Archive for the ‘State’ Category

WISLB Urgent Notice

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

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Call all of the following State Senators on SB734 Relating to: pedestrians crossing railroad right of way. This committee needs to allow the concerned citizens and railroads work out their issues using the process put in place by The Office of the Commissioner of Railroads, pedestrian crossings. For additional information please visit the website.

2015 Senate Committee on judiciary and Public Safety

Senator Wanggaard (Chair) (608)266-1832 or 866-615-7510

Senator Vukmir (Vice-Chair) (608)266-2512

Senator Lasee (608)266-3512

Senator Risser (608)266-1627

Senator L. Taylor (608)266-5810


Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

wis blet



Call all of the following Assembly Representatives and request a NO vote on AB876 Relating to: pedestrians crossing railroads. This committee is having a public hearing on Thursday February 11, 2016 urgency is of the utmost importance. For additional information please visit the website.

2015 Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety

Representative Kleefisch (Chair) Phone (608)266-8551 – (888)534-0038

Representative Kremer (Vice-Chair) Phone (608)266-9175 – (888)534-0059

Representative Spiros Phone (608)266-1182 – (888)534-0086

Representative J. Ott Phone (608)266-0486 – (888)534-0023

Representative Rodriguez Phone (608)266-0610 – (888)534-0021

Representative Horlacher Phone (608)266-5715 – (888)529-0033

Representative Novak Phone (608)266-7502 – (888)534-0051

Representative Born Phone (608)266-2540 – (888)534-0039

Representative Duchow Phone (608)266-3007 – (888)534-0099

Representative Goyke Phone (608)266-0645 – (888)534-0018

Representative Kessler Phone (608)266-5813 – (888)534-0012

Representative Zamarripa Phone (608)267-7669 – (888)534-0008

Representative Johnson Phone (608)266-5580 – (888)534-0017

2015 AB876

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

wis blet

2015 Assembly BILL 876

February 8, 2016 – Introduced by Representatives Nerison, R. Brooks, Kleefisch, Kulp, Skowronski and Tauchen, cosponsored by Senators Marklein, Miller and Vukmir. Referred to Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety.

AB876,1,2 An Act to create 192.32 (1) (c) of the statutes; relating to: pedestrians crossing railroads.

Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau

Under current law, with certain exceptions, no person may enter or remain on railroad tracks. The prohibition does not apply, among other things, to the use of public highways or to a person driving across a railroad from one part of the person’s land to another.

This bill provides that the prohibition on entering or remaining on railroad tracks does not apply to a person walking directly across the tracks or right-of-way of a railroad.


The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:

AB876,1 Section 1. 192.32 (1) (c) of the statutes is created to read:

AB876,1,5192.32 (1) (c) To prevent any person from walking directly across the tracks or right-of-way of any railroad.



192.32 Trespassing on railroad.

192.32(1) (1) No person, other than a licensee, authorized newspaper reporter or person connected with or employed upon the railroad, may walk, loiter or be upon or along the track of any railroad. The provisions of this subsection shall not be construed to do any of the following:

192.32(1)(a) (a) To interfere with the lawful use of a public highway by any person.

192.32(1)(b) (b) To prevent any person from driving across any railroad from one part of that person’s land to another part thereof.

192.32(1)(d) (d) To interfere with the use of the right-of-way or track by any person in connection with, either directly or indirectly, the shipping, loading or unloading of freight, seeking employment, the investigation or securing of evidence with respect to any accident or wreck or in conducting or transacting any other business for or with the railroad.

192.32(1)(e) (e) To interfere with the entry of any employee during or on account of labor disputes by employees.

192.32(2) (2) Each railroad corporation shall post notices containing substantially the provisions and penalties of this section, in one or more conspicuous places in or about each railroad station.

192.32 History History: 1993 a. 482, 490; 1997 a. 254; 2001 a. 38; 2005 a. 179.



Date Committee Notice Items
Thu Feb 11 Assembly – Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety REVISED: Public Hearing
9:15 AM
328 Northwest
Items: AB839; AB876
Thu Feb 11 Assembly – Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety REVISED: Executive Session
9:30 AM
328 Northwest
Items: AB273; AB604; AB621; AB670; AB671; AB776; AB839; AB876



An Act to create 192.32 (1) (c) of the statutes; Relating to: pedestrians crossing railroads.

