Joan Ballweg was born the oldest of four to a first generation American in West Allis, WI on March 16, 1952, and she is the state representative for the 41st Assembly District located in south central Wisconsin. Her district includes Ripon on the east, Green Lake, Marquette, and Adams Counties, and Wisconsin Dells and Lake Delton on the west. Joan and her husband, Tom, live in Markesan in Green Lake County.
Joan and Tom own and operate a John Deere Farm Equipment dealership in Waupun and a yard and garden store in Beaver Dam, and then have been in that business since 1976. Joan graduated in 1974 from UW-Stevens Point, and was a first grade teacher before she and Tom went into business.
Her public service began in Markesan, where she served as alderperson on the Markesan City Council for 4 years, and then served as mayor for another 6 years. Later, she sat on the Waupun Memorial Hospital Board of Directors and was Chair from 2002 to 2004. From 2003 to 2004, she also served on the management committee of Agnesian HealthCare Enterprises.
Currently, Joan is the Co-Chair of the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules, and Vice-Chair of the Committee on Regulatory Licensing Reform. She is also a member of the following committees: Children and Families, Colleges and Universities, International Affairs and Commerce, Jobs and the Economy, Mental Health Rules, Tourism and Joint Legislative Council. Joan was re-appointed as a commissioner to the Midwestern Higher Education Compact and elected into the leadership rotation of the Council of State Governments, a national organization serving all three branches of government, where she will serve as Chair in 2020. Additionally, Joan served as the Chair of the Speaker's Task Force on Suicide Prevention this legislative session.
Her special legislative interests include initiatives relating to administrative rules and strengthening families and early childhood education. In 2014, Joan chaired the Legislative Council Steering Committee for Supporting Healthy Early Brain Development. In 2015, she also initiated a bi-partisan Wisconsin Legislative Children’s Caucus, which is focused on informing legislative colleagues about and building support for evidence-informed investments in children and families. She continues her involvement with the caucus as one of the four co-chairs for the 2019-20 legislative session. In addition, she is also a member of the Wisconsin Child Abuse Neglect and Prevention Board.