Common Core Statewide Hearings
the state Senate and Assembly have
established select legislative committees to review Common Core Standards (CCS)
in Wisconsin. Common Core sets federal standards for student performance at each
grade level. There are several goals for the committees:
1. Compare and contrast existing Wisconsin education standards with CCS
2. Identify best practices currently used in college and career readiness
3. Provide recommendations on the future of implementation of
CCS in Wisconsin schools
order to engage the public and hear from parents, educators, and all concerned
citizens the Senate and Assembly committees will hold joint hearings across the
state. The first hearing occurred yesterday, Oct 3rd at the State Capitol in
Madison. The upcoming meetings will be held later this month:
1. Wednesday, October 16, 2:00-8:00pm Fond du Lac City/County Building
2. Wednesday, October 23, 2:00-8:00pm Eau Claire Chippewa Valley Tech
3. Wednesday, October 30, 2:00-8:00pm Wausau Northcentral Tech
hearings will include both invited speakers and public testimony. If you are
unable to attend in person, all hearings will be broadcast on Wisconsin Eye.
Rural School Taskforce
I am honored to have been appointed as a member of the
announced Speakers’ Task Force on Rural Schools. 44% of Wisconsin public
school students attend a rural school, where districts are faced with unique
challenges such as declining enrollments and high transportation
We will be studying possible partnerships among school districts,
future transportation needs, and long-term financial outlooks in areas with
declining enrollments. Our first meeting will be held mid-October in Eagle
River. Additional meetings locations and dates will follow, and a task force
report will be issued early next year.
This effort is bipartisan, and
includes members from all corners of the state. Fellow representatives also
serving on the task force include: Rep. Warren Petryk (R-Eleva), Rep. Ed Brooks
(R-Reedsburg), Rep. Mary Williams (R-Medford), Rep. Jeff Mursau (R-Crivitz),
Rep. Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh), Rep. Stephen Nass (R-Whitewater), Rep. Chris
Danou (D-Trempealeau), Rep. Sondy Pope (D-Cross Plains) and Rep. Mandy Wright
(D-Wausau). Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) will serve as Chair, and Rep.
Fred Clark (D-Baraboo) as the vice-Chair.
Alert: Scammers Take Advantage of Health Reform Confusion
Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law
in March 2010, unscrupulous scammers have been creating ways to take advantage
of consumers' uncertainty surrounding the law. Posing as insurance agents or
representatives of the federal government, these scam artists try to sell
fraudulent policies or obtain sensitive information like Social Security and
bank account numbers. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)
and the State of Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) are
warning consumers about common red flags and providing tips on how to avoid
being the victim of a scam.
Insurance or Medicare Cards
A common ploy
involves unsolicited calls from scammers who claim to have your new "Obamacare"
insurance card—they just need to get some information before they can send it to
you. The caller then asks for credit card numbers, bank account information or
your Social Security number.
A variation of this trick specifically targets seniors
on Medicare; the caller claims that in order for them to get their new Medicare
card and continue receiving their benefits, they must verify their bank account
and routing numbers. In other cases callers ask for their Medicare numbers,
which are identical to Social Security numbers. You are not required to obtain
a new insurance or Medicare card under the ACA. Also, anyone who is a legitimate
representative of the federal government will already have your personal and
financial information and should not ask you to provide it.
Here are some other important "red
flags" to watch out for:
• The salesperson says the premium offer is only
good for a limited time.
Enrollment in the exchanges will be open from
October 1 to March 31, and rates for plans in the exchanges will have been
approved for the entire enrollment period. Be skeptical of someone who is trying
to pressure you into buying a policy because the rate is only good for a short
time. Remember: if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The salesperson says you could go to jail for not having health
Starting in 2014, all Americans will be required to have health
insurance. You will not face jail time if you do not purchase health insurance.
However, those who remain uninsured and do not qualify for any exemptions will
face a penalty of $95 (for each adult) or 1% of family income, whichever is
You receive an unsolicited phone call or e-mail from someone trying to sell
insurance that you do not know. You may receive a phone call from an insurance
agent or a navigator; however, always verify the identity of the person
contacting you. Check with OCI and the
exchange for the person's license number and ask for
The best way to protect yourself from
insurance fraud is to research the agent and company you're considering. Always
STOP before writing a check, signing a
contract or giving out personal information. CALL the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and
CONFIRM that the agent and company are
licensed to write insurance in Wisconsin.
The federal government is running the exchange in
Wisconsin and the link can be found on www.healthcare.gov. You can find
additional information on the HHS Web