Daily Archives: October 25, 2017

ACLU Wisconsin: Waukesha County Sheriff applies to have deputies become part of Trump’s immigration force

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CONTACT: Molly Collins, ACLU of Wisconsin, 414-272-4032 x 215, [email protected]

The Waukesha County Sheriff seeks to have local staff deputized by ICE help to enforce federal immigration laws. The ACLU of Wisconsin has learned that, earlier this year, Eric Severson, the Sheriff of Waukesha County, applied to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to let some of his deputies become immigration enforcers. The deputies would become part of President Donald Trump’s “immigration force” which seeks to deport millions of immigrants currently living in the US.

“If the Sheriff’s request is granted, it will erode bonds of trust between Waukesha County’s immigrant community and law enforcement, deterring reports of crime and cooperation with law enforcement while wasting taxpayer resources,” said Chris Ott, Executive Director of the ACLU of Wisconsin.

Through an open records request, the ACLU of Wisconsin has obtained a copy of a previously undisclosed May 15, 2017 application from the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department to participate in the Delegation of Authority Program pursuant to Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act. Under the 287(g) program, ICE deputizes local law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration laws, something which goes outside their normal work and responsibilities to enforce the laws of state and local jurisdictions.

In his cover letter to the application, Waukesha County Sheriff Eric Severson wrote:

“The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office is willing, prepared and committed to assist in [ICE’s] effort to investigate, apprehend and detain aliens pursuant to the statutes….My office and staff will make this program a priority in our jail and welcome additional ICE partnerships.”

The Waukesha Sheriff says he wants to have a “jail agreement” with ICE. A jail agreement would allow local law enforcement to act like federal immigration agents within the county jail. This results in sheriff’s deputies questioning individuals held in the jails about their immigration status, preparing documents to charge them for immigration violations, and ordering the continued detention of persons thought to be subject to deportation.

According to the application, the Waukesha County jail takes into custody more than 11 additional immigrants each month.

This recent application represents a change of position from Sheriff Severson’s testimony before the US Senate in March of this year. When asked by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) if his department was going to participate in the 287(g) program, he responded:

“At this time, I don’t have the resources to participate with that nor is our community structure such that I don’t know if that is necessarily a high priority for us right now and again I am fortunate enough to report to you today that the instances of criminal activity of illegally present immigrants beyond their status is relatively uncommon in my County and generally in Wisconsin.”

This is not the first time the Waukesha County Sheriff has sought to participate in the 287(g) program. In 2007, the Department also applied to participate, but later withdrew.

Officials within ICE will meet on November 14 to vote on this latest attempt by the Waukesha County Sheriff to have his deputies engage in immigration enforcement. There is still time for the residents of Waukesha County to demand that the application be withdrawn before an agreement is approved.

The ACLU of Wisconsin believes strongly that 287(g) agreements like this one are bad for local communities and for the people – immigrants and non-immigrants alike – who live there. There are several important reasons why the residents of Waukesha County should demand that their Sheriff withdraw his application:

Damaged trust between the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department and local immigrant communities in the county: When local law enforcement engages in federal immigration enforcement, local immigrant communities believe the police are there not to protect and serve them, but instead to detain and deport them. The result is that crimes go unreported, and witnesses decline to step forward. There have been recent cases of domestic violence survivors dropping their cases for fear of immigration exposure. Having local law enforcement partner with ICE breaks the bonds needed to keep communities safe. No one should hesitate to call 911 for fear that they or their family will be deported.

The Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA), a group of police chiefs from the 64 largest police departments in the United States and Canada, concluded that “without assurances that contact with the police would not result in purely civil immigration enforcement action, the hard won trust, communication and cooperation from the immigrant community would disappear.”

Diversion of time and resources from public safety mission: While deputies are occupied enforcing federal immigration law (in other words, doing someone else’s job), they neglect their traditional policing responsibilities. This imposes a public safety cost on Waukesha County. Further, because local law enforcement agencies are responsible for personnel expenses (including salaries and overtime) for these officers, 287(g) agreements also impose a financial cost on the county and its taxpayers.

Racial profiling and discriminatory policing: Because local law enforcement is not trained in federal immigration law, these agreements often lead to discrimination and racial profiling. Local police often rely on impermissible factors like ability to speak English or appearance. The ACLU and other organizations have documented extensive 287(g) abuses of this type throughout the country.

For supporting documentation, please visit: http://aclu-wi.org/story/waukesha-county-sheriff-applies-287g-program

American Dairy Coalition: House Judiciary Committee takes monumental step forward

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Contact: LAURIE FISCHERLAURIE [email protected]

The American Dairy Coalition (ADC) and our 30,000 producer members appreciate the perseverance and hard work Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) displayed in the passing of the Agricultural Guestworker Act (AG Act) out of the House Judiciary Committee at today’s Committee Markup.  Next, the bill will move to a vote in the House of Representatives.

“Adequate labor is essential for our industry to care for our animals and ensure our crops are harvested in a timely manner to yield the highest-quality food products for consumption around the world.  Year after year, the domestic workforce continues to forego these labor intensive jobs in favor of more leisurely work, despite increased wages and employee benefit packages,” said Laurie Fischer, Founder and CEO of the American Dairy Coalition.   The passing of the AG Act out of the Judiciary Committee represents a huge step forward to resolve the desperate labor shortages in the dairy and allied industries.  The AG Act provides an avenue for a reliable labor force that the dairy industry requires to provide affordable, nutritious, safe and abundant food to American consumers and throughout the world.  The AG Act will create a new visa category, known as the H-2C, and effectively replace the previously impractical H-2A program. This act will provide an option to both seasonal and year-round labor needs, recognizing that not all agriculture jobs are the same or require the same level of skill or experience. The H-2C visa program will be administered by the USDA, which better understands the unique needs of America’s farm and ranch operations, and the challenges of processing raw, perishable commodities. The AG Act will offer workers and employers more choices in their employment arrangements, with more flexibility and less bureaucratic red tape. Furthermore, employers will have to attest that their attempts to hire domestic workers did not yield the results necessary to keep their businesses viable. By ensuring American farmers have the labor they need to operate to their full potential, they will, in turn, create hundreds of thousands of jobs appealing to domestic workers.

The AG Act moved forward additional amendments. ADC is reviewing these amendments now and will continue to work with the Chairman.

