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President Barack Obama, in a speech that amounted to a nationally televised kickoff to his re-election campaign, presented the country with a populist economic vision last night. And in attendance at the joint session of Congress was Congressman Ron Kind. The La Crosse Democrat talked with WIZM news after the speech and he said jobs and the economy have to come first.
Kind said said the No Child Left Behind Act has to be fixed and he agreed on some facets of the health care reform law. Kind says the biggest thing that needs to happen is lawmakers from both sides of the table have got to come together to work on some of the nations's biggest problems.
Western Wisconsin is in the midst of a land rush — call it a sand rush — fueled by exploding nationwide demand for fine silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing. And as more and more people learn what it is that frac sand mining is.....more concerns are coming out. One is the impact on county roads after tons of the wanted sand are hauled away from mining sites. In Monroe County, Highway Commissioner, Jack Dittmar, says they are used to it.
One active site near Oakdale in Monroe County, owned by FracTech Services of Brady, Texas, has had some county roads tear apart already. Dittmar says that company has already paid for the road damages and has agreed to pay all damage in the future.
La Crosse voters won't get a say on billboards this spring.
Two advisory referendum questions were poised to go on the ballot in April regarding billboards. One question asked whether electronic billboards should be banned altogether.. Another whether there were simply too many billboards in the city. Both of those questions, along with one dealt with the size of the city council, were vetoed by Mayor Matt Harter last week. In a special city council meeting last night, the city council failed to overturn vetoes on the billboard referendums or the one on the city council size. Voters will still get a binding referendum in April that asks whether the city should essentially change its form of government and hire a top city administrator.
(AP) Minnesota lawmakers are off and running in the 2012 legislative session. The state House and Senate convened at noon Tuesday for short sessions. They were limited to ceremonial and organizational business. Gov. Mark Dayton is hosting a reception for lawmakers and their families later in the afternoon. Dayton says a few of his top legislative priorities for the year are legislation to boost jobs and lower the state unemployment rate, and a Vikings stadium bill. While the Senate opened with lawmakers paying tribute to bipartisanship, Republicans and Democrats in that chamber quickly clashed over a majority Republican move to cut the staff budget for Democrats. Lawmakers were also greeted in the Capitol rotunda by several hundred chanting protesters from the Occupy Wall Street movement.
(AP) Gov. Scott Walker plans to use his State of the State speech on Wednesday to make a plea to small businesses to add one job each this year. Walker's spokesman Cullen Werwie on Tuesday said the governor will make the request for those companies that are poised to grow. Walker promised in the 2010 campaign that if elected he would change the state's business climate so 250,000 jobs would be created in the private sector over four years. After his first year in office, just 13,500 jobs have been added. There have been job losses each of the past six months. Werwie says the governor will use the speech to talk about progress that has been made and how Walker believes the foundation has been laid for a better future.