2019 July 10

Daily Archives: July 10, 2019

American Immigration Council: Customs and Border Protection conditions and conduct- research and expertise available

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WASHINGTON— The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General issued a report last Tuesday warning about “dangerous overcrowding” and calling for immediate action to address squalid conditions in Customs and Border Protection facilities at the U.S. southern border. The report follows weeks of news and growing outrage over detention conditions facing asylum seekers and inappropriate conduct by CBP officials.

The American Immigration Council has a range of resources and experts available to address:

Efforts to challenge unconstitutional conditions in CBP detention facilities.
The agency’s abusive practices, including lack of accountability in responding to complaints of abuse.
The federal funding and costs of immigration enforcement and border security.
Corruption and misconduct within CBP.
Lengthy detention, dehumanizing conditions, and abuse in CBP holding cells.
The agency’s failure to address worsening conditions in Border Patrol custody pre-exists the present moment, but meaningful oversight is long overdue. As a longtime champion of holding CBP accountable for its unlawful policies and practices, the Council has a wealth of knowledge of the facts, law, and history surrounding current border developments.

Department of Administration: Downtown Madison experiencing power outage

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MADISON – As of 10 am, several State of Wisconsin buildings in downtown Madison are without electrical service. All state buildings remain open to employees, but the public is discouraged from visiting impacted buildings during the outage. The public should call ahead if visiting to determine if their destination is without power. The Department of Administration will issue additional updates as the situation changes. Next scheduled update will be at 12 pm.

Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection: Fruit and vegetable growers encouraged to sign-up for pre-inspection review and field day events

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MADISON – In order to meet requirements for the Food Safety Modernization Act, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is encouraging fresh produce growers to schedule a pre-inspection farm review. Referred to as an on-farm readiness review, it provides growers with information about what state and federal inspectors will look for to determine how a farm meets federal produce safety rules for the growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fresh fruits and vegetables. DATCP has completed several reviews in June with 30 more currently scheduled through the summer.

“Growers have told us that the review helped them to better understand the federal rules through hands-on learning,” said Shawn Bartholomew, DATCP’s produce section supervisor for the Division of Food and Recreational Safety. “Since each produce farm operates differently, we are hoping more growers will take advantage of an on-farm readiness review. It gives growers a chance to ask questions based on their operation and time to make any changes to ensure they will pass an inspection.”

Prior to having a review, growers can see what a review is like by attending a field day event. Field days are open to the public, explain the purpose of the Safe Wisconsin Produce program, demonstrate the review process, provide information about tools available to prepare for an inspection, and provide participants with an opportunity to ask questions of industry experts. In addition to DATCP’s Safe Wisconsin Produce program staff, educators from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Division of Extension and industry partners are available to answer technical questions. Each field day is unique to represent the diversity of produce grown in Wisconsin. The dates and locations of the field days are:

Date Produce Focus Location
July 18

 

Tomatoes, melons, root crops, peas, and beans Hancock Agricultural Research Station
N3909 Cty Rd V
Hancock, WI 54943
July 23

 

Tomatoes, melons, and salad greens Spooner Agricultural Research Station
W6646 Hwy 70
Spooner, WI 54801
August 22

 

Apples Bushel and a Peck Orchard
18444 Cty Hwy OO
Chippewa Falls, WI 54729
September 19

 

Tomatoes, salad greens, and vine crops Sully’s Produce
7054 Cty C
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235

Field days are free (with the exception of July 23 that includes a lunch). More information on how to register is available at https://safeproduce.wi.gov.

How to Schedule a Review

To schedule a review, growers can do any of the following:

  • Go to https://safeproduce.wi.gov and sign-up online for a date and time most convenient for them
  • Email [email protected]
  • Call (608) 224-4511
  • Request one at any event where DATCP’s Safe Wisconsin Produce program staff are at, including field day events, Farm Technology Days, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service conference, and the Wisconsin Fruit and Vegetable conference
  • Mail a request to:

DFRS Produce Team

WI DATCP

PO Box 8911

Madison WI 53708-8911

More Information

Inspections for produce farms are based on the size of the farm. Large produce farm inspections began in June, while smaller farm inspections will not start until next year. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration defines a produce farm’s size based on the following annual produce sales revenue:

  • Large produce farm: More than $500,000
  • Small produce farm: $250,000-$500,00
  • Very small produce farm: $25,000-$250,000

For more information about the Food Safety Modernization Act, the Produce Safety Rule, or DATCP’s Safe Wisconsin Produce program, visit https://safeproduce.wi.gov.

Wisconsin ranks 11th in the nation in number of produce farms, and second in number of organic produce farms. There are an estimated 1,100 Wisconsin farms that will have to meet federal produce safety regulations.

Evers pens letter to Hogan regarding possible changes to Foxconn contract

Gov. Tony Evers wrote departing WEDC Chair and CEO Mark Hogan he hopes they’ll “work in unison” to meet the needs of taxpayers and Foxconn as possible changes to the company’s incentive package are considered.

Evers sent the letter to Hogan Monday after visiting the site of the plant in Racine County last month, his first time at the project. It reflects some of his past comments that the deal may need to be changed after the Taiwanese company scaled back initial plans to build large flat screens.

Those past comments prompted blowback from GOP lawmakers who suggested the guv was trying to undermine the deal.

In the letter, Evers wrote his administration is “committed to supporting Foxconn’s success in Wisconsin to bring manufacturing jobs to an area of the state that has struggled for many years.” He also again said the company approached the state earlier this year about revisiting the agreement.

A Foxconn spokesman said the company was aware of the letter but didn’t have an immediate comment.

“Because the project has evolved substantially from what was originally proposed, evaluated, and contracted for, it is necessary to review the revised aspects of the project and evaluate how changes can most fairly benefit both the company and our state,” Evers wrote. “Proposed modifications to the Foxconn agreement or terms for a new agreement should be thoroughly and thoughtfully reviewed and assessed by the WEDC and my Administration.”

As the company’s initial plans for the site have changed, it has repeatedly said it remained committed to its original promise of 13,000 jobs and an investment of up to $10 billion. Both were targets in the deal signed with the Walker administration.