Bill looking to better help detect breast cancer unveiled

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Conservative Restoration PAC TV ad compares Nicholson to Reagan, knocks Baldwin

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The conservative Restoration PAC released a new TV ad today that compares GOP Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson to Ronald Reagan and says the former Marine and businessman is the best candidate to beat “ultra-liberal Tammy Baldwin.”

The PAC said it is a $625,000 statewide buy that begins today. It also comes on the heels of the pro-Nicholson super PAC Solutions for Wisconsin launching an ad last week that calls Nicholson a “true conservative.”

Nicholson, who was president of the national College Dems and registered to vote as a Dem a decade ago, has faced questions about his political conversion since getting into the race.

The narrator in the Restoration PAC ad says Nicholson is a Marine, combat veteran, Bronze Star recipient, an outsider and a businessman “blessed with a strong family.”

“Like Reagan, a passionate convert to conservatism,” the narrator says. “Nobody is better suited to defeat ultra-liberal Tammy Baldwin, who disrespected our veterans.”

The narrator closes the spot, “Kevin Nicholson is exactly what Wisconsin and America need in the U.S. Senate.”

 

Dept. of Health Services and DNR: Progress in Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention and Detection

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Contact: Jennifer Miller/Elizabeth Goodsitt, Department of Health Services 608-266-1683
Steven B. Elmore, Department of Natural Resources 608-264-9246

State Agencies highlight efforts during National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that it is pleased with the progress the state is making in preventing childhood lead poisoning, but both agencies acknowledge that there is work left to do.

“We are moving closer to our goal of  no child ever being exposed to the damage lead can do to their bodies and minds, thanks in part to efforts made by Governor Scott Walker, our local and tribal health departments, and our other partners,” said State Health Officer Karen McKeown.

A report published by DHS in September showed that in 2016, there were more than 4,300 Wisconsin children who were tested and found to have too much lead in their bodies. Over the last 20 years, lead poisoning cases were identified in every county in the state.

View the entire news release.

DNR to move forestry headquarters to Rhinelander

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Gov. Walker: Announces DNR Forestry headquarters move to Rhinelander

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Contact: Tom Evenson, (608) 266-2839

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker announced today that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources state forestry headquarters will be relocating to the DNR Rhinelander Service Center by the first of next year.

As outlined in the 2017-2019 state budget, signed by the Governor September 21st, the Chief State Forester will move to the DNR-owned facility north of Highway 29 by January 1, 2018. Over the next year, other forestry positions, currently located in Madison, will move to Rhinelander or locations north of State Highway 29 in phases.

“This move will put the Division of Forestry and its leadership in a better position to work with the primary forest industries in the state,” said Governor Walker in making the announcement today in Rhinelander. “We will also be able to work more closely with our forestry industry partners in growing the state’s $24.7 billion forest industry that already generates nearly 65,000 jobs.”

Following the Chief State Forester’s move, other members of the forestry leadership team will also be in the Rhinelander headquarters by the first of next year.

“The DNR is looking forward to the opportunity of better serving the area where most of the state’s timber industry is located,” said DNR Secretary Dan Meyer. “Together with partners such as the U.S. Forest Service, Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association and the Wisconsin County Forest Association, we can better support and serve a thriving industry that is so important to our state’s economy.”

Every million dollars of output in the forestry industry creates $731,000 of output in other sectors. Every job in forestry supports 1.7 additional jobs in the state. Forestry is the number one employer in 10 counties.

Kind says he’s not rethinking decision to opt out of gubernatorial bid

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U.S. Rep. Ron Kind says he’s not re-thinking his decision to opt out of a gubernatorial bid against Gov. Scott Walker next year.

Kind in March announced he wasn’t going to seek the post, and he reaffirmed the decision in an Oct. 18 WisPolitics.com interview, saying his seniority in the House would help him “do a maximal amount of good for the folks here in Wisconsin,” particularly as he pursues some of his legislative priorities, including a “more robust” trade agenda.

“It’s an all-hands-on-deck moment in Washington given what’s taken place there,” the La Crosse Dem said.

Asked whether he thought any of the candidates currently in the Dem guv field could beat Walker, Kind responded: “Every one of them.”

Kind also took a shot at Walker, saying the guv’s “taken our state here in a bad direction” because of his “war upon the public education system,” his decision to reject the Medicaid expansion and lacking economic potential in the state.

“If you’re a business looking from the outside in, you see this chaos going on in Wisconsin,” he said. “It’s not a very attractive place to hang up your shingle unless you get a $3 billion incentive package over the next 25 years, which I think needs more scrutiny and more vetting than what took place.”

State GOP spokesman Alec Zimmerman shot back, saying Kind “epitomizes Washington dysfunction, so it’s no surprise that he would launch baseless attacks on the positive results Gov. Walker has delivered for hard-working families.”

“It’s easy for Kind to criticize Wisconsin’s comeback from the cheap seats, but he dropped out of the governor’s race because even he knows that our state is thriving and moving in the right direction under Scott Walker,” he said.

On health care, Kind knocked President Trump for refusing to back a bipartisan effort to restore federal subsidies to health insurers after Trump said he’d stop the payments, saying the rejection leaves “no viable plan B.”

A White House spokeswoman Oct. 18 said while the proposal from Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash, is a “good step in the right direction,” Trump would need it to “go a little bit further to get on board,” according to national media reports.

Kind, though, said the response just creates “more confusion, more chaos, more disruption with the Affordable Care Act.”

“He’s got to realize he’s playing with real lives here,” he said.

Kind also called on Congress to “recognize what’s working in health care, fix what isn’t and focus on reducing health care costs.”

“That should be Congress’ sweet spot right now, rather than just endless debate about Obamacare and whether it’s working or not,” he said.

Asked about U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ single-payer health care plan, Kind said he didn’t think it’s “ready for prime time.”

Sanders, I-Vt., last month unveiled his “Medicare for All” plan, which has won the support of some in the state congressional delegation, including Baldwin and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Town of Vermont.

But Kind took a more measured approach, saying there are still questions on how much it’ll cost, who will ultimately pay for it and what happens to the VA health care system, among other things.

Still, he said if Trump “continues to wreak havoc” on the health care system, he expects more people might consider taking a look at alternatives like single-payer.

But in the meantime, Kind said, Dems’ “biggest obstacle” to winning people over on single-payer would be the millions who receive health care coverage through their employers.

