21 results for author: Senator Jeff Smith


FOXCONN: BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO

 (Mr. Jeff Smith is the State Senator from the 31st District of Wisconsin.) Over time, relationships can go sour. When it happens in one’s private life, the breakup can be agonizing; so much of two people’s lives can be intertwined in a short time. When it’s a public or business relationship, the breakup can be painful and even more complicated. Most likely, there are legal contracts or properties linking the two parties.Take the relationship between Wisconsin and Foxconn, for example.It started in 2017 with so much promise, glamour and, of course, a captivating courtship. Terry Gou, CEO of Foxconn, and then Governor ...

OUT OF THE LONG SHADOW

 During this time of year, we take time to reflect on the previous year and try to focus on the good things that happened. Even in 2020 there must have been some good things, right? We all know it’s difficult to focus more on the good moments, than the bad. I often think about knocking on doors or holding mobile listening sessions in the district. I’d have a great day of conversations with folks who were friendly and respectful. It’d be just one conversation that didn’t go well, that would continue nagging at me. That may be why most of us never make it as professional golfers or placekickers in the NFL. We...

FEND FOR YOURSELF UNLESS REPUBLICANS DO THEIR JOBS

 The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our lives significantly, killing nearly 4,000 Wisconsinites, devastating our economy and leaving us in a hard place to recover.  After more than 230 days since the State Legislature met, Governor Tony Evers stepped up, once again, to provide relief for Wisconsin families. On November 17th, Governor Tony Evers released a COVID-19 legislative relief package. Governor Evers’ plan dedicates $466 million to COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, vaccination distribution and support for hospitals. The relief package prohibits foreclosures and evictions through 2021. The proposal also makes necessary ...

WHO WILL CARE FOR YOU?

 We live our lives with much uncertainty. We can never be sure our plans will work out perfectly, and we may have to adjust due to unforeseen events. It could be weather changes, mechanical problems, an illness or accident that may change our entire life. But, even with uncertainty hanging over us like a cloud, we plan and move ahead.Most of the time, plans are kept and we live another day healthy and free of worry. If things go as we plan, we will live a long and healthy life. But even as we approach our later years we won’t be able to do the things we once did for ourselves and we’ll need help. Many of us see this with our own ...

HOW”DOING NOTHING” WORKS FOR POLITICIANS

 While scrolling through social media recently, I saw someone ask, “Why hasn’t Governor Evers distributed funds from the Heroes Act?” Others jumped all over this comment, claiming the Governor failed because the Heroes Act wasn’t being implemented when it could be.The truth of the matter is the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act several months ago to provide more COVID-19 relief to states; but the U.S. Senate hasn’t taken any action on the bill. Governor Evers cannot take action on federal funding that hasn’t actually passed Congress and signed by the President.This anecdote provides a good lesson for many ...

THE PEOPLE’S MAPS COMMISSION: BY THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE

 Partisan gerrymandering is one of the greatest detriments to truly having a democracy that works. States are obligated to redraw electoral districts after every census. Population shifts over a decade make it logical to adjust lines so districts are evenly represented. In the past, self-serving politicians learned, through trial and error, how to manipulate the district maps in such ways that people of color would be disenfranchised. Eventually, the courts ruled, that drawing district lines to disenfranchise people of color was unconstitutional. This ruling didn’t completely stop partisan gerrymandering, ...

AGING IN RURAL WISCONSIN

 Growing old is an inevitable part of life. When it comes to aging, we can’t help but wonder where we’ll live when we retire, the quality of life we’ll have and how we’ll stay healthy. While most of us want to remain in our homes for as long as possible, aging in place is almost a must for farmers in rural Wisconsin. Last week, I participated in a webinar about aging on the farm in rural Wisconsin. We learned about the unique challenges farmers face when it comes to aging, compared to older adults in other areas of the state. Farmers have to be more than just an agricultural expert. They must be efficient in ...

RESTORING TRUST IN TRYING TIMES

 By Senator Jeff SmithAt times, there is a real disconnect between science and politics in our country. But, in the case of how we handle a pandemic, it can be dangerous.For decades, we’ve been fed the philosophy that government can’t be trusted. Don’t get me wrong, too many politicians throughout history have brought that on by corrupt and often selfish behavior. Problems within government can become sensationalized and people begin to think that is the standard rather than the exception. It begins to impair our judgement of government and the important role it has in our lives. For every problem reported on by the media there are ...

CONNECT WISCONSIN WITH BETTER BROADBAND

Governor Tony Evers called a special session to take up agriculture bills, creating the Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity and establishing the Office of Rural Prosperity. In western Wisconsin, we have an opportunity to step up and continue leading the way.We should think of rural prosperity as a jigsaw puzzle. Rural prosperity relies on our agricultural industry, job security, entrepreneurial opportunity, tourism, quality schools, community spaces and more.Each individual piece contributing to rural prosperity has a purpose and need. However, these pieces don’t create an image and illustrate rural prosperity unless all the pieces ...

LET’S FINISH WHAT WE STARTED

 During this time of year, we’re surrounded by reminders to set goals for the next twelve months and fulfill our New Year’s resolutions. As the weeks pass by, we typically find ourselves falling back into our old habits and routines. Once we slip up, it may seem like our resolutions are hopeless and we push off our goals to next year.While preparing to head back to Madison, I thought about small, yet realistic intentions to continually motivate me in this New Year. Step by step, I’m hopeful these intentions will guide me to put differences aside and finish what we started in 2019.To begin, I’m determined to stay away from ...