Gary on the Issues

Protecting Wisconsin’s long standing tradition of clean, transparent government has always been one of my top priorities.  I have authored and supported initiatives to strengthen government accountability and the power of the people, including:
We need to expand Medicaid in Wisconsin. Not only will it get make some 80,000 eligible for low-cost insurance, it will lower premiums for Wisconsinites that are on private insurance. I have signed on to a bill that would expand Medicaid.

Common sense gun reform is a no-brainer. There are simple solutions to try to help curb gun violence while also protecting the Second Amendment.

  • I introduced legislation to make it illegal in Wisconsin for those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence to possess or purchase firearms, which would bring Wisconsin in line with federal law. We should not allow people with a proven track record of violent tendencies to have firearms.
  • I was a cosponsor of legislation to reintroduce a 48-hour waiting period to purchase handguns in Wisconsin. This creates a much-needed period to prevent potential crimes of passion and creates a cooling off period.[/p]

This past session I fought hard to protect Wisconsin’s valuable natural resources. I introduced legislation that would restore environmental standards that were rolled back to appease one singular mining company that has since left the state. I fought to protect shoreland, restore funding for recycling programs, and preserving farmland.

In the past I have voted against bills that weakened natural resource protections in state forests, allowed over pumping of groundwater, and prevented state agencies from enforcing Clean Air standards. The Wisconsin Conservation Voters have named me a “Conservation Champion” six times.

In the 2017-18 session, Republicans’ set up Wisconsin’s environment for significant damage in the future. Some of the more damaging bills they passed include:

  • Dredging: A bill passed by Republicans would drastically increase the amount of sediment riparian owners could dredge from lakes, and cuts out DNR from the process entirely. Poorly executed dredges can lead to habitat loss for native species as well as in influx of invasive species. It can also lead to the release of suspended contaminants such as arsenic
  • Mining/Pollution: This past session, Republicans repealed a decades old anti-pollution law, which said mining companies could operate in Wisconsin as long as they can prove that their operations would not cause pollution. After its repeal, mining companies are free to come to Wisconsin, strip its ores while polluting groundwater and air, then pack up and leave behind devastation. It is simply a tragedy that Republicans favored polluting mining companies over Wisconsin residents and its natural resources.

It is vital that we reform our criminal justice system so that we have a more equal and just society. In that vein, I have authored legislation to meet that goal, such as:

  • A bill that would require that, if a person is not found guilty in a proceeding, any DNA records, information, and biological samples must be purged or destroyed. There is no logical reason to have all that information still on file for anyone that has not been convicted of a crime.
  • An overhaul of wrongfully convicted compensation.

I also authored legislation that would help improve the effectiveness and fairness of our court system by:

  • Restoring funding mechanism for public financing of elections
  • Restoring public financing for Wisconsin Supreme Court elections
  • Comprehensive overhaul of Wisconsin’s judicial recusal and discipline laws to ensure fair courts for all Wisconsinites, not just those who can afford to make big political donations
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