Gov. Scott McCallum traveled to Washington Thursday to discuss federal and state issues with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation.
The meetings promoted bipartisanship and cooperation between state and federal government officials.
“It was a very good meeting,” said Bill Murat, Chief of Staff for Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc. “It was just a chance to touch base and to work in a bipartisan way for the people of the state.”
Topic of conversation ranged from anti-terrorism measures to Midwest Express Airlines and Ronald Reagan National Airport.
McCallum also discussed an economic stimulus package, dairy compacts, education reauthorization, Internet taxation and the Badger ammunition plant.
“There were a variety of issues, including terrorism and coordination of federal and state response,” said McCallum spokesperson Debbie Monterrey-Millett.
McCallum met with each legislator separately.
Monterrey-Millett said although a variety of issues were discussed, a priority for Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., was Midwest Express Airlines.
Reagan National Airport in Washington began service Thursday for the first time since the terrorist attacks. The federal government has taken steps to gradually allow full service to return to the airport, but in the first wave of reopening the airport, certain airlines were allowed to return to normal business. Midwest Express, based out of Milwaukee, was not one of them.
McCallum met with White House officials Thursday, asking them to allow Midwest Express full service to the airport.
“I have been assured by the White House that we will be able to be in the next tier,” McCallum said. “Within probably the next three weeks, they will be able to resume flying into Reagan National Airport.”
McCallum said this is an important issue for the state.
“Ten percent of their flights go to that airport,” he said. “It will help Wisconsin’s economy.”
Baldwin and McCallum also discussed other various state and federal issues.
“It was a very cordial meeting,” Murat said. “They talked about a lot of issues of concern to Wisconsin and how they can work together in common interest.”
Baldwin was most concerned about the Badger Ammunition Plant, land dedicated to the Department of Defense that has become obsolete. How the land will be allocated is both a federal and state issue.
“The greatest interest for Congresswoman Baldwin is the Badger Army Plant,” Murat said. “It is a very substantial 750-acre parcel of land, and it is excess property for the Department of Defense.”
Cooperation between the state and federal governments was one of McCallum’s main intentions for the meetings.
“They were talking about how positive the work has been in the recent weeks in facilitating this process between state and federal agencies,” Murat said.
Budgetary concerns, including the Wisconsin state budget as it relates to federal matters, were at the forefront of discussions as well.
“[Conversations centered] primarily around the issue of budgetary issues and how that is impacted at a federal level,” Murat said.