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New Richmond ICE detention center planning update

The City of New Richmond released further information on the zoning process for the proposed ICE detention center this afternoon. The city will hold a community meeting on April 23 at 4:30 PM at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, New Richmond. This is an informal discussion and will not include any action on the part of the city.

Wisconsin Farmers Union travels to Farmers Bill of Rights Rally

Sarah Lloyd speaks at rally

Farmers Bill of Rights Rally

I was privileged to be able to travel with the Wisconsin Farmers Union to the Farmers Bill of Rights rally in Storm Lake, Iowa on March 30. Members from around the state traveled together on a bus, with most of the members being from the Chippewa Valley area. 

Heartland Forum

Antitrust panel at WFU State Convention 2019

Wis.Community will be traveling with the Wisconsin Farmers Union to the Heartland Forum in Storm Lake Iowa. The trip will include the forum itself, which is the first candidate forum of the 2020 campaign season. It will also include a Farmer Bill of Rights Rally sponsored by Family Farm Action.

The League of Women Voters Celebrates Wisconsin Win for Democracy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE          Contact: Erin Grunze, Executive Director, LWVWI

March 21, 2019       608-256-0827;

Judge Blocks Unconstitutional Lame-Duck Session Laws

Jeff Smith - You be the Judge of the Budget at Our Listening Sessions

Senator Jeff Smith

Ever since my two daughters were young and able to ice skate, I attended their figure skating practices and competitions. I’ve respected the work and dedication these young women put in for such an incredible sport. I became so interested that I started volunteering as the announcer for the Eau Claire Figure Skating Club competitions.

Jeff Smith - First Glance at Governor Evers' Budget

Jeff Smith

Governor Tony Evers presented his first budget to the Legislature on Thursday evening last week. It was a uniquely crafted budget. It contained encouraging policy for Wisconsin’s future. And many of the Governor’s budget provisions were long overdue.

Governor Evers Proposes non-partisan maps in state budget

Today Governor Evers proposed a non-partisan solution to gerrymandering in the state, which will be included in the governor's budget which will be released Thursday.

Governor Evers signs executive order to recall National Guard

Governor Tony Evers

Governor Ton Evers has signed an executive order withdrawing 112 Wisconsin National Guard members from the border. The National Guard had been deployed by former Governor Walker. 

A copy of the Executive order is attached.

Jeff Smith: Part Two: Water is Prosperity

Last week I wrote about how water is life. This week I hope to show how important water is for all of us to not only survive, but also to thrive.

4 Forces Feeding Uncertainty About Foxconn's Future In Wisconsin

President Trump at Foxconn Groundbreaking

A bubbling sense of uncertainty enveloping Foxconn's plans for its manufacturing and research operations in Wisconsin has sparked considerable speculation around the state in the opening months of 2019. Industry analysts and other observers are wondering to what extent the company's promises would, or even could, come to fruition as its public commitments evolve at a fast clip.

As Number Of Wisconsin's Women Legislators Stalls, Partisan Mix Shifts

November 6, 2018 marked an historic election in the United States due to the unprecedented numbers of women elected to state and national offices. Iowa, Maine and South Dakota elected their first women governors, Arizona, Mississippi and Tennessee elected their first women senators, and 37 new women were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. These historic results, however, were not equally distributed between the two major political parties.

No Quarters for Kathy

Kathy Bernier
Shame on you, Kathy Bernier. Don't you for a moment try to normalize the prospect of toll roads in Wisconsin. For the first 100 years of automobile travel in Wisconsin, we have ensured that our taxes are enough to provide good roads.

Putting the Conn back in Foxconn

Foxconn Logo

In a morning, Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn Chief Executive Terry Gou suggested that plans for Foxconn manufacturing in Wisconsin may be scaled back again, and may in fact not include any manufacturing at all.

Jeff Smith - Walk the Talk for Bipartisanship

I’ve said it. Governor Evers said it. Republican leaders said it - “We need to work together.”

A number of clichés come to mind as we talk about working together. “It’s easier said than done” or “Talk is cheap.” I prefer “walk the talk.”

Why Wasn't 2018 A Big Election For Women In The Wisconsin Legislature?

Women vying for public office made historic waves across the United States in the 2018 midterm elections. Wisconsin, however, didn't quite follow that national trend. Additionally, while voters elected more women to the state Assembly in 2018, the state finds itself lagging behind its Midwest neighbors.

Jeff Smith - Marsy’s Law: Do It Quick or Do It Right?

Jeff Smith

Our first week of the legislative session is off to a fast start. It appears my first legislative vote will be changing our State Constitution with a resolution called, “Marsy’s Law.”

The new Legislature always has a high-priority issue that needs to be addressed immediately. In 2007, as a freshman State Representative, I voted to create the Government Accountability Board (GAB) in response to a caucus scandal years before I took office.

Jeff Smith - Committees, Collaboration and Compromise

Senator Jeff Smith

Senate committees aren’t exactly the hottest topic to write about in state government, but it’s incredibly important for our work as legislators. Most Senate committee names seem like someone pulled the topics out of a hat and randomly strung them together to create a committee.

Strange as some committee names may appear, committee creation is more an exercise in compromise and collaboration than blind luck.

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