2017 July 25

Daily Archives: July 25, 2017

BrightStar Senior Living Madison breaking ground soon on new facility

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BrightStar Senior Living Madison is breaking ground next month in Waunakee for the construction of a new senior care living facility.

This company is part of BrightStar Care, an Illinois-based franchisor with hundreds of separately owned territories across the country.

Jeff Tews and Susan Rather are franchise co-owners for BrightStar Senior Living Madison; they are also BrightStar Care Madison franchise co-owners, with five locations in Madison, Janesville, Baraboo, La Crosse and the Racine/Kenosha area — a service area which covers 1.3 million people, according to Tews, who says there are at least three other franchisees for BrightStar Care in the state.

Most BrightStar Care Madison employees are certified nursing assistants — or CNAs — and work with people in their homes when they no longer feel safe taking care of themselves, Tews says. They bathe clients, make food, do simple chores, provide transportation and perform other supportive care.

Tews’ franchise also does medical staffing. In the counties it covers, there are about 350 agencies under contract that can call BrightStar Care to temporarily fill positions.

“That’s a thriving branch of our business also,” Tews told WisBusiness.com. “[We have] about 500 employees; 45 of those are managers doing scheduling, supervising field staff, or are case managers working with clients.”

See more at WisBusiness.com

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee: Nicholson, Hovde, Vukmir plan to force Wisconsinites to pay more for less care moves forward

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Contact: Lauren Passalacqua, David Bergstein – 202-545-3567

In response to Senate Republicans voting to advance the toxic health care agenda supported by Nicholson, Hovde, and Vukmir, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman David Bergstein issued the following statement:

“Kevin Nicholson, Eric Hovde, and Leah Vukmir all support the toxic Republican health care agenda that spikes costs and strips coverage for hardworking Wisconsinites and today, their horrific and expensive plan came one step closer to becoming a reality. Their party’s proposals would impose an age tax on older Americans, increase premiums, and strip away coverage for pre-existing conditions — all to give big insurance companies and the wealthy a massive tax break. This vote continues to guarantee that their harmful health care agenda will be front and center and, if they decide to run for Senate, voters will hold them accountable.”

Dept. of Administration: Additional twilight tours available to celebrate Capitol’s 100th anniversary

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Contact: Steven Michels, (608) 267-7874

Madison – Capitol Tours is opening three additional twilight tours of the exterior of the Capitol and its grounds.  In honor of the Capitol’s 100th anniversary, these tours will detail features of the Capitol grounds including the statues, monuments, trees and gardens plus the history of the building.

The additional twilight tours will occur on Monday, July 31st at 7:30 PM, Wednesday, August 16th at 7:15 PM, and Wednesday, August 23rd at 7:00 PM.  The tours will last approximately one hour and begin at the Colonel Heg statue on the East Wing walkway (King Street) of the Capitol. 

Tours are free, but space is limited and pre-registration is required.  Please call 608-266-0382 to register.   

Visit the Capitol’s Centennial website for additional events and history celebrating the Capitol. Upcoming events include:

Twilight Capitol Tours

                        Monday, July 31 at 7:30 PM
                        Wednesday, August 16 at 7:15 PM
                        Wednesday, August 23 at 7:00 PM

                        Call 608-266-0382 to register

Dept. of Workforce Development: Wisconsin business closing & mass layoff (WARN) notice: C. W. Carlson Company, Inc.

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DWD has received the following Wisconsin Business Closing and Mass Layoff (WARN) notice:

C.W. Carlson Company, Inc. – C.W. Carlson Company, Inc. will be permanently ceasing operations at 2305 Daniels St. Madison, WI 53718 by September 18. 2017. Approximately 49 employees will be affected beginning today through no later than September 18, 2017. The South Central Workforce Development Board Rapid Response Team will contact the company to offer Rapid Response Services if needed.

Contact: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722

Workforce Development Dislocated Worker Services Summary

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Dislocated Worker Program provides transition assistance to workers and companies affected by permanent worker layoffs. The Program’s local Rapid Response Teams help companies and worker representatives develop and implement a practical transition plan based on the size of the layoff event. Types of services include:

  • pre-layoff workshops on a variety of topics such as resume writing and interviewing, job search strategies, and budgeting
  • provision of information about programs and resources through written materials and information sessions
  • career and resource fairs.

