03.31.15

La Crosse: U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Tours Western Technical College and Pearl Street Brewery

College Affordability and Made in Wisconsin Beer on Tap

LA CROSSE, WI – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today toured Western Technical College and Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse.

At Western Technical College, Senator Baldwin met with faculty and students for a roundtable and tour of the campus. Senator Baldwin toured the construction site of the new Integrated Technology Center and attended a public career fair. Throughout the visit, Senator Baldwin discussed the school’s manufacturing programs, as well as her efforts to make higher education more affordable and help advance Wisconsin’s technical colleges.

Senator Baldwin has supported action to tackle the national student debt crisis and signed on as an original cosponsor of the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act. Last week, she also introduced an amendment to the Senate budget resolution to make two years of community college free for high-achieving students throughout the country. The cost would be paid for by implementing the ‘Buffett Rule’, which ensures that millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share in taxes. In January, Baldwin introduced legislation to establish the ‘Buffett Rule,’ the Paying a Fair Share Act. Senate Republicans rejected the Baldwin amendment and she voted against the Republican budget.

Senator Baldwin, Co-Chair of the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus, has been a strong advocate for Wisconsin community and technical colleges and college affordability. Baldwin received the Association for Career and Technical Education’s 2014 “Policymaker of the Year” award for her work on behalf of career and technical education. Senator Baldwin has introduced two bills to address the larger issue of student debt and college affordability, the Working Student Act and CTE Opportunity Act. The legislation targets students who work their way through school and students enrolled in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs.

At Pearl Street Brewery, Senator Baldwin met with owner and Brewmaster Joe Katchever to tour the brewery floor. Senator Baldwin discussed the importance of craft breweries in our Made in Wisconsin economy.

Senator Baldwin has stood up for Wisconsin brewers and is fighting against trade initiatives that would change the common names for beers Wisconsinites enjoy every day. Current trade negotiations could ban beers like Pearl Street Brewery’s El Hefe Bavarian Hefeweizen. Senator Baldwin called on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee to reject any efforts that would restrict the ability of Pearl Street Brewery and other Wisconsin brewers to use the generic names that they have used for their Made in Wisconsin products.

In February, Senator Baldwin also introduced the bipartisan Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act or Small BREW Act. The Small BREW Act would enable Wisconsin’s craft breweries to reinvest over $1.5 million into their businesses each year with a reduction in the excise tax on each barrel of beer brewed by small brewers.