a few years ago, Wisconsin
was facing a $3.6 billion budget deficit andout
of control taxes. As a result of the tough decisions that we have made,
Wisconsin’s state surplus has grown to $759 million. The state is in a better
position today than it has been in decades. Property tax relief for Wisconsin’s
families, farmers, seniors, and small businesses has been a top priority of mine
since coming to the Legislature in 2010. I am pleased to have supported this
week's actions on behalf of the property taxpayers of the 12th Senate
I am disappointed
in the amount of property tax relief that was sent to the 12th Senate District
but it brings to light a larger problem with the school funding formula and how
much the Northwood's school districts rely on local taxpayers instead of state
support. I am optimistic that the Speaker's Taskforce on Rural Schools will
address the inequities within the funding formula and I will continue to work
with my colleagues to ensure that the needs of rural districts are better
understood. Rural schools can find some solace in the 2013-15 Biennial Budget
with the addition of categorical aids, including high cost transportation and
additional National Forest Income, that I worked hard to include.
No Call List To Be Permanent
Consumers will no
longer have to call the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer
Protection (DATCP) every two years to be placed on Wisconsin’s No Call List with
legislation recently passed that I authored. Senate Bill 155 (SB 155) will make
numbers added to the list permanent until the number changes ownership and will
merge Wisconsin’s Do Not Call List with the Federal No Call List.
to continuously add their number on two different No Call List’s is confusing
for consumers and a costly duplication of services at the state and federal
level. Combining these lists and making them permanent only makes sense.
Wherever we can find efficiencies in government that helps consumers is really a
win-win for everyone.
promotes quarterly registration deadlines which can be confusing to consumers to
whom may not remember when and if they registered for Wisconsin’s No Call List.
Consumers also may have registered with the Federal Trade Commission, but not
registered for Wisconsin’s list which can cause confusion and frustration. SB
155 will be a substantial benefit to consumers as registering for one list is
simpler and they will still be covered by Wisconsin’s more consumer friendly
contracts with an outside vendor to manage the list. Combining the state and
federal list, would save the state around $190,000 per year while maintaining
consumer protections. DATCP has 11 No Call List enforcement agents which would
continue to mediate complaints and enforce the state’s more consumer friendly
laws. No call complaints make up about 25% of the total number of formal
complaints received by the department.
registration fees to Wisconsin which provides them with the No Call List. Fees
will remain unchanged, but instead of two lists they will receive one which is
more efficient for businesses. SB 155 passed unanimously in the Senate and now
goes to the Assembly before Governor Walker gives his final approval. The next
deadline to sign up for the state do-not-call list is December 1st.
To put your phone number on the list, go to
https://nocall.wisconsin.gov/web/home.asp, or call (866) 966-2255.
will be holding joint listening sessions on October 28th,
29th and 30th with state Representatives Mary Czaja
(R-Tomahawk), Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) and Jeff Mursau (R-Crivitz).
This is going to be a great
opportunity to hear what constituents from throughout the district have to say
about their state government. I am looking forward to talking with the people
of the Northwoods about the upcoming fall legislative session.
“I am very
pleased to host listening sessions within Vilas County at the end of this
month,” added Rep. Swearingen. “Our past listening sessions have proven to be
very productive. I enjoy the one on one discussions with the people in my
“Legislative session ends in April
2014,” Mursau said. “If citizens need us to change a law, we need to hear from
them as soon as possible.”
“Being responsive to constituents is my top
priority,” said Czaja. “These listening sessions will be a time to hear
directly about concerns, questions, or problems with state government that we
can work together on solving.”
The listening session schedule
is as follows:
(w/ Rep. Mursau)
Oconto Falls City Hall
500 N. Chestnut Street Oconto
Suring Village Hall
604 East Main Street
Wabeno Town Hall
4473 Hwy 32
(w/ Rep. Swearingen)
Eagle River City Hall
525 E. Maple Street
Land O’Lakes Town Hall
4331 Hwy B
Manitowish Waters Town
Hwy 51 & Airport Rd
(w/ Rep. Czaja)
Hamburg Town Hall
8230 3rd Lane
Matsche Community Center
362 Railroad Street
Bowler Village Hall
107 West Main Street
Microsoft IT Academy Program
Computer science is driving
innovation and economic growth in Wisconsin and across the country. By the end
of the decade, jobs in computing will comprise over half of all jobs in science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in the country.
Furthermore, computer science skills prepare students for careers in a variety
of sectors beyond information technology, such as manufacturing, healthcare, and
defense. If current trends continue, however, Wisconsin's students will not be
prepared for the STEM jobs of the future. Despite computer science's central
importance to the state's high tech economy, only a small fraction of
Wisconsin's students are taking computer science courses at the K-12
deadline for Wisconsin homeowners, renters, and businesses to submit disaster
loan applications for damages suffered during the severe thunderstorms and
tornadoes of August 6-7, 2013 is quickly approaching. These low-interest
disaster loans are available in Brown, Calumet, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, and
Winnebago and are due on October 21, 2013.
and business owners are encouraged to apply for the U.S. Small Business
Administration’s loans, if your home or business was damaged in the storm.
However, the deadline for these loans is quickly approaching. These
low-interest loans can help homeowners, their families, and local businesses get
back on their feet.
to $200,000 will be available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or
destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to
$40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Businesses
and non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair
or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory,
and other business assets.
of the 2013-14 Wisconsin Blue Book and the 2013 Wisconsin State map are now
available. The Blue Book, which is published on a biennial basis, serves
as the official guide to Wisconsin’s state government, history, and culture.
This edition represents the 91st volume in a series that began in 1853, shortly
after Wisconsin became our nation’s 30th state.
As you begin to read
and enjoy your Blue Book, you will find it contains a wealth of useful
information. Each edition includes the biographies of our elected state
officials, information on the three branches of state government, a copy of the
Wisconsin State Constitution, and much more. The Blue Book not only
serves as an excellent reference to state government, it also provides enjoyable
reading. This year’s edition features a special article entitled: “The
Wisconsin Historical Society: Collecting, Preserving, and Sharing Stories Since
1846” by John Zimm.
If you would like a
copy of either the Blue Book or state map, please reply to this E-Update with
your name and address.