Friday, April 26, 2013

Sen. Tiffany's E-update

April 26th, 2013

UW System Budget Surplus


I would like to commend my colleagues Representative Kooyenga, Representative Klenke, Representative Marklein, and Representative Kapenga for their hard work in uncovering the surplus in the University of Wisconsin System budget. As certified public accountants, these Representatives in the “CPA Caucus” have a keen grasp on budgeting and a solid understanding of how numbers do and do not add up.
Their hard work and diligence digging into this portion of the budget raised enough red flags that they had our non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau dig deeper into discrepancies. What the Legislative Fiscal Bureau was able to uncover is that the UW System had cash reserves of $648 million at the end of the last fiscal year. Over the past few years, tuition has been rising and generating millions for the UW coffers. There needs to be more accountability and transparency into how the UW System functions to be certain they are using our taxpayer dollars wisely. It is unfair to keep burdening UW students and families with higher tuition while the UW System continues to stockpile reserves. I agree with Governor Walker and my fellow Republican colleagues who are calling for a two-year freeze on tuition.

State Department Accepting Comments on Keystone Pipeline


This week, Governor Walker urged Secretary of State John Kerry to move swiftly on the expansion of the Keystone Pipeline. The expansion of the pipeline is our chance to have a new North American energy source. Expanding the pipeline will produce 830,000 barrels of oil per day, which will have an enormously positive economic impact on our country by reducing our dependency on oil from the Middle East.
 
In addition, if the pipeline is approved in a timely manner, countless jobs in the United States stand to be created. Wisconsin has an opportunity to benefit from this job growth. Public comments are being accepted by the State Department regarding the pipeline and can be emailed to keystonecomments@state.gov.

Deer and Bobcat Relationship


Last week, per my request, DNR furbearer specialist John Olson came to Crandon to discuss bobcats. I am grateful that he came, but I would like to highlight concerns raised by many constituents by drawing a connection between the increasing bobcat numbers and decreasing deer numbers. Please take a look at this pdf with my thoughts on this relationship.

JFC Budget Input


Yesterday, the Joint Committee on Finance held its first day of voting on the budget after holding four statewide public hearings. They have already made some changes based on the input they received and it is certainly not too late to share any additional thoughts. If you wish to do so, please email: BudgetComments@legis.wisconsin.gov or via mail to: Joe Malkasian, Room 305 East, State Capitol, Madison, WI 53702. 
 
There is a great deal yet to be decided before I even have the opportunity to vote on the budget, so I am certainly keeping abreast of the changes and will constantly evaluate any new developments.

Bear Hunting Program Available

Individuals interested in learning to hunt Wisconsin’s largest game animal have until May 24 to apply to participate in a Learn to Hunt Bear outing featuring classroom and field instruction capped with a real hunt with skilled mentors.
The goals of the program are:
  1. To provide a bear hunting experience to novice hunters who would not otherwise get that chance to hunt bear other than through the Learn to Hunt Program.
  2. To provide a safe and memorable first-time introductory bear hunting experience to novice hunters with experienced and qualified mentors.
  3. To teach novice hunters about the habits of bear, how to read bear signs, check bait, track and handle hounds, use proper shooting techniques, and safely handle firearms.
  4. To provide an opportunity for experienced bear hunters to contribute to overall conservation efforts by giving something back to the hunting heritage through recruiting the next generation of safe, legal, ethical, and responsible hunters to carry on the bear hunting tradition.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Warnke, Hunting and Shooting Sport Coordinator, 608-576-5243 or Joanne M. Haas, Bureau of Law Enforcement, 608-267-0798

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