Scott Bolstad
(staff, Senator Ron Johnson)

Immigration

    • Border Patrol is seeing an increase in ports seeking asylum. 900k backlog in asylum cases. See graph below.

    • Drug dealers are using children (not their own) as a way to get across. 
    • Root of the Problem:
      • Asylum laws have not been updated in a while.
      • Judge ruling said can’t separate adjust from the child. Supreme Court did not want to take this on.
      • Senator Johnson is working on a law change. 85% of the asylum claims are not valid. He wants to quickly send them back.
  • Trade Agreement with Canada will help the ag industry and car-part manufacturers (about 300 companies in WI)
  • River: To combat the high water, the Corp of Engineers released $5 mil for dredging in Mississippi. Not projected until June 18 to open locks & dams

Gregg Wavrunek
(staff, Sen. Baldwin)

The office is back open. Rep. Kind and Sen. Shilling all in the Exchange building.

Immigration

HR6: American Dream & Promise Act. People can apply for citizenship after five years if they do not have felonies, they have a post-secondary degree, serve in the military, and work for three years. After five can apply for citizenship. This passed the house.

Central American Act. There heavy traffic from El Salvador and Honduras is flooding Mexico, causing them to then seek asylum in the U.S.  The Sec. of State is creating a five year strategy that would reduce smuggling, human trafficking, drug trafficking – help with economic development to find other revenue.

Made in America Act

Introduced by Sen. Baldwin. She is seeking to close the loophole where the $10 billion spent on infrastructure that is not made in US, must now be made in the USA. She is reintroducing it.

 

Apprenticeship Act

Helps small-medium sized businesses develop apprenticeships.

Veteran Owned Small Businesses: Brave Act

Helps veteran-owned companies also count their veteran employees for loans, government contracts, etc.

Current Budget funding/shutdown status:

Runs through October 1

Anthony Chergosky (UW-L Economics Professor) on the State Budget Process

Status: The state assembly, senate and Gov. Evers are deciding who gets what when & how. Where we’re at in the process:

  1. DONE: Agencies submit
  2. DONE: Governor compiles budget
  3. DONE: Legislature goes around the state talking about the budget
  4. IN PROGRESS: Joint Finance Committee prepares its own budget (most powerful & prestigious) – comprised of Assembly and State Senate
  5. Each chamber votes (assembly & senate)
  6. Reconciles the differences between the two chambers (can lead to d
  7. Governor takes actions (full veto / line item vetos?)
    1. Governor has the most powerful veto with ability to line item. Almost assured he will use this

Key Issues

  • Medicaid expansion: states have the ability to raise the eligibility up to 138% of the poverty rate of who qualifies. 14 states including Wisconsin have not expanded it.
    • Public opinion: 70% of residents favor the expansion per Marquette poll.
    • Evers favors the expansion as the fiscally responsible thing to do. It’s what the people want. Fiscally responsible reasoning is because the federal government picks up 90% of the tab of those being added.
    • Republicans: there are plans available through the private market. Concerned feds won’t pay. Argue most of those in poverty have options without the expansion.
  • Transportation: dispute is in the amount and the source of revenue
    • GOP: raise fees on buying a car by $95. Annual registration fee up by $10
    • Evers: 8-center gas tax fee. WI is 12th highest and would go up to 6th in the nation.
    • People: 57% no gas tax in Marquette Poll
  • Higher education funding: UW System Pres Ray Cross says he’s been “kicked in the shin” after republicans approved $69 million less. Budget committee approved $58 million.

National:

  • June 10: 5% tariff created on goods coming from Mexico unless Mexico addresses the tide of illegal migrants coming in from the southern border.
  • Mexico announced they’re sending national guard troops and to expand a program allowing Central American migrants to stay there while they await the adjudication of their asylum claims.
  • The power of the president in trade is apparent and being discussed as clawing back the power.

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