Reps in the News: Gov. Walker on Foxconn’s Pennsylvania Plans

Representative Joel Kitchens

Rep. Kitchens released the following statement after the Joint Finance Committee (JFC)’s decision to provide funding for a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Study:  “I am incredibly pleased that yesterday the Joint Finance Committee approved my motion requesting funding for a TMDL Study for the rivers of Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc and Sheboygan Counties and the streams that lie in and between the Ahnapee River watershed and the Sauk Creek watershed. I firmly believe that this study will be part of the long-term solution to the groundwater and surface water contamination issues that our district is facing. The TMDL Study will take place over four years and be run by the Department of Natural Resources. Once the study is complete, it will provide the farmers and businesses in our area with valuable information they can use for planning and management of their lands and water resources. It will also qualify farmers for federal grants in addressing this problem.

“I think that in the future, when we have restored the rivers of Kewaunee County to their previous state as great trout streams, we will look back at this day as the first big step in that process.

“I want to thank the Conservation Departments in Door County and Kewaunee County for their support for this study, and I want to thank fellow Representatives Tittl, Kastma, Vorpagel and Krug, as well as Senators Lasee and LeMahieu, for joining me in submitting this motion and for realizing the value of this study and its potential impact. I am grateful to Cathy Pabich and the Friends of Crescent Beach for their role in getting this effort started. My biggest thank you must go to the countless constituents who showed up to our public hearings on this. Environmentalists, farmers, businessmen and everyday people came and shared their questions and comments. It was especially gratifying to hear the agriculture community express their support and willingness to work toward a solution.

“The funding for this TMDL Study must still go to Governor Walker with the budget for his signature. I have spoken with him on the issue and I believe he understands the value in keeping this in the budget. For anyone who has further questions about the TMDL Study, please feel free to contact my office.”

Source:  Kitchens press release


Governor Scott Walker

Critics of Wisconsin’s $3 billion-for-13,000 jobs deal with Foxconn keep bringing up Pennsylvania. In 2013, the Taiwanese manufacturer promised a $30 million factory in Harrisburg that would employ 500 people, but the factory was never built.

Asked why Foxconn wouldn’t do the same to Wisconsin, Gov. Walker responded by saying the difference is simple, “Pennsylvania changed governors.” He has since repeated that explanation in at least three other interviews.

Pennsylvania did replace a Republican governor with a Democrat, but that election occurred a year after the factory announcement – and in that time, virtually no progress on the factory had been reported under the GOP governor.

After Foxconn made its announcement, “it was very, very quiet, then it just kind of faded away,” recalled Jay Pagni, who was a spokesman for then-Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.

Steven Kratz, who was spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development under Corbett, said that when Corbett left office in January 2015, the state and Foxconn were continuing to have talks about the proposed plant. But no site had been chosen and no agreement had been made on any incentives the state might offer, he said. And for its part, Foxconn has given different explanations for not building the Pennsylvania plant.

In short, the explanation isn’t as simple as Walker makes it.



Senator Tammy Baldwin

Sen. Baldwin applauded President Trump signing the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 into law. Baldwin had joined Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and 29 other Senators as cosponsors of the legislation, which will overhaul the current process for veterans’ appeals at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA’s current appeals process is in desperate need of updating, and nearly half a million veterans are in limbo because of the VA’s existing backlog. Between fiscal year 2015 and fiscal year 2017, the number of pending appeals increased from approximately 380,000 to 470,000 – a more than 20 percent increase. The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 unanimously passed the House and Senate. The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 allows certain veterans already going through the appeals process to opt in to the new system and gives the VA secretary the authority to test the system prior to full implementation. The legislation also requires the VA to provide a comprehensive plan for both implementing the new system and processing the existing appeals.

Source:  Baldwin press release


President Donald Trump

North Korea’s most recent ballistic missile test “has signaled its contempt” for its neighbors and the international community, President Trump said in a statement, reiterating his threat that “all options are on the table.”

“The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear: This regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior,” Trump’s statement said. “Threatening and destabilizing actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world. All options are on the table.”

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley also said Tuesday that “something serious has to happen.”

“We are going to talk about what else is left to do to North Korea. No country should have missiles flying over them like those 130 million people in Japan. It’s unacceptable. They have violated every single U.N. Security Council resolution that we’ve had,” she said. “What we hope is that China and Russia continues to work with us like they have in the past on North Korea. But I think enough is enough.”


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