WEDC spokesman David Callender said the agency forwarded Evers’ letter to the full board. He said WEDC, the guv’s office and DOA have “routine discussions” with Foxconn. He also noted it is not uncommon for WEDC to amend contracts with companies during the lifetime of the deal. But he said the agency otherwise doesn’t comment on talks with a company before something would be presented to the board.

Evers offered no specifics in his letter on possible changes but noted the company’s plans “reflect a substantially smaller footprint, less capital investment, and fewer manufacturing workers than its original plans.” Foxconn originally proposed what’s known as a Generation 10.5 facility capable of manufacturing screens the size of a garage door. It now plans a Generation 6 facility, which products LCD screens for TVs, cell phones and other devices.

Evers wrote those who backed the “unprecedented incentive package” justified it with the company’s pledge to create the larger facility and bring manufacturing jobs to Racine County. But he wrote those plans have now changed.

Last year, Foxconn fell short of the minimum number of employees required to qualify for tax credits related to job creation under the state’s nearly $3 billion incentive package. The company has said it plans to begin production in the fourth quarter of 2020, and local officials have said Foxconn indicated it plans to have 1,500 employees for the initial phase of manufacturing.

Under its contract with the state, the company would need a minimum of 1,820 employees at the end of 2020 to qualify for tax credits tied to job creation. To qualify for the maximum tax credits under the contract, it would need 5,200 employees at the end of that year.

In the letter, Evers also praised Hogan, who announced he will leave the agency sometime this fall.

“As you prepare for your departure from the WEDC this fall, you can be proud of the agency’s work and the committed team you built,” Evers wrote. “I look forward to our work together in your remaining weeks at the WEDC and appreciate the professionalism and dedication with which you have approached this role.”

During the December extraordinary session, Republicans stripped the guv of the power to appoint the WEDC secretary and CEO until Sept. 1.

Hogan hasn’t specified a date for his departure but has said he had planned to leave this fall even if Gov. Scott Walker had won re-election.

Read the letter here.

Gov. Evers: Announces Nexus Pharmaceuticals to build sterile injectable manufacturing facility in Pleasant Prairie

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Contact: [email protected] or 608-219-7443

PLEASANT PRAIRIE – Gov. Tony Evers today joined with the owners of Nexus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser, Village of Pleasant Prairie Board President John Steinbrink, Kenosha Area Business Alliance President Todd Battle, and Milwaukee 7 regional economic development officials to announce that Nexus has selected Pleasant Prairie as the location for its first sterile drug manufacturing facility.

Nexus Pharmaceuticals is a woman-owned, privately-held pharmaceutical company based in Lincolnshire (IL) that produces specialty and generic injectable drugs relied upon by hospitals across the U.S. The Pleasant Prairie manufacturing facility will support the production and supply of drugs in an array of therapeutic areas, including anesthesia, oncology, cardiovascular and neurology. Nexus’ proprietary products are currently contract-manufactured by third-party providers located primarily in Europe and the U.S.

“We are proud to call Wisconsin the new home for our company’s first manufacturing facility,” said Nexus CEO Mariam Darsot. “This investment is needed to drive the continued growth of the U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. There is increasing patient demand for high quality and accessible generic injections. The addition of our Wisconsin facility will enable Nexus to produce a more stable and reliable supply of sterile injectables, a category that is particularly susceptible to drug shortages.”

The multi-phase project is expected to be completed within ten years, with an estimated total investment of $250 million. In the project’s first phase, Nexus will invest $85 million to build and equip a 100,000 square foot, three-story production operation, construction of which will begin in August and be completed by 2021. After the facility and equipment are qualified, and subsequently approved by regulatory agencies, commercial production is expected to begin in 2022. As part of the project’s first phase, Nexus will hire 77 workers in the fields of high-tech production, engineering, quality control, and supply chain management, at an average annual salary of $70,000.

“This is one of the most significant pharmaceutical investments in Wisconsin in years,” Gov. Evers said. “Southeast Wisconsin is increasingly becoming a destination of choice for high-value manufacturing jobs that require a skilled, educated workforce.”

Gov. Evers announced today the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is supporting the project by authorizing up to $1.5 million in state income tax credits over the next four years. The actual amount of tax credits Nexus will receive is contingent upon the number of jobs created and the amount of capital investment during that period.

Economic modeling analysis conducted by WEDC indicates that in addition to the creation of 77 jobs at Nexus’ Pleasant Prairie location, the project could indirectly generate 134 additional jobs in the region. Those 211 total new jobs are expected to generate up to $512,000 annually in state income tax revenue. The construction phase of the project could directly support an additional 237 jobs and a total of 379 direct and indirect jobs.

WEDC Secretary and CEO Mark Hogan thanked Nexus for choosing the Pleasant Prairie location. “We are pleased that Nexus is bringing high-paying, high-skill jobs to the state. We believe the company’s decision reflects its recognition that Wisconsin is a leader in innovative manufacturing,” Mr. Hogan said.

Nexus has purchased a 16-acre parcel of land from the Village of Pleasant Prairie in the Prairie Highlands Corporate Park, located along Interstate 94 north of Highway 165. Nexus will join German candy producer HARIBO and healthcare provider Advocate Aurora as the initial occupants of the park, which is being developed on land the Village purchased from Abbott Laboratories in 2017.

“The Village is honored to welcome Nexus Pharmaceuticals to Southeastern Wisconsin,” said Village Board President Steinbrink. “Nexus is a remarkable company with excellent jobs, strong growth, and high values. I am confident that Nexus will find Prairie Highlands Corporate Park in Pleasant Prairie to be an exceptional location to grow a business.”

Nexus is the most recent in a long line of companies that have made significant investments in Kenosha County. The company will receive financial support through the County’s High Impact Fund.

“Kenosha County is pleased to be the selected site for this impactful development,” said County Executive Kreuser. “The County worked with the Kenosha Area Business Alliance to establish the High Impact Fund precisely to secure high-quality economic development projects like this one. Nexus Pharmaceuticals is an ideal fit for this program and our community.”

The Milwaukee 7 economic development organization also worked to attract Nexus to the region.