Workers affected by permanent layoff may also access basic re-employment services at no charge through the state’s Job Centers. Some services, including training assistance, may be an option for some workers after enrolling in one or more of DWD’s workforce development programs. While all companies faced with permanent worker layoffs are encouraged to seek assistance from the local Rapid Response Teams, some companies may be required to give 60 days notice before a mass layoff or closing under federal and/or state law. More information about advance notice requirements is available at https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dislocatedworker/.

Jim Sensenbrenner: Giving our nurses a helping hand

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No matter what the circumstances are surrounding a visit to a hospital or medical facility, nurses are the first people a patient sees for treatment. They listen, comfort, and administer vital services that keep our health care industry functioning.

There are approximately three million nurses in the United States, making them the largest segment of the health care workforce in the country. These men and women are on the front lines of health care, providing the quality support and services we need to stay healthy. And while nursing it is currently one of the fastest growing occupations in the nation, the demand for nurses is outpacing the supply and the nation is facing a severe shortage here in Wisconsin, and nationwide.

According to a 2015 Georgetown University study, despite the economy creating 1.6 million job openings for nurses through 2020, the United States will face a deficit of nearly 200,000 nursing professionals.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be 1.2 million vacancies for registered nurses between 2014 and 2022. Further, it predicts that the shortfall will be more than twice as large as any nursing shortage experienced since the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid in the mid-1960s by the year 2025.

In Wisconsin, data produced by the Public Policy Forum shows that the state will need to grow its registered nurse workforce by 24 percent between 2010 and 2020 to meet demand. The gap between supply and demand is estimated to be 10,500 by 2030. This discrepancy will be most devastating in the state’s rural areas, where it is often more difficult to recruit and retain health care professionals due to location and salary constraints.

Current and worsening nursing shortages are driven by various factors, including an aging population and workforce, and an inadequate and expensive educational infrastructure.

As the Baby Boomers grow older, they demand more health care services. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that between 2012 and 2050, the population of those over the age of 65 will be nearly 84 million. Further, Americans in this demographic are retiring at an increased rate. That includes those in the health care industry, leading to the large number of nursing shortages we’re experiencing. As significant numbers of Baby Boomers leave the workforce, there aren’t enough people to take their place. This is largely due to an education system that turns away applicants to nursing programs and medical and physical therapy schools and cannot employ enough qualified instructors in these programs.

Together, these factors have created an alarming problem that must be addressed. While no one piece of legislation can solve each issue contributing to America’s nursing shortage, there are steps Congress can immediately take to help alleviate some of the pressure on the industry.

One such step is increasing the amount of foreign-trained nurses allowed into the United States on temporary work visas to help fill the thousands of nursing positions left unfilled. I recently introduced the Emergency Nursing Supply Relief Act, which would do just that.

This legislation expands the amount of available visas to up to 8,000 for qualified applicants and provides immediate relief for hospitals facing shortages.

America’s health care industry faces a lot of uncertainties, but ensuring there are enough nurses to care for our nation’s patients shouldn’t be one of them. The Emergency Nursing Supply Relief Act is a common sense response to this growing problem and takes pressure off the thousands of medical facilities struggling to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for professional nurses.

Nurses are the driving force behind effective, quality care in the United States. It’s in America’s best interest to act quickly and find solutions that will not only help this vital industry, but also benefit the millions of American health care consumers who depend on nurses every day.

Johnson says ‘mess of Obamacare’ would’ve stayed without his vote today

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U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said today he voted to begin debate on repealing the Affordable Care Act because otherwise the “mess of Obamacare would’ve remained in place.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pressured Johnson and other GOP holdouts to start debate on repealing the ACA.

In a conference call with local reporters today, Johnson again criticized the partisan approach Senate GOP leaders took in trying to develop a replacement plan, the details of which are still in the works. But he said while there’s still no consensus on “where we ought to go,” he agrees with the consensus from his Senate GOP colleagues that Congress needs to “keep moving” forward with a debate.

“The responsible thing to do is to recognize we’ve got a big mess on our hands and do everything we can to start fixing that mess,” he said.

