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  • Budget Update
  • State GDP Growth
  • DNR Letter
  • Oconto Listening Session
  • Walley Art Benches


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Budget Update

Last week the Finance Committee wrapped up its final public hearing on the Governor's recommended budget. These hearings are a valuable component to the finance process and are important as we move into the voting process.

Next week begins the legislatures work on the state budget. Over next couple months, we will be going line by line through the state budget to craft one that works for all of Wisconsin, not just Madison and Milwaukee.

The first step in the voting process is to remove non-fiscal policy items from the governor's budget. The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau has identified over 70 items that are non-fiscal policy. This is the second highest amount of non-fiscal policy in a Governor's budget recommendations since 2001. For many of these items, we expect the Governor to reach out to the legislature to pursue them as separate legislation.

Over the last eight years, due to Republican reforms, Wisconsin has experienced tremendous growth. Wisconsin is on its 14th straight month of unemployment at or below 3%. Last year, we had the highest GDP growth since 2010 and will start this budget process with one of the largest balances in 20 years. We can't afford to go backward now.

Unfortunately, we believe the proposed budget by Governor Evers' digs a Doyle-sized deficit. The governor spends so much, the next budget would start with a $2 billion structural deficit. The bottom line is his budget is unsustainable, irresponsible and jeopardizes the progress we've made in the last eight years.

Republicans will live within our means and we will continue to make major investments in the people's priorities. As always, please feel free to reach out to my office with any questions, comments, or concerns.

State GDP Growth Best in 8 Years

The Milwaukee Biz Times reported this week that gross domestic product (GDP) grew at 2.5% in 2018.  This was the highest since 2010 and the second best in the midwest - only trailing Michigan.  Manufacturing accounted for the largest amount of the increase and was the fifth highest of any state in the nation.

This is yet another example of why we can’t turn back on the policies enacted over the last 8 years.  Governor Evers’ budget would increase taxes on manufacturers and agricultural producers. His budget would make it harder to find qualified workers.  His budget would repeal reforms that make it easier for employers to move to and expand in Wisconsin. Governor Evers’ budget would increase spending to unsustainable levels leaving the state with an estimated $2 billion deficit.

The budget crafted by the Legislature will be responsible.  We will not reverse reforms that have resulted in strong growth for our state.  

DNR Letter

This week I sent a letter to WI Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary Preston Cole regarding the City of Marinette’s wastewater permit. Specifically, I called on the DNR to review any part of the permit pertaining to the use and disposal of biosolid sludge containing high concentrations of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). I believe any part of the permit that allows sludge with high PFAS concentrations to be spread on farm fields needs to be suspended until further notice.

As you are aware, PFAS groundwater contamination originating from the testing of firefighting foam is having a significant impact on many residents of the 89th Assembly District. This problem was inadvertently worsened by the spreading of residual wastewater utility sludge that was spread on farm fields as fertilizer throughout Marinette County. This sludge contained high concentrations of PFAS. To the City’s credit, this practice has been halted. However, we need to ensure it cannot resume unless we know the contents being spread are not harmful to humans, water, or wildlife.

Oconto Listening Session

Please join me next Monday, May 6th at the Farnsworth Public Library for a listening session from 4:30-5: 30 pm.

One of the most important parts of my job is to listen to my constituents. Hearing your input helps me make decisions in Madison that properly reflect those I represent. I look forward to seeing you there! Please contact my office with any questions.

Monday, May 6th

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Farnsworth Public Library

715 Main Street


Additionally, my 2019 state budget survey is now available online. As we begin voting on the budget, I’d appreciate your thoughts. Please fill out the survey here.

Walley Art Benches

This summer, new benches will be present around Marinette. A group of talented local artists, designers, and woodworkers are building these benches in the shape of a walleye.

The City of Marinette ordered three benches with each walleye back to be painted by a different local artist: Brenda Socha, an art teacher at Marinette Middle School; Dave Pearson, a local artist who has been showcased in events like Art for All; and Diane Dulak, who won an award for her painting of a metal walleye during the first fish-related local art contest. All the artists are working to finish their projects in the next couple of weeks and put in place before Memorial Day.

The one-of-a-kind benches are meant to be displayed outside during the late spring to mid-fall months and inside during the winter months.

Marinette Mayor Steve Genisot said they purchased these benches to promote and showcase more public art. He states, “I think the biggest thing is we’re going to continue our public art initiatives and help beautify the city and make it more appealing. We’ve committed those three benches to the downtown corridor; but any private benches purchased can be placed anywhere.”

Individuals and businesses can purchase a bench for their own place or can sponsor a bench that will be displayed from the Main Street Antique Mall with each bench costing $2,400.

Keep an eye out for these benches over the next few weeks!

 |State Capitol | Post Office Box 8953 | Madison, Wisconsin 53708 (608) 266-2344 | Toll Free: (888) 534-0089 | Fax: (608) 282-3689 |Rep.Nygren@legis.wi.gov |