Jennifer lays out the grim state of politics with her charming positive spin. We wish her and her refreshing cooperative attitude luck working within such a divisive legislature.
Forest, Edie, and Ellen represented CSP among the roughly 20 in attendance. Many topics were discussed, including the Govt Accountability Board dismantlement and how it would effect local elections (not to mention accountability and corruption), the sale of public lands (which Jennifer deferred to Edie and Forest on for specifics) and other legislative shenanigans. We discussed what was the Democratic focus – named “Badger Blueprint” – on public education, job (and retirement) security and opportunities, infrastructure and rural broadband. The general divisiveness and dysfunctionality of the legislature was discussed. Charlie Pruesser brought up rail issues, which Jennifer is acting on on the state level (basic things like more inspectors) as well as Kind and Baldwin on the federal level (faster transition to safer cars, less volatile gasses in the Bakken oil…) Forest commented on CSP’s experience with the railroads pulling federal preemption on anything we or local municipalities try to do, and asked how these new requirements would get around that if the companies decided they didn’t feel like complying. There wasn’t a really satisfactory answer to that, but that is understandable considering the truly incredible power railroads have been given and lack of local or even state authority. We also made sure to talk about the bad groundwater bills as Jennifer and her aide were on their way out.