“I don’t hear a lot of discontent out there about those plans,” he said of the employer-based system.

Kohl campaign: Glenn Grothman answers big banks call

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Last night, Mike Pence cast a decisive vote overturning important consumer protections put in place by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). These protections were put in place to allow individuals to seek justice through the legal system when they have been abused by banks and financial institutions. Without the ability to pursue class actions, many consumers will find it hard to pursue recourse on their own. The rule also required banks and financial institutions to provide information to the CFPB and consumers on their use of arbitration to ensure that consumers are being treated fairly.

In July of 2017, Glenn Grothman joined his Republican colleagues in the House to rescind this rule on a party-line vote. This is yet another example where Glenn Grothman puts his party and their special interest backers ahead of the needs of working families in the 6th District.

“Glenn Grothman and Congressional Republicans just gave big banks a green light to harm their customers. Stripping consumers of their ability to hold financial institutions accountable does not help the average American family, and is yet another example of Glenn Grothman standing with his party and special interests instead of with the people of the 6th District. Big banks and consumer finance companies should not be able to use fine print to shield themselves from the consequences of potentially fraudulent actions. “ said business executive and non-profit leader Dan Kohl.

“Whether it is Wells Fargo or Equifax, the American middle class has been squeezed by corrupt and potentially fraudulent practices. The people of Wisconsin’s 6th District deserve to know why Glenn Grothman is encouraging actions that harm consumers.”

Milwaukee Press Club: To host 132nd anniversary “Meet the Media” 🗓

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Contact: Joette Richards
(262)894-2224
[email protected]
www.milwaukeepressclub.org

Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Have you ever wanted to bend the ear of the publisher or editor of your favorite local news publication? Have you ever wanted to drink a cold beverage with your favorite television news anchorperson or your favorite radio newscaster? Have you ever wanted to exchange quips with your favorite political commentator, editorial writer or publisher? This is your chance!

The Milwaukee Press Club will celebrate its 132nd anniversary on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, in style by giving southeastern Wisconsin residents the opportunity to meet and greet local media celebrities at a “Meet the Media” event.

Attendees will then be entertained by more than 40 “celebrity bartenders” – professionals from nearly all of the area’s media outlets, as well as various community leaders and company leaders throughout the region.

Corporate Sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor:
Mueller Communications Inc.

Supporting Sponsor:
We Energies

Event Details: 
The Milwaukee Press Club’s 132nd Anniversary “Meet the Media” event will take place Thursday, Nov. 30, from 5:00 to 8 p.m., at the Newsroom Pub, home to the Milwaukee Press Club located at 137 E. Wells St., in downtown Milwaukee.

Please RSVP:
The event is free and open to the public.  Advanced registration is required and may be done online at www.milwaukeepressclub.org.  Please contact Joette Richards at the Milwaukee Press Club at [email protected] with any questions or call (262) 894-2224.

Special thanks to the Safe House/Newsroom Pub, home of the Milwaukee Press Club, for hosting Meet the Media.  Think of the Newsroom Pub for your next private party!  MPC members can book a room at no charge (based on availability). The Newsroom Pub has FREE wireless internet service compliments of the Safe House.

Nehlen campaign: ‘No spending deal should include DACA’

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Contact: [email protected]

202.374.7371

Delavan, WI – Republican U.S. House candidate Paul Nehlen is calling on House Speaker Paul Ryan to exclude any legislative fix for illegal aliens allowed to remain in the U.S. under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), dubbed “Dreamers” by Obama.

“Paul Ryan is holding the federal budget hostage in order to foist his progressive open-border agenda on the American people,” Nehlen said. “Paul Ryan is taking a page out of the Barack Obama book by creating a budget crisis so he can force through his liberal open-borders agenda.”

“Illegal aliens ought not be given a path to citizenship separate from the naturalization process already in place,” Nehlen continued, “and Ryan’s cynical ploy to hold the budget at gunpoint in order to give illegal aliens a path to citizenship should disqualify him from leadership in the House and from representing Wisconsin in Congress.”

“Republicans in the House are already lining up against Ryan’s cynical ploy to rubber stamp Barack Obama’s illegals,” Nehlen explained. “Speaker Ryan is setting up Congressional Republicans and President Trump for yet another failure.”

“Ryan just isn’t getting the job done in D.C., and he’s not getting the job done in Wisconsin,” Nehlen concluded.

Paul Nehlen is a turnaround specialist, business executive, and inventor who started on the factory floor, who, with God’s grace and some determination, rose to lead Fortune 500 manufacturing businesses around the world. Nehlen challenged Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin’s 2016 First Congressional District to stop Trans-Pacific Partnership and secure America’s border. He is waging the battle for Wisconsin’s workers, against the refugee resettlement racket, and lends his voice to the battle for America’s values. He lives in Delavan, Wisconsin.

Nine GOP lawmakers donate to Vukmir’s U.S. Senate campaign

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Public Service Commission of Wisconsin: Urges consumers to seek assistance before heating moratorium begins Nov. 1

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Contact: Kristy Nieto, (608)261-9419
[email protected] 

Madison – The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) urges consumers currently disconnected to contact their local utility to make arrangements for service reconnection prior to the start of the winter heating moratorium. During the moratorium, which is from November 1 to April 15, utilities are prohibited from disconnecting customers who are behind on their bills.

Wisconsin law prohibits utilities from disconnecting the heat-providing service of residential customers during the winter heating moratorium period.  However, consumers currently disconnected must make arrangements to pay outstanding bills in order to restore service.  Wisconsin law also requires utilities to attempt to contact consumers currently disconnected in an effort to get customers reconnected, but utilities are not required to reconnect service until payment arrangements have been made.

Consumers without utility service are encouraged to contact their utility to establish a payment plan and arrange for reconnection prior to the onset of cold winter temperatures.  Contact information for the largest utilities in Wisconsin is listed below:

Alliant Energy                                                1-800-255-4268

Madison Gas & Electric                                 1-608-252-7144

Superior Water, Light & Power                      1-715-394-2200
We Energies                                                  1-800-842-4565
Wisconsin Public Service Corporation           1-800-450-7260

Xcel Energy                                                   1-800-895-4999

If consumers cannot reach an agreement with their utility, they may contact the PSC at 608-266-2001 or 1-800-225-7729, or by clicking on the “For Consumers” tab on the PSC website, and selecting “Log a Complaint”: http://psc.wi.gov.

