Governor Scott Walker
Gov. Walker says he plans to give speeches across the country advocating for conservative issues such as returning powers to the states and tax reform. Walker lost his re-election bid in November and leaves office on Monday, replaced by Democrat Tony Evers.
Walker announced his general plans for the future in a New Year’s message Tuesday.
In the email, Walker says he will remain in Wisconsin but will be involved in a number of organizations and join a speakers’ bureau to broaden his scope and talk about “a federal government grown out-of-control.” Walker says he will speak about “new methods to articulate a conservative message,” including reforming the tax code and lowering taxes on “hard-working people.”
Walker says he will also work to help re-elect President Donald Trump.
Governor-elect Tony Evers
On Dec. 27, State Superintendent and Gov.-elect Evers announced his intention to appoint current Assistant State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor as the next state superintendent following his oath of office on Jan. 7.
“Carolyn is a dedicated, thoughtful leader, who puts the best interests of kids before all else,” Evers said. “She is known and respected throughout the education community for her commitment to equity and
her work to help all students reach academic success. I have known Carolyn for the better part of three decades and know she will be an exceptional state superintendent.”
Stanford Taylor is the first female African-American appointed to serve as an assistant state superintendent. She will be Wisconsin’s first black state superintendent of public instruction.
Stanford Taylor currently oversees the Special Education Team, one of the agency’s largest teams; the Student Services/Prevention and Wellness Team, which focuses on student safety, support and engagement; and the residential schools for students who are blind and visually impaired in Janesville and students who are deaf and hard of hearing in Delavan. She is the 2018 Virginia Hart Special Recognition recipient, an honor bestowed by the Department of Administration, Division of Personnel Management, to female state employees who are making a difference through their service to Wisconsin.
“It will be an honor to serve the students, teachers and families of Wisconsin as the next state superintendent,” Stanford Taylor said. “I am blessed to be surrounded by the talented and devoted staff in the department, who care about the work they do to improve the lives of our state’s youth. I look forward to this opportunity, and know that together, we can continue to advance educational equity for all students.”
Source: Evers press release
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Senators Tammy Baldwin, Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) led a group of 38 senators in calling on the Trump Administration to withdraw recent changes that make it easier for states to promote “junk” insurance plans. These health care plans typically lack protections for people with pre-existing conditions and would increase costs for millions of Americans. Under the administration’s new guidance, states could use federal subsidies to pay for these subpar plans by using a section of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) intended to give states additional flexibility to implement targeted improvements that expand coverage, reduce costs and provide more comprehensive benefits. The senators argue that the administration is improperly using Section 1332 to allow states to do the exact opposite.
“We have serious concerns they will increase health care costs for millions of consumers while weakening protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. In light of substantive concerns that we have with the impact on patients, and procedural concerns that we have with the manner in which these significant policy changes have been promulgated, we ask that you immediately withdraw this guidance and re-engage with stakeholders, states and Congress,” said the senators in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
The senators made it clear these actions did not reflect Congress’ intent in creating the 1332 waiver program, stating “the Administration’s recent guidance significantly changes enforcement of these four important guardrails, undermining Congressional intent and posing a significant risk to consumers that now have affordable and comprehensive health coverage.”
“We ask that you immediately withdraw this guidance and work with us and other stakeholders on policies that maintain protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions and improve affordability,” concluded the senators.
Source: Baldwin press release
President Donald Trump
President Trump invited congressional leaders from both parties to the White House for a Wednesday, Jan. 2 afternoon briefing on the border wall amid the ongoing partial government shutdown. He invited Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi, incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, House GOP leaders Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Whip John Thune, according to two Congressional leadership sources and another person familiar with the invitation.
It would be the first sit-down Trump has held with Democratic and Republican leaders since the shutdown began on Dec. 22.