Johnson, R-Oshkosh, was the last Republican senator to vote to begin debating proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act, with the 50-50 deadlock in the Senate leading to Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, meanwhile, joined Democrats and two GOP senators in voting to block the debate.

“The people of Wisconsin did not send me to Washington to take people’s health care away,” she said. “We should be working together to make things better, not worse. Let’s work to stabilize the market, make health care more affordable, and take on drug companies and rising prescription drug costs.”

Johnson, who’s been a consistent critic of the process Senate GOP leaders took, had a discussion with McConnell as he arrived to vote on the motion. Johnson was the last Republican, following U.S. Sen. John McCain’s return to the floor after his brain cancer diagnosis, to vote.

But he said arriving later than other GOP senators was “happenstance” as he was just wrapping up interviewing President Trump’s pick to be FBI director. Johnson said his conversation with McConnell centered on his desire to “continue to be a possible influence” on the discussions.

“I’m trying to get as good as bill as possible,” Johnson said.

This post has been updated with additional details. See more from Johnson’s comments in today’s PM Update.

Kohl Campaign: Will Glenn Grothman commit to override of sanctions veto?

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Contact:
Rick Coelho, (262) 236-6918, (608) 978-5775

Votes in support of sanctions, but will he stand up to Russia when it really matters?

Moments ago, Glenn Grothman voted in favor of HR 3364, Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, a bill that codifies sanctions against the Russian regime put in place after our adversary’s unprecedented interference in the 2016 election. This bill is an important next step in ongoing efforts to confront and contain Russian aggression. In light of ongoing developments, the bill’s prohibition against the President unilaterally lifting these sanctions is critical for guaranteeing American national security interests.

Today, Dan Kohl is calling on Glenn Grothman to commit publicly to supporting a veto override in the event the President refuses to sign this important legislation.

“I am calling on Glenn Grothman to put country before party and commit to voting in favor of a veto override. I am glad that Glenn Grothman and House Republicans have heeded voices demanding the Russia sanctions bill receive a rapid vote. This is a step in the right direction, but the President has not yet committed himself to signing the bill. The Russians attacked our democracy, and they now must be held to account. ”

One Wisconsin Now: Statements on Ron Johnson vote

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Contact:
Mike Browne, Deputy Director
Ron Johnson and Senate GOP’s Actions ‘Cannot Be Excused and Will Be Neither Forgiven Nor Forgotten’

MADISON, Wis. — The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross following U.S. Senator Ron Johnson and his majority Republican colleagues’ vote to “proceed” with repeal of the Affordable Care Act:

“Ron Johnson and his Senate Republican cohorts voted to follow Donald Trump and Paul Ryan and proceed with the dismantling of the healthcare safety net for the most vulnerable Americans to pay for tax cuts for the richest.

“Their vote will mean critical health care coverage will be stripped away from tens of millions of Americans and many more will pay more for coverage and receive less care.

“Ron Johnson and the Republicans’ actions cannot be excused, and will be neither forgiven nor forgotten.”

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

Randy Bryce for Congress: SEIU Wisconsin endorses Bryce

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Contact: David Keith, (262) 676-2731[email protected]com

KENOSHA—Today, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Wisconsin State Council endorsed Randy Bryce in his bid to unseat Paul Ryan in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District.

“Randy Bryce is a champion for the hard working people of Wisconsin,” said registered nurse and SEIU Wisconsin State Council President, Dian Palmer. “During our Fight for $15, Randy Bryce stood shoulder to shoulder with us to help raise wages for hardworking people in Southeast Wisconsin. At every round of the fight against Scott Walker and his corporate agenda, Randy was right there with us, organizing tirelessly. It’s time we repeal and replace Paul Ryan with an individual who has demonstrated a unique understanding of the issues we face. Randy Bryce shares our passion for change, and we are enthusiastically supporting his candidacy.”

SEIU Wisconsin’s endorsement comes just over one week after Democratic State Legislators joined the Working Families Party in enthusiastically backing Bryce.

“I am proud of the battles the SEIU and I have fought together on behalf of working families,” said Bryce. “I am honored to receive their endorsement and am excited to campaign together.”

