Representative Joel Kitchens
Kitchens announced plans for a new initiative to monitor total phosphorus (TP) and total suspended solids (TSS) loads in the Ahnapee River. Per Representative Kitchens’ request, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will fund and conduct a citizen-based monitoring effort to close information gaps that currently exist. The DNR plans to start monitoring before the end of this month, pending volunteer availability, and will install two flow meters, likely one near Blahnik Heritage Park and another at Willow Drive. “We want clean and safe resources in our area,” Kitchens said. “This is especially true for the Ahnapee River and its largest tributary, Silver Creek, which flow into Lake Michigan and are reported to contribute to algae blooms and excessive sedimentation. This negatively impacts the City of Algoma and Crescent Beach, which are popular destinations for locals and tourists. Gathering accurate information on TP and TSS is vital for our efforts to ensure that we remain good stewards of our natural resources. These TP and TSS load estimates will serve as the foundation for a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). I plan to request funding for a TMDL in the next state budget and the information gathered through the citizen-based monitoring effort will strengthen our case. I look forward to working with the Friends of Crescent Beach and any other interested parties.” To request further information or to volunteer for the monitoring effort, contact the office of Rep. Kitchens in Madison, 608.266.5350.
Source: Kitchens press release
Governor Scott Walker
Walker told FOX6 News of Milwaukee that he will make a final decision on whether to run for a third term as governor once the 2017-18 state budget is finalized next summer. “I think it’s important to stay focused on the budget, to get that through and put the time and energy needed in for that, but it won’t be long after that,” Walker said. Walker has said he wants to retire debt from his failed presidential campaign before making a decision. Despite a drop in April fundraising, the governor said he still expects to pay off the remaining $900,000 in debt left over from his presidential bid by year’s end.
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Baldwin joined Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Angus King (I-ME), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) to introduce the Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment Act (LifeBOAT), which would establish a permanent funding stream to provide and expand access to substance abuse treatment. “Fighting this nationwide epidemic is a shared responsibility; everyone has a role to play in addressing this crisis. The drug companies that have profited from selling large quantities of opioids over the years are no exception,” said Baldwin. “As communities continue to struggle with this epidemic on a daily basis, Washington needs to act by actually making investments for prevention, treatment and recovery efforts. I am proud to support this bill because it is bold solution that will help us address a big problem.”
Source: Baldwin press release
Senator Ron Johnson
Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent a letter to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf raising concerns about the agency’s recent e-cigarette regulation. Johnson asked the FDA whether it will revise its rule if scientific findings indicate that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes. “Unfortunately, the FDA’s attempt to improve the public’s health by scrutinizing the e-cigarette industry could ultimately result in negative unintended health consequences,” Johnson wrote in the letter. “The costly impact the rule will have on e-cigarette manufacturers will stifle innovation and make it harder for e-cigarette companies to continue to offer products that serve as an alternative to smoking. It is possible that without a cost-effective alternative, some consumers will resort to traditional cigarettes.”
Source: Johnson press release
President Barack Obama
In his weekly address, Obama discussed one of the singlemost important steps to help grow middle-class wages – expanding the number of workers who are eligible for the overtime they have earned. Every week, millions of Americans work more than 40 hours but do not receive the overtime pay they deserve. The Department of Labor finalized a rule to extend overtime protections to 4.2 million more Americans, which will boost wages for working Americans by $12 billion in the next 10 years. This action will not only mean a better life for more American families, but will also strengthen our economy across the board.
Source: White House press release