“We’re delighted that Nexus has chosen southeastern Wisconsin for this significant investment,” said Gale Klappa, co-chair of Milwaukee 7 and executive chairman of WEC Energy Group. “Nexus brings the high-value job opportunities that our region seeks and can capably support. The company’s decision to invest here highlights – once again – our success in attracting companies that require skilled knowledge workers.”

About Nexus Pharmaceuticals

Nexus Pharmaceuticals is a U.S.-based healthcare company specializing in innovative processes that make difficult-to-manufacture specialty and generic drugs easier to use, less labor-intensive and more streamlined in practice. Nexus ensures that its high-quality FDA-approved drugs fulfill a critical unmet medical need and deliver dependable life-saving treatment options when and where they are needed most.

Since its inception in 2003, Nexus has been a pioneer in the generic drug industry. The fast-growing company has a robust pipeline featuring several recent launches of first-to-market, FDA-approved generic drugs.

Nexus is headquartered in Lincolnshire (IL), which houses the company’s state-of-the-art research and development laboratory. Nexus has nine FDA-approved lifesaving medications and six commercially available generic injectables trusted in 2,500 hospitals and health care facilities across the U.S.

For more information, visit the company’s website: www.nexuspharma.net

Gov. Evers: Signs bill to allow cellular providers to upgrade to 5G technology in Wisconsin

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MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today signed three bills into law including Senate Bill 239, now 2019 Wisconsin Act 14, which creates a regulatory framework for the deployment of wireless equipment and facilities with the intent of facilitating the installation and expansion of 5G cellular technology in Wisconsin.

“Senate Bill 239 allows us to catch up with the rest of the Midwest by bringing 5G to Wisconsin,” said Gov. Evers. “This is an important step for investing and updating our infrastructure that will pave the way for the next generation of connectivity across our state.”

Gov. Evers today also signed Senate Bill 54 and Senate Bill 68 into law.

Senate Bill 54, now 2019 Wisconsin Act 15, allows the Department of Resources to provide financial documents such as outstanding sales tax liability to a person who is looking to purchase a business. This will increase fairness and transparency in business dealings. 

Senate Bill 68, now 2019 Wisconsin Act 16, clarifies the definition of “lewd exhibition of intimate parts” for crimes against children and codifies existing case law.

Karofsky campaign: Announces more than 600 donors in early campaign finance period

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Contact: Mary McCarthy
(262) 293-6692

MADISON — The campaign of Judge Jill Karofsky, candidate for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice, announced today that it had raised more than $120,000 in the early campaign finance period, including more than $105,000 from donors other than the candidate. More than 600 individuals donated to Karofsky’s campaign. This is significantly more than the $70,000 raised from donors reported by Justice Rebecca Dallet in July of 2017, as well as more than seven times as many donors as Judge Lisa Neubauer reported in July of 2018.

“This campaign has generated significant enthusiasm, and we have the momentum we need to be successful,” said Mary McCarthy, spokesperson for Jill for Justice. “As more and more people across Wisconsin say every day, we need Judge Jill Karofsky on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. She will stand up for Wisconsin values, for the rule of law, for independent courts, and for our constitutional rights.

Judge Karofsky currently serves as a criminal court judge in Dane County, and has announced the public support of Justice Rebecca Dallet and former Governor Jim Doyle. She has earned the bipartisan support of judges, sheriffs, DAs, local elected officials, and community leaders across Wisconsin.

Karofsky raised $121,000 since early May for Supreme Court bid

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Supreme Court candidate Jill Karofsky raised $121,000 since early May for her bid to knock off conservative Justice Daniel Kelly, her campaign says.

The Dane County judge will report $110,913 in the bank to end June and received donations from more than 600 contributors.

Karofsky, who won an open seat on the Dane County bench in 2017, and Marquette University Law School Professor Ed Fallone both got in the race to challenge Kelly in 2020.

Karofsky’s campaign says the $121,000 raised includes $15,000 in personal money, putting her fundraising from individuals in line with recent left-of-center Supreme Court candidates.

Appeals Court Judge Lisa Neubauer, who lost this spring’s race to conservative Brian Hagedorn, reported $358,288 in receipts on her July 2018 report. But that included a $250,000 personal loan.

Justice Rebecca Dallet, then a Milwaukee County judge, pulled in $270,984 on her July 2017 report ahead of her successful bid in 2018 for an open seat on the bench. But that also included personal money in the form of a $200,000 loan. Meanwhile, attorney Tim Burns reported raising $122,751 on his July 2017 report ahead of finishing third in the three-way primary that following spring. He gave himself $1,000 in that initial fundraising period.

Fundraising reports for the first half of 2019 are due Tuesday.

One Wisconsin Now: Dan Kelly warns Wisconsin to beware of Justice Dan Kelly

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CONTACT
Mike Browne, Deputy Director
[email protected]
(608) 444-3483

Right-Wing Justice Warns of Judges Bringing Policy Preferences to the Bench, After He Puts His Policy Preference to Work on State High Court

MADISON, Wis. — As reported by the news service Wispolitics.com state supreme court Justice Dan Kelly yesterday delivered a speech to a right-wing group in which he warned of a “… justice who brings policy preferences to the bench …” One Wisconsin Now Research Director Joanna Beilman-Dulin noted that based on his own actions on the bench Kelly was warning people to beware of a judge just like himself.

“In his speech Dan Kelly decried justices who he says bring policy preferences to the bench,” said Beilman-Dulin. “The irony is Dan Kelly is warning Wisconsin to beware of him, based on his own actions on the bench.”

Kelly, who never served as or was elected a judge before being appointed to the state high court by former Gov. Scott Walker, previously served as a policy advisor to the right-wing Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL). The group frequently brings litigation to advance the conservative political agenda and the favored politicians of their major financial patrons like the Bradley Foundation.

As a member of the state high court Kelly joined a June 2019 decision to reverse a 2016 decision of the Wisconsin State Supreme Court and find in favor of WILL in a lawsuit they brought seeking to enforce the “REINS Act.” The law requires state agencies to seek approval of the Governor before developing rules to guide their enforcement of state statutes. At issue was the requirement the constitutionally established and statewide elected Superintendent of Public Instruction seek the approval of another elected constitutional officer to carry out the duties of the office.