To learn more about Randy Bryce and his candidacy please visit www.randybryceforcongress.com or www.facebook.com/randybryce2018. He can be found on twitter @ironstache.

Rep. Sanfelippo: Broad support shown for the DOT reform bill

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Contact:
State Rep. Joe Sanfelippo
[email protected]
608.266.0620

Madison, Wis. – State Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, R-New Berlin, and State Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, formally introduced their proposal that would make a number of changes to how the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) operates.

The two lawmakers received an outpouring of support from their republican colleagues. In total, there are 37 republican co-sponsors in the Assembly and 11 republican co-sponsors in the Senate.

“After having a chance to review the audit findings on the State Highway Program, Republicans want to make sure we enact long lasting reforms within this agency and work with Secretary Ross to ensure taxpayer money is no longer wasted,” said Rep. Sanfelippo. Over half of Republican legislators in the Assembly and Senate signed on in support of the DOT Reform Bill.

“This bill modernizes the way WisDOT delivers their projects, brings efficiencies to their operations and gives taxpayers a greater say when it comes to issues like putting in a roundabout or issuing a wheel tax,” said Sanfelippo. “I look forward to further public discussions on this bill, and invite our democratic colleagues to join us in this desperately needed reform effort that the audit so clearly pointed out.”

 

Rep. Sanfelippo Rep. R Brooks Rep. Kleefisch Rep. Ott Rep. Tusler
Rep. Hutton Rep. Duchow Rep. Knodl Rep. Petersen Rep. Vorpagel
Rep. Allen Rep. Felzkowski Rep. Kooyenga Rep. Quinn Rep. Weatherston
Rep. August Rep. Gannon Rep. Kremer Rep. Schraa Rep. Wichgers
Rep. Bernier Rep. Jacque Rep. Kuglitsch Rep. Skowronski Rep. Zimmerman
Rep. Born Rep. Jagler Rep. Kulp Rep. Stafsholt
Rep. Brandtjen Rep. Jarchow Rep. Murphy Rep. Tauchen
Rep. E. Brooks Rep. Katsma Rep. Neylon Rep. Tittl
Sen. Kapenga Sen. Nass
Sen. Craig Sen. Stroebel
Sen. Darling Sen. Tiffany
Sen. Feyen Sen. Wanggaard
Sen. Lasee Sen. Vukmir
Sen. Lemahieu
 

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Rep. Sanfelippo represents the 15th Assembly District which includes most of West Allis and the northern half of New Berlin.

Ryan says ‘stay tuned’ for Foxconn news, talks taxes at MillerCoors

House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters in Milwaukee Monday to “stay tuned” for news about Foxconn’s decision on whether to locate a factory in southeastern Wisconsin.

Asked whether he had any insights into the technology company’s decision, Ryan said, “I do and stay tuned.”

But he said he’d leave updates on the matter to Gov. Scott Walker, whom he called the “quarterback” of the negotiations.

A Walker spokesman did not return calls Monday seeking comment.

The Wall Street Journal today, citing people familiar with the matter, reported Foxconn is nearing a decision to invest in Wisconsin and could hold an event in Washington, D.C., as soon as this week to discuss U.S. plans.

Ryan, R-Janesville, was in Milwaukee meeting with MillerCoors executives to discuss tax reform and to tour the facility.

Ryan noted that as an American company, MillerCoors is taxed at 35 percent, while other countries tax their businesses at an average rate of 22.5 percent. He said that higher puts American companies at a competitive disadvantage.

“We want American businesses to win and succeed in the global economy, and that is why we are so focused on cleaning up this tax code so we can get faster economic growth and more jobs,” Ryan said.

MillerCoors CEO Gavin Hattersley said tax rates in the U.S. are high compared to other countries and lower rates would make the company more competitive globally and be helpful in getting capital projects approved.

See the Wall Street Journal story:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-supplier-foxconn-looks-at-producing-display-panels-in-wisconsin-1500884344?mod=e2tw 

Sen. Johnson: Meets with FBI Director Nominee Christopher Wray

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Contact:
Ben Voelkel

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, met withChristopher Wray Tuesday to discuss his nomination to be the FBI Director. Chairman Johnson and Mr. Wray discussed challenges facing the next FBI Director and opportunities to work together to secure the homeland.

