Friday, May 22 2015

Legislative Updates

Food Share Benefit Restrictions and Drug Testing Requirements

Last week, the Assembly passed AB 177, a bill I co-sponsored requiring SNAP (food stamp) benefit recipients to utilize at least 67 percent of their monthly benefits for nutritious foods; foods approved under the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. The complete list of approved foods can be viewed here. This measure will likely be included in the 2015-17 state budget.

Another bill I co-sponsored, AB 191, requires FoodShare recipients, those seeking Unemployment Insurance benefits and adults without dependent children enrolled in BadgerCare Plus to undergo drug testing prior to receiving benefits. This bill passed the Assembly 62-33 last week, and has now been included by the Joint Finance Committee as part of the 2015-17 state budget. To view the budget motion that includes these requirements, please click here.


70MPH Speed Limit

On Wednesday, Governor Walker signed AB 27 into law, which increases the maximum speed limit from 65 to 70 miles per hour. Please be aware that while the increase could take effect as early as this summer, the increased limit is not in effect until the limit has been visibly posted on a particular highway!


 Prevailing Wage

Over the past few weeks, many of you have contacted me regarding AB 32/SB 49, the prevailing wage repeal bill introduced in February by Representative Rob Hutton and Senator Leah Vukmir. Click the bill links above to view the full list of Legislators who support this bill.

As an original co-sponsor of this bill, I believe that now is the time to repeal our state's prevailing wage laws. By their very nature, prevailing wage laws are meant to eliminate competition; the very foundation of a free economy. These antiquated laws artificially inflate wages, and in the end, cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

On May 5, the Senate Committee on Labor and Government Reform held a hearing on the bill (click here to watch the hearing). However, the Committee failed to pass the bill by a vote of 2-3, with Republican Senator Howard Marklein joining Democrat Senators Chris Larson (Milwaukee) and Bob Wirch (Somers) as a "no" vote.

The Assembly version of the bill, AB 32, has been referred to the Committee on Labor and awaits a public hearing.

According to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, prevailing wage repeal is "probably not realistic." Senate Majority Leader, Scott Fitzgerald, has echoed this sentiment, noting the 17 votes (majority) necessary for the measure to pass in the Senate. The Senate is composed of 14 Democrats and 19 Republicans.

Please know that I will do whatever I can to help further the repeal of prevailing wage in the Legislature, and will give it my full support should the bill come before me for a vote on the Assembly floor. Should you have further questions on the status of this bill, please feel free to contact my office.

 Happy Memorial Day!

Monday is Memorial Day - a precious day on which we remember the selfless men and women who have given their lives for our freedom.

Please take time to thoughtfully reflect on the meaning of this special day to honor those that have so greatly sacrificed for the liberty and freedom that we all enjoy.


 Spring Tours

The end of the school year is upon us - which means spring tour season at the Capitol! The halls of the Capitol continue to echo with the voices of exuberant children and tour groups as they explore our beautiful state capitol building.

Thank you to Campbellsport Elementary, Eden Elementary and Allenton Elementary for your recent visits to our state capitol!

Here is some helpful information if you are considering a visit:

To schedule a tour, please contact the tour desk for assistance at (608) 261-4358 or visit this link to schedule your tour online.

Memorial Day Hours: The Capitol will be open and regularly scheduled tours will occur. The building will close at 4 p.m.

Observation Deck and Museum: The observation deck and 6th floor museum are open for the season. Hours are:


    Monday-Friday: 9-5

    Saturday: 9-3:45

    Sunday: 12 p.m. -3:45


Tour Group Photos: Please contact my office one week prior to your groups visit to arrange for a commemorative photo to be taken of your group.

Executive Residence Tours: The Governor's Mansion, located at 99 Cambridge Road in Madison, is open to the public on Thursday afternoons from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. April through August. Tours are free of charge, and no prior notice is necessary for groups with less than 20 visitors. For groups with more than 20 people, please call (608) 246-5501 to make a reservation. Parking is available on the street in front of the residence, handicapped parking is available on request upon arrival. And don't forget your camera!

To learn more about the Executive Residence, please visit the website at

                                      Spring Survey


Responses continue to roll in from my Spring Survey. Thank you to all who have already taken the online version and to the many that have mailed in a paper copy.

If you haven't yet received it or if you wish to save a stamp, I invite you to check out the survey at my website.

I look forward to reading your feedback!


Your Feedback is Important!

As always, I hope this information is helpful to you. Please know that I welcome your feedback, questions and 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!





If you wish to be removed from this mailing list, please email me your request. All unsubscribe requests must include the email address at which the unwanted mail is being received. For example, you may receive e-mail at a forwarded address that is not in our database. We can only unsubscribe recorded emails. Thank you!

 State Capitol, Room 17 West

P.O. Box 8952, Madison, WI 53708
(888) 534-0059