U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin has been a strong advocate for improving career readiness and Career and Technical Education (CTE) in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Senator Baldwin has introduced three bills this Congress to increase student achievement and help ensure students are prepared for a 21st century Made In Wisconsin economy.
Senator Baldwin was joined by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH), co-chairs of the Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, in introducing the Career Ready Act of 2015. This legislation would help ensure students are college and career-ready by strengthening school counseling programs and encouraging states to keep track of career readiness factors implemented in school districts.
Senator Baldwin also introduced legislation to help schools, districts, and states transform learning systems by utilizing innovative technology. The Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) Act would support educators in using technology to increase college and career readiness, help school districts build a technology infrastructure to ensure schools take full advantage of what technology has to offer, and increase student learning by infusing technology into education while protecting student privacy and ensuring data security.
In January, Senators Baldwin and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced the Support Making Assessments Reliable and Timely (SMART) Act in order to eliminate low-quality and unnecessary assessments from our nation’s classrooms. The SMART Act effectively targets federal funding to empower states to audit their assessment systems and eliminate poor quality and redundant tests. It also provides for states and local education agencies to improve their use of assessment data, which might include providing more time for educators to design instruction based on test results and speeding the delivery of test data to students and families.
All three bills have received broad support from national and Wisconsin organizations representing educators and education leaders.
Learn more about each of the bills here:
Career Ready Act
Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) Act
Support Making Assessments Reliable and Timely (SMART) Act
Washington, D.C. – Throughout 2014 and into 2015, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin has advocated on behalf of Wisconsinites and called for action to improve rail safety and railroad conditions in the state.
Baldwin’s advocacy for rail safety includes:
April 4, 2014 – Baldwin writes to the Appropriations Committee to raise awareness of the increase of combustible oil traveling through the Midwest.
In the letter, Baldwin urged the committee to improve design and safety standards and increase funding for the Safe Transportation of Energy Products Fund. This funded first responder training along rail routes and increased research and inspection of rail lines.
July 17, 2014 – Baldwin calls on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a public hearing on the expansion of rail lines in the La Crosse area.
Baldwin called for the meeting on behalf of community members concerned about the rail expansion’s impact on the La Crosse River Marsh.
July, 21, 2014 – Baldwin co-sponsors the RESPONSE Act.
The RESPONSE Act would form a subcommittee under FEMA’s National Advisory Council to bring together relevant agencies, emergency responders, technical experts and the private sector for a review of training, resources, best practices and unmet needs related to emergency responders to railroad hazmat incidents.
September 18, 2014 – Baldwin writes to the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration.
Baldwin was joined by U.S. Representative Ron Kind (D-WI) in writing to the U.S. Department of Transportation and Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration urging the agencies to strengthen their proposed rules on the transportation of crude oil via railroad.
September 22, 2014 – Baldwin meets with Citizens Acting for Rail Safety (CARS).
In the meeting with local stakeholders, Baldwin viewed pictures of BNSF bridges in the La Crosse area that are in various states of disrepair.
September 30, 2014 – Baldwin urges the Federal Railroad Administration to immediately inspect the bridges in question.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) inspected the bridges the following week. Following the inspection, the FRA sent a letter to Senator Baldwin reporting the bridges are “safe for continued railroad service,” and that BNSF is adequately meeting inspection requirements.
December 4, 2014 –Baldwin meets with BNSF President and CEO Carl Ice
Senator Baldwin expressed her serious concerns with crude oil being shipped by rail on deteriorating bridges in western Wisconsin. She called on BNSF to hasten its bridge replacement.
December 13, 2014 – Baldwin supports the bipartisan Omnibus Appropriations Bill.
The bipartisan appropriations bill mandates the release of the DOT/PHMSA rule on rail cars shipping oil by January 15, 2015, two months earlier than DOT’s most recent timeline for completing the rule. The bill also includes:
- $2 million for the design, testing, and evaluation of safer oil tank rail cars. This funding will increasing the rate at which obsolete and dangerous tank cars are removed from service. Baldwin advocated for both provisions in her public comments on the DOT/PHMSA proposed rule.
- $187 million for safety and operations at the Federal Railroad Administration.
- $3 million for the automated track inspection program, including amounts for automated car for inspection of crude oil routes and $370,000 for five new safety inspectors at FRA.
- $10 million in grants for track improvements and crossings on routes that transport crude oil.
- $28 million for emergency preparedness grants that can be used for training for hazardous material accidents on railroads.
- $39.1 million for railroad research and development.
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin released the following statement today on President Obama’s announcement that he intends to nominate Allan R. Landon to serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System:
“I am encouraged by the White House announcement that President Obama intends to nominate Allan R. Landon, a former community banker, to serve as a Governor of the Federal Reserve System. In April, I wrote to President Obama highlighting the important role that community banks play in our nation’s economy and urged him to nominate a candidate with experience in that field. For too long our nation’s small financial institutions, who serve Main Streets across the country and throughout Wisconsin, have not had a seat at the table.”
An online version of the letter sent to President Obama in April can be found here.
In December, Baldwin announced her opposition to the nomination of Antonio Weiss for Undersecretary of Treasury for Domestic Finance and her position was praised by the Independent Community Bankers of America.
“The Independent Community Bankers of America and the more than 6,500 community banks thank Senator Baldwin for her opposition to the nomination of Antonio Weiss for undersecretary for domestic finance,” ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine said. “We are pleased Senator Baldwin agrees with us that the Treasury position requires someone with a broad background in financial services who understands community financial institutions and their important place in our nation’s economy. We appreciate Senator Baldwin’s support of Main Street.”
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Tammy sent a letter to President Obama prior to his trip to China this week for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. She advocated for Wisconsin manufacturing and promoted a level playing field for American businesses and workers, highlighting four policy priorities: addressing currency manipulation, protecting intellectual property, preserving ‘Buy American’ requirements in trade agreements and supporting enforcement on unfair trade practices.
A copy of the letter can be found here.