Reps in the News: Tony Evers Signs Executive Order 36

Governor Tony Evers

Gov. Evers on Monday signed Executive Order 36, which directs state agencies to act to prevent lead poisoning. In response, state health officials are marshaling resources and partnerships statewide to target child lead-poisoning prevention, Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm announced.

“This issue is affecting too many of our children,” Palm said, “and we need to act now to make a difference today, and for future generations. We are urging providers and parents to make sure to test children for lead exposure.”

Executive Order 36 directs DHS to designate a person in the agency to coordinate the state’s efforts to address lead-poisoning prevention, treatment, removal, abatement and surveillance. Palm said the agency is in the process of finding a qualified candidate for that position.

According to Wisconsin blood-lead testing data, 4,110 Wisconsin children younger than 16 tested positive for lead poisoning in 2018. Children exposed to even moderate lead levels can face delays in growth, as well as serious behavior and learning challenges. 

The main cause of lead poisoning among children in our state is swallowing the dust from lead paint, which is found most often in homes built before 1978. It is estimated that there are more than 350,000 older homes in Wisconsin with lead-paint hazards.

Exposure to lead-contaminated drinking water from lead service lines or lead in fixtures can also contribute to lead poisoning.

The only way to know whether a child has been exposed to lead is to get a blood test for lead. Only one in five Wisconsin children younger than six is tested each year.


Senator Tammy Baldwin

Sen. Baldwin successfully secured authorization for an additional Coast Guard icebreaker for the Great Lakes in the fiscal year 2020 Coast Guard Reauthorization legislation that passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee July 31 with strong bipartisan support. The legislation will now head to the full Senate for a vote.

“In the Great Lakes, inadequate icebreaking capacity is costing us thousands of American jobs and millions in U.S. revenue,” Baldwin said. “We need to take action with an additional Coast Guard icebreaker to protect our Great Lakes and keep our Made in Wisconsin economy moving forward, and I’m proud to see my colleagues on both sides of the aisle joined me in that effort today.”

Vessel delays caused by the 2018-19 ice season resulted in the loss of 5,421 jobs that depend on the U.S. fleet’s ability to deliver cargo throughout the Great Lakes region. Businesses that depend on the region’s maritime industry lost more than $1 billion in revenues because of delays caused by inadequate icebreaking. Due to the lost business revenue, the federal government lost more than $125 million in taxes, in addition to the $46 million lost by state and local governments.

Baldwin’s amendment would officially authorize the Coast Guard to procure an additional icebreaker and help the Coast Guard move forward with implementing its acquisition plans so that the Great Lakes and the American economy will no longer suffer due to inadequate icebreaking capability. 

Source: Baldwin press release 

Senator Ron Johnson

Sen. Johnson, chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, talked about Iran’s aggressive behavior during an interview on CNN’s State of the Union. “I think Iran is playing a very, very dangerous game. It makes no sense that they’d go after the U.K. I think that they were trying to divide the U.S. from our friends and allies. They’re just uniting us in hopefully standing up to Iran once and for all, demanding they never have a nuclear weapon, and to end their ballistic-missile technology and their malign sponsor of terrorism around the region and around the world.”

Source: Johnson press release

President Donald Trump

President Trump is racist, American voters said 51 to 45 percent in a Quinnipiac University national poll released Tuesday. The survey of 1,306 voters took place July 25-28. 

White voters were divided – the independent national poll found that 46 percent said he is racist, and 50 percent said he is not – while 80 percent of black voters believed he is racist, and 55 percent of Hispanic voters believed that to be true. Slightly more women (59 percent) found the president racist than men (55 percent).

Sixty percent of survey respondents said Congress should not begin impeachment proceedings against Trump. Support for starting impeachment proceedings was 61 percent among Democrats and 66 percent among black voters, but every other listed party, gender, education, age and racial group was opposed. 

Still, 52 percent believed Trump attempted to “derail or obstruct” the investigation into the 2016 election. 

“While half of voters think President Donald Trump is racist, religion shows an even bigger divide,” said Mary Snow, polling analyst for the Quinnipiac University poll. “Only 21 percent of white Evangelicals believe the president is racist. Compare that to 63 percent of voters who don’t affiliate with any organized religion.”