State Assembly Representative Garey Bies
Bies and Senator Jerry Petrowski, a Republican from Marathon, wrote the Second Chance Bill, which would send non-violent, 17-year-old first-time offenders back to the juvenile justice system. The bill unanimously passed the Senate Committee on Transportation, Public Safety and Military and Veterans Affairs.
Bies and Petrowski wrote the bill because 17-year-olds in the adult justice system have a higher recidivism rate than those who go through the juvenile system.
Source: Bies press release
State Senator Frank Lasee
In a question-and-answer story with the Door County Advocate, Frank Lasee said he’s in favor of getting rid of the state’s rolling inventory tax, which taxes the value of stock in a business’s warehouse over the year, but not of some of the other tax cut ideas floating around Wisconsin.
“Raising the sales tax and doing away with income tax, to do that we’d have to raise the sales tax from 12 to 14 percent, and I don’t support raising the sales tax to lower the income tax,” Lasee said. “I’m just not a big fan of that.”
Source: Door County Advocate
Governor Scott Walker
Walker said his tax cut plan, to be announced at the State of the State address after press time, will include a property tax cut and a decrease in how much is withheld in income taxes from workers’ pay. Wisconsin is expected to get hundreds of millions more dollars in tax collections through 2015 than was originally projected.
“My belief is we want that to continue in 2014, so I’ll lay out more specific details in the ‘state of the state’ address, but I really believe it should be a combination of property tax relief and income tax relief,” Walker said.
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
U.S. Representative Reid Ribble
Ribble voted against the $1.1 trillion spending bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, Jan. 15. The bill was passed by the Senate the next day and signed by President Barack Obama on Friday, Jan. 17.
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, USA Today, CNN
U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson
The New York Times wrote a story about the “Senate’s oddest couple: Ron Johnson, Republican, and Tammy Baldwin, Democrat, of Wisconsin,” who vote against each other more often than any other Senators from the same state (75 percent of the time in 2013).
The article juxtaposes their financial situations, the lobbying groups that give them “A” grades (Johnson gets good ratings from the National Rifle Association and the American Conservative Union, Baldwin from the Sierra Club and National Education Association), and their positions on legislation such as the Affordable Care Act.
“You know, we’re not best buds,” Johnson said. “I think Tammy’s a nice person…I would argue that the folks on the other side of the aisle, their ideology is destroying the country. But other than that, they’re nice folks.”
“We have a perfectly cordial relationship,” Baldwin said.
Source: The New York Times
President Barack Obama
In a story called “Wielding A Pen And A Phone, Obama Goes It Alone,” NPR wrote about Obama tackling his economic initiatives, such as creating economic “promise zones,” working on college affordability and making a manufacturing research hub, without Congress.
“I am going to be working with Congress where I can to accomplish this, but I am also going to act on my own if Congress is deadlocked,” Obama said. “I’ve got a pen to take executive actions where Congress won’t, and I’ve got a telephone to rally folks around the country on this mission.”
John Woolley, a University of California, Santa Barbara professor and co-director of the Presidency Project, said Obama isn’t the first president to publicly use executive action.