Reps in the News: Gov. Evers Issues Orders on Discrimination

Governor Tony Evers

Gov. Tony Evers, joined by DHS Secretary Andrea Palm, left, and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, speaks in La Crosse on Tuesday. Photo by Hope Kirwan/WPR.

Reflecting on the past leadership of the state, Gov. Tony Evers said Tuesday that not all state employees felt valued under former Gov. Scott Walker’s administration.

Evers signed two executive orders addressing the issue Monday after being sworn in as governor.

The first order prohibited discrimination against people employed or served by a state agency. The second order directed the secretaries of state agencies to recognize and respect state employees.

At a press conference Tuesday in La Crosse, Evers said the executive orders addressed problems he saw under the Walker administration.

“As somebody that’s run a state agency, I know how important it is to have a good culture so that people feel engaged in their work and feel comfortable coming to work and feel that they have value. And I’m not sure that that happened in the rest of state government,” Evers said.

Evers added that he has talked about the issue with each of his appointments for state secretary positions.

He said he will sign more executive orders this week, including one focused on health care that will be released Tuesday.

Evers was in La Crosse for a tour of Gundersen Health System Medical Center, where he spoke about his commitment to making health care more affordable. Evers also reaffirmed his commitment to visit the troubled Lincoln Hills juvenile prison later this week.

Source:  WPR

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Sen. Baldwin helped reintroduce the Presidential Tax Transparency Act, led by Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR), to require sitting presidents and presidential nominees to publicly release their tax returns. Baldwin has previously supported similar proposals after then-presidential candidate Donald Trump broke his promise to release his tax returns. Revelations about Trump’s own financial ties and his associates’ ties to Russia have come to light since he took office, and last year it was reported that Trump and his family spent decades committing tax fraud.

“The public deserves to know if their president has committed fraud in tax schemes, taken advantage of tax loopholes or put his income or profits in offshore accounts in order to pay a lower tax rate than Wisconsin working families,” Baldwin said. “President Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns makes it clear he has something to hide from the American people, and there are simply too many unanswered questions about this president’s suspect tax schemes and foreign business dealings. This legislation provides much-needed public transparency.”

The Presidential Tax Transparency Act requires sitting presidents to release their most recent three years of tax returns to the Office of Government Ethics (OGE). It also requires that, within 15 days of becoming the nominee at the party convention, presidential nominees release their most recent three years of tax returns to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Should the sitting president or future candidates refuse to comply, the Treasury secretary will be required to provide the tax returns directly to the OGE or FEC, respectively, for public release.

Section 6103 of the U.S. tax code grants authority to the chairs of the Finance Committee and the Ways and Means Committee to obtain the president’s tax returns from the Treasury Department. According to reports, House Democrats plan to use this authority to demand Trump’s tax returns, but Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has not said whether he would comply.

Source:  Baldwin press release

President Donald Trump

In a national address Tuesday night, President Trump called on Congress to provide $5.7 billion for a border wall to address what he called a “crisis” on the border. The president made some false and misleading claims, and he provided some facts without context:

• Despite the president’s claims of a “crisis,” the number of apprehensions at the Southwest border remains historically low.

• Trump suggested that 20,000 children were illegally brought into the country last month by “vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs,” but there’s no evidence of that in the available statistics.

• The president falsely claimed “the border wall would very quickly pay for itself” by stopping the flow of illegal drugs, but the majority of illicit drugs are smuggled through legal ports of entry in cars and tractor-trailers and would not be stopped by a wall.

• Trump continued to claim Mexico would pay for the border wall “indirectly” through a new international trade agreement. Economic experts have said the new trade pact won’t generate enough additional federal revenues to pay for a border wall.