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Walker concedes to Evers

News Conference: Gov-Elect Evers & Lt. Gov-Elect Barnes Discuss Tuesday Win

The Governor's campaign office has released a concession letter. Evers is now speaking after the concession.

What Does Foxconn Mean to Me?

“Hard to wrap my head around,” the woman shared as she considered Foxconn. Just what do big budget decisions mean to us?

Work has begun on crafting the next state budget. Over the next few months, this work will continue in earnest. One hefty unbudgeted expense added to upcoming budget math is a large taxpayer funded payment to a foreign corporation.

Matt Rothschild, Dr. K. Zagorski on Fair Maps

Fair Maps Panel

Fair Maps/Gerrymandering Panel

Thursday night Matt Rothschild of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and Dr. K. Zagorski spoke in a forum on fair maps and gerrymandering in Menomonie. The discussion, sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Greater Chippewa Valley clarified the history and current status of gerrymandering in Wisconsin, and what can be done to move forward. Wisconsin currently has one of the most gerrymandered voting maps in the country.

67th Assembly District Candidate Forum

Wren Keturi and Rob Summerfield

Wisconsin 67th District Candidate Forum

The League of Women Voters of the Greater Chippewa Valley sponsored a candidate forum on October 22 at Bloomer Middle School. Rob Summerfield and Wren Keturi fielded a wide array of questions submitted by the audience, which numbered approximately 35. This video will be the last of our video coverage of area candidate forums. 

Please keep the candidate responses to the questions in these forums and in the various voter questionnaires in mind when you vote on Nov. 6. 

K. Vinehout - WEDC: Facts Don’t Jive with Rhetoric

What happens to state money given to companies to create jobs? Do the jobs get created? How do we ensure the money is not misspent?

These questions came to mind as I recently communicated to a constituent who feared state economic development money was being misused. I encouraged, among other actions, a call to the Legislative Audit Bureau’s Fraud, Waste and Mismanagement Hotline (877-372-8317).

Getting Ready to Vote

State Senator Kathleen Vinehout

“I talked with a group of women in Galesville,” my friend Mary Lee told me. “They were full of questions about the election, like when is it, where do I vote, how do I find out if I’m registered?” Mary is one of many folks helping to make sure people know and when to vote.

The Future of Voting in Wisconsin

Automatic Voter Registration Forum

Candidates from western Wisconsin participated in a forum on voting in Wisconsin. Issues discussed included automatic voter registration, voting by mail, election security, gerrymandering, and more. The candidates invited had all pledged to support automatic voter registration in Wisconsin, in an attempt to increase participation in voting. It should be noted that the candidates were all representatives of the Democratic Party, the Green Party, or Independent. 

US Senate Debate - Tammy Baldwin and Leah Vukmir

Watch it again: Wisconsin Senate Debate with Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Leah Vukmir

If you did not get a chance to watch the Vukmir/Baldwin debate last night, here is another chance to watch it thanks to WTMJ.

Hi-Crush will not be fined by DNR for May sludge release

Hi-Crush Spill photo

The Wisconsin DNR will not fine Hi-Crush Proppants for the May spill of mining sludge that polluted area property and flowed into the Trempealeau River. The DNR will not levy the fine because state law allows WPDES permits to be violated in the case of an emergency (and in this case the side of the pond was breached to save the life of an operator who had fallen into the pond). 

Vinehout - Legislative Audit Bureau: The Sentinels of State Government

Kathleen Vinehout

“As Governor, I would get rid of the programs that don’t work and fund the ones that do,” said a candidate at a forum last summer. I am sure people thought just how would you know that?

President Obama Endorses Jeff Smith’s State Senate Campaign

Eau Claire – Today Jeff Smith has received the endorsement of former President Barack Obama in his race for state senate

Ted Auch speaks at Wisconsin Grassroots Festival in Eau Claire

Ted Auch Speaks about Frac Sand Mining at Wisconsin Grassroots Festival in Eau Claire

Dr. Ted Auch spoke at the Eau Claire Grassroots Festival about the current status of fracking, frac sand mining in Wisconsin, and what we can expect in the future. The slide deck from his talk is attached to this article. Please note that the audio quality is sketchy as there was a fairly loud presentation going on in the next room, and the room dividers in this building are not great for sound isolation. 