A photo from the meeting is below.

Sens. Bewley, Erpenbach, Reps. Pope, Hintz: Property taxpayer costs triple under GOP voucher plan

Contact:

Sen. Janet Bewley, Senate Education Committee
608-266-3510

Sen. Jon Erpenbach, Joint Committee on Finance
608-266-6670

Rep. Sondy Pope, Assembly Education Committee
608-266-3520

Rep. Gordon Hintz, Joint Committee on Finance
608-266-2254

Budget proposal sticks local taxpayers with the tab for expanded program

MADISON – The latest Republican budget proposal would nearly triple local property taxpayer costs for the statewide school voucher program, four legislative Democrats announced today.   New figures from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau show that local costs for the state-mandated voucher program will balloon to $120.3 million, up from $43.1 million in one budget alone.

“The last state budget shifted the costs of the unaccountable voucher program onto local taxpayers,” Rep. Sondy Pope (D-Mt. Horeb) said.  “This budget triples the cost of that mandate with no opportunity for local taxpayers to weigh in.”

The Democrats noted taxpayers have no local oversight of voucher spending that takes state aid out of their districts — at a much higher rate per student — leaving property taxpayers to make up the difference if it’s made up at all.  The Fiscal Bureau memo showed that payouts to voucher operators would exceed all state aid per student by $1000-$1700 per student after diversions to the voucher and charter programs are factored in.

“Local property taxpayers should see more of their state tax dollars come home to schools that have been at the heart of rural and northern communities for generations,” said Sen. Janet Bewley (D-Delta).  “At the very least they should have a say before their hard-earned tax dollars are shifted to unaccountable voucher schools at a higher rate and with no taxpayer oversight.”

Legislative Democrats introduced legislation this spring to give local taxpayers a say before voucher costs are shifted onto property taxpayers by requiring a local referendum.  That plan was also included in the education package put forward by Democratic members of the Joint Finance Committee ahead of the state’s budget deadline.

“If my Republican colleagues want to mandate this program in district after district, they should either pay for it or give property taxpayers a say before sticking them with the bill,” said Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh).

The memo shows that 83% of the statewide choice program will be shifted onto local taxpayers (“Aid Reduction”) while the state’s share will fall from 45% to 17% in one budget alone (“Net GPR”).

“The Republican plan to force property taxpayers to foot the bill for voucher schools and their lobbyists is just wrong.  Taxpayers deserve to know that the Republican Legislature is spending their school money with no local accountability.  What Happened to local control and accountability for local school spending?” asked Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton).

See the LFB memo. 

Speaker Ryan: Statement on passage of Iran, Russia, North Korea sanctions

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Contact:
AshLee StrongDoug Andres
202-225-0600

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after House passage of H.R. 3364, the Countering Adversarial Nations Through Sanctions Act:

“The multitude of threats posed to our national security by Iran, Russia, and North Korea cannot be understated. These bad actors have long sought to undermine the United States and disrupt global stability. Our job in Congress is to hold them accountable. The bill we just passed with overwhelming bipartisan support is one of the most expansive sanctions packages in history. It tightens the screws on our most dangerous adversaries in order to keep Americans safe. I want to thank Leader McCarthy, Whip Hoyer, Chairman Royce, and Ranking Member Engel for their tireless work on this vital national security issue.”

The Council of State Governments: Jessica Karls-Ruplinger, Deputy Director of the Wisconsin Legislative Council, selected as CSG Toll Fellow

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LEXINGTON, Ky.—Jessica Karls-Ruplinger, deputy director of the Wisconsin Legislative Council, has been selected to participate in one of the nation’s premier leadership development programs for state government officials, The Council of State Governments’ Henry Toll Fellowship.

The 48 leaders in the class of 2017 hail from 32 states, Puerto Rico and Guam and represent all three branches of state government. A committee of program alumni reviewed applications and selected the class.

“This program offers a unique opportunity to learn about leadership styles, skills and experiences from a variety of perspectives,” Karls-Ruplinger said. “By interacting with, and learning from, leaders in legislative, executive and judicial branches across the country, I hope to better understand my leadership style and improve my leadership skills.”

