This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

MacIver Update - It's Still Working Wisconsin!

ABC Widgets

New Work Requirements for Wis. FoodShare Program


[Madison, Wisc...] On Sunday, Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) unveiled his new workforce development plan, which will be included in his budget proposal for the next biennium. It includes reforming the FoodShare program and encouraging certain recipients to look for work.

Federal law requires "able-bodied adults without dependent children (ABAWD)" to either meet work or job training requirements to collect food stamp benefits. However, Wisconsin has a waiver for this requirement. Governor Walker wants to begin enforcing the work and training requirements beginning in July.

Under Walker's proposal, able-bodied adults without dependent children would either need to have a job or participate in the FoodShare Employment and Training Program. If they don't do that, they can only collect FoodShare benefits for three months every three years.

Currently there are about 76,000 ABAWDs in Wisconsin who don't have an individual waiver excusing them from the work or training requirements. Of those 76,000, only about 6,000 participate in the Employment and Training Program.

Read the entire article here

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It's Still Working Wisconsin!


February 11th marks the two year anniversary of announcement of plan that would become Act 10

Madison... Americans for Prosperity Foundation - Wisconsin State Director Luke Hilgemann and John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy President Brett Healy released the following statement on the 2 year anniversary of Act 10 being introduced to the public.

"Two years ago, it seemed like it was going to be impossible to bridge the gap of irresponsible spending and state deficits," said Hilgemann. "It was going to take significant leadership from the Governor and the Legislature to eliminate a $3.6 billion deficit and then there was the announcement of the bill that would become Act 10 and we had the answer. It was a bold and responsible reform that has been an unmitigated success for Wisconsin taxpayers and an example for the rest of the country."

Special Session Assembly Bill 11 was announced to the public on February 11th and would be officially introduced on February 15th. The bill was eventually signed into law by Governor Walker on March 11th as Act 10.

"It's working, pure and simple," said Healy. "In October, we announced that the savings to state and local governments has topped $2 billion and the total continues to grow. Act 10 gave government at all levels the tools they need to rein in costs while continuing to provide the same level of service. While states like Illinois are increasing taxes, laying off teachers and cutting services, Wisconsin continues to be an example of how to budget responsibly."

AFPF and MacIver joined forces in 2011 to create the "It's Working" project. The effort educated the public on the benefits of Act 10 through a series of town halls, social media and paid advertising.

To see the latest, visit the IWW blog here.

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Green Bay Area Public Schools Earn a C- on State's Report Cards


Green Bay Area Public Schools scored 64.7 out of a possible 100 points in the state's new school accountability report cards, according to data released in late 2012 by the Department of Public Instruction. On an A-F grading scale, this would put the city's schools at a C- overall.

That puts Green Bay third out of the state's five largest districts, in front of Racine and Milwaukee but behind Madison and Kenosha. The district's score was 5.5 points lower than the statewide average for all public schools.

Read the entire report here.


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In other news

DNR Refutes Hulsey's Claims on Mining Bill


At a hearing on Wednesday, Representative Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) said if the Republican mining bill becomes law, the EPA will revoke the DNR's authority to administer the Clean Water Act in the state of Wisconsin.


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Lake Wobegon Comes to Wisconsin


James Wigderson takes DPI to task for its Lake Wobegon Report Card. Whittier Elementary gets a C in student growth, a D in closing gaps, and an F in Student Achievement. However, the school still gets a B for its post-secondary readiness score.


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Will the President Default on His Entitlement Promise?


by Bill Jaeck - Opinion Piece

The Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund is projected to go bankrupt in 2016

Today actuarials and statisticians are calculating the math on the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund (SSDI) and the projections are not pretty. Simply put, the scant revenues entering the system through payroll deductions are being overwhelmed by the explosive growth of enrollments. The trust fund's depletion is more than 20% per year as enrollees collect approximately $1,100 a month for life. Unless actions are taken, this fund will be insolvent in 2016, President Obama's last year in office.

Yet President Obama stated, "We do not have a spending problem." In January, Speaker John Boehner kept insisting during the fiscal cliff debate that spending was the problem. President Obama finally said, "John, I'm getting tired of hearing you say that". The President then proclaimed in his inauguration address, "The commitments we make to each other through Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security ---- these things do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers..."

Read the rest of Bill's column here.

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