Dark Money airing on PBS Monday Night

DARK MONEY (2018) | Official Trailer HD | PBS Distribution

Wis.Community recently held a screening of the film Dark Money in Downsville. This film will be shown Monday, Oct. 1 on PBS stations nationwide (the first showing will be at 9 PM Monday night). The film will also become available for streaming after the national premiere. 

Newly-Formed Covia closing sand mines, reducing production in Menomonie

Fairmont Santrol and Unimin merged in June to form a new company called Covia. Today Covia announced that they are reducing their frac sand production from 36 million tons per year to 32 million tons. This is primarily because many production companies are postponing fracking wells while waiting for more pipeline infrastructure. 

29th Assembly Candidate Forum

John Rocco Calabrese

Wisconsin 29th Assembly District Forum 2018

The League of Women Voters of the Greater Chippewa Valley Area sponsored a candidate forum on 9/25/2018 at the Dunn County Judicial Center. Candidates from the 27th District that participated were John Rocco Calabrese (D) and Rob Stafsholt (R) - the incumbent candidate. Brian Correia (L) was unable to attend the forum. Questions were submitted to the candidates from the audience and time limits were set on their responses.

LWVWI: Statement of opposition to ICE arrests in Wisconsin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                          Contact: Erin Grunze, Executive Director
September 26, 2018   

Potato Disease, the UW and the Wisconsin Idea

Kathleen Vinehout

Late blight is a devastating potato and tomato disease that spreads quickly in late summer. It can wipe out a crop in just a few days. This disease caused the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s which led to the starvation or relocation of millions of Irish, including my ancestors.

Election Commission will have ambitious meeting before Nov. Election

The Wisconsin Elections Commission will hold a particularly long and extensive meeting tomorrow, Sept. 25. Part of the meeting will be devoted to getting feedback on plans to spend the $7 million federal grant for election security. Approximately $2.4 million of that money has been allocated to hire additional staff for security purposes, particularly before the November election. This money will be used to hire six additional staff for the next four years.

Who Will Care For You? A Crisis in Health Care

Questions on Health Care

Who Will Care For You? A Crisis in Care

Citizen Action of Wisconsin Organizing Co-op of Western Wisconsin recently held a forum on healthcare, concentrating on things that can be done for healthcare providers and ways to make it possible to provide more health care providers in the market.

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Wednesday, November 7

Wednesday, October 31

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    12:41pm

    “Hard to wrap my head around,” the woman shared as she considered Foxconn. Just what do big budget decisions mean to us?

    Work has begun on crafting the next state budget. Over the next few months, this work will continue in earnest. One hefty unbudgeted expense added to upcoming budget math is a large taxpayer funded payment to a foreign corporation.

    Foxconn is the Taiwanese company building a manufacturing plant in southeast Wisconsin. To lure the company to our state, majority lawmakers and the governor created the largest state corporate give-away in American history.

    The first big Foxconn payment, nearly $470 million, will come out of our next two-year budget. There is no pot of money set aside for this payment. Budget writers are faced with three choices: increase borrowing, increase taxes, or take money from other parts of state government.

    When you consider the trade-offs lawmakers must make in the next budget, it is helpful to think of our tax dollars (mostly income and sales tax) like a checking account that pays for five big items. About eighty-five percent of our general fund money goes to pay for health care, K-12 education, colleges and universities, corrections and local government. Money for roads and bridges are in a separate fund.

    All five areas of these areas are challenged; by chronic underfunding, growing caseloads, rising social problems (like drug addiction) and shifting demographics (for example, an aging population).

    What kind of budget trade-offs must be made by budget writers to absorb the new money commitments made to Foxconn? Let’s start with the largest part of the general fund: K-12 education.

    Our children’s education makes up about a third of the general fund spending. This includes the private subsidies known as vouchers. While public spending for private schools has grown dramatically, overall education revenue as a percent of our budget has steadily dropped. Over the past 15 years or so, Wisconsin moved from spending a little more than forty percent to spending less than a third of our general fund on schools.

    Reviewing work by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB), one can easily see that money to public schools has still not been fully restored from the deep cuts in state aid made in the governor’s first budgets.

    Looking forward to the next eight years, Wisconsin is committed to sending over two billion dollars to Foxconn. To give some context to these payments, consider this – the estimated payments to Foxconn for five of the next eight...

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Saturday, October 27

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