Reps in the News: Feb. 19 – 26

Representative Joel Kitchens

Kitchens announced that four of his legislative initiatives passed the Assembly on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

“The Assembly is extremely busy this week and there are many bills being considered this week,” stated Kitchens. “I was happy that my colleagues passed Assembly Bills 174, 493, 664, and 734 and recognized that they are important for moving Wisconsin forward.”

Assembly Bill 664 removes restrictions that make it difficult for Mental Health Service Providers to practice in schools and easier for students to seek help without leaving school or attracting attention during their absence. This bill allows licensed providers to practice in a school without the requirement to establish a permanent office while ensuring patient security.

Assembly Bill 734 is the product of the Future of Education Work Group which I coordinated and creates a Career Education and Workforce Development Pilot Program.

Assembly Bill 174 helps to protect campground owners when campers are injured at no fault of the owners.

Assembly Bill 493 requires states that enforce a residency requirement beyond the common reciprocity requirement to follow their own rules when applying for Wisconsin construction contracts. Currently, Wisconsin contractors bidding on a project in Michigan need to hire at least 50 percent of their employees from Michigan for certain projects. This discouraged Wisconsin contractors from competing in Michigan, but now Michigan contractors must follow their own rule when bidding in Wisconsin.

Source: Kitchens press release

Governor Scott Walker

Walker issued Executive Order #186 on Feb. 15, prohibiting state agencies, departments, boards, commissions, or any of their agents from developing or promoting the development of a state plan to comply with the [Clean Power Plan] until the expiration of the stay issued by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Last week, a stay was granted for the [Clean Power Plan] by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Clearly, this rule exceeds the President’s authority and would place an undue burden on the Wisconsin ratepayers and manufacturers,” Walker said. “The stay granted last week by the Supreme Court validates our concerns about this rule. The Executive Order we issued today protects our taxpayers from an unnecessary cost of up to $13 billion as we continue to act in the best interests of Wisconsin citizens.”

Source: Walker press release

Representative Reid Ribble

Ribble announced the expansion of Save the Bay efforts in Oconto County as a result of a local business donation.

He issued the following statement on the donation: “Farmers manage almost a third of the land in Oconto County, and are committed to being partners in the effort to reduce nutrient runoff that ends up in our water. I am pleased to see that Oconto County will now have an additional tool to help farmers improve water quality, and look forward to working with Oconto County’s new conservationist as we continue our efforts to Save the Bay.” ST Paper LLC, an Oconto County paper company, has committed to giving $140,000 to Oconto County in 2016. The funds will allow the county to hire a full-time conservationist for two years. The new conservationist will work with farmers and other stakeholders to reduce nutrient runoff from agricultural land and improve water quality.

Source: Ribble press release

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Baldwin, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, released the following statement regarding the Department of Defense’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget request, which proposes cuts to the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program and the Frigate (FF) program that will follow LCS. Congress will now consider the budget request. The budget request proposes to reduce the planned purchase of three ships in FY2017 to two ships and to truncate the overall LCS/FF program to 40 ships, down from the planned 52.

“I cannot support this misguided budget proposal. It does not make sense fiscally or strategically at a time of growing threats and increasing demands on Navy operations. I have consistently and clearly told Defense Secretary Ash Carter and the White House that American national security interests are best served by the Navy’s program of record for the Littoral Combat Ship, which includes three ships in the upcoming fiscal year and 52 total…. I am extremely proud to represent Wisconsin’s shipbuilding industry and the skilled workers who build the LCS ships and support the dedicated men and women of the United States military. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I intend to fight this proposal at every step of the Congressional budget process.”

Source: Baldwin press release

Senator Ron Johnson

Johnson said this about the Supreme Court’s decision to halt the Environmental Protection Agency’s implementation of the Obama electricity plan:

“The Supreme Court’s decision to halt the implementation of President Obama’s electricity regulation plan protects Wisconsin manufacturers, businesses and families from dramatic energy price increases. The president’s plan would do what he promised as a candidate in 2008: It would cause electricity rates to skyrocket…. I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to check the president’s regulatory overreach and shield consumers and Wisconsin families from bearing the costs of this rule.”

Source: Johnson press release

President Barack Obama

In his weekly address, the President spoke from the place where his political career first began in the Illinois State Senate in Springfield. Building on his State of the Union, the President discussed his time in the State Senate working in good faith across party lines with Democrats, Republicans and Independents to effectively govern as an example of proof that a better politics doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything. The President also built on his call to make it easier to vote, as well as the need to address the way we draw our congressional districts. Nine years after Barack Obama chose the steps of the Old State Capitol – where Abraham Lincoln once called on a divided house to stand together – he returned to ask Americans to join him in the unfinished business of perfecting our union. The address is available online at

Source: White House press release

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