The Toll Fellowship, named for CSG founder Henry Wolcott Toll, has convened a group of the nation’s top officials for the intensive, six-day, five-night intellectual boot camp for more than 30 years. This year’s program will be held Aug. 25-30 in Lexington, Kentucky.

The program’s agenda includes a lineup of dynamic sessions designed to stimulate personal assessment and growth, while providing networking and relationship-building opportunities. Each year’s program is unique, but previous programs have included sessions on leadership personality assessment, media training, crisis management, appreciative inquiry and adaptive leadership.

“CSG’s Toll Fellowship is a once-in-a-lifetime leadership development opportunity that has shaped public service careers for decades,” said David Adkins, CSG executive director/CEO. “CSG welcomes these new leaders into the Toll Fellows family and we look forward to being a resource for them throughout their careers.”

Adkins was a 1993 Toll Fellow when he served as a Kansas state representative.

Toll Fellows alumni include Cheri Beasley, associate justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court; Oregon Gov. Kate Brown; U.S. Rep. John Carney, a former Delaware lieutenant governor; Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey; Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap; Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett; Delaware Gov. Jack Markell; Anne McKeig, associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court; Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin; Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill; Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate; U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, a former Indiana secretary of state; former U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis; and Rhonda Wood, associate justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court.

“Participation in this program will help me to improve as a leader in my agency and to continue my role in maintaining the agency’s strong reputation and credibility in the nonpartisan services it provides to the Legislature,” Karls-Ruplinger said.

About The Council of State Governments

The Council of State Governments is the nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.

For more information about CSG, visit www.csg.org.

The Council of State Governments: Wisconsin State Rep. Dave Considine selected as CSG Toll Fellow

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LEXINGTON, Ky.—Wisconsin state Rep. Dave Considine has been selected to participate in one of the nation’s premier leadership development programs for state government officials, The Council of State Governments’ Henry Toll Fellowship.

The 48 leaders in the class of 2017 hail from 32 states, Puerto Rico and Guam and represent all three branches of state government. A committee of program alumni reviewed applications and selected the class.

“I applied to this program because being a Henry Toll Fellow presents a unique opportunity to connect with other legislators and share new, creative ideas on how we can be the best public servants possible,” Considine said.

The Toll Fellowship, named for CSG founder Henry Wolcott Toll, has convened a group of the nation’s top officials for the intensive, six-day, five-night intellectual boot camp for more than 30 years. This year’s program will be held Aug. 25-30 in Lexington, Kentucky.

The program’s agenda includes a lineup of dynamic sessions designed to stimulate personal assessment and growth, while providing networking and relationship-building opportunities. Each year’s program is unique, but previous programs have included sessions on leadership personality assessment, media training, crisis management, appreciative inquiry and adaptive leadership.

“CSG’s Toll Fellowship is a once-in-a-lifetime leadership development opportunity that has shaped public service careers for decades,” said David Adkins, CSG executive director/CEO. “CSG welcomes these new leaders into the Toll Fellows family and we look forward to being a resource for them throughout their careers.”

Adkins was a 1993 Toll Fellow when he served as a Kansas state representative.

Toll Fellows alumni include Cheri Beasley, associate justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court; Oregon Gov. Kate Brown; U.S. Rep. John Carney, a former Delaware lieutenant governor; Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey; Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap; Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett; Delaware Gov. Jack Markell; Anne McKeig, associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court; Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin; Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill; Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate; U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, a former Indiana secretary of state; former U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis; and Rhonda Wood, associate justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court.

“New ideas and connections, like those I hope to make as a Toll Fellow, help me stay ‘fresh’ and open to new possibilities,” Considine said. “This kind of constant innovation and development is what keeps good ideas and policy at the forefront of what we do in state government.”

About The Council of State Governments

The Council of State Governments is the nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.

For more information about CSG, visit www.csg.org.

