In yet another sign of the insanity that is gripping the state’s conservatives and the GOP in general, the Wisconsin Supreme Court yesterday struck down the state’s “Safe-at home” law, thus creating increased confusion over how residents of the state should deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
By a 6-3 vote, the court sided with the leaders of the Republican-controlled state legislature who challenged an attempt by the state’s executive branch, led by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. Joining the GOP in challenging the order,which came from the state’s chief public health officer, were numerous business groups and organizations.
If you are legally inclined, check out the the court’s complete Safe at Home decision. Thanks to Ken Knight for providing this from Ed Fallone, the Marquette University law professor who was an unsuccessful candidate for a seat on the state’s top court earlier this year.
Should we be surprised? Our guy in Washington, Congressman Glenn Grothman, joined 191 other Republicans and one independent, to vote against letting Medicare negotiate lower drug prices for seniors. So far, no explanation for his vote has been given, but this too is an example of toeing the Republican Party line and not listening to his constituents. Numerous surveys from various organizations have suggested that 93 percent of Americans want the government to negotiate for reduced drug costs, already among the highest for any developed nation in the world.
So, what are the chances the Republican-controlled Senate will go along with the House bill? Like most measures passed by the House, which is controlled by the Democratic Party, slim to none. Thanks Glenn.
Legislation creates standard requiring health care and social service employers to implement workplace violence prevention plan and protect employees from violent incidents
The House of Representatives on Nov. 21 passed U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin’s legislation to protect health care and social services employees from workplace violence. After the vote, Baldwin joined Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT), who led the House companion legislation, as well as nurses, health care and social service professionals, and union leaders to celebrate this victory and call for action in the Senate.
The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act directs OSHA to issue a standard requiring health care and social service employers to write and implement a workplace violence prevention plan to prevent and protect their employees from violent incidents.
“Our health care and social services workers deserve to work in an environment free from workplace violence,” said Senator Baldwin, Ranking Member of the Senate Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee. “I’m proud to see this important effort pass the House of Representatives so we can provide overdue protections and safety standards to a workforce that serves people during some of their most vulnerable moments. This bill promotes a healthy environment that is good for both workers and those they serve, so we all need to work together to take action and pass this legislation in the Senate.”
Legislation urgently needed to protect state’s well water
Wisconsin needs to boost the money available to aid those whose drinking water is contaminated and it needs a clean water fund dedicated to helping address pollution. Those were among the recommendations from a state legislator on a task force aimed at protecting Wisconsin’s water resources. Read article from Urban Milwaukee.
Note: the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is holding a public hearing on water quality issues on Thursday, Nov. 7, in Fond du Lac. Numerous conservation and water quality groups are urging citizens to attend the hearing, which is one of three being held in the state.
A release from the Wisconsin Conservation Voters says, “The DNR board needs to know how important this is for Wisconsin’s water and health because big lobbying groups are trying to stop this process, leaving our drinking water even more vulnerable to nitrate contamination.”
The hearing on Nov. 7 starts at 1:30 p.m., and is scheduled to run until 3 p.m. The location is UW Fond du Lac, Room UC-114, 400 University Drive, Fond du Lac. The release urges citizens to implore the DNR board to “stand up and make the right decision for our water, health, and families.”
The final results are in and as expected, Health Care and the Environment, the early leaders in the Green Lake County Dems & Friends poll of attendees at the just concluded Green Lake County Fair, were the final two top issues of concern.
The poll, admittedly unscientific and definitely unofficial, but lots of fun, closed Sunday at the end of the 4-day fair run.
So, who participated in our poll? Well, young and old, male and female, Democrat and Republican (including 6th District Congressman Glen Grothman, a Republican and a good sport), and a group of young 4-Hers who, while too young to vote in real elections, cared enough about the issues to register their votes with us.
As indicated, Health Care, with 168 votes, was the top issue of concern, with the Environment close behind at 160. The Environment, as the table below shows, was the leader after the first day, but Health Care rallied and led the rest of the way.
Education finished third with 129 votes.
Agriculture was third with 65 votes, followed closely by Voting Rights with 60.
Everyone who voted was encouraged to make two choices with the provided smiley faces; most did.
While the rain Saturday night ended the polling prematurely, attendees at the Green Lake County Fair still demonstrated a lot of interest in Green Lake County Dems & Friends’ unscientific, completely unofficial poll to learn what issues were of the most concern to voters heading into the 2020 election year.
Health Care, the No. 2 issue after the first two days of voting–the Environment was No. 1–is the new leader with a three-day total of 145 votes. The Environment is now No. 2 with 136 votes.
Helping Health Care take over the top spot was a relatively large margin on Saturday. Health Care had 52 votes Saturday before the rain came, while the environment had 33 votes Saturday.
The No. 3 top issue after three days? Education with 111 votes.
Check out the table below for the day-by-day totals, plus the grand totals for the first three days of the four-day event.
Fairgoers participating in the Green Lake County Dems & Friends poll on Friday said that Health Care was their top issue or concern. Second was the Environment.
This is a reversal of Thursday’s results, where the Environment was the first day leader with 44 votes
Health Care earned 63 votes Friday, the largest one-day total so far. A close second on Friday, was the Environment with 59 votes.
