Walker Announces Increase in Broadband Connectivity

Representative Joel Kitchens

Rep. Kitchens received the 2016 Building Wisconsin Award at a Green Bay construction job site from representatives of Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin. Kitchens was honored for helping grow the construction industry and creating more jobs in the state. Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin is a construction trades association made up of nearly 900 employers.

Source: Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin press release

Governor Scott Walker

The Governor announced a new contract to increase broadband capacity on the BadgerNet Converged Network (BCN) and save taxpayers $8 million annually. Joined by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers, Walker visited the Southern Door School District on Sept. 6 to discuss the benefits of the BCN contract, as well as highlight the availability of $9 million in TEACH grants. “The new broadband contract we’re announcing today dramatically improves the quality of service to users,” Walker said. “Schools and local governments throughout Wisconsin will have the ability to use this contract and potentially save money. Ultimately, this enhances the quality of education for our students, as well as the quality of local government services for our taxpayers.” Administered by the Department of Administration (DOA), the new contract between the state of Wisconsin and AT&T, including its partners, will provide significantly higher broadband speeds at a lower cost, saving the taxpayers nearly $8 million a year. Once upgrades and migrations are completed, the total for BCN customers will exceed 400 gigabytes of capacity compared to the current 90 gigabytes of installed bandwidth capacity. DOA is now accepting TEACH grant applications with $9 million available to school districts. Up to $1.5 million is available in Teacher Training Grants for Educational Technology to provide support for districts to attend, arrange, and administer training activities that build the information technology knowledge and capacity of teachers and up to $7.5 million is available in Information Technology Infrastructure grants to provide support for districts to acquire the equipment and services necessary to build a modern infrastructure system in their district.

Source: Walker press release

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Sen. Baldwin called on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman to investigate new Canadian dairy pricing policies that could hurt dairy farmers and processors in Wisconsin. Canada recently announced it will impose limitations on the importation of milk products and is considering further restrictions. The new policy would expand on the trade disruption caused by Ontario’s new Class IV pricing program, which preferences Canadian milk over dairy imports from the United States. Since the Ontario policy was implemented this spring, Wisconsin dairy plants have lost tens of millions of dollars in sales to Canada. In response, Senator Baldwin and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) sent a letter to the USDA and USTR urging investigations into whether U.S. exports are being unfairly blocked and pressing them to ensure that trade agreements are upheld. Dairy processors and farmers in Wisconsin and across the country have issued statements of strong support for the senators’ action to advocate for American dairy products. You can read the entire letter here:

Source: Baldwin press release

Senator Ron Johnson

Sen. Johnson disagrees with Donald Trump on the need to build a continuous 10-foot high wall to block Mexico from the United States. “You are going to need better fencing in certain areas,” Johnson said. “I don’t think we need a 1,700-mile wall, but we can utilize technology. We probably need more boots on the ground.” But Johnson, a member of the House Tea Party Caucus, added he supports the Republican presidential nominee’s principles on immigration. “Donald Trump said our legal immigration system ought to be based on what is best for America, the American people and the American worker,” Johnson said. “That’s a pretty good principle in terms of what should drive our legal immigration process.”

Source: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

President Barack Obama

The President commemorated Labor Day by highlighting the economic progress we’ve made during the course of his administration. In the past seven and a half years, we’ve rescued our economy from another depression, cut our unemployment rate in half, and unleashed the longest string total job growth on record. The President said that although the country has made significant progress, there’s still work to do in the years to come. He emphasized that despite the boisterous political season, we must not lose sight of the policies that will actually help working families get ahead. President Obama said if we are going to restore the sense that hard work is rewarded with a fair shot to get ahead, we must build on the legacy of those who came before us – that means exercising our right to speak up in the workplace, to join a union, and to vote.

Source: White House press release

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