Sen. Frank Lasee
Lasee joined with the majority of his fellow Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate by narrowly approving a “right-to-work” bill on Feb. 25 that would prevent private-sector employees who work under union-negotiated contracts from being required to join the unions or pay dues. The bill, which would make Wisconsin the 25th U.S. state with a right-to-work law, cleared the Republican-led Senate on a 17-15 vote after hours of debate. One Republican senator, Jerry Petrowski, broke with his party and joined all 14 Democrats in voting against the measure, saying in a post-vote statement, “I’m a Ronald Reagan Republican and like President Reagan I was a union member for many years.” The legislation was sent for further consideration to the state Assembly, where Republicans also hold a majority.
Gov. Scott Walker
In a Feb. 26 editorial, the USA Today editorial board said while Walker “is one tough hombre” when “taking on the indulged special interests of the Democratic Party,” it’s a different story “when it comes to taking on the indulged interests in his own party.” The editorial went on to say that “Walker is positioning himself as a panderer of the first order.” While citing a poll that has Walker leading by 12 percentage points in Iowa, where the first Republican caucuses take place in early 2016, the editorial said “Walker’s deference to hardcore Obama haters is just plain bad form.”
Source: USA Today
Representative Reid Ribble
Ribble, a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, released a letter signed by a bipartisan supermajority of Congress pushing for a responsible, long-term solution for road and bridge funding. Ribble also secured the support of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx in a Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing for a long-term path forward in transportation. Ribble also called for a solution for long-term solvency and certainty in funding for roads and bridges in a letter signed by 285 members of Congress from both sides of the aisle. “America is the best place in the world to do business, and that is partially because of our superior, if aging, infrastructure. My constituents in northeast Wisconsin and Americans all over our country in the manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and distribution sectors rely especially heavily on our roads and bridges to move people and goods from place to place – and the certainty that they will be able to continue to do so in the future. Long-term funding for our roads and bridges would provide the security that our country needs to ensure that our infrastructure remains safe, reliable, and serviceable for years to come,” Ribble said.
Source: Ribble press release
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Baldwin, a member of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, joined a bipartisan group of senators led by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to introduce legislation to stop Asian carp and other invasive species from entering the Great Lakes. Invasive species pose a grave threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem and the region’s $7 billion recreational fishing and $16 billion recreational boating industries. The Defending Our Great Lakes Act will give federal agencies broad authority to take immediate actions to stop the spread of Asian carp and other invasive species. This legislation will also require key agencies to work with regional stakeholders to institute long-term measures to stop the spread of invasive species between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. The Defending Our Great Lakes Act gives the Army Corps of Engineers authority to take near-term and long-term actions to prevent the spread of invasive species at a critical control point near the western end of the Chicago Area Waterway System, the Brandon Road Lock and Dam. The Army Corps of Engineers announced in December that they are evaluating which technologies will be most effective at keeping invasive species out of the Great Lakes Basin. This bill gives the Corps the flexibility to choose from all of their available options prior to making a decision. This legislation is supported by the Great Lakes Commission, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, National Wildlife Federation, Great Lakes Metro Chamber of Commerce, Healing our Waters Coalition, Alliance for the Great Lakes, Michigan Trout Unlimited, and Michigan Conservation Clubs.
Source: Baldwin press release
President Barack Obama
On March 3, Obama announced a more focused government effort to help tens of millions of girls around the world attend and stay in school. Obama said that, as the father of “two fabulous, extraordinary, awesome young women,” he wants to help make sure that “no girl out there is denied her chance to be a strong, capable woman.” Yet more than 60 million girls are being denied schooling for a variety of reasons, he said. “We’re making it clear to any country that’s our partner or wants to be our partner that they need to get serious about increasing the number of girls in school,” Obama said, announcing the Let Girls Learn initiative at the White House with the first lady standing beside him.
Source: The Associated Press