The REINS Act was passed by the Republican controlled legislature and signed into law by then Gov. Scott Walker in 2017. The measure was nearly identical to the previously invalidated legislation and seemed to be a pretext to try to overturn the 2016 decision of the court.

In her dissent to the 2019 decision, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley noted “… nothing in our Constitution has changed since Coyne was decided, what has changed is the membership of the court. This time around, a new majority of this court does an about-face and now concludes that the substance of Act 57 is constitutional. To reach this conclusion, it throws the doctrine of stare decisis out the window.”

Beilman-Dulin concluded, “Dan Kelly likes to speak and write grandiloquently about the imperilment of the judiciary by those he accuses of ‘legislating from the bench.’ In plain and straightforward language, legislating from the bench for the benefit of a right-wing political agenda is exactly what Dan Kelly has done.”

Protect Our Care: A dark day in Court for Americans’ health care

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Contact: Joe Zepecki
[email protected]
202-445-1517

MILWAUKEE, WI – Yesterday, state Republican and Trump administration lawyers took to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to double down on their argument that the Affordable Care Act should be overturned. If they succeed in court, 20 million Americans would lose coverage,130 Americans with pre-existing conditions would lose critical protections, the uninsured rate would increase by 65 percent, and the American health care system would be thrown into chaos.

The facts of the matter are simple: Republicans are behind this politically-motivated lawsuit. The administration and Republicans in Congress and have had ample opportunity to defend Americans’ health care and have refused to do so time and again. If the Affordable Care Act is struck down, lives will be lost, and Trump and his Republican allies will be to blame. Yesterday’s hearing made crystal clear that we have very real reason to be concerned.

Los Angeles Times: Federal Appeals Court Appears Skeptical Of Obamacare, Putting Future Of Law In Doubt. “The three judges on the appeals court panel in New Orleans asked few questions about how the latest legal challenge could affect Americans’ access to health insurance. Instead, two of the judges – both appointed by Republican presidents – focused more on why the law should remain on the books after Congress in 2017 scrapped a tax penalty against people who didn’t have health insurance. That provision was once deemed essential to the law’s program for guaranteeing Americans insurance. The penalty was also crucial to the healthcare law’s survival when it first came before the Supreme Court in 2012 in a lawsuit that alleged the insurance requirement was unconstitutional.” [Los Angeles Times, 7/9/19]

New York Times: Appeals Court Seems Skeptical About Constitutionality Of Obamacare Mandate. “The two Republican appointees, Jennifer Walker Elrod, appointed by President George W. Bush in 2007, and Kurt Engelhardt, appointed by President Trump in 2018, seemed particularly skeptical of the Democratic defendants’ argument that Congress had fully intended to keep the rest of the law when it eliminated the penalty for going without insurance as part of its 2017 tax overhaul. The arguments in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit were a stark reminder of the enormous stakes of the case, not only for millions of people who gained health insurance through the law but for the political futures of Mr. Trump and other candidates in the 2020 elections.” [New York Times, 7/9/19]

Wall Street Journal: Appeals Court Signals Peril For Affordable Care Act. “Texas and the other Republican plaintiffs argued that the ACA’s insurance mandate couldn’t be upheld under the Constitution if there was no financial penalty, because the Supreme Court previously upheld the mandate based on Congress’s taxing power…A three-judge Fifth Circuit panel on Tuesday appeared receptive to that argument. ‘If you no longer have the tax, why isn’t it unconstitutional?’ asked Judge Jennifer Elrod, a George W. Bush appointee.” [Wall Street Journal, 7/9/19]

Washington Post: “Federal Appeals Court Judges Expressed Skepticism Tuesday That The Nearly Decade-Old Law That Refashioned The Nation’s Health-care System Should Remain Intact…”“Federal appeals court judges expressed skepticism Tuesday that the nearly decade-old law that refashioned the nation’s health-care system should remain intact after Congress eliminated a tax penalty for Americans who fail to carry health insurance. During oral arguments in a case with momentous stakes for consumers and politicians ahead of the 2020 elections, two members of a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit grilled lawyers representing Democratic-led states and the U.S. House to explain why the Affordable Care Act remains valid.” [Washington Post, 7/9/19]

CNN: Republican-appointed Judges Appear To Side With Texas Challenge To Obamacare. “Two Republican-appointed judges hearing a Trump-backed challenge to Obamacare strongly suggested Tuesday that when Congress eliminated the penalty for not buying health insurance it threw the entire landmark health care law into question, including protections for those with pre-existing conditions. Such a ruling would threaten to wipe away coverage for millions of Americans and have a dramatic impact on a presidential race that is already focused on access to and costs of health care, nearly 10 years after President Barack Obama signed his signature domestic achievement.” [CNN, 7/9/19]

CBS News: Appeals Court Appears Ready To Rule Obamacare Unconstitutional. “The Affordable Care Act, and the health coverage of millions of Americans, could face a major threat to its future. A federal appeals court in New Orleans appears ready to rule that a core provision of Obamacare is unconstitutional.” [CBS News, 7/10/19]

Politico: Appeals Court Skeptical Obamacare Can Survive. “In December, U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor sided with the Republican-led states, shocking legal experts. The lawsuit was once seen as a long-shot, but it’s received serious consideration by Republican-appointed judges. Appellate Judge Jennifer Elrod, a George W. Bush appointee, on Tuesday posited that lawmakers — who failed to agree on an Obamacare replacement plan two years ago — deliberately eliminated the mandate penalty because they knew the rest of the law would have to fall. She said perhaps lawmakers thought, ‘Aha, this is the silver bullet that’s going to undo Obamacare.’” [Politico, 7/9/19]

HuffPost: Future Of Obamacare Uncertain As Appeals Court Grills Democratic Defenders. ”A federal appeals court panel grilled Democratic attorneys general on Tuesday about whether Obamacare violates the U.S. Constitution, as it weighs whether to uphold a Texas judge’s ruling striking down the landmark healthcare reform law…Republicans have repeatedly tried and failed to repeal Obamacare since its 2010 passage. The Justice Department would normally defend a federal law, but the Trump administration has declined to take that position against a challenge by 18 Republican-led states.” [HuffPost, 7/9/19]

