Your Reps in the News: April 28, 2017

Representative Joel Kitchens

Rep. Kitchens released the following statement after joining WEDC and local leaders for a Fab Lab announcement at Southern Door High School: “I had the honor and privilege of joining the WEDC Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Aaron Hagar and local leaders yesterday as they visited Southern Door High School to announce grants that will allow Southern Door to start or expand fab labs. Fab Labs provides schools and students the ability to purchase equipment for instructional and educational purposes. These high-tech workshops are necessary to provide opportunities for our students to explore all career and educational options.” The grants of up to $25,000 to individual school districts are awarded on a competitive basis and demand is high. In the 2017-19 budget, Gov. Walker proposes an additional $1 million in fab lab funding. “I thank Gov. Walker and Lt. Gov. Kleefisch for the continued support and leadership on workforce issues. Providing schools the tools they need to create a more vibrant and effective workforce is crucial. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on ways we can prepare students for the workforce.”

Source: Kitchens press release

Governor Scott Walker

Last week, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi became the latest well-known Wisconsin Democrat to announce he would not be challenging Gov. Scott Walker for the governor’s seat in 2018.

This week, local political talk shows had to ask: Are Democrats afraid to run because they don’t think Walker can be beat?

After all, Wisconsin is enjoying low unemployment, Gov. Scott Walker is beloved by state Republicans and he should have no trouble collecting millions in campaign funds, guests on “UpFront with Mike Gousha” and “Capital City Sunday” said.

“Scott Walker at this point is about as close to bulletproof as you can get,” Chris Lato, a GOP campaign consultant, said on a segment of “Capital City Sunday.”

But Parisi and Democrats said there’s still hope for liberals: it’s still early in the race, and a positive populist message fueled by substantial campaign funds and an impatience with President Trump could take Walker down.

Both shows listed remaining potential Democratic candidates, including Rep. Dana Wachs of Eau Claire, Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ, Democratic businessman Andy Gronik, state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout and state Rep. Gordon Hintz.

Source: The Cap Times

Congressman Mike Gallagher

Rep. Gallagher recently joined the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, which was founded in February 2016 by two south Florida representatives from opposite sides of the aisle and who serve as co-chairs of the caucus. The caucus is committed to educating members “on economically viable options to reduce climate risk and protect our nation’s economy, security, infrastructure, agriculture, water supply and public safety.” The organization began with just those two members, but the caucus now includes 38 members – 19 Democrats and 19 Republicans. Gallagher has this to say about the group: “Republican or Democrat, it doesn’t matter – protecting our environment and working toward building a more sustainable future is in the interest of all Americans. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to explore 21st century, ‘all of the above’ policies that prioritize reliable, affordable, and market-based solutions to this issue.”

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Sen. Baldwin applauded $7,636,938 in federal grant funding provided by the 21st Century Cures Act to help Wisconsin combat the opioid epidemic. Senator Baldwin led the effort to include major investments to fight the opioid epidemic in this bipartisan legislation.

Once the funding became available for application, Senator Baldwin sent a letter to Governor Scott Walker encouraging him to apply for the federal funding and to put these investments to work.

“I’ve heard from law enforcement, citizens, elected officials on both sides of the aisle, and people working on the front lines to combat this crisis across our state. I’ve also heard the stories from families who have lost loved ones,” said Senator Baldwin. “The opioid epidemic is not a partisan issue, and a strong partnership between the federal government and our state is essential to an effective response. This important funding should be a significant step in advancing local prevention, treatment and recovery efforts in Wisconsin.”

The funds are provided through State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Source: Baldwin press release

Senator Ron Johnson

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson was in Madison on Thursday for what he perhaps hoped would be a sleepy question-and-answer session with students from Madison East High School. For nearly 50 minutes, the Oshkosh Republican fielded questions on issues ranging from LGBTQ rights to an Obamacare replacement to the Syrian refugee crisis. Although the media wasn’t invited to the event, one of the students recorded the interaction on her cell phone and later posted it on Facebook, where it was widely shared. Johnson struggled to answer questions relating to a number of key areas. When asked — as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was in her confirmation hearing — whether he believed in using standards of proficiency versus growth to measure student achievement, he — like DeVos — was unable to differentiate between the two. “You’re getting into some pretty esoteric educational pedagogy,” he told the student who asked the question. “I’m an accountant, a plastics manufacturer.” Another student grilled Johnson about his views on school privatization, asking: “How are you able to be here and say you want to help students, when you voted for [DeVos], who has no experience in public schools?” The student continued: “Public schools are losing their funding [because of] charter schools. Public schools are being forced to shut down in Milwaukee. How can you think [privatization] is helping us?” Johnson’s answer: “Betsy DeVos, I would say she knows a lot about education, she’s been involved on a volunteer basis,” he said. “Her (sic) and her husband literally donated millions of dollars so children trapped in failing schools can have the opportunity you’re having here.”

Source: The Isthmus

President Donald Trump

President Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that the United States “will not stand for” Canadian dairy trade policies that hurt American dairy farm exports, adding that the rules have “made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult.” It’s the third time in the last week that Trump has bashed America’s northern neighbor and close ally for its rules on imported dairy products. Several countries with high dairy product exports oppose Canada’s current protectionist policies, which include high tariffs on imported milk and cheese products.

Source: ABC News

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