Energy assistance is available through the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) to income-eligible households with a gross household income at or below 60 percent of the median gross household income in Wisconsin.  WHEAP is part of the state’s comprehensive Home EnergyPlus program, which provides assistance with emergency energy needs, emergency furnace repairs, conservation service and weatherization for low-income households.

For more information about applying for energy assistance, call the Home Energy Plus hotline at 1-866-432-8947, or visit the following websites:

o   Income level guidelines: http://homeenergyplus.wi.gov/category.asp?linkcatid=239&linkid=118&locid=25

o   Energy assistance locations: http://homeenergyplus.wi.gov/section.asp?linkid=119&locid=25

Safe Communities MDC: To host “Stop the Overdose Epidemic Summit II” 🗓

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Contact: Alayna Husom, Safe Communities MDC
608-381-5269

[email protected]

As a valued partner in efforts to address Dane County’s prescription drug and heroin overdose epidemic, your voice is critical to planning next steps to address this community crisis.

In January 2012, over 130 people attended Stop the Overdose Epidemic Summit.  The outcome was an action plan that engaged health care organizations and providers, law enforcement, harm reduction advocates, people in recovery, substance use disorder treatment and mental health providers, family members of people struggling with addiction and first responders.  Five years later, it’s time to touch base on collective accomplishments (please see below for a summary) and update our action plan.
Stop the Overdose Epidemic Summit II
Friday, November 3, 2017
American Family Insurance Training Center

8 AM – 4:30 PM

Agenda

8:00 Registration and Coffee
8:30 Welcome and Overview of the Summit Agenda
8:55 Scope of the Problem – Public Health Madison and Dane County
9:15 Anti-Stigma Presentations
10:00 Break
10:15 Evaluation of Accomplishments to Date:  Collective Impact and Ripple Effect Mapping
10:35 Reports from Partners
              MedDrop
              Law Enforcement:  Dane County Narcotics Task Force and MARI
              Parent Addiction Network
              Health Care Task Force on Safe Opioid Prescribing
              Peer Support & Treatment Access
              Prevention
              African American Opioid Coalition
              Naloxone dissemination
12:00   Lunch
12:45   Breakout groups convene by focus area
              Health Care
              Prevention
              Treatment Access
              Harm Reduction
              Family Centered Care and Drug Endangered Children
2:00 Reconvene:  Group report outs and feedback across groups
2:45 Return to breakouts to incorporate feedback and refine action steps
3:30 Reconvene:  Report out and priority setting
4:20 Wrap up and next steps
Accomplishments of partners and collaborative effort since 2012 Summit:
  • Expanded number of MedDrop boxes from 2 to 14;  over 18 tons of unused medicines collected since 2012
  • All Dane County EMS agencies and most area police departments are equipped to administer naloxone
  • 90% of prescribers attending training coordinated by Health Care Task Force on Safe Opioid Prescribing reported that they would change prescribing practices;  local health care systems demonstrating reduction in opioid prescribing and referrals to alternative pain treatments.
  • Madison Police, Public Health and partners launch Madison Addiction Recovery Initiative.
  • Chemical Dependency Consortium and Mental Health Consortium merged to create Dane County Recovery Coalition.
  • Recipient of two Wisconsin pilot projects funded by CDC to:  1) test innovative prescriber and patient education strategies at UnityPoint Health-Meriter, UW Health and SSM Health;  2) disseminating prevention programs that work via community coalitions in Oregon, Stoughton, Waunakee and Latino Children and Families Council.
  • Dane County Human Services launches Comprehensive Community Services program to help people navigate treatment systems.
  • 90% of people treated for overdose and connected with ED to Recovery project are enrolling in treatment.  Will expand from 2 participating EDs to 4 in Fall, 2017.
  • Pregnancy2Recovery pilot launched at SSM Health in August, 2017.
  • Parent Addiction Network (PAN), a comprehensive web-based resource and group supports families and their loved ones facing addiction.  PAN website includes Spanish language and culturally competent resources developed in partnership with the Latino Children and Families Council.
  • Recovery Directory is an on-line directory of landlords and employers who are welcoming to people in recovery.
  • Launched African American Opioid Coalition aimed at addressing increasing levels of opioid overdose.
  • 1st Place, U.S. Conference of Mayors 2013 Safeguard My Meds Award
  • 2016 Safe States Alliance Community Advocacy Award
  • Featured in National Safety Council video and print case studies as a model effort.

Sen. Baldwin: Helps introduce legislation to invest $45 billion to address opioid crisis

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Contact: [email protected]
(202) 224 – 6225

WASHINGTON, D.C. – To strengthen our country’s approach to combating the opioid epidemic and address some critical shortcomings, including the Administration’s unwillingness to make a long-term investment in the fight, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today helped introduce the Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act.

“I’ve heard firsthand about how the opioid and heroin epidemic is devastating families and entire communities across Wisconsin,” said Senator Baldwin. “Washington must step up to be a stronger partner in this fight by investing in local prevention, treatment and recovery efforts. Our legislation is a commonsense, bipartisan-based solution to address the national opioid crisis with stable, long-term support that will strengthen state and local resources.”

Senator Baldwin is joining Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Al Franken (D-MN), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King (I-ME), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) today in introducing this legislation to invest $45 billion for prevention, detection, surveillance and treatment of opioids. This is the same number proposed by Senate Republicans earlier this summer.

The Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act Would:

Authorize and appropriate $4,474,800,000 for substance abuse programs for the individual states for each of fiscal years 2018 through 2027, build upon bipartisanship by adding this funding to the Account for the State Response to the Opioid Abuse Crisis, which was created by the 21st Century Cures Act, and expand the use of funding already allowed under 21st Century Cures, so that states may also use this money for detection, surveillance and treatment of co-occurring infections, as well as for surveillance, data collection and reporting on the number of opioid overdose deaths.
Promote research on addiction and pain related to substance abuse, and authorizes and appropriates $50,400,000 for each of fiscal years 2018 through 2022. Under the bill, the National Institutes of Health would be responsible for distributing this money.
Provide stable, long-term funding, a total of $45 billion over ten years to the states and over five years to research efforts. This is similar to the stable, long-term investment that Senate Republicans proposed as a response to the opioid emergency.
Not replace coverage for treatment under Medicaid or the treatment requirements for private insurance in the Affordable Care Act. Both of these remain critical for combating the opioid abuse epidemic.