Washington Examiner: ‘Congress Can Fix This’: Judges Weigh Striking Down Obamacare. “Federal appeals judges in New Orleans are entertaining the idea of striking some or all of Obamacare, appearing uncertain during oral arguments Tuesday over whether Congress intended to toss the entire healthcare law…Judge Kurt Engelhardt, who was appointed by President Trump, questioned why Congress couldn’t step in to remedy the situation. He argued that lawmakers could pass legislation to clarify that the law could remain in place even without the penalty in order to render moot the question about severability.” [Washington Examiner, 7/9/19]

Mother Jones: A Federal Court Appears Ready To Buy The GOP’s Argument To Kill Obamacare. “The fate of the Affordable Care Act remains uncertain following a hearing about the law at a federal appeals court in New Orleans. The hearing concerned a lawsuit originally filed by Republican state attorneys general in a Texas district court in 2018, which alleges that the entirety of Obamacare should be invalidated because Congress used the 2017 tax cut law to zero out the financial penalty for the ACA’s individual mandate. In 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the ACA on the grounds that the individual mandate counted as a tax.” [Mother Jones, 7/9/19]

Nicholas Bagley, Professor Of Health Law At University Of Michigan: “It’s Safe To Say That The ACA’s Defenders Had A Tough Day In Court.” “Just how receptive is hard to say, and it’s always hazardous to read too much into oral argument. But it’s safe to say that the ACA’s defenders had a tough day in court…Neither Judge Elrod and Judge Engelhardt appeared troubled about whether the red states had standing to sue. And they were downright hostile to the argument that the ACA should be understood to leave people a choice about whether to buy insurance. Doesn’t the law say that people ‘shall’ buy coverage? And doesn’t Congress know how to repeal or amend a law when it wishes to? The judges listened respectfully when the lawyer for the House of Representatives patiently explained that the Supreme Court has authoritatively interpreted that language to give people a choice about whether to buy insurance or not. And Marty Lederman is right that the argument is embarrassing on its own terms. But they appeared unmoved.” [The Incidental Economist, 7/10/19]

Protect Our Care: Senator Tammy Baldwin and Attorney General Josh Kaul join Protect Our Care Wisconsin to call attention to Trump’s dangerous health care lawsuit

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Contact: Joe Zepecki
[email protected]
202-445-1517

As Oral Arguments Begin, Advocates Highlight Devastating Impacts for Wisconsinites

MILWAUKEE, WI – Today, as oral arguments began for the Texas v. United States lawsuit, Protect Our Care Wisconsin joined with Senator Tammy Baldwin and Attorney General Josh Kaul to call attention to the potentially devastating implications for Wisconsinites’ health care if the lawsuit prevails.

The lawsuit was filed in 2018 by 20 Republican state officials who argued that the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional – including protections for pre-existing conditions. This past December, a conservative judge in Texas ruled in favor of the lawsuit and declared the entire ACA invalid. The suit is currently in the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where oral arguments began today, July 9 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“Since taking office, with approval from the governor, the state of Wisconsin has withdrawn from this lawsuit. That’s because if this lawsuit is successful, there will be significant harm that results for Wisconsinities. This is not in the best interest of the people,” said Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul.

“The Trump administration has spent the last two years sabotaging our health care system,” said U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin. “Under the ACA, my constituents have protections for their pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps. President Trump’s lawsuit would eliminate those protections.”

You can listen to the full call here.

Rep. Duchow: Says budget veto of local road funding irresponsible

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Contact: Rep. Cindi Duchow

(608) 266-3007

Madison, WI– Representative Cindi Duchow (R-Delafield) is expressing great concern over the Governor’s recent partial veto of funding for the Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP) in the Wisconsin State Budget. The LRIP is ran by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) and was established in 1991. It provides funding to local governments to improve seriously deteriorating county highways, town roads and city and village streets.

“Our local governments are in desperate need of funding to help fix their roads. Over and over again we heard the Governor talk about how he would fix the ‘damn’ roads, but this partial budget veto takes away funding that would have went specifically to fix some of the worst roads in the state. His veto is disheartening and I feel for our local governments who will continue to face budget shortfalls. Governor Evers’ promise to fix the roads and his decision to veto local road funding is, simply put, irresponsible,” Duchow said.

The Legislative Republicans version of the budget tripled the LRIP aid to $90 million, more than the Governor’s original budget proposal. With the Governor’s partial veto, it allows the DOT to take $75 million that would have gone directly to the LRIP, as the Legislature intended, and instead prioritize which projects get funded.

“I fear that instead of the funding going to our local governments all across Wisconsin, the cities, towns and villages who have been requesting additional funds, and are in dire need, will be overlooked as the Governor potentially focuses on projects solely in Madison and Milwaukee,” Duchow said. “Rural areas, the cities and towns in the 99th District, and all across Wisconsin, are vital to Wisconsin’s economy. This action will hurt those all across the state as roads continue to deteriorate.”

Rep. Loudenbec, Sen. Kooyenga: Bill signed by Governor Evers

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CONTACT:

Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, [email protected] (608) 266-9967

Sen. Dale Kooyenga, [email protected] (608) 266-2512

Madison- Today, Governor Tony Evers signed Senate Bill 54, now 2019 Wisconsin Act 15 authored by Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton) and Sen. Dale Kooyenga (R- Brookfield)

Act 15 makes common sense changes to allow the Department of Revenue (DOR) to disclose tax liability to a person who is looking to purchase a business or purchase inventory from a business. A constituent of Rep. Loudenbeck’s experienced a situation in which she unknowingly became responsible for the sales tax liability of another business when she purchased their close-out inventory, even though she had no way of knowing the liability existed under current law.

“It is very rewarding to have the opportunity to advance policy ideas of statewide interest that were developed based on real people and stories from the 31st Assembly District. I am very pleased Governor Evers signed this bill into law to prevent what happened to my constituent from happening to someone else,” said Rep. Loudenbeck.

“This issue shows just how convoluted our tax code is. Whenever we have an opportunity to simplify our tax laws we must take advantage. The bill signed today promotes transparency and accountability between sellers and purchasers, while enhances protections for small business owners,” said Sen. Kooyenga.

