WisDems Press | News You Can Use 3.16.17

The RC-Dems get communication correspondence from the State and National Party.  We are sharing these in our News section of our website each week to keep you up-to-date and informed.  Feel free to click on the blue highlighted links to read more about the topic.  Reinvigorating progressive politics for the people in the heart & center of the Driftless Area.

POTUS

House Intelligence Chair says he doesn’t believe Trump Tower was wiretapped
Brian Naylor, National Public Radio
“House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes says he doesn’t believe “there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” contrary to claims made by President Trump.”

Trump’s budget ripped from Bannon’s nationalistic playbook
POLITICO // Shane Goldmacher
Every dollar of proposed cutbacks to domestic, diplomatic and international aid programs that Trump makes in the spending plan will go to boost defense and law enforcement funding.

In Trump Budget, More for Military, as His Supporters May Lose out
New York Times // Peter Baker
In his first spending blueprint since taking office, Mr. Trump made choices demonstrating that parts of America will be more first than others — and some of the budget losers, it turns out, may be some of the very constituencies that have been most supportive of the new president during his improbable rise to power.

2 Federal Judges Rule Against Trump’s Latest Travel Ban
New York Times // Alexander Burns
A federal judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide order Wednesday evening blocking President Trump’s ban on travel from parts of the Muslim world, dealing a stinging blow to the White House and signaling that Mr. Trump will have to account in court for his heated rhetoric about Islam.

Trump defends claim that Obama wiretapped his phones
POLITICO // Madeline Conway
President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his explosive and so far unsupported claim that former President Barack Obama ordered an illegal wiretap of Trump Tower.

U.S. Congress
Ryan: Health care plan must change to pass the House
Washington Post // Mike DeBonis
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday that his health-care proposal must change to pass the House, marking a significant retreat from his earlier position that the carefully crafted legislation would fail if substantially altered.

Ron Johnson cool to Paul Ryan-Donald Trump health care plan
Wisconsin State Journal // Mark Sommerhauser
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson gave a cool reception Wednesday to the U.S. House Republican health care proposal backed by President Donald Trump, saying it doesn’t do enough to reduce health insurance premiums and is being rushed through Congress.

For Paul Ryan, it’s now — or maybe never
CNN // Stephen Collinson
In the pandemonium of the health care fight, the House speaker’s reputation, authority and political fate are on the line in a way they never have been before during his charmed assent to the pinnacle of Washington power.

Pocan: Americans want a president who puts their needs first
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel // Mark Pocan
My colleague Rep. Sean Duffy asserted in a recent column that the president’s Joint Address to Congress gives Americans a reason to be optimistic. The truth is that many people are experiencing a reality far different from the empty rhetoric of the president’s speech.

WI Governor
Amid possible Federal cuts, Walker calls Great Lakes “incredible asset”
Chuck Quirmbach, Wisconsin Public Radio
“Gov. Scott Walker says he’s concerned about a potential major cut in federal funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
A leaked federal budget memo shows the Trump administration is considering cutting spending for the federal Great Lakes cleanup program from $300 million to $10 million.”

Walker optimistic for “meaningful reforms” to Medicaid
Associated Press
“Gov. Scott Walker says he is optimistic that President Donald Trump’s administration will be able to make “meaningful reforms” to the Medicaid program, even as other Republican governors oppose a proposal that would drastically cut payments to the states.”

State
Hearing on high-capacity wells bill draws large crowd to Wisconsin Capitol
Laurel White, Wisconsin Public Radio
“A hearing on proposed changes to regulations of high-capacity wells in Wisconsin has drawn a large crowd to the state Capitol.
Arguments are expected to be heated at the packed joint committee hearing of the Senate and Assembly on Wednesday.”

Growers face off against conservationists, fishing enthusiasts over effort to deregulate high-capacity wells
Steven Verburg, Wisconsin State Journal
“Farm interests faced off Wednesday against conservationists, fishing enthusiasts and other users of lakes and streams over proposed legislation to further roll back state regulation of high-capacity wells.”