This Legislation Has Been Endorsed By:

American Psychiatric Association
American Society of Addiction Medicine
Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose
International Nurses Society on Addictions (IntNSA)
National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
National Association of County and City Health Officials
National Association of Social Workers
National Council for Behavioral Health
National Health Care for the Homeless Council
National Safety Council
Treatment Communities of America
Young People in Recovery

Sen. Darling and Rep. Rohrkaste: Introduce breast density notification legislation

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Contact:
Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills)
1-608-266-5830
State Representative Mike Rohrkaste
(R-Neenah) 608-266-5719

Madison, WI – On Wednesday, State Representative Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah) and Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) held a press conference introducing dense breast tissue notification legislation. They were joined by Gail Zeamer, a constituent of Rep. Rohrkaste’s and survivor of breast cancer, who has been an important advocate for breast density notification.

“October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it is very fitting that we were able to release this legislation today,” said Rep. Rohrkaste. “Millions of women have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. This bill will help women with early detection, prevention, and awareness, and I am glad my constituent, Gail Zeamer, has brought this important legislation to light in Wisconsin.”

LRB-3518 requires facilities that perform mammograms to provide a notice to women regarding dense breast tissue if they have heterogeneously or extremely dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue can make it harder to detect tumors in a mammogram and is itself a risk factor. The notification would be provided on a federally-mandated summary of mammography results which is already sent to women after their mammogram. The goal of the notification is to raise women’s awareness regarding breast density and to ensure they have the information necessary to proactively discuss their breast health with health-care providers.

“Nearly 40% of women have dense breast tissue. This notification will better inform women of the results of their mammograms,” Darling said, “Early detection is the key to treating and surviving breast cancer. This bill will ensure that women in Wisconsin understand their test results and can begin detecting breast cancer as early as possible.”

The bill is now circulating in the Assembly and Senate for co-sponsorship.

Sen. Shilling: Walker jobs agency leaves taxpayers in the dark

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Contact: Kate Constalie, [email protected], 608-266-5490

MADISON, WI – After years of corruption and mismanagement at Governor Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), taxpayer watchdogs have expressed serious concerns that the troubled jobs agency is not acting in the best interest of Wisconsin residents. Amid growing calls for additional oversight and transparency, it was recently revealed that the WEDC came within hours of voting on a $3 billion Foxconn contract that failed to address critical financial protections for Wisconsin families.

“Gov. Walker’s jobs agency continues to demonstrate its inability to manage the largest taxpayer-funded giveaway to a foreign corporation in U.S. history,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “After six years of mismanagement, damning audits and scandals, Gov. Walker and WEDC officials have yet to prove they can be responsible with public dollars. This level of secrecy is unacceptable and the public deserves to know the details when a $3 billion taxpayer subsidy to a foreign corporation is on the line.”

A recent audit revealed that “WEDC did not report accurate information on the number of jobs created and retained as a result of its programs.” It also found that the potentially uncollectable balance of loans with repayments more than 90 days past due increased nearly tenfold between 2015 and 2017, from $1.3 million to $11 million. Democratic efforts to increase transparency, accountability and oversight of the troubled agency continue to be blocked by Republican lawmakers.

Speaker Ryan: Announces new addition to policy office

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WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced a new addition to the Office of the Speaker:

Stephanie Parks joins the speaker’s office today as Assistant to the Speaker for Policy, handling health care and veterans affairs issues. Previously, Stephanie was professional staff at the Ways and Means Committee, where she was responsible for private health insurance market policy issues, including policy related to the Affordable Care Act and health care tax provisions. Stephanie also worked for the Budget Committee, and was on staff when Speaker Ryan was chairman. She is a Las Vegas native and a proud Notre Dame alum.

“I am thrilled to welcome Stephanie Parks back to the Team Ryan family,” Speaker Ryan said. “Stephanie has a deep understanding of health care, thanks to her time working on this issue at both the Ways and Means and Budget committees. Her extensive experience and can-do attitude will make Stephanie an invaluable advisor as we work to improve our nation’s health care system.”

Speaker Ryan: Statement on Iraq

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CONTACT
AshLee Strong, Doug Andres
202-225-0600

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) issued the following statement on Iraq:

“Ongoing clashes between forces aligned with the Iraqi government and Kurdistan Regional Government are undermining hard-fought gains in the fight against ISIS, and threatening to plunge Iraq into a new wave of sectarian violence. The bloodshed must stop immediately. We support a united Iraq under the federal government in Baghdad, and we support the Kurdistan Regional Government.

“To that end, we welcome today’s reports that the Kurds are offering to suspend results of their recent referendum in return for a ceasefire and negotiations with the central government. Baghdad should accept this offer and enter into meaningful discussions that address long-term Kurdish concerns about autonomy, share of the national budget, and oil revenues. Meanwhile, it is critical that the Iraqi government heed Secretary Tillerson’s concern about the role and activities of Iranian-backed Shia militias. We are very concerned about Iranian involvement in recent operations. These forces have been responsible for horrible abuses, including the deaths of Americans. They have no place in a peaceful, united, and stable Iraq.”

Speaker Ryan: To hold weekly press conference

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CONTACT
AshLee Strong, Doug Andres
202-225-0600
TOMORROW: Speaker Ryan to Hold Weekly Press Conference

WASHINGTON—Tomorrow, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will hold his weekly press conference at 11:30 a.m. ET in Capitol Visitor Center HVC Studio A, located in HVC 114. For questions regarding location or directions to the studio, please contact House Radio-TV Gallery staff at 202-225-5214.

Details:
Speaker Ryan’s Weekly Press Conference
Thursday, October 26, at 11:30 a.m. ET
Capitol Visitor Center HVC Studio A, HVC 114

NOTE: The press conference will be live-streamed on speaker.gov/live.

Speaker Ryan: U.S. congress presents gold medal to Filipino veterans of World War II

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CONTACT
AshLee Strong, Doug Andres
202-225-0600
U.S. Congress Presents Gold Medal to the Filipino Veterans of World War II

WASHINGTON—U.S. House and Senate leaders today presented a Congressional Gold Medal in honor of the Filipino veterans of World War II for their service and sacrifice during the war. The ceremony took place in Emancipation Hall of the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. The following are Speaker Ryan’s remarks prior to the presentation of the medal, as prepared for delivery:

“Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. I am honored to welcome all of you to the United States Capitol. The Congressional Gold Medal is one of our oldest traditions. It is the highest civilian honor this body can bestow. Today, pursuant to S. 1555, we award this Medal to the Filipino veterans of World War II.

