Reps in the News: Kitchens Announces Hearing on Forestville Millpond

Representative Joel Kitchens

Rep. Kitchens has announced an informational hearing with members of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on the process of the Forestville Mill Pond drawdown and its expected impact within the 1st Assembly District.

“While the decision to draw the mill pond down is a local issue and appears to be final, I feel it is important for the public to understand what the drawdown will actually entail,” Kitchens said. “With that in mind, I have asked the DNR to hold an informational hearing so that we can all learn what to expect during and after the drawdown process.

“It is important to note that neither the DNR nor I are the decision-making authority on this issue, and that the final decision has already been made. Because of this, the informational hearing is not a venue to ask for an appeal. Since the presenters are taking time out of their schedules to educate us all on the process, I ask that we respectfully listen and focus any questions solely on the drawdown process itself.”

Members of the public are invited to attend the DNR’s informational hearing on April 1, 3 pm, at the Algoma City Hall, 416 Fremont St.

Source: Kitchens press release

Senator André Jacque

Sen. Jacque, a longtime member of the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse, decried Gov. Tony Evers’ removal of nearly two-thirds of the council’s membership late Friday. The Council on Domestic Abuse advises the Department of Children and Families and the Legislature on funding and policy issues relating to domestic abuse.

“It has been a great honor to serve with these dedicated individuals – survivors and leaders in the fight to end domestic abuse – and to advocate for the vitally important domestic-violence legislation we have accomplished together. They have been true, nonpartisan public servants I have come to know as friends. They, like the other appointments so quickly and callously kicked to the curb by the governor, deserve far better than to be pawns in his petty partisan political games,” said Jacque, who is a past recipient of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s Legislative Champion Award and the author of several laws strengthening domestic-abuse victims’ rights, enhancing restraining orders and aiding the prosecution of perpetrators.

Evers removed eight of the council’s 13 members, including two survivors of domestic violence who had previously received the council’s Courage Award, both council co-chairs, the leaders of several domestic-violence shelters across the state and a Medical College of Wisconsin psychologist who developed the first batterer intervention program in southeast Wisconsin.

Evers’ spokesperson stated that he will “move quickly” to name replacements for the 82 appointments he is vacating, despite the possibility that the Dane County circuit court ruling that allowed Evers to dismiss former Gov. Scott Walker’s appointees will be overturned on appeal.

Source: Jacque press release

Congressman Mike Gallagher

Last week Rep. Gallagher introduced legislation that would require Congressional approval for any future National Emergency Declaration that reprograms or transfers more than $250 million. The legislation would automatically terminate national emergencies above the $250 million threshold after 60 legislative days unless Congress approves the declaration.

“For decades, both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have ceded authority to the executive branch,” Gallagher said. “We need to reclaim our constitutional authority to legislate, and that starts with more clearly defining the parameters of national-emergency authority. This mechanism should not be a way for the executive branch to thwart the will of Congress.”

Source: Gallagher press release

Governor Tony Evers

Gov. Evers released the following statement in response to Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess’s March 21 decision to issue a temporary injunction blocking the state Legislature’s lame-duck session:

“Today’s ruling is a victory for the people of Wisconsin and for preserving the Wisconsin Constitution. The Legislature overplayed its hand by using an unlawful process to accumulate more power for itself and override the will of the people, despite the outcome of last November’s election. I look forward to putting this disappointing chapter behind us so we can move forward together to put the needs of the people of Wisconsin first.”

Source: Evers press release

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Sen. Baldwin joined colleagues in pressing Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler to release communications they’ve had with the White House and each other regarding establishing federal drinking-water standards for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and groundwater-pollution guidelines related to these chemicals.

The letter, led by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), comes in response to recent media reports that the Department of Defense (DOD) is asking the White House to adopt substantially weaker guidelines for groundwater pollution caused by PFAS than those suggested by the EPA.

Sen. Baldwin has been taking action to establish enforceable drinking-water standards to ensure Wisconsin has clean drinking water.

The Senators wrote, “If this reporting is accurate, the DOD’s actions may endanger the health of service members and families who live and work near the 401 military installations where there are known or suspected releases of PFAS chemicals in the drinking water or groundwater. We urge you to act in the best interests of impacted communities and support efforts to develop groundwater and drinking-water standards that will protect the public from the health hazards associated with PFAS contamination.”

Source: Baldwin press release

Senator Ron Johnson

Sen. Johnson, chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, issued the following statement Sunday: “We should all be happy that after an extensive investigation, the Special Counsel ‘did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government.’ Unfortunately, the investigation took almost two years and was a huge distraction from the significant problems facing our nation. Hopefully, the attorney general can quickly conclude his final report and allow us to turn our full attention to those other challenging issues.”

Source: Johnson press release