and causing major damage to the region’s ports, pipes and water infrastructure. It has also helped Wisconsin to clean up polluted sites and restore water quality.

Source:  Baldwin press release

Senator Ron Johnson

Sen. Johnson said he thinks Congress will block the White House’s proposal to slash the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative’s funding from $300 million to $30 million.

“It’s the administration’s priority versus Congress’, and we’re two co-equal branches of government,” Johnson said. “And there are a lot of Great Lakes senators and House members who support that initiative. So I wouldn’t worry if I were a Great Lakes state.”

The White House proposed a similar cut last year, and lawmakers blocked it.

President Donald Trump

President Trump on Wednesday accused news outlets, without evidence, of doctoring photographs to fuel a conspiracy theory that first lady Melania Trump employs a body double to appear with the president at public events.

“The Fake News photoshopped pictures of Melania, then propelled conspiracy theories that it’s actually not her by my side in Alabama and other places. They are only getting more deranged with time!” he tweeted.

The conspiracy theory bubbled up again after people online suggested a body double stood in for the first lady last week when President Trump toured tornado damage in Alabama.