“This is a day that is long, long overdue. Everyone knows about Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. Perhaps lesser known is that, within hours, Japanese forces also invaded the Philippines. Under the command of General MacArthur, American and Filipino forces fought side-by-side to stave off the invasion.

“All told, 250,000 Filipinos answered President Roosevelt’s call to duty. Most had no formal training. Many had never even picked up a weapon. But they risked—and in the case of many—gave their lives fighting under our stars and stripes. They battled not only the enemy, but starvation and malnutrition. But they never lost sight of the cause. And they never accepted defeat.

“In the midst of the struggle, President Roosevelt addressed the Filipino people. He said, ‘The great day of your liberation will come, as surely as there is a God in heaven.’ And sure enough, that day came. But only due to the incredible valor and sacrifice of the Filipino resistance movement. And only at a heavy cost. More than 10,000 Americans and nearly one million Filipinos, mostly civilians, died in the Philippines.

“We are blessed to be joined today not only by some of these veterans, but also their families. Thank you for being here. You are an integral part of this legacy. And without you, we know this day would not have been possible.

“A longtime dear friend of mine, my former deputy chief of staff, Joyce Meyer, tells the story of her great grandfather, Andres Arribe. He was one of many Filipinos recruited from Manila during the war. He was a sharp shooter. He was at Leyte when General MacArthur was there. But like too many others, he was stricken with tuberculosis and passed away shortly after the war.

“But his granddaughter used his veterans benefits to help pay for a college education, and she became the first in her family to move to America. And today, her daughter—this soldier’s great-granddaughter—works for the President of the United States.

“So you see, this is not simply a feel-good story of delayed recognition. We are here to immortalize the legacy of great liberators, who have paved the way for generations to follow.

“Let this ceremony serve to ensure that those who fought for freedom are never forgotten, and always remembered.

“Thank you all for being here.”

U.S. Rep. Gallagher: Gallagher’s third bill passes House

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Contact: Madison Wiberg
[email protected]

 Sanctions Hizballah for Use of Human Shields 

Washington, D.C. – Today Rep. Gallagher’s third bill this year passed the House. The bipartisan SHIELDS Act (H.R. 3342) imposes sanctions on Hizballah, a State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization, for its use of civilians as human shields. Despite existing sanctions, Hizballah has continued to expand its military capabilities, due in large part to extensive Iranian financial support. The State Department has continually expressed alarm at Hizballah’s capabilities and influence, describing the group in 2010 as “the most technically capable terrorist group in the world” and in 2013, noted the increasing tempo of Hizballah’s terrorist activities.

After his bill passed the House, Rep. Gallagher released the following statement:

“Since its creation, Hizballah has been an Iranian proxy dedicated to destroying Israel and combating American interests in the Middle East. From its bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in 1983, to its rocket attacks against Israel, to its expanding influence in Syria today, Hizballah’s terrorist activities have served as a direct challenge to the United States and our allies. The SHIELDS Act is a vital and bipartisan bill that advances American interests, punishes those who support and enable Hizballah’s barbaric practices, and protects our allies in the region.”

Measures included in the SHIELDS Act are:

  • Identifying and sanctioning Hizballah members and those acting on behalf of Hizballah who are complicit in, or responsible for ordering or directing their use of human shields.
  • Identifying and sanctioning foreign persons, agencies, or instrumentalities of foreign states who have provided, attempted to provide, or facilitated provision of material support to such identified individuals.
  • Invoking financial penalties, blocking real estate transactions, and leveraging powers ascribed by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
  • Empowering the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security with authority to revoke visas from such identified individuals or declare them ineligible for visas.

Earlier this year, Rep. Gallagher penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on the need to urgently push back on Hizballah’s barbaric practices.

Voces de la Frontera: Ryan is feeling the heat, but Wisconsin immigrant youth demand a clean Dream Act

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Contact: Sam Singleton-Freeman, 414-469-9206, [email protected]

Racine, Wisconsin – According to Tuesday news reports, US Speaker of the House Paul Ryan confirmed to a meeting of Republican Congresspeople that he would seek to include protections for immigrant youth in a December deal to continue funding the federal government. Some 800,000 immigrant young people, including almost 8,000 in Wisconsin, are now at risk of deportation following Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Voces de la Frontera issued the following response:

“Our pressure is working, but it must be sustained and escalated to win a clean Dream Act bill,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera. “It is outrageous that Speaker Ryan is planning to include measures to further militarize the border as part of this deal. There has been net-zero migration to the US for many years now and the Customs & Border Patrol is already receiving unprecedented funds despite their record of human rights abuses that must be addressed. What is needed is not more militarization on the border but for Congress to create legal paths to migrate that prioritize family unity and honor the dignity and contributions of immigrants.

“Over 3/4 of the public of all political persuasions, including Trump supporters, favor a path to citizenship for immigrant youth. There is no need to include unpopular, bigoted measures that only separate immigrant families. Immigrant young people will not forfeit protections for their parents, or for fellow immigrant community members and asylum-seekers, when vast majorities of the public support a clean Dream Act.”

Voces de la Frontera: Waukesha Sheriff Severson goes back on his word, secretly asks Trump for 287 g authorization

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Contact: Sam Singleton-Freeman | [email protected] | 414.469.9206

WAUKESHA, WISCONSIN – Today it was revealed that Waukesha County Sheriff Eric Severson formally requested 287g authorization for his deputies in a secret May 15th letter. Under the 287g program, Waukesha sheriffs would be authorized to racially profile, interrogate, and detain community members for deportation. This year in Milwaukee, Voces de la Frontera organized two general strikes of over 80,000 people combined to oppose 287g and to call for former Milwaukee County Sheriff Clarke’s resignation after he applied for the program. During the strikes over 300 businesses closed to highlight the importance of immigrants to the economy.

