June 15, 2017


Greetings


Friends,


It has been a busy month at the Capitol as your State Representative. Since the last E-Update, we've introduced several bills
, including legislation to protect free speech on UW campuses, multiple bills that help to remedy the state's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) shortage, and a bill that helps working adults save for either their own, or their child's higher education. The state budget is still being deliberated over, and I look forward to reviewing the final proposal before it comes to the floor.

Sincerely,

 


Budget Update:


The Capitol has been abuzz with budget talk as we get closer to a finial vote on the full legislation. In the budget so far, Governor Walker has proposed using the legislatures surplus created by our reforms to fund K12 education as well as investments in post secondary trades, and vocational programs. Higher education affordability also remains a priority for the Legislature with a continuing freeze on UW tuition costs for in-state residents. Republicans have shown a dedication to education in this budget, and that's something that I think all Wisconsinites can support.


Employee College Affordability Act


With unemployment levels dropping in Wisconsin, my College Affordability Act allows employers to have another benefit to incentivize potential employees and retain current employees. With concerns about college debt growing nationwide, my bill gives parents and students another way to save money for their education. Currently, individuals in Wisconsin who contribute to a 529 college savings account can deduct the contributions, up to $3100 per beneficiary, from their adjusted gross income amount. The Employee College Affordability Act expands that ability to businesses like what is being done in Nevada. It allows businesses to contribute to a college savings account that is in their employee’s name. The account can be for either the employee themselves or the employee’s children. In return businesses would receive a 25%, non-refundable tax credit for up to $3100 in contributions.

For more information, watch the Employee College Affordability Act Video


Campus Free Speech Act


Just a few weeks ago I introduced the Campus Free Speech Act that reaffirms the state's support and protects everyone's first amendment rights, on UW campuses. It allows for anyone lawfully present at a public university to protest as long as it does not interfere with the rights of others to engage in or listen to expressive activity. If students are found to be repeatedly interfering with the free expression of others, they will be subject to sanctions up to expulsion. Everyone will be able to have their voice heard, and no one will be able to veto or shout down others free speech. Included in this bill is a provision that ensures the institution strive to remain neutral on public policy controversies of the day. No student or employee will be forced to voice an opinion that they do not agree with. Every portion of this bill that discusses what is and isn't free speech has been vetted by prior Supreme Court rulings and first amendment experts. We must ensure that colleges and universities remain the place for the free exchange of ideas and civil debate.

On May 11th, the Committee on Colleges and Universities held a hearing on Campus Free Speech. Recently the committee passed this bill, and I'm looking forward to having the bill on the floor of the full Assembly next week.



For more information, watch the Full Committee Hearing on the College Free Speech Act


EMS Shortage Package


Rural Wisconsin is experiencing a volunteer firefighter/EMS shortage. Our Rural Wisconsin EMS and Fire Reforms package has begun with three separate bills that seek to provide access to current state funding for entry level EMS responders, allow for more flexibility to renew one's EMS license, and allows any EMT to practice at their training level instead of their employers license level, providing a higher level of service to taxpayers.


Thank you to Senator Johnson for briefing our caucus in Madison this month!



 
     


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To Contact Our Office:

State Capitol, Room 17 West
P.O. Box 8952, Madison, WI 53708
Email: Rep.Kremer@legis.wi.gov
Phone: (608) 266-9175
Fax: (608) 282-3659

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