Bill to Address Lead Laden Water One of Six Cowles’ Bills to Clear Assembly "Recognizing that each community is different and a one-size fits all solution will not work, the local control provided by this bill will help us to remove this aging, harmful water infrastructure. I am disappointed the Assembly was unable to concur with the unanimous decision of the Senate, but am optimistic that SB 48 will be passed in early 2018."
Senate Approves Cowles/Jacque Brownfields Reform Bill “Brownfields are a huge impediment in economic development. Senate Bill 173 rethinks the way we deal with brownfields. SB 173 will remove some of the hurdles faced by local governments and developers and will turn more blighted properties into productive developments that benefit the entire community."
Assembly Committee Passes Cowles/Jacque Brownfields Reform Bill “Brownfields are a huge impediment in economic development. These properties present economic, environmental, public health, and social challenges to hundreds of Wisconsin communities. Local governments have prioritized turning these properties from blight into usable and taxable properties, creating jobs and increasing property values. However, our current regulatory structure too often stymies redevelopment."
Clean Water Access Bill Passes Senate “Access to clean drinking water is vital to human health. Today’s action by the Senate on AB 226 provides hope to those who don’t have easy access to clean drinking water. The Clean Water Access Bill is not a cure-all silver bullet, but assistance in replacing failing septic tanks and contaminated wells is an important step forward for the residents of Northeast Wisconsin."
Cowles Bill to Improve Water Infrastructure in State Parks Approved by Senate “The Parks Revitalization Act is designed to tackle the ongoing