January 26, 2018


The State of our State is Strong



This past Wednesday, Governor Walker delivered his annual State of the State address. I was thrilled to learn that Governor Walker's plan for 2018 will focus on the development and growth of Wisconsinís rural areas. Funding rural schools will continue to be a priority as we move forward through this year. The sparsity aid package that was introduced last week will help many rural low-spending schools, including those in the first district.

In addition to rural school funding, I was excited by Governor Walkerís proposal to create a Rural Economic Development Fund of $50 million. With the intention of focusing on the development of new businesses and the expansion of small businesses in rural areas, I feel this will be a major boon for our district.

Another exciting part of Governor Walker's address was his call to create and enact a law that will guarantee affordable health care coverage for those who suffer from pre-existing conditions.  It is imperative that we ensure that anyone battling cancer, or any other serious disease or ailment will not have to worry about obtaining or keeping health insurance.

I am looking forward to achieving the ambitious goals laid out in Governor Walkerís address as we continue to move Wisconsin forward.


Be sure to check out a brief video of my reaction to Governor Walker's State of the State address by clicking the picture above!


My Transfer of College Credits Bill Passes the Assembly!


I am incredibly pleased with the passage of my Transfer of College Credits for High School Students bill on the floor of the Assembly. This bill will allow students who have taken college level courses in high school and mastered the material to get the credits they deserve. The bill directs the Board of Regents to establish policies for those credits and if the credits are not transferable, allow the student to take an examination to determine their competency in the material.


As lawmakers, it is our responsibility to make sure that we set up our stateís children for success and this bill is a simple tool to make their road to success just a little bit smoother.  If we want our students to stay motivated in the Wisconsin school system and take college-level classes, we need to show them that there will be a tangible benefit once they reach college.


This is a common sense bill that is in keeping with our efforts to keep the path of continuing education affordable for our youth. I would like to thank my Senate author, Senator Feyen (R-Fond Du Lac), for his partnership on this issue.  The bill will now head to the Governorís desk to be signed into law.


Natural Resources Board Adopts Changes to NR151


This week, the Natural Resources Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting the proposed changes to NR 151, which regulates manure spreading procedures for the karst geo-region in Northeast Wisconsin.


  This is a tremendous win for the 1st Assembly District and a significant step in addressing the water contamination issues that we face.   The rule will now head to the Governor and the Legislature for review and I will remain an active advocate for these new changes.


You can read my complete statement in my press release.


Wisconsin Conservation Corps Bill Passes the Assembly




The Conservation Corps Bill, of which I am a co-sponsor, has passed the state Assembly and will be headed to the Senate. This important bill would reestablish the Wisconsin Conservation Corps (WCC), a program which provided Wisconsin's youth with valuable employment training while at the same time creating environmental improvements across the state. With today's younger generation struggling to find family sustaining work, I firmly believe it is time to bring the WCC back. 


Various projects resulting from the WCC's reestablishment will include stabilizing stream banks, trail construction, and improving our state parks. Youth involved with the program would be between the ages of 16 and 25, half of which being high school students from low income households, who would then be eligible to receive funds through the federal AmeriCorps program to pay for college, graduate school, or vocational training.


By tackling unemployment among millennials, while also promoting good stewardship of our natural resources, passage of the Conservation Corps Bill would be a win-win for the entire state.



Congratulations to Deseree Dufek!



I would like to take a moment to congratulate Deseree Dufek, a student of Southern Door High School, for receiving a $25,000 scholarship from the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc.


 Deseree was chosen, along with only 106 other students in the nation, for this scholarship designed to recognize the outstanding academic achievement of students and the commitment to their dreams, despite facing great personal adversity.  While this scholarship can be applied to any college or university, it will also provide Deseree with a plethora of benefits, including internship opportunities and scholarship alumni connections to help further her career goals.


It is honor to serve such a dedicated and talented individual with such a bright future ahead of her!


Upcoming District Events!

What: Dog Training Series
Where: 938 Egg Harbor Rd. Sturgeon Bay, WI
When: January 27, 10:00am
Details: "Improve communication with your dog by better understanding their body language and how you can use yours to talk to them.  Learn the subtle movements that can deepen a loving relationship. Friendly pets allowed. Free and open to the public.

What: Sturgeon Bay Library Theme Program
Where: Sturgeon Bay Library, 107 S 4th Ave, Sturgeon Bay, WI
When: January 27, 12:30pm to 2:00pm
"Curious George-Costumed Character program. Join us for crafts, games and snacks along with stories about Curious George. Curious George is on scene, so bring your camera or cell phone to capture the day!"

What: Community Health Information Program
Where: First Baptist Church, 2622 S. Bayshore Dr., Sister Bay, WI
When: January 28, 4:00pm
Details: "Emergency Preparedness: presented by Aaron LeClair, Deputy Director of Door County Emergency Services. Free and open to the community."

In Closing...

Thank you for taking the time to read my E-Update. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact my office. Joe and Stamena look forward to working with you. Also, if you would like a State of Wisconsin 2017-2018 Blue Book or 2017 State Highway map free of charge, just send us an email!

                                Have a great weekend,                   

             Representative Joel Kitchens




As always, if you have any comments or thoughts regarding the subject of this
E-Update, please feel free to contact me.

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State Capitol Room 10 West - PO Box 8952, Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-5350
Email: Rep.Kitchens@legis.wi.gov