“We have a broken immigration system that needs to be fixed,” said Anselmo Villarreal, President and CEO of La Casa de Esperanza in Waukesha. “It needs to be fixed through comprehensive immigration reform. Initiatives like 287g not only distract us from achieving our goal, but also hurt and confuse our communities. I truly believe that the authorization of 287g legislation should be stopped and I encourage Sheriff Severson to do the right thing by rescinding the 287g application.”

“Today we learned that Sheriff Severson secretly — and disgracefully — asked Trump to authorize Waukesha Sheriff’s deputies to racially profile and separate Wisconsin immigrant families,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera. “This contradicts Sheriff Severson’s own statements to his constituents and before the US Senate. There is massive opposition to this program in Waukesha, Milwaukee, and in Wisconsin. Sheriff Severson himself has acknowledged that 287g does nothing to make the community safer. By making people afraid to report crimes, Sheriff Severson will make Waukesha County less safe. 287g will make workers, shoppers, and employers avoid Waukesha County, causing serious economic harm. 287g creates fear and promotes discrimination, plain and simple. We call on Sheriff Severson and Milwaukee County Sheriff Richard Schmidt to rescind their applications for 287g and do what’s right for Wisconsin.”

Wachs campaign: Rep. Subeck endorses Wachs for Governor

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Contact: [email protected]
715-972-3262

EAU CLAIRE – State Rep. Lisa Subeck announced her endorsement of Dana Wachs for Governor of Wisconsin.

Subeck was first elected to the State Assembly in 2014 and has previously served on the Madison Common Council and as the Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin.

“I am proud to announce my endorsement of Dana Wachs,” said Subeck. “Dana has always been a tireless champion of women’s health, whether it’s been at the local level or as a leader in the legislature. He is the candidate I trust to protect the rights of Wisconsin women.”

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Walker calls on Dept. of Corrections to appoint interim superintendent for youth prisons

Gov. Scott Walker called on the Department of Corrections Tuesday to appoint an interim superintendent of the state’s juvenile prisons, following attacks on staff.

In the letter, Walker suggested “violent individuals in these institutions have become emboldened following repeated media reports and court-ordered operational changes.”

Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake have been under investigation for two years over abuse allegations, and a federal judge earlier this year ordered changes to procedures on things like the use of solitary confinement, restraints and pepper spray.

Walker wrote in his letter to Secretary Jon Litscher those housed at the juvenile facilities were convicted as adults of crimes that include homicide, sexual assault, robbery and possession of a dangerous weapon.

He noted those who work at the facilities have “challenging jobs” and wrote the person for the interim appointment should have “an outstanding set of administrative skills gained by working in the Department.” The interim superintendent will ensure court-appointed changes are made while protecting the safety of staff and juveniles, Walker added.

“We cannot allow individuals convicted of battery, armed robbery, and even murder to feel
empowered to attack staff and each other in these institutions,” Walker wrote. “No matter the challenges, we must provide the men and women working in CLS/LHS with the tools they need to maintain order in the facilities and protect themselves and to protect the offenders held at these institutions.”

Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, said the facilities should be closed, instead.

“Instead of looking for an interim superintendent, Governor Walker should be shutting down Lincoln Hills,” said Taylor, who is co-sponsoring legislation to close Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake in a year. “This is an issue that Walker should have addressed years ago when the Council of State Governments offered technical assistance so we can implement best practices.”

See the letter:
https://www.wispolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/20171024WalkerDOCLetter.pdf

Walker campaign: Launches new website ahead of official announcement

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Contact: Joe Fadness
[email protected]

Madison, Wisconsin – Governor Scott Walker’s campaign unveiled the new ScottWalker.com website ahead of his official campaign announcement, providing voters with a revamped platform to engage with the campaign and learn how he’ll keep moving Wisconsin forward with more bold reform.

“We’re ready to keep moving Wisconsin forward with more bold reforms that deliver results for hard-working families,” Gov. Walker said. “The new ScottWalker.com website provides voters with yet another way to see how what we’re doing is helping – and how there’s more to be done.”

The new ScottWalker.com includes sections detailing how Governor Walker’s policies have delivered real, positive results for the state of Wisconsin. Additionally, the website includes a volunteer action center and new store for all the reformers looking to purchase Walker campaign merchandise.

The launch of the new website coincides with growing excitement around Governor Walker’s anticipated re-election announcement in early November. The governor released a new logo Oct. 11 and a campaign video and digital ad campaign on Oct. 18.

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Paid for by Friends of Scott Walker

Walker says he has no plans to visit Lincoln Hills following further reports of inmate abuse on staff

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WED AM Update: Sen. Taylor knocks Walker’s call to appoint interim superintendent of youth prisons

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WED News Summary: Walker activates National Guard for hurricane relief; Lincoln Hills staff fear riot brewing

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WED PM Update: Restoration PAC ad compares Nicholson to Reagan; GOP leggies give to Vukmir’s campaign

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Wisconsin Department of Transportation: Lt. Governor Kleefisch recognizes rest area maintenance workers, 30-year anniversary of Rest Area Maintenance program

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Contact:
David Hunt, WisDOT Division of Transportation System Development
(608) 261-6121; [email protected]

Workers/30-year-old partnership play vital roles in public safety, tourism, and quality of life

Today, workers associated with the state’s 30-year-old Rest Area Maintenance (RAM) program were honored at the State Capitol as Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch hosted an event to thank the workers for their dedication and service.

Since 1987, the RAM program has provided employment opportunities to workers with disabilities who enhance public safety and the state’s tourism industry by handling maintenance duties at Wisconsin’s 30 rest areas and 13 Safety and Weight Enforcement Facilities (SWEFs). Earlier this year, Governor Scott Walker issued an official commendation of the RAM program anniversary.

“This unique state and local partnership has benefited travelers, workers and taxpayers for three decades,” Lt. Gov. Kleefisch said. “The RAM program helps greatly to maintain Wisconsin’s well-deserved reputation for hospitality while also empowering so many workers to live independently through the power of a paycheck and greater inclusion in the economy.”

More than 17 million people stop at Wisconsin rest areas every year. A recent Rest Area Visitor Survey revealed over 95 percent of respondents reported cleanliness of restrooms as excellent or good.