This means that after two days, the Environment is still the overall leader with 103 votes. Health Care’s two-day total is 93.
See the table below for more information on the vote totals. Our poll, which is new this year, is an admittedly unscientific and unofficial undertaking. So, what. We and the fairgoers participating in the poll are having fun, while also gaining some insights into the opinions of those attending the fair.
The early results are in and attendees at the Green Lake County Fair have spoken.
Their top issues of concern heading into the 2020 elections are (drum roll please) the Environment and Health Care.
Next up: Voting rights and education.
Although it was expected to be one of the leaders, the Environment, with 44 votes, had a 14-point lead over Health Care’s 30 after the first day of the fair in this unscientific, unofficial, but extremely fun poll.
Although the big lead for the Environment and Health Care was a bit of a surprise (some observers felt it would be closer), these vote totals are only for day one of the four-day annual event.
Today’s results could end up making the race closer. Today could also see voting rights (and its allied issues, such as redistricting) and education close the gap.
Trailing the leaders, after the first day, was Agriculture with 12, Infrastructure with 8 and Other with 5.
In total, 140 votes were cast on Thursday, the fair’s opening day.
Voting (such as it is) continues today, Saturday, and Sunday. Look for the final results Sunday night.
A visitor to the Greeen Lake Dems & Friends booth at the 2019 Green Lake County Fair votes for an issue that concerns him the most during the morning sesssion on Thursday, Aug 1.
If you are attending the Green Lake County Fair, which runs from Thursday, Aug. 1 through Sunday, Aug. 4, make sure you stop by the Green Lake Dems & Friends booth. This is the second year we’re out front and visible at the fair. We’re (our volunteers) are there from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Additionally, make sure you participate in our first annual unscientific, unofficial, but very fun issues poll. We’ll post the results for each day on our Facebook page, and then tabulate all the votes and publish a summary on Sunday night (or maybe Monday morning).
Brian Hagedorn, who is running for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, will speak at Ripon College, on Monday, March 11.
His talk will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Kresge Little Theatre, East Hall. It is free and open to the public.
Ripon College Republicans is [sic] hosting Hagedorn’s talk.
Hagedorn is running for the State Supreme Court in the election on April 2. His opponent is Judge Lisa Neubauer.
Hagedorn is a judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, serving in the court’s Waukesha-based District II since Aug. 1, 2015.
Hagedorn served as chief legal counsel to Gov. Scott Walker for almost five years, where he managed litigation in partnership with the attorney general, served as the top ethics officer for the administration, advised on legal policy issues, oversaw judicial and district attorney appointments, and provided legal analysis on proposed legislation.Walker appointed him to the bench in 2015 and won election to a new six-year term in April 2017. He was appointed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to serve on the Wisconsin Judicial Commission, which oversees enforcement of the judicial code of ethics.
He also has served as an assistant attorney general at the Wisconsin Department of Justice, a law clerk for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, and as an attorney in private practice for a Milwaukee law firm.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers is promising to clean up the state’s drinking water problems. Included in his effort is a promise to work to replace lead pipes across the state and improve well water quality during what he dubbed the year of clean drinking water.
One of the strengths of an organization is its ability to marshal resources for the common good. In our case, our members are alerting us to information on issues and elected officials through two new sections of our website: Issues and We’re Watching … If you have not visited them, click on their links.
Additionally, members and friends alert us to new, addition sources of information. For example, Ken Knight recently sent us information on the Wisconsin Budget Project, an independent Madison-based research group that focuses on tax and budget policy. The group also works with Kids Forward (formerly the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families) which looks at issues important to families and kids, through the lens of how taxes and how the state budget impacts them.
Here is a link to the Wisconsin Budget Project website and one to its Facebook Page. We think you will find both to be of considerable value. Note that you can also sign up on its website to receive email updates (something you can also do here if you want to receive email updates for our website).
Policy areas that are included on its website include:
Several Republican bills signed by Gov. Scott Walker in December limited both the governor and attorney general’s powers, including eliminating the state Department of Justice’s solicitor general’s office, allowing lawmakers to intervene in state lawsuits and requiring the attorney general to get the Legislature’s approval before settling laws.
In an interview with Wisconsin Public Radio, new Attorney General Josh Kaul attacked those bills while also saying that his office will do more to address the opioid epidemic and growing meth problem in Wisconsin.
” I’m going to work with law enforcement agencies at the county, local and federal level to improve coordination so that we can work together to target large scale drug traffickers, people who are transporting meth, heroin or fentanyl across county and state lines.
“I’m going to be an advocate for expanding access to substance abuse treatment in Wisconsin. One of the things I’ll be doing as (attorney general) is taking a look at where the multi-state investigation is into the pharmaceutical manufacturers because we need to hold them accountable to the extent that they’ve been responsible for the opioid epidemic through false and deceptive marketing practices.
“And then one other area is we still haven’t expanded Medicaid in Wisconsin. If we do that we’d be able to cover about 80,000 additional Wisconsinites under BadgerCare … and we’d also save the state about $190 million a year. And we can put that into a number of areas, for example expanding access to treatment.”