Bice: How to kill your bill in the Wisconsin Assembly
Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“But Assembly Speaker Robin Vos was none too pleased that he was kept in the dark on the proposal, which he — like We Energies — considers unconstitutional. Under the bill, state regulators would get the chance every 10 years to review the rate of return for contracts set up under Power the Future, a 2001 law that encouraged Wisconsin power companies to generate more electricity.”

Proposal would institute criminal penalties for fraud against WEDC
Laurel White, Wisconsin Public Radio
“Business owners could go to prison for defrauding the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation under a proposal circulating at the state Capitol.”

Forum brings together superintendent candidates Evers, Holtz
Associated Press
“Candidates for Wisconsin state superintendent are scheduled to meet for a forum less than three weeks from the election.”

ACA Enrollment In Wisconsin Hits All-Time High As Repeal Efforts Continue
Wisconsin Public Radio // Shamane Mills
Enrollment figures released Wednesday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show more than 242,790 people in Wisconsin signed up for health coverage on the federal marketplace.

Unemployment rises in Wisconsin’s 32 largest cities
Fox 11 News // The Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Unemployment rates rose across all of Wisconsin’s largest cities between December and January.

Bribery Complaint Against Superintendent Candidate Dropped
U.S. News & World Report // Scott Bauer
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — State superintendent candidate Lowell Holtz didn’t violate laws prohibiting election bribery when he allegedly offered a rival a state job in exchange for dropping out of the race, the Wisconsin Elections Commission said Wednesday.

Transgender community worries about state insurance policy
WKBT-TV // Madalyn O’Neill
For the about 250,000 state and local government employees covered by the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance program, gender reassignment services, procedures and surgeries are no longer covered.

Wisconsin works to fight against backlog of thousands of untested rape kits
The Daily Cardinal // Lilly Price
Amid heavy criticism over a seeming lack of urgency to process 6,000 untested rape kits throughout Wisconsin, the state’s Department of Justice has pursued a goal of collecting and processing all kits while maintaining a survivor-centered approach.

Republican bill would eliminate work permits for 16- and 17-year-olds
La Crosse Tribune // Matthew DeFour
A Republican bill drawing opposition from Democrats and unions would do away with Wisconsin’s more than century-old requirement that 16- and 17-year-olds obtain a state permit before taking a job.

Campus carry detrimental to sexual assault prevention, experts and UW leaders say
The Daily Cardinal // Andy Goldstein
While UW System firearm restrictions may find themselves on the legislative chopping block this year, students and activists have raised concerns about the potential impact of such reform on sexual assault on campus.

Opinion
Franzen: Clouds gathering over government access
Ernst-Ulrich Franzen
“Casting a cloud over Sunshine Week, the annual nationwide celebration of access to public information, the nonprofit Knight Foundation has released a survey that doesn’t bode well for open government. The foundation surveyed about 300 journalists, advocates, record custodians, technology companies, scholars and others.”

Hey, Governor Walker: Be a cheerleader for start-ups
David D. Hayes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Tommy Thompson told me not once but it seems like a thousand times that his worst day as governor was better than his best day in the cabinet,” Walker said Tuesday at the Rotary Club of Milwaukee.

We can’t put off state’s road repair bill any longer
Appleton Post-Crescent // Paul Freiberg
It is my opinion that the state must increase funding for our roads in the upcoming two-year state budget. The safety of our families relies on safe roads and highways in good condition. Bottom line, we need to allocate monies to resurface and reconstruct the roadways, some of which are at the end of their useful life.

Journal Times editorial: City right to ‘ban the box’
Racine Journal Times Editorial Board
People deserve a second chance, and then it’s on them to embrace that chance, keep the job and not mess up again.

Vinehout: Broadband expansion: rural Wisconsin needs the real deal
Kathleen Vinehout via Jackson County Chronicle
“According to the federal government’s most recent information, Wisconsin ranks last in the Midwest in both rural and urban broadband access with only 44% of rural folks accessing download speeds of 25 Mbps.”

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