Rep. Tusler and Sen. Jacque: Bill fighting child pornography signed into law

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Contact: Representative Ron Tusler (608) 266-5831

Senator André Jacque (608) 266-3512

Bill Closes Loophole Exploiting Children Online

Madison – Today, Governor Evers signed Senate Bill 68, authored by Representative Ron Tusler (R – Harrison) and Senator André Jacque (R – De Pere), into law as 2019 Act 16. The bill defines “lewd exhibition of intimate parts” to include child erotica as child pornography.

“Child predators are exploiting a loophole in our definition of child pornography and getting away with exploiting children without any penalty at all,” said Senator Jacque. “At the request of police and prosecutors, we’re closing the loophole to help keep all Wisconsin children safe.”

“By strengthening the language in our child pornography law, we will ensure law enforcement has the tools they need to track down and investigate these monstrous predators and bring them to justice,” said Rep. Tusler.

Under prior law, a child must be engaged in sexually explicit conduct for the medium to be considered child pornography. Act 16 codifies language from a State Supreme Court decision, State v. Petrone, making clear that child erotica is considered child pornography.

This change came at the request of local law enforcement upon seeing an upward trend in child erotica and will provide more clarity when conducting investigations. In 2017, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force made 537 arrests.

“As a parent of young children I know it can be difficult to talk about the issue of child exploitation, but it is extremely important that we do so. Talking to those on the front line, it is clear that this is a much needed fix,” Jacque said.

“I am happy this common sense, bipartisan legislation to protect our kids was signed into law,” Tusler said.

Rep. Vos: Submits testimony on Lottery Privacy Act

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For Further Information Contact:

Speaker Robin Vos (608) 266-3387

Madison…Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) provided written testimony for Assembly Bill 213, the Lottery Privacy Act, at a public hearing held by the Assembly Committee on State Affairs. The Racine County representative is the co-author of the legislation with Rep. Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel). The lawmakers introduced the bill in April on the same day the state’s largest jackpot winner came forward to receive his prize.

“Under current law, the winner was forced to expose his identity which was publicized in a press conference and spread across the nation. This type of attention led to months of harassment that forced the now multimillionaire to go off the grid,” said Speaker Vos. “Just because you win the lottery, it shouldn’t mean you lose your right to privacy.”

The legislation prohibits the Department of Revenue (DOR), lottery administrators and the retailer who sold the ticket from disclosing the lottery prize winner’s name, address or Social Security number if the individual requests anonymity. The bill allows for disclosures in order to determine the withholding of winnings for unpaid taxes, court judgements or child support. In addition, the DOR may release the location of the winning ticket, providing the store owner with the opportunity to advertise their sale.

“This bill is an effort to protect the integrity of our state lottery as well as the sanctity of a citizen’s privacy,” said Speaker Vos.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and other sources, ten states have similar privacy laws for lottery winners.

Rep. Zamarripa: Statement on LULAC Convention

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CONTACT: (608) 267-7669

MADISON – State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement on the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) holding their annual convention in Milwaukee:

“I’m so proud to welcome the nation’s oldest and most widely respected Hispanic civil rights organization to my hometown. Latinos represent a young, growing constituency in the state of Wisconsin, and I’m so happy to belong to an organization that advocates for education, housing, health care and basic human rights for all. To LULAC I say, welcome to the great state of Wisconsin and my favorite city in America! ¡Bienvenidos!”

Rohn Bishop: Wisconsin needs four more years of Trump’s economic policies – minus tariffs

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The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com.

Wisconsin played a pivotal role in helping to elect President Trump in 2016, and he will definitely need our state again to win re-election in 2020. And with his solid record in office, it’s clear to understand why he deserves another term.

Just take a look at the economic growth in our state under this president’s leadership. In March of this year, our state’s unemployment rate was an astonishingly low 2.9 percent.

But it’s not just here in Wisconsin where we are seeing the benefits of President Trump’s leadership. The United States is now in its longest economic expansion period in the history of our country, with more than 120 months of economic growth. At the same time, the unemployment rate has dropped to 3.6 percent, the lowest it’s been since 1969. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, manufacturers’ confidence is at 79.8 percent and the stock market continues to hit historic highs.

Unfortunately, the ongoing trade war is threatening to derail all of the great things President Trump has accomplished for our economy, especially here in Wisconsin.

After more than a year of the back-and-forth with China, one thing is clear: tariffs aren’t working to fix the China situation. Many people don’t realize this, but tariffs are actually a tax that American businesses and consumers pay, not foreign countries. In an effort to push China to come to the negotiating table and play fair, President Trump began putting tariffs on Chinese goods that were imported to our country. In response, China began putting tariffs on American goods we send there – including some of Wisconsin’s top agricultural products like soybeans and cranberries. The impact has been devastating on Wisconsin farmers, who have already been hit with severe weather issues that have hurt their crops.

Tariffs hurt more than just Wisconsin’s farmers. Last year right here in Fond du Lac County, the Wisconsin Soybean Crushing Plant (WSBCP) announced its plans to build a $150 million soybean crushing plant in Waupun. This plant would immediately bring good paying jobs to our county and reduce costs for Wisconsin soybean farmers while spurning economic growth in our area. According to the City of Waupun, “The proposed project is projected to have a significant economic impact…Beneficiaries include local producers, equipment and machinery manufacturers, other value-added agriculture processors, and businesses in the construction and logistics service sectors to name a few.”

But the developers are now struggling to find the financial backers they need to get the project off the ground because of the uncertainty in the market due to the trade war, and they have put the project on what looks to be an indefinite hold. Waupun Mayor Julie Nickel said in a statement on Facebook, “National policy changes on tariffs that occurred late last year and their impact on soybeans have definitely slowed progress on this development. While the project continues to be of interest to the city for the reasons previously stated, we recently met with the developer and a decision was made to allow the land option that we had with that developer to expire.”

As Chairman of the Republican Party of Fond du Lac County, news like this worries me. Clearly, most of President Trump’s economic policies have been great for Wisconsin – and we need another four years to keep this expansion going. But the trade war not only threatens to undo all of the great economic work President Trump has done, but may also hurt his chances of winning re-election.