Status: Criminal Justice and Public Safety

Important Actions (newest first)

Date / House Action Journal
2/9/2016 Asm. Senator Nass added as a cosponsor




Date / House Action Journal
2/8/2016 Asm. Introduced by Representatives Nerison, R. Brooks, Kleefisch, Kulp, Skowronski and Tauchen; cosponsored by Senators Marklein, Miller and Vukmir 584
2/8/2016 Asm. Read first time and referred to Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety 584
2/9/2016 Asm. Senator Nass added as a cosponsor

Right-Wing Wisconsin Supreme Court Ends Scott Walker Campaign Criminal Probe

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
By Doug Cunningham
A criminal probe into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign’s coordination with right-wing groups was stopped
Thursday by the conservative-dominated Wisconsin Supreme Court. A group of prosecutors, including Republican prosecutors, had
been investigating possible illegal coordination between Scott Walker’s campaign and the conservative organizations. An aggressive
legal attack from those groups sought to stop the criminal probe and Wisconsin’s high court stopped the criminal probe for them.
Some of the Wisconsin Supreme Court justices refused to recuse themselves from this case, even though they received millions
of dollars in campaign funds from these right-wing groups. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ordered the criminal probe against
Walker stopped and all evidence gathered in the investigation permanently destroyed. Francis Schmitz, the lead prosecutor in
the investigation against Walker’s campaign, says one or more of the justices should not have heard this case because the right
-wing groups being investigated had spent millions of dollars helping elect those supreme court justices.


Tuesday, July 7th, 2015


Today, Assembly Speaker Rep. Robin Vos held a press conference to unveil his plan to lower wages and weaken prevailing wage standards for hard-working people in Wisconsin. Rep. Vos conceded that there is no quantitative study that shows that repealing or weakening prevailing wage laws achieve cost savings for the state.But, in an attempt to continue to pay back large donations and please the Koch Brothers’ front-groupAmericans For Prosperity, Rep. Vos is continuing down a disheartening path of enacting legislation that hurts working people and our middle class.

Even Republicans like Rep. Dan Knodl, who support this proposal, agree that weakening the prevailing wage will “drive down wages” in our communities and “decrease wages” for working people.

Prevailing wage makes sure that taxpayer-funded projects use local workers who make a living wage; this contributes to the overall well-being of local economies. Prevailing wage strengthens the middle class and lifts up all workers. With prevailing wage, construction projects are top-quality because highly-skilled, well-trained workers are able to complete projects on time and on budget. Prevailing wage creates value through good wages for workers, stability for contractors and safe, sound and sturdy construction buildings for citizens. Protecting prevailing wage laws are essential for a strong and stable middle class.

From today’s press conference, it appears that attacks on the prevailing wage will be either snuck into the budget or pursued through independent legislation. Currently, the 2015-2017 Wisconsin budget is still being debated in the Joint Finance Committee. Along with weakening the prevailing wage, the budget is full of bad things for working people – all which hurt Wisconsin and take us backwards.

Join us as we make phone calls to fix the budget. Volunteers are working to connect union members with their elected officials so they can hear from REAL people about this budget. Be part of the process! Click here to join us in raising the voices of working people and involving more citizens in the budget process.

From cuts to K-12 education, the privatization of homecare, job cuts for prison guards and attacks on our UW-System — this budget is all wrong for working class Wisconsinites. Driving down wages by weakening prevailing wage only makes a bad budget worse.  Click here to find a budget phone bank near you!

In Solidarity,

Phil Neuenfeldt, President

Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer


Prevailing wage repeal is an attack on workers

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015
2 hours ago  • 

Public projects in Wisconsin, such as the renovation of UW-Madison’s Memorial Union, would no longer be subject to state prevailing wage requirements under a measure before the Legislature.


Oh, yes, let’s make sure we can finance all those fancy new road projects the Scott Walker administration wants to undertake by cutting wages of the very workers who build them.

That, in a nutshell, is what the governor and several of his Republican colleagues want to do later today by fully repealing the prevailing wage law, which has helped equalize wages paid to workers on public construction jobs throughout the state.

We don’t want to raise gasoline taxes nor do we want to raise registration fees, Walker said in signaling to the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance that he would sign a complete repeal of the law that requires construction companies with government contracts to pay the wages that are typically paid on private projects in their area.

The law has helped ensure that working people are paid a fair wage. It has prevented firms that are bidding on government contracts from paying substandard wages so they can win the bids and effectively shut out those firms that pay a fair wage. Once again, it’s a blatant attack on union workers in Wisconsin.

