Your Reps In the News: March 17, 2017

Representative Joel Kitchens

Rep. Kitchens released the following statement after introducing LRB 2171/1: “Yesterday I released LRB 2171/1 with Senator Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay). This important piece of legislation will provide relief and access to clean water, a basic right that most of us take for granted. The karst geo-region of Wisconsin is characterized by shallow soils over limestone bedrock. Underground streams flow within the bedrock, and sinkholes and fractures in the bedrock act as conduits to the surface, allowing pollutants to flow freely into the groundwater. The karst region forms a ‘V’ on the map of Wisconsin and includes all of Eastern Wisconsin. It is particularly problematic in Northeastern Wisconsin where there is a very high concentration of dairy cattle and very little soil to act as a filter to remove fecal contaminants before they reach the groundwater. Additionally, recent testing has shown that a high number of wells in Kewaunee County are contaminated by human feces.”

This bill provides that a municipality may remediate a contaminated private well, fill and seal a contaminated well, or rehabilitate, replace or abandon a failing private on-site wastewater treatment system, in agreement with the owner of the well or wastewater treatment system, or may make a low-interest or interest-free loan to the owner of a contaminated well or failing wastewater treatment system for these purposes. Under the bill, if a municipality takes any of these actions or provides a loan for these purposes, the municipality may recover the costs of the action or collect the loan repayment as a special charge or special assessment on the property tax bill

“Additionally, we are proposing to increase the limit on the amount of a grant awarded under our state’s well compensation grant program. Under current law, a grant awarded under the program may not exceed 75 percent of a project’s eligible costs and may not cover any part of a project’s eligible costs that exceeds $12,000, which means that a grant may not exceed $9,000. This bill increases the grant award limit to 75 percent of $16,000, which means that a grant under the bill may not exceed $12,000.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this much-needed legislation,” Kitchens said.

Source: Kitchens press release

Congressman Mike Gallagher

Rep. Gallagher stood in strong support of the Littoral Combat Ship program and its value to our national security and local economy in Northeast Wisconsin. He delivered a speech on the House floor urging his colleagues to support the rule eliminating defense sequester in the FY17 Department of Defense Act. This piece of legislation, which passed in the House with bipartisan support, secures U.S. military funding and resources. Rep. Gallagher applauded the bill’s inclusion of three littoral combat ships in testimony he delivered before the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and advocated for its inclusion in the 2018 budget.

After delivering his testimony, Rep. Mike Gallagher released the following statement:

“The testimony I delivered before my colleagues was on behalf of the highly dedicated workers in the 8th District who have an integral role in addressing the urgent national security and military needs through the building of the LCS. Not only will these ships help fulfill the Navy’s own call for a 355-ship fleet, but they translate into local high-skill, high-pay jobs for Northeast Wisconsin workers.”

Source: Gallagher press release

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Sen. Baldwin applauded an announcement that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Great Lakes Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP) will be working together to provide homeowners in Kewaunee and Door counties with safe drinking water options. In March 2016, Baldwin pressed the USDA and the EPA and requested their immediate attention to groundwater contamination and the need for safe drinking water in Kewaunee and Door counties. In August 2016, she also brought federal and local officials together in Kewaunee County to work on a solution to water quality problems. As a result of Senator Baldwin’s work, the USDA and Great Lakes Rural Community Assistance Program will be providing low-interest loans to homeowners for well replacement, well rehabilitation, or the installation of water filtration systems.

“We would like to thank Senator Baldwin for her tireless efforts to bring safe drinking water to the people of Kewaunee and Door counties. Calls and inquiries from her office first brought the issues to our attention and were the impetus for our work with USDA to develop this program in Wisconsin. The RCAP program looks forward to our continued work together on these vital issues,” said Deb Martin, regional director, Great Lakes Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP). More information on how to apply for the low-interest loans can be found at

Source:  Baldwin press release

Senator Ron Johnson

News of Sen. Johnson’s office sending a cease and desist letter to a constituent who repeatedly contacted the office prompted the co-founder of the party game Cards Against Humanity to start a campaign to send potatoes to the senator’s office. At, you can send the Senator a potato for $5. Johnson’s staff sent CBS 58, which broke the story about the cease and desist letter, a statement: “Senator Johnson has held 73 in-person town halls and 56 telephone town halls, and he will continue to travel our state to speak with Wisconsinites about their concerns. We look forward to partnering with Pastor Jerome Smith, Sr. and other faith leaders to help Milwaukeeans and their families by donating any potatoes we receive to food pantries throughout the city. Instead of spending $5 on a 38 cent potato, I’d encourage people to donate directly to their local food pantry to help those in need in their community.”


President Donald Trump

Dubbed the “Ides of Trump,” a new movement aims to inundate President Trump with postcards and to set a postal record: 1 million pieces of mail to one person in a single day.

As history goes, of course, the Ides of March casts a dark shadow. The March 15 date is known for the assassination of Julius Caesar in a conspiracy by Roman senators wary of the growing power of the man who had just become “dictator for life.” In Shakespeare’s play, “Beware the Ides of March,” is the ominous message of a soothsayer.

Zach Kushner, 44, a Californian, started the postcard campaign, added an all-caps caveat on his website, saying his only rule is no threats of violence. “We understand that the Ides of March has a history, but that’s not what we are – in any way – calling for here,” he wrote. “If we could cause Donald Trump to have a bad day, I would feel good about that. But I don’t even need to give him an ulcer.”

Source:  The Boston Globe