August 30, 2013

Working for you!

District Spring Survey Results

Thank you to all who responded to my Spring 2013 Survey by mail, email, online or phone. I received over 500 survey responses, and a few more trickle in each week. I appreciated hearing from you! This was an informal way to get some feedback from you on a variety of issues and hear about your concerns.

Please note: This was not a scientific, independently conducted survey, so the numbers below are a close approximation based on the surveys returned. Some people only answered a few questions, some completed the entire survey, and some wrote comments, especially if the answer options didn't represent their views.  Some people told me they thought the questions were biased, but my only purpose was to get feedback from you and encourage interaction between us, so I believe it served its purpose. A big part of democracy is feedback, and I always enjoy listening to my constituents.

  • Over 73% of you said the appropriate role of state government is to limits its interaction with us and allow for more individual freedoms.
  • About half of respondents support decreasing the lower three income tax brackets for middle class tax relief.
  • Just over half of you support rewarding high performing teachers, but nearly that many oppose this.
  • Parental choice and voucher programs were almost evenly split between support and opposition.
  • 70% think FoodShare recipients shouldn't be allowed to use their benefits on soda and candy.
  • 68% said they want the state to reform laws that drive up the cost of goods and services due to lawsuits.
  • 63% want to eliminate voter fraud by making laws that reduce the chance of fraud.
  • 60% want to eliminate beautification elements on DOT projects, 23% support increasing taxes for transportation needs and 19% think the state should cut transportation projects.
  • 53% oppose toll ways to pay for our transportation projects.
  • 69% believe gun owner rights are more important than gun ownership laws.
  • Virtually all respondents support eliminating outdated and unnecessary rules in the state's administrative code.
  • Half of the replies on unemployment assistance said benefits are too easy to get, and half said they are just about right the way they are. 27 people indicated benefits are too difficult to get.

Those of you who ordered maps and other publications should have received them by now. If not, let me know and I'll send another out to you. Please note that if you requested publications but did not let me know your name and address, I wasn't able to mail them to you.

Murphy Legislation

I have 4 bills in the works right now. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts on these initiatives, or ask any questions about the bills or the legislative process.
  • Assembly Bill 288: Library reimbursements. You may have read about this in the news. I read about it back in February, and approached the libraries to fix what I saw as an unfair system. Right now, consolidated county libraries (such as Brown County) can request compensation from adjacent counties for services provided to residents of those counties, and those counties are required to pay. Adjacent libraries (such as Outagamie Waupaca Library system) can bill their adjacent county library, but in that case, the other library is exempt from paying. My bill would require that these types of counties  pay each other upon request and/or negotiate equitable inter-county service agreements.
  • Assembly Bill 286: Landfill finance management. Landfill owners have the financial responsibility to cover the costs of closing a landfill and maintaining the property after it closes. This bill would allow additional types of investments to save money for landfill owners and municipalities.
  • Assembly Bill 287: Allowing the sale of raw milk in Wisconsin. This would allow the sale of raw milk only on site at a participating farm that has a sign stating raw milk is sold there. Also, the milk must be in a clean container, labeled as raw with the producer's name, in compliance with the Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) rules for Grade A milk, and with a water supply compliant with DATCP rules for dairy operations. The raw milk could not be transported by the farmer and sold to a farmer's market or store; interested consumers would have to buy it at the farm.
  • LRB 1591/2:  (not yet introduced) This will help builders and developers know what their requirements are at the front end of a project by locking them into existing requirements at the time of their application for approval.

Affordable Care Act: Statewide public meetings


The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance in Wisconsin is offering town hall meetings throughout the state to explain and answer questions about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). I strongly encourage you to attend one of these meetings to clarify the changes to health insurance that are approaching. I'm listing all the meetings, so if you are traveling and still want to attend, you can find a location near you. Due to a family commitment, I am unable to attend the Appleton meeting.

  • Tuesday, Sept. 3rd: Oneida County Sheriff's Dept. Training Ctr, 2000 East Winnebago St, Rhinelander. 10:30-noon.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 3rd: North Central Technical College, 1000 W Campus Dr, Wausau. 3:00pm-4:30pm
  • Tuesday, Sept. 3rd: LE Phillips Memorial Library, 400 Eau Claire St, Eau Claire. 10:00am-11:30am
  • Tuesday, Sept. 3rd: La Crosse Public Library, 800 Main St, La Crosse. 3:00pm-4:30pm
  • Wed, Sept. 4th: West Allis Public Library, 7421 W National Ave, West Allis. 11:00am-12:30pm
  • Wed, Sept. 4th: Pewaukee Public Library, 210 Main St, Pewaukee. 2:00pm-3:30pm
  • Thurs, Sept. 5th: Kenosha Public Library, 7979 39th Ave, Kenosha. 10:00am-11:30am
  • Thurs, Sept. 5th: Northeastern Technical College, 2740 West Mason St, Green Bay. 10:00am-11:30am
  • Thurs, Sept. 5th: Appleton Public Library, 225 N Oneida St, Appleton. 2:00pm-3:30pm
  • Fri, Sept. 6th: American Family Insurance Training Ctr, 6000 American Family Dr, Madison. 2:00pm-3:30pm
  • Fri, Sept. 6th: Lakeshore Technical College, 1290 North Ave, Cleveland, WI. 3:00pm-4:30pm

My Madison Office

2013-2014 BLUE BOOKS will soon be available for distribution! The Wisconsin Blue Book is published in odd years, and details the current members of the legislature, our federal representatives, the governor, the Wisconsin Constitution, courts, and all state agencies, councils and boards. The Blue Book is available online at: 2011-2012 Wisconsin Blue Book Home Page. Please contact my office if you'd like a hard copy at no charge.

I live in Greenville, but have an office at the State Capitol in Madison. If you are in downtown Madison, please feel free to stop by 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 or group plans to tour the Capitol building, please let me know. I'd love to visit with you for a few minutes and take a group photo.

Remember, anyone can watch the Assembly in session (and most committee meetings, as well) through WisconsinEye.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.

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