Carry Act Circulated for Support
Last week I circulated the
Campus Carry Act for support in the Legislature. So far the proposal
has 25 cosponsors (20 Assembly, 5 Senate) and has received much attention
from around the state.
current concealed carry law was signed into law in July 2011 and made
Wisconsin the 49th state to adopt a concealed carry law. However, one of the
law's few exceptions allows University of Wisconsin System schools and
technical colleges the discretion to ban weapons inside campus buildings,
despite being unable to ban weapons on campus grounds. Unfortunately, because
of this exception, UW schools are effectively able to nullify the right of
students, faculty and visitors to arm themselves for self-defense when
walking to and from campus.
The subject of
weapons and the right to carry them openly or concealed usually stirs deeply-held, passionate beliefs from both sides. The release of this legislation was
no exception. I would like to point out a few things to hopefully help clear
up some of the confusion that I have heard so far on this proposal.
This bill will not allow teens or children to carry weapons.
Current law requires you to be 21
or older to obtain a permit. A very small percentage of any campus
population (juniors, seniors grad students and faculty) will even be
legally permitted to carry if they wish to do so.
Fear of people with guns. Many
have made known that their intense fear of weapons is made worse by this legislation.
This legislation simply extends the legality of concealed carry on
campus grounds into campus buildings. The truth is, concealed carry permit
holders may be anywhere around you at any given time, in any given
place. Concealed carry has been the law of the land for 4 years now with
a proven, safe track
Not enough training required for concealed carry permits.
Current law requires that an individual
complete a firearms or hunter's safety course
taught by a certified instructor before carrying a firearm. Course
requirements and other information can be found on the
Wisconsin Department of Justice's website. Concealed weapon carriers
have a high burden of personal responsibility to ensure proficiency,
responsibility and safety when carrying their weapon. This is enforced
in any state certified weapons course and will be observed by a
responsible, law abiding citizen concerned with his safety and that of
4. With this law, students will be more
likely to kill themselves or others.
Removing a "no weapons" sign will not make a person more or less
inclined to commit a violent crime. Absent this legislation, a student
could certainly still carry a weapon into a classroom and shoot another
student or faculty member. With this bill, someone may be able to stop a
shooting from occurring.
5. Alcohol consumption on campus will
contribute to an increase in shootings.
It is a class A misdemeanor for anyone to be armed when under the
influence of alcohol. Knowing the law and observing it will prevent this
It is important to understand that
concealed carry permit holders have gone through the legal channels
necessary to legally carry a firearm and have a duty to do so lawfully.
This legislation is a knee-jerk reaction to the Oregon campus shooting.
This bill has been "in the works" since May and is a common-sense
measure to protect students who may fall victim to a violent crime when
walking unarmed to or from campus.
You can read
more on the Campus Carry Act by
visiting my website. Click
here to view a recent interview with Frederica Freyberg on Wisconsin
Public Television's Here and Now program.
Grant Trolling Permits for the Blind
Last Wednesday, I testified on
my bill to codify blindness in Wisconsin statute as a qualifier for a
trolling permit. Currently, only amputees are listed in statute.
those who are unfamiliar with trolling, to troll means to trail a lure
or bait from a boat powered by a motor. In July of this year, a trolling
rule was implemented to allow all anglers, regardless of disability, to
troll for fish on inland waters statewide. However, the Natural
Resources Board added a 2018 sunset clause. Thus, it is necessary to add
blindness to the disabilities currently in statute to ensure that blind
anglers and their assistant are able to legally troll should the current
rule sunset in 2018.
DNR biologists have confirmed that no harmful biological effects to
fisheries in lakes have occurred where trolling is legal. Per the DNR,
trolling is broadly allowed in surrounding states and Canadian territories.
Senator Duey Stroebel is the
on the bill.
Doe and Campaign Finance Reforms
On Wednesday night,
Wisconsin State Assembly voted to reorganize the Government
Accountability Board (GAB) in favor of separate, bi-partisan ethics and
election models (AB
388). The Assembly also passed long-overdue campaign finance reforms
These reforms were necessary due to recent court rulings
stifling free speech in Wisconsin.
However, Democrats refused to vote on these finance reforms, making the
final vote 61-0. Both of these bills have been sent to the Senate.
In addition, major John Doe reforms were
passed by both the Senate and Assembly, and were signed into law by
Governor Walker today. By now you have likely heard of the many
unconstitutional abuses of power during the John Doe investigations over
the past few years. Current law allows prosecutors the ability to
investigate people in secret for any reason, and to continue
investigations until they find some reason to charge them.
will limit the use of this secretive process to certain crimes while
expanding protections for individuals who have not yet been charged with
a crime. It is important to note that no current crimes are made legal,
and no special prosecution class is created.
The legislature's job is to protect the rights of citizens against
abuse, and that includes abusive prosecutors. SB 43 is about
transparency and accountability and I'm proud to have voted in favor of
this important bill.
Legislative Audit Committee Approves Audit of DOT State Highway Program
On October 15, the
Legislative Audit Committee approved an audit request for the DOT's
State Highway Program. Recently, legislators and others have raised a
number of questions about Wisconsin’s state highways, including whether
DOT is appropriately managing the planning, design, construction and
maintenance of state highways. An
of the State Highway Program will:
Examine changes and trends in revenue,
expenditures, staffing and state highway conditions over time;
Analyze and consider potential improvements
to DOT’s planning, design, construction, and maintenance processes for
the State Highway Program including the traffic forecasting,
construction bidding and engineering selection processes;
Compare the estimated cost of state highway
projects as determined by DOT before project work began, with the actual
cost of completed projects;
Assess DOT’s performance measures,
including those related to highway evaluate DOT’s use of such measures
to inform its management on the State Highway Program; and
Determine the extent to which DOT has
implemented relevant recommendations made in our past audit reports.
This comprehensive audit is a good next step
to finding more efficient ways to fund our state's transportation needs. The
elimination of most prevailing wage projects was a good start and will
continue to have a ripple effect for taxpayers to see more road paved per
dollar than they would have in the past.
Here are some events coming up in the
district. As you may know, this week is Fire Prevention Week. Be sure to
check out the fun events planned around the district!
Saturday, October 24
Make a Difference Day
Catholic Financial Life Chapter 266 of
New Holstein will be participating in this annual event. Chapter members
and community volunteers will be raking for the elderly and disabled. To
volunteer or request assistance, please contact Ralph Brill at 898-5936
or Joan Kabat at 898-4520. Questions about the event can be directed to
either Ralph or Joan.
Migration Mysteries Exploring Nature Program
Ice Age Visitor Center,
N2875 State Hwy 67
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Why do animals migrate? Where do they go?
How do they find their way? Come find the answers to these questions and
unravel some other mysteries of migration. This program is best for
families/groups with children between the ages of 6 and 12.
Thursday, October 29
Jack Russell Memorial Library, 100 Park Avenue Hartford
Join former Ringling Brothers and Barnum &
Bailey clowns, Miller and Mike, for a one-of-a-kind comedy performance.
This family show is high-energy and fast-paced, full of circus skills,
audience participation and good clean fun. Cooperatively sponsored by
the Library and Friends of the Hartford Library.
An internship position is still available in my
office. If you or someone you know is interested in this opportunity, please
submit your resume and letter of interest to
Intern responsibilities may include: filing, data entry, mailings and light
policy research. Intern will be expected to be available in Madison at least
one day per week, dates and times are flexible.
Please contact the office at (608) 266-9175 or send the office an email if
you have any questions.
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!