Tammy on Police Militarization in America

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Tammy joined Senators Robert Casey (D-PA), Jon Tester (D-MT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Christopher Murphy (D-CT) in calling for the U.S. Department of Justice to track all federal aid and equipment provided to state and local public safety organizations to better understand how the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security can best assist local law enforcement. Tammy passionately believes in the importance of effective policing and has noted how recent events have highlighted a growing trend of American local law enforcement using military equipment.

The Senators write, “Following meetings we have held in our respective states, we believe that there is a clear need for a more robust federal role in tracking and evaluating public safety equipment transfers nationwide… When Congress, the President, or the American people ask whether military aid to law enforcement is serving its stated purpose, DOJ should have what it needs to offer an informed response.”

Prior to the letter to Attorney General Holder, Tammy participated in a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, Oversight of Federal Programs for Equipping State and Local Law Enforcement. Tammy questioned the panelists about the process of equipping police officers with military equipment and discussed the best practices for supporting our state and local police departments. You can watch Tammy’s portion of the hearing here:

An online copy of the letter to Attorney General Holder is available here.

Lose BadgerCare Plus? Learn How to Enroll for Health Care Coverage

Approximately 63,000 Wisconsinites lost their BadgerCare Plus coverage on April 1, 2014 as a result of Governor Scott Walker’s plan and decision to reject a federal investment in the BadgerCare program. Of the 63,000 Wisconsinites who lost their BadgerCare, nearly 27,000 people are stuck in a coverage gap and likely still uninsured.

If you are one of the Wisconsinites who lost BadgerCare Plus coverage and have not yet purchased health insurance, you are eligible for 2014 coverage in the federal Health Insurance Marketplace.

Following action taken by Tammy to help those who lost their BadgerCare gain health care coverage, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services opened up a special enrollment period in the Affordable Care Act’s federal Health Insurance Marketplace for these people to enroll.

Call the federal Health Insurance Marketplace at 1-800-318-2596 or TTY 1-855-889-4325 to enroll during the special enrollment period.

The special enrollment period for the individuals removed from BadgerCare Plus began September 4th and runs for 60 days until November 2nd, 2014.

Supporting Wisconsin Water Technology Businesses: The Water Council Receives Regional Innovative Cluster Award

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced this week that The Water Council has been selected for a Regional Innovation Cluster Award. The Water Council, based at the Global Water Center in Milwaukee, will use the award to establish a Center of Excellence for Freshwater Innovation and Small Business Development.

In July, Tammy sent a letter of support for the proposed Center of Excellence.

“The Water Council has made great progress ensuring Milwaukee’s place as a world water leader, growing the regional economy and has become a global leader in supporting the development of Wisconsin’s small water technology businesses,” said Baldwin. “By working with the U.S. Small Business Administration, The Water Council can now extend its expertise to small businesses across the United States.”

Water Council Meeting

Tammy met with The Water Council in July to discuss the proposed Center of Excellence

The SBA cluster initiatives focus on the most effective approaches to linking small businesses to regional networks of leading research, commercialization tools and financing. The Water Council’s Center of Excellence will provide a myriad of small business services including technology transfer, counseling, acceleration and mentorship. Investments in clean waters can help generate business development, support research opportunities related to water and technology, and drive industry both now and in the long-term.

Tammy has been a strong champion for the Global Water Center. Along with providing a letter of support for the Center in their application for the Regional Innovation Cluster Awards, Tammy also participated in the opening of the Global Water Center and the launch of the Global Freshwater Seed Accelerator program.

#MadeInWI Monday Highlights for September 29

Across Wisconsin, innovators and entrepreneurs are working hard to move our economy forward. Check out some of the recent stories from across the state this week:

Standing Up For Wisconsin Students: Support for the Working Student Act and the CTE Opportunity Act

After meeting with students and recent graduates in Wisconsin who are struggling with the cost of a higher education, Tammy introduced two bills to help address student loan debt and college affordability.

  • The Working Student Act targets students who work their way through school to allow them to complete their degrees more quickly and with less debt. The bill increases the amount working students can earn without that income counting against them in accessing need-based federal financial aid. Click here for more info on this bill.
  • The CTE Opportunity Act extends eligibility for federal loans to students in short-term Career and Technical Education programs, increasing access to courses that provide students with the industry-recognized credentials that employers are looking for. Click here for more info on this bill.

Both bills have received support in Wisconsin and across the country. Check out what education leaders are saying in support of the Working Student Act:

"Students – sacked with spiraling college costs and crippling student debt – should be able to work their way through college without penalty. But, as it stands now, the small income they earn unjustly decreases access to need-based student aid. Senator Baldwin's bill addresses this absurdity. All working students deserve equitable access to federal aid."
Randi Weingarten
President, American Federation of Teachers

"With students all over the nation juggling work and school in order to cover college costs, it is about time that someone took action to ensure that that hard work pays off. Senator Baldwin's Working Student Act is aimed at a serious problem that creates disincentives for work while also making college less affordable. Her plan is long overdue, and should be passed quickly to ensure that more students can use their work earnings to finance a college degree."
Sara Goldrick-Rab
Founding Director, Wisconsin Hope Lab
Professor of Educational Policy Studies & Sociology, University Wisconsin-Madison

“Working students are doing double duty when they hit the books and punch the clock. The Working Student Act will ensure that hard-working students are not penalized for being diligent in earning the money they need to further their educations and careers. This Act will allow low-income working students to keep more of their wages to support their families and still be eligible for the financial aid they need to meet the growing costs of college.”
David J. Socolow
Director of the Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

“"Raising the Income Protection Allowance is a commonsense approach that will greatly assist our hard working students with the most financial need. It’s not uncommon to see students work their way either completely out of Pell Grant eligibility or reduce their eligibility substantially by the time they are seniors. It is a frustrating cycle resulting in a need for more work which then lowers grant eligibility again. This bill ends this cycle and provides the needed assistance to those students who are working to help finance their college education.”
Susan Fischer
Director of Financial Aid, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Cuts in financial aid and tuition hikes are endangering access to higher education for prospective students and piling debt on those already in school. Senator Baldwin's Working Student Act is a simple reform that will stop punishing hardworking students for being hard-working. It's a welcome bit of good news in the fight to put the brakes on a student loan debt crisis spiraling out of control.”
Scott Ross
Executive Director, One Wisconsin Now

Support for the CTE Opportunity Act includes:

“The CTE Opportunity Act will help students access federal loans to complete certificate and other short-term programs, making it more feasible for working adults and other non-traditional students to return to school and improve their skills. The limited financial resources of WTCS students means that the costs of earning credentials can be a major barrier.  Therefore, any federal effort to expand financial aid availability (both grants and loans) for WTCS students will help improve Wisconsin’s economy.”
Morna K. Foy
President, Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS)

“The CTE Opportunity Act showcases the commitment that ACTE’s partners in the Senate CTE Caucus have to America’s CTE students, and we appreciate their efforts on this important initiative. By giving postsecondary CTE students pursuing shorter-term programs equal access to crucial federal aid programs, this bill will ensure more students have the resources they need to obtain education and training for in-demand careers.”
LeAnn Wilson
Executive Director, Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)

“This legislation is a promising step towards ensuring equitable access to federal financial aid programs for postsecondary Career Technical Education students. As our nation works to educate and train students of today for the jobs of tomorrow, it is critical that we afford them the necessary resources to complete education and training programs that are most demanded by employers.”
Kimberly Green
Executive Director, National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)

More information on Tammy’s efforts to address college affordability here.

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