Along with overseeing the State Highway System, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) operates rest areas and SWEFs. To handle daily maintenance duties at these facilities, WisDOT has a long-standing partnership with 23 community vocational rehabilitation programs across the state that provide job opportunities to about 350 workers with disabilities. Rehabilitation for Wisconsin oversees the state’s Rest Area Maintenance Program.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
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Rest Area Service Providers (Community Rehabilitation Programs) in WI

To reach any of the service providers listed below, contact: Tom Packard with Rehabilitation for Wisconsin, (608) 244-5310 – ext. 107, or email: [email protected]

· Barron County DDS, Barron, WI

· Black River Industries, Medford, WI

· Chippewa River Industries, Chippewa Falls, WI

· Clark County Adult Development Services, Greenwood, WI

· Curative Care Network, West Allis, WI

· Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin, Inc., Waukesha, WI

· Endeavors Adult Development Center, Balsam Lake, WI

· Handishop Industries, Tomah, WI

· Headwaters, Inc., Rhinelander, WI

· Highline Corporation, Hurley, WI

· Holiday House of Manitowoc, Inc., Manitowoc, WI

· Indianhead Enterprises, Inc., Menomonie, WI

· Kenosha Achievement Center, Inc., Kenosha, WI

· L.E. Phillips Career Development Center, Eau Claire, WI

· Northwoods, Inc. of Wisconsin, Portage, WI

· Opportunities, Inc., Fort Atkinson, WI

· Riverfront, Inc., La Crosse, WI

· Superior Vocations Center, Inc., Superior, WI

· Ventures Unlimited, Inc., Shell Lake, WI

· Vernon Area Rehabilitation Center, Viroqua, WI

· VIP Services, Inc., Elkhorn, WI

· Waupaca County Industries, Inc., Manawa, WI

Wisconsin National Guard: Black Hawks on their way to US Virgin Islands for hurricane relief

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CONTACT: Capt. Joe Trovato | [email protected] | 608-242-3048

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker issued Executive Order 260 Oct. 23, authorizing Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin’s adjutant general, to call elements of the Wisconsin National Guard to state active duty as necessary to assist the Virgin Islands in response to an Emergency Management Assistance Compact request from the U.S. territory.

Two Wisconsin National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and crews are on their way to the U.S. Virgin Islands to assist in the aftermath of hurricanes that ravaged the Caribbean last month.

Approximately 19 Soldiers deployed with the medevac aircraft, representing the latest in the Wisconsin National Guard’s ongoing response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Wisconsin National Guard troops have already been serving in Puerto Rico since early October.

Upon arrival, the Wisconsin Army National Guard aircraft and crews from units based in Madison and West Bend, Wisconsin, will provide aerial medevac support.

The Soldiers join a contingent of Airmen from the Wisconsin Air National Guard who deployed to Puerto Rico in late September and early October in the wake of Hurricane Maria. A team of six Airmen from the Madison-based 115th Fighter Wing’s Joint Incident Site Communications Capability, or JISCC, deployed Sept. 23, followed by a team of 16 Airmen from the 115th and the Milwaukee-based 128th Air Refueling Wing with a mobile kitchen equipped to feed as many as 1,000 people in 90 minutes.

Meanwhile, two airfield managers from the 115th and Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center in Camp Douglas, Wisconsin, deployed to Georgia earlier this month where they are assisting with staging and movement of aircraft bound for the Caribbean. A member of the Madison-based 54th Civil Support Team deployed to Puerto Rico to augment communications support there, and the Wisconsin Guard is also sending its RC-26 aircraft and crew to Puerto Rico to assist authorities with incident assessment and awareness.

Approximately 650 Wisconsin National Guard troops recently returned from Florida where they provided humanitarian relief, security and traffic control support to communities in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin National Guard simultaneously continues to fulfil its role as the primary combat reserve of the Army and Air Force. Soldiers of the West Bend-based 248th Aviation Support Battalion deployed to the Middle East Sept. 30. Approximately 270 Airmen from the 115th Fighter Wing deployed to Korea in August, while 110 Airmen from the 128th Air Control Squadron deployed to Southwest Asia in May, and more than 70 Airmen from the 128th Air Refueling Wing in Milwaukee are deploying worldwide to support global security operations. Another 150 Soldiers from the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation deployed to Kuwait last spring, and 35 Soldiers from the West Bend-based Company C, 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation deployed to Afghanistan last winter.

WisDems: Middle-class Wisconsinites ‘the ones hurt’ by GOP healthcare sabotage

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Contact: Melanie Conklin, 608-260-2409, DPW Communications Director
Contact: Brad Bainum, A DPW Spokesperson for the 2018 Senate Race

MADISON — Thousands of Wisconsinites are set to face a 36% increase in healthcare costs due to Republican sabotage of health insurance markets. With premiums set to spike, Republicans and Democrats in Congress — including Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin — have come together to support a strongly bipartisan fix that would help mitigate the damage inflicted by President Trump’s sabotage, stabilize insurance markets, and lower premiums for hardworking Wisconsinites.

But rather than endorse these positive steps to lower health insurance costs for Wisconsin’s working families, top Wisconsin Republicans are instead endorsing higher healthcare costs on Wisconsinites:
GOP Senate candidates right-wing state Senator Leah Vukmir and out-of-state billionaire puppet Kevin Nicholson — both of whom support TrumpCare legislation that would kick people with pre-exisiting conditions to the curb and take healthcare away from tens of millions — have officially rejected the bipartisan fix, effectively endorsing the 36% premium increase.

Like Vukmir and Nicholson, Speaker Paul Ryan continues to push for a full-out Obamacare repeal-and-replace, refusing to back the bipartisan stabilization bill, and instead advocating TrumpCare legislation that would end anti-discrimination protections for Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions and strip healthcare away from millions.

And where’s Governor Scott Walker on this? Apparently too concerned with his national political ambitions to notice that his own state insurance officials are admitting GOP sabotage is responsible for Wisconsinites’ rising premiums.
“After months of healthcare sabotage and trying to take away millions of Americans’ insurance coverage, Wisconsin Republicans had a clear choice: join Democrats in improving healthcare access and affordability for all Americans, or embrace Trump increasing healthcare costs for hardworking Wisconsinites,” stated Martha Laning, Democratic Party of Wisconsin chair.

“Unfortunately for middle-class Wisconsin families, Scott Walker, Paul Ryan and both Republicans running against our health care champion Sen. Tammy Baldwin have firmly opted for the latter.”

Read more from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: People solidly in the middle class are the ones hurt by Trump’s decision on Obamacare.

October 26, 2017 | October 24, 2017
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