Friday, February 13 2015

Welcome to my E-update!

Welcome to my first e-update! This e-newsletter will be a periodic communication sent to you, often on Friday afternoons, recapping important legislative events and relaying information of importance to you.

 Please submit your feedback on what you would like to see included in these communications. I hope this will be a helpful, informative way for me to stay in touch with you.

2/12 Assembly Floor Session

Yesterday, the Assembly took up and passed eight bills: Assembly Bills (AB) 10, 11, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19 and Senate Bill (SB) 6/AB 9. All were passed via voice vote and now await Senate action.

Two bills that I believe are particularly significant are AB 10 and AB 19, relating to protecting victims of domestic abuse and harassment from out of state abusers, and preventing the placement of a GPS tracking device on a vehicle without prior consent of the individual being tracked (with the exception for law enforcement, parents tracking minor children, lien holders and businesses tracking their property). As an original co-sponsor of both bills, I was happy to support them on the floor of the Assembly with my vote. To view my press release on these bills, please click here.

2015-17 Biennial Budget

On Tuesday, February 3, Governor Scott Walker gave his biennial budget address before a joint session of the Legislature in the Assembly chamber. In his address, he laid out his vision and plans for the state's two year budget. The Governor's proposed budget includes investments in worker training, a plan for the UW System, support for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena and rural initiatives. While you may have strong feelings about some or all of the Governor's proposed budget, please know that this is only the beginning of the process.

The Assembly and Senate are now beginning to dissect AB/SB 21, the massive budget bill (1,839 pages!) that will likely continue to grow in size as it moves through the process. Both legislative bodies will work with the Joint Finance Committee to hold hearings around the state, giving Wisconsinites a chance to have their opinions heard.

The graphic below is a helpful tool to picture where the budget is currently located in the process.


Wisconsin's budget covers a two-year period from July 1st of an odd numbered year through June 30 of the next odd-numbered year. The budget process is usually a year-long process, beginning in the fall of the even numbered year when state agencies submit their requests to the Department of Administration (DOA). These requests are compiled and sent to the Governor for review. The Governor's proposed budget is then submitted to the Joint Finance Committee for review. Once passed by the Committee, it moves on to the Senate and Assembly for final passage.

In order to keep things running smoothly, the budget should be signed and effective by July 1st of the odd-numbered year (July 1, 2015). If the legislature fails to pass the bill by this deadline, all state agencies will continue to operate at their previous appropriation amounts from the prior budget until the new budget is passed.

Please use the following links if you are interested in learning more about the budget process:

* All About the Biennial Budget

* Budget in Brief

* Agency Budget Requests

* Major Budget Policies

Miller Park Stadium District Audit

Representative Thomas Weatherston (R-62) recently circulated a letter for legislative support, urging the Joint Legislative Audit Committee to perform an audit on the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District, also known as the Miller Park Stadium District. As a representative of a portion of Washington County, one of the counties affected by the tax, I was happy to sign this letter in support of this audit.

As many of you are likely aware, the Miller Park stadium tax was set to expire in 2014. The current forecast now shows it could continue as far into the future as 2020! I and my legislative colleagues agree that this is unacceptable, and are requesting this audit to determine the reason for the continuation of this tax.

Please be assured that I will keep you updated on the status of this audit. If you wish to read the letter, please click here.

Website is Up and Running!

I know many of you have wondered where my website was the first few weeks of January. I'm pleased to say that while there were some technical glitches in the beginning, everything is now up and running smoothly!

On my website you will find links to all of my press releases, archives of past e-updates, letters I've signed (such as the Miller Park Stadium District audit request), editorials ("In Jesse's Opinion"), district information, links to helpful state websites and much more.

Please bear with us while we continue to work at optimizing the layout and adding new content. My website will be one of the best ways to stay up to date with what is going on in Madison, so please check in regularly!

To visit my website, go to


Assembly Republicans Forward Agenda

To help prepare for the upcoming session and enable the legislature to hit the ground running, Wisconsin Assembly Republicans unveiled the Forward Agenda.  It focuses on making Wisconsin a better place to work, raise a family, and retire. The agenda has five areas of reform:  building a stronger economy, improving education, creating stronger families and safer neighborhoods, promoting self-sufficiency and responding to changing technology. 

The Forward Agenda is a broad outline of ideas. We are focused on not just the next two years, but also the entire next decade and next generation. These proactive ideas and big-picture visions can help lay the groundwork for a better and more secure future for our kids and grandkids.

To learn more, you can view the entire agenda here.

 Share your ideas at , and on Facebook at .


Your Feedback is Important!

This concludes my first e-update. I hope this information is helpful to you. I welcome your feedback, questions or concerns. To contact me, you can call my office toll-free at (888) 534-0059, or email me at I look forward to hearing from you!




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E-Update, please feel free to contact me.

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State Capitol,
Room 17 West - P.O. Box 8952, Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-9175