Everyone knows that China is not a fair player when it comes to trade. Unfortunately, previous American leaders have turned a blind eye to what China is doing. China absolutely must be held accountable and I’m glad that President Trump has rolled up his sleeves and stepped into this fray to stand up and fight for American workers! But tariffs are not the way to do that. I hope the president will find another way to hold China accountable that doesn’t continue to hurt Wisconsin farmers, businesses and consumers.

–Bishop is the chairman of the Republican Party of Fond du Lac County.

 

U.S. Rep. Kind: Ways and Means Committee pass bill to save thousands of Wisconsinites’ pensions

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Contact: Sarah Abel

Phone: 202-225-5506

[email protected]

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Committee on Ways and Means passed the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act (Butch Lewis Act)—bipartisan legislation that will help struggling pension programs get back on track and preserves benefits for thousands and thousands of retirees. Rep. Ron Kind is an original co-sponsor of the bill and spoke during today’s hearing to urge his colleagues to support the legislation. The Butch Lewis Act will now move to the House floor for consideration and final passage.

“This is about making sure that thousands of Wisconsinites can have the secure retirement they worked for and earned through decades of hard work. This lifeline ensures that the folks on these plans have access to their earned benefits and it is done in a fiscally responsible way,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “I am proud to vote for this bipartisan legislation to protect hardworking Wisconsin retirees.”

Under this legislation, pensions for more than three thousand workers in Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District would be protected, totaling more than $300 million.

“Wisconsin Teamsters applaud Rep. Ron Kind’s efforts to support retired and active working families,” said Teamsters Joint Council 39 Political & Legislative Coordinator Bill Carroll. “This legislation will provide retirement security and peace of mind for thousands of families in Wisconsin and across the United States.”

The Butch Lewis Act would create a new office within the Treasury Department, which would be called the Pension Rehabilitation Administration (PRA). The PRA would allow pension plans to borrow the money they need to remain solvent and continue providing retirement security for retirees and workers for decades to come.

To ensure that the pension plans can afford to repay the loans, the PRA would lend them money for 30 years at low interest rates. The 30-year loans would buy time for the pension plans so they can focus on investing for the long-term health of the plan, while the loans pay benefits owed to current retirees.

The Ways and Means Committee is the most powerful – and the oldest – committee in the House of Representatives. It has jurisdiction over tax measures, the management of public debt, trade and tariff laws, Social Security, Medicare, pensions, and many other economic growth measures.

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind: Announces Sarah Abel as New Communications Director

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind announced Sarah Abel as the new Communications Director based in his Washington, DC office.

“I’m excited to have Sarah join our hard-working team as Communications Director,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “Sarah brings a range of communication experience to the table and I know she will help this office continue to do great work for the folks of Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District.”

Sarah was born and raised in southeast Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Most recently, she served as Communications Director for Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03). Prior to Rep. Lee’s office, Sarah served as Press Secretary for the Nevada State Democratic Party and Communications Director for the Nevada Assembly Democratic Caucus.

Starting today, please contact Sarah at [email protected] for all media inquiries.

U.S. Sens. Baldwin and Capito: Champion bipartisan reform to improve palliative and hospice care

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Contact: [email protected]

202-224-6225

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) reintroduced the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), a bipartisan reform to grow, improve and sustain the palliative care and hospice workforce to keep pace with patient need and to help improve the well-being of Americans with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

“I was raised by my maternal grandparents and later served as my grandmother’s primary caregiver as she grew older, so this issue is personal to me, and I want to make a difference for families experiencing serious health concerns,” said Senator Baldwin. “I’m proud to work across party lines and reintroduce the bipartisan Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act with my colleague Senator Capito. We must do more to grow our health care workforce to safeguard and improve the quality of care for the growing number of patients with serious or life-threatening illnesses.”

“Having served as a caregiver for my parents living with Alzheimer’s disease, I understand how important palliative and hospice care is and appreciate how much support and comfort it provides to patients and their families,” Senator Capito said. “In order to preserve access to this care, we have to strengthen training and education options for individuals working in these fields, and that’s what this bill would do. I am proud to join my colleague Senator Baldwin in reintroducing this legislation that will help so many facing serious illnesses.”

The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act would strengthen training for new and existing physicians, those who teach palliative care, and other providers who are part of the palliative care team to give patients and their families a voice in their care and treatment goals. It also boosts palliative care research and provides academic and career awards to incentivize the practice and study of palliative and hospice care.

Organizations and advocates from Wisconsin and across the country have expressed support for the bipartisan legislation including Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources, Alzheimer’s Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Palliative Care Network of Wisconsin, Catholic Health Association, National Association for Home Care & Hospice, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and National Brain Tumor Society. The legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Angus King (I-ME), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and John Hoeven (R-ND).

“Palliative and hospice care provide comfort and relief to people with life-limiting or life-threatening illnesses; these supportive services, however, are not widely available,” said Robert Kellerman, Chair of the Wisconsin Aging Advocacy Network. “We strongly support the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), which will help grow and improve the palliative and hospice care workforce, and promote efforts to inform patients, families and providers about the benefits of this essential end-of-life care and the resources and materials available to support them.”

“At a time when more and more health professionals are recognizing the benefits of offering palliative care services, we applaud Senators Baldwin and Capito for the bipartisan introduction of PCHETA in the Senate. Evidence-based research shows that patients who receive access to palliative care services from the point of diagnosis and throughout their care have better quality of life. Passage of PCHETA would lead to better health outcomes for patients with serious illnesses like cancer. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network joins with other advocates from the patient advocacy community in calling for the timely consideration and passage of PCHETA in both chambers of Congress,” said Lisa A. Lacasse, President of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

“We again are very pleased with the reintroduction of the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act. This legislation is very important to help improve the care of our vulnerable, ill patients. As palliative care and hospice clinicians, and especially as a statewide palliative network, we continue to be quite proud of this bill and the enormous potential benefits for our patient’s, their families and our medical colleagues. We hope to see continued movement on this most important issue,” said Dr. Tim Jessick, Chair, Co-Founder Palliative Care Network of Wisconsin.