Many construction companies and others that bid on public projects have pleaded with the governor and legislators not to destroy a system that has worked well for taxpayers, businesses and workers for decades in this state.

It’s unfair to once again take money from working people, who pay taxes and help the economy, too, so that the state can further its wrongheaded austerity theory, an ideology that has left Wisconsin at the bottom of economic progress.

Enlightened members of Joint Finance will vote “no” on this latest piece of discriminatory legislation.

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Ken Notes: “Ken Notes” may always be reprinted, shared, even disagreed with. If you like an ideas steal it – credit would be nice but not required. I am Ken Harwood Editor of and an advocate for Wisconsin. I also edit WDNGreen, MadisonNotes, DriftlessNotes, WisconsinApprentice, and others.

Scott Walker says he would sign prevailing wage repeal

Wisconsin – 5/28/2015 Gov. Scott Walker would sign a bill repealing the states prevailing wage if it passes the Legislature, his spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Laurel Patrick made the comments as an Assembly committee heard testimony on a repeal bill, which the committee later approved 5-4.

Walker has said prevailing wage wasnt a priority, and he has faced criticism from fellow Republicans for not more forcefully backing the legislation….

Ken Notes: Would it not make more sense to fix this law rather than repeal it? Exceptions for “apprentice” and “in training” laborers for example… …Display And/Or Share This article


Assembly Democrats

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Dear Anthony ,

Scott Walker’s scandal-ridden jobs agency took another hit last week when it came to light that the company of a high-dollar donor to the governor received a questionable $500,000 loan from taxpayer funds.

This is just the latest in a long line of issues, and Democrats on the board – myself included – are calling for a federal criminal investigation.

Watch this new video on the truth about Scott Walker’s jobs agency – and be sure to share with your friends.

This isn’t the first time that Scott Walker’s job agency has come under fire – it’s become a pattern of failed leadership and potential corruption.

With Wisconsin 40th in the nation on job creation and 42nd in wage growth, Republicans are playing politics with taxpayer money instead of helping Wisconsin entrepreneurs and creating jobs for Wisconsinites. That’s wrong for Wisconsin.

Check out the truth about Scott Walker’s jobs agency.

Wisconsin Assembly Democrats will be staying on top of this and working to ensure that proper procedures are being followed – because government agencies should be working for the best interests of Wisconsinites, not for political gain.


Rep. Peter Barca
Assembly Minority Leader 





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Follow all the latest Scott Walker news on The Cap Times’ ‘Walker Watch’ page

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

With Gov. Scott Walker ramping up for an assumed presidential run, The Capital Times has put together a special topic page that collects all the Walker news in one spot.

There’s the latest news, opinion and editorials from the Cap Times on Walker. There’s also a section from other media outlets around the country on what they are writing about Walker.

There’s a Twitter feed of anything tagged #scottwalker to keep up on the latest from the Twitterverse.

We also have our interactive “Where’s Walker” map, showing where he has been on official business during his tenure.

It’s all there. Visit to see the latest.

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Russ Feingold to run for Senate

Friday, May 15th, 2015


Russ Feingold for Wisconsin


Across Wisconsin, people tell me all the time: Our politics in Washington are broken, and multi-millionaires, billionaires, and big corporations are calling all the shots.

Wisconsinites are tired of it, but no one says they want to throw in the towel. And I don’t either.

But if we want to change our politics, we all have to fight together. So let me cut to the chase:

I’m running for United States Senate in Wisconsin, and I wanted you to be one of the first to know.

Click here to watch my announcement video — and tell me you’re in this, too.

Watch my announcement video

You’ve probably heard that I know Wisconsin like the back of my hand.

That’s because I’ve spent my career in public service listening to and fighting for the people of Wisconsin. I’ve visited all of Wisconsin’s 72 counties more times than I can count, and I’ll be traveling to every corner of the state during this campaign to hear the concerns and ideas of all Wisconsinites.

Here are a few things I’ve already heard:

      • You want elected officials that work with you and listen to everyone’s concerns and ideas — not just those of a select few.

• You want a public servant who shares the optimism of Wisconsin and will work to expand opportunities for every family — not lecture them about everything our country can’t do.

• You want to be represented by a fighter who will speak truth to power and always do what he or she thinks is right, regardless of what Washington, D.C.’s powerful special interests and lobbyists say.