TUE AM Update: Advocacy groups send letter to Johnson, Baldwin opposing Senate health care bill

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TUE News Summary: Transportation funding debate; Ryan on Mueller, tax reform

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TUE PM Update: Johnson defends vote to begin debate on ACA repeal

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U.S. Rep. Pocan: Joins House Democrats in launching ‘A Better Deal’ agenda

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Contact: Ron Boehmer 202-225-2906

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) today joined House Democratic leaders to discuss their bold, new economic agenda and to present Americans with ‘A Better Deal’ that will boost wages, lower costs, and unrig the economy so it works for all Americans, not special interests or just the wealthiest few.

Click here to watch the full video.

Here are the remarks, as delivered:

Thank you, Annie. I’m here to represent the Progressive Caucus—Raul Grijalva and I are co-chairs—that caucus is the largest values based caucus within our (Democratic) caucus, mid 70s in members.

We have always said that the core economic issues are at the center of everything that we need to talk about, what people talk about at their kitchen table—whether or not they can afford their mortgage, have health insurance for their family, send their kids to college if they want to, or take a family vacation.

Those are the core issues, and if we are going to talk to people about anything else that we care about—and there are many things we care about—we have to be centered around better jobs, better wages, and better a future.

So we are glad to share these values with all the different caucuses within the Democratic Caucus. We are all on the same page, and if you look at the Republican Party, not only are they not on the same page, but they’re not reading out of the same book, and whatever books they’re reading from aren’t even in the same language.

So, we are glad to all be here, united around this core economic message that’s so very important, and the Progressive Caucus is glad to work with everyone else in advancing these principles as we move forward. And it’s my pleasure to introduce someone from my class, who is representing the New Dems, Scott Peters from San Diego, California.

Here is Rep. Pocan’s response to a question on apprenticeships:

If I can just add real quick, I’ve been a small-business owner for nearly three decades, and one of the issues that we had up in Appropriations, which I serve on, last week is they also gutted every single dime of money for apprenticeship grants.

One of our focuses is on apprenticeships, and we had the previous question, I think last week or two weeks ago, on a bill that I have called the LEARNS Act, where we are trying to expand apprenticeships and go beyond a traditional just building trades model into healthcare and IT and a lot of other areas.

So apprenticeships are a way to give people the training and the skills that they need to get the jobs that are out there, and we are very focused on it. In contrast, Republicans are literally gutting every single dime, not just President Trump’s budget, but the Congressional Republicans as well.

Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health: Statement on today’s U.S. Senate vote on motion to proceed to begin debate on repeal of ACA

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Madison, WI — Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health (WAWH) Executive Director, Sara Finger, released the following statement regarding today’s U.S. Senate vote on a motion to proceed with debate to repeal the ACA.

“From day 1 of the Trump Administration, the attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have involved a direct attack on access to healthcare and our country’s democratic processes.  Today we witnessed an almost total breakdown of basic democratic norms that has resulted in the U.S. Senate voting to debate a bill for which there isn’t even any text that is available to the public.  Even more importantly, from what we do know about the range of substantive options being considered by Senate Republicans, somewhere between 22 and 32 million Americans will lose access to health care insurance if they are able to pass some version of ACA repeal.  We are particularly disappointed that Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson voted in favor of the motion to proceed, despite his vocal objections about many problematic issues surrounding the process of this debate.

Despite today’s tremendously disappointing and troubling events, the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s health will continue to advocate for the women, children and families who will be harmed should the ACA is repealed.  People need to know this fight is not over.  We urge all Wisconsinites who share these concerns to keep making their voices heard to the members of Congress until these efforts to repeal the ACA are defeated.”

WisGOP: Sen. Baldwin rooting for Republican reforms to fail while calling for bipartisanship

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Contact: Alec Zimmerman
(608) 257-4765
[Madison, WI]—  Senator Tammy Baldwin is working overtime to defend the Obamacare status quo and block Republican reform efforts. She’s openly rooted for Republican reforms to fail and announced her support of government-run health care. Now she has created even more confusion, saying that she supports a bipartisan effort on health care reform.
“Senator Baldwin’s support of the far-left fantasy of government-run health care puts hard-working Wisconsin taxpayers at risk,” said Alec Zimmerman, spokesman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin. “Instead of fighting for Wisconsin families, Senator Baldwin is supporting programs that would drastically empower big government special interests with out-of-control spending—more proof that her bipartisan overtures are not genuine.”
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July 26, 2017 | July 24, 2017
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