February 13, 2013

Working for you!

Capitol Update

Welcome to my second e-news! As many of you know, former Representative Michelle Litjens gave me her mailing list, so that's why many of you are receiving this. If you don't want to get my e-news, reply with "unsubscribe" in the subject line.

My priority is serving my constituents, and I want to be of help to you and your family. If you have a problem involving a state agency, please let me know and I will do what I can to get you a clear answer. I hope you'll feel free to contact me with questions or comments on state issues that matter to you.

Keep in mind that you can express your views on any state matter by attending hearings, emailing any member of the legislature, calling a legislative office, or by sending a letter. All of these communication methods hold the same weight...you don't have to be at a hearing to have your voice heard.

Right the Rules

Most of us would say there's too much regulation and even outdated rules and codes in government. Pointless or confusing regulations can be difficult to follow, delay projects, add cost and paperwork to otherwise simple projects, or be a waste of time because they are duplicative. The Administrative Code is comprised of rules that state agencies have written over the years to enforce laws passed by the legislature. Right now, the Code has 1,768 chapters and is nearly 12,000 pages long.

This session, the Assembly is taking the initiative to clean up Wisconsin's burdensome regulations. Right the Rules is our plan to comb through all sections of Administrative Code and find unnecessary and duplicative rules and clean up the code.

We hope you'll take time to look at the code with us and ask questions like these:

  • Does this protect the public from a threat to health, safety or welfare?
  • Does this promote or hinder job growth?
  • How much does it cost to implement this item?
  • Is this rule outdated?

I encourage everyone to help in this effort. You play a critical role in determining what regulations should be reviewed so we can do better. Please go to the project website and help us "Right the Rules!" Over 8,000 visits to the site have been registered already! http://legis.wisconsin.gov/committee/jcrar/Pages/default.aspx.

Student Representative Sought for UW System Board of Regents

Governor Walker is seeking applicants to be the next student representative on the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. This must be someone who is enrolled half time or more in a UW institution, who is in good academic standing, a Wisconsin resident, and enrolled for their entire term on the Regents.

Since the Madison and Parkside campuses have recently been represented, the applicants must be from other campuses. For more information, please go to the governor's website: www.walker.wi.gov and click on the Apply to Serve button. The deadline to submit application materials is February 20th.

Regulation of Iron Mining in Wisconsin: Amendments to the Bills

The regulation of iron mining in our state took another step forward last week, as 11 amendments were added to Assembly Bill 1 and Senate Bill 1 after bipartisan discussions. As with most philosophical differences, there will never be a perfect middle ground. I'm proud of the work done by the bill's authors and the committee members who have learned about this legislation and its potential impact, asked questions, and listened to the public's views. I'm glad that they are committed to making responsible ferrous mining a possibility in our state.

On Saturday, February 2nd, I visited the potential mine site near Hurley. I had the opportunity to speak with local people about iron mining, and to see their excitement about the possibility of solid economic development in their area.  Engineers were with us to explain the ferrous mining process from inception to reclamation. For example, I learned that if mining occurs here, a company would need to provide 300 acres of wetlands to compensate for the 200 acres they would fill for the project. I also learned that the 200 filled acres are part of the current 175,000 acres of wetland in Iron County.

I was particularly impressed with very long-term vision of local folks. They talked with me about the infrastructure they already have in place to handle an increased population and business activity, including room for school-aged children, as the need arises. They understand mining is part of our state's past, they want the economic development iron mining can bring to the region and the state now, and ultimately, they see decades down the road when the mining site is reclaimed and becomes a natural draw for tourism and local enjoyment.

Rep. Murphy and other legislators use magnets to feel the magnetization of the iron ore rock.

My Madison Office

I live in Greenville, but have an office in the State Capitol in Madison. If you are in downtown Madison, please feel free to stop in and say hello! Just go to the information desk in the rotunda, and they can direct you on how to find my office, 304 North. At the bottom of each e-news, you'll see my office contact information.

If your school is touring the Capitol building this spring, please let me know. I'd love to visit with you for a few minutes and take a group photo with you.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. I look forward to a productive and informative legislative session!

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Rep.Murphy@legis.wisconsin.gov State Capitol Room 304 North - PO Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708 Toll Free: (888) 534-0056 or (608) 266-7500