As I hit the road from my home in Middleton in the weeks ahead, I look forward to hearing much more from my fellow Wisconsinites.

But to build this campaign, I’ll need your help, right from the beginning.

Click here to watch my announcement video — and tell me you’re in this, too.

I love Wisconsin. I love the spirit of the people here and the beautiful state we all cherish.

Thank you for coming on this journey with me. I know that, together, we can make great things possible again.


Russ Feingold

P.S. We’re going to need to build a strong grassroots campaign to win next November, powered by support from all across Wisconsin and the country. So I hope you’ll forward this email to your friends and family — and invite them to join us, too.

This email was sent to Click here to unsubscribe.Contributions or gifts to Russ for Wisconsin are not tax deductible. Authorized and paid for by Russ for Wisconsin.

Authorized and paid for by Russ for Wisconsin, Joe Sensenbrenner, Madison, WI, Treasurer


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Mike McCabe: The many signs of Capitol corruption

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

Sometimes political corruption comes right up and slaps you on the face.

Such was the case with the recent revelation that a state lawmaker granted a wealthy divorced developer an unusual and significant opportunity to provide input into the writing of legislation allowing high-income parents to substantially reduce their child support payments. The businessman happens to be a major donor to the Republican legislator and other GOP officials.

The effort to craft the bill (since withdrawn) to the donor’s liking even left a legislative attorney helping to write the bill at a loss. “It’s hard to fashion a general principle that will apply to only one situation,” the drafting lawyer said.

Most people don’t get that kind of attention and personalized service from an elected representative. But then most people don’t make tens of thousands of dollars in political donations.

Most times, corruption is not that conspicuous. Most times, it presents itself much more subtly.

The corrupting influence of money in politics works its will at the Capitol every day in countless ways as it shapes the legislative agenda. It plays an insidious role in determining what lawmakers discuss and what they don’t talk about, which bills get debated and which ones don’t, what business is brought to a vote, and which bills become law.

Here’s an illustration: Try to think of the last time the Legislature did something to address a major challenge unique to rural communities in Wisconsin. Try to name the rural issues that are on the Legislature’s agenda for the upcoming session. Make a list of the rural issues on the Democrats’ agenda. Now make one for the Republicans.

Those are some mighty short lists.

Rural people and rural problems get neglected at the Capitol for a reason. Politicians don’t talk about rural issues and don’t solve rural problems because they don’t get many political donations from rural areas. As the Democracy Campaign’s recent analysis of the communities in Wisconsin that produce the most campaign contributions showed, less than a quarter of the state’s nearly 900 ZIP codes produce almost all of the political donations. On the color-coded map illustrating this finding, there are some red ZIPs that strongly favor Republicans and a few blue ones that support the Democrats. But most of the map is colorless. Most parts of the state — especially the rural parts — generate little or no money for the politicians.

Elected officials always say campaign contributions have nothing to do with the decisions they make. Indeed, the legislator who authored the child support bill insisted the donations he got played no role in his decision to do the divorced businessman’s bidding.

So again I ask: When is the last time Wisconsin lawmakers tackled a major problem plaguing rural communities?

I made this point in a recent interview, and at first the reporter asking the questions appeared stumped. Then he brought up the proposed legislation designed to clear the way for more mining of sand used in a process of natural gas extraction known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

Think about that legislation. Local elected officials in western and northwestern Wisconsin, responding to concerns by the region’s mostly rural residents, have approved numerous resolutions and local ordinances aimed at asserting their communities’ right to oversee and regulate sand mining operations. Some have even voted to approve moratoriums stopping the activity altogether, at least for the time being.

State lawmakers marinated in money from a recent surge in political giving by sand mining interests from across the country fashioned a bill that seeks to pre-empt these local actions. The legislation strips away local control and puts the state in charge of oversight and regulation of sand mining. The hands of local officials would be tied. The ability of rural communities to determine their own fate when it comes to sand mining would be taken away.

Rural folks concerned that sand mining could harm air and water quality, lower their property values, create noise pollution and traffic congestion and damage their roads would be left with no say over these operations and no control over their own fate on the issue. They wouldn’t even have a say over the use of dynamite for blasting at the mining sites in their own backyards.

This is the one time that comes readily to mind when state lawmakers showed an interest in addressing an issue of great importance to rural Wisconsin, and this is how they respond. Sometimes political corruption comes right up and slaps you on the face.

Mike McCabe is executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. This column first appeared on the group’s Big Money Blog.

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