“We commend Senators Baldwin and Capito for their leadership in expanding opportunities for interdisciplinary education and training in palliative care,” said Joanne Wolfe, MD MPH FAAHPM, President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). “PCHETA will lead to great improvements in quality of care and quality of life for the growing and diverse population of patients with serious illness or multiple chronic conditions, as well as their families and caregivers.”

“Bipartisan legislation like the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act are critical in the fight against Alzheimer’s, which 1 in 3 seniors currently die with,” said Robert Egge, Alzheimer’s Association Chief Public Policy officer and Alzheimer’s Impact Movement Executive Director. “The Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement are grateful for champion lawmakers like Senator Baldwin, who work vigorously to push for improved quality of care and enhanced quality of life for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and their caregivers.”

“Brain tumors — whether malignant or benign — in addition to being life-threatening, often trigger symptoms and other issues similar to that of neurological disorders, which can be debilitating,” said David Arons, Chief Executive Officer, National Brain Tumor Society. “Patients often have to endure seizures, headaches, memory loss and trouble with concentration, aphasia and speech difficulty, weakness in motor control and function, issues with balance and coordination, and cognitive decline. Many will lose the ability to work and even the ability to drive. It’s a disease that can take away one’s independence and sense of self. Our hope is that, if passed, this bill will lead to an improvement in the quality of palliative care and access to it thanks to an improved workforce capable of helping brain tumor patients.”

“Palliative care provides the supports and comfort that allow individuals to participate as fully as possible in their lives. Fulfilling our Nation’s need for palliative care-trained clinical staff is a widely-recognized imperative in our health care system, and is essential to meeting the care needs of a wide array of patients – including those with multiple chronic conditions, patients with advanced illness, and those who are terminally ill. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) applauds Senators Baldwin, Capito and others for their continuing efforts to address this need through their reintroduction of the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA),” said Bill Dombi, NAHC President.

Palliative care and hospice care focus on relieving and preventing patients’ suffering and improving their quality of life. This interprofessional team-based approach focuses on the patients’ needs, explains treatment options and gives patients and their families a voice in realizing their treatment goals. Palliative care has been embraced in both Wisconsin and West Virginia as a critical component of high quality health care.

Over the last ten years, the number of hospital-based palliative care programs has quickly increased, but the number of providers available to fulfill the needs of these patients has not kept pace. Furthermore, many patients and care providers are not aware of the benefits and options for palliative and hospice care. To address this issue, the PCHETA will support the following:

· Workforce Development: Establishes fellowship programs within new Palliative Care and Hospice Education Centers to provide short-term intensive courses focused on palliative care. By supporting an interprofessional, team-based approach to palliative care, the fellowships will provide supplemental training for faculty members in medical schools and other health professions schools, including pharmacy, nursing, social work, chaplaincy and other allied health disciplines in an accredited health professions school or program. Providers who do not have formal training in palliative care will be able to upgrade their knowledge and skills for the care of individuals with serious or life-threatening illness as well as enhance their interdisciplinary teaching skills.

· Palliative Care and Hospice Education Centers: Establishes Palliative Care and Hospice Education Centers to improve the interprofessional team-based training of health professionals in palliative care; develop and disseminate curricula relating to palliative care; support the training and retraining of faculty; support continuing education; provide students with clinical training in appropriate sites of care; and provide traineeships for advanced practice nurses.

· Physician Training: Establishes grants or contracts to schools of medicine, teaching hospitals and graduate medical education programs to train physicians who plan to teach palliative medicine. Programs will be required to develop specific performance-based measures to evaluate the competency of trainees.

· Nurse Training: Creates incentives for hospice and palliative nursing, in education, practice and quality grants, workforce development, and nurse retention projects.

· Enhanced Research: Directs the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to use existing authorities and funds to expand palliative care research to advance clinical practice and improve care delivery for patients with serious or life-threatening illness.

· Palliative Care Education and Awareness: Supports the promotion of information, resources and materials about the benefits of palliative care services to patients, families and health professionals. The bill also requires that any information disseminated be posted on Federal agency websites and informed by professional and patient stakeholders.

· Academic Career Awards: Establishes a program to promote the career development of physicians who are board certified or board eligible in hospice and palliative medicine and have a junior, non-tenured faculty appointment at an accredited school of medicine.

· Career Incentive Awards: Provides grants or contracts for eligible health professionals, such as advanced practice nurses, social workers, physician assistants, pharmacists, or students of psychology, who agree to teach or practice in the field of palliative care for at least 5 years.

WED AM Update: Karofsky raises $121K for Supreme Court bid

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WED News Summary: Trump to visit Derco Aerospace; GOP lawmakers propose limiting governor’s veto power

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WED PM Update: Evers signs three more bills

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WisDOJ: DNA testing results for sexual assault kit leads to arrest for 2012 assault in Stevens Point

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PORTAGE, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul today announced the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged Terence D. Blackmon of Plover, Wis. with Second Degree Sexual Assault for an incident that occurred in May 2012 in Stevens Point, Wis.

Mr. Blackmon, age 45, was charged with one count of Second Degree Sexual Assault and was arrested by the DOJ Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) on July 9, 2019. Mr. Blackmon was booked into the Portage County Jail. A booking photo is attached.

Through the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (WiSAKI), a DNA profile was developed from the evidence contained in the victim’s sexual assault kit which was consistent with Mr. Blackmon’s profile in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). More information is available in the attached criminal complaint.

This case was investigated by DCI and Stevens Point Police Department. Victim services are being provided by the Portage County Victim Witness Office. The case is being prosecuted by DOJ Division of Legal Services Assistant Attorney General Noel A. Lawrence, with authorization from the Portage County District Attorney.

If you or anyone you know may have any information to assist in this investigation, please call DCI at (608) 266-1671.

As in any criminal proceeding, Mr. Blackmon is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

https://www.doj.state.wi.us/news-releases/dna-testing-results-sexual-assault-kit-leads-arrest-2012-assault-stevens-point

WisPolitics Midday: July 10, 2019

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In today’s WisPolitics Midday update, brought to you by Spectrum:

  • Assembly Speaker Vos back a bill intended to help families of police officers killed in the line of duty.
  • Gov Evers looking to change Foxconn incentive package?

July 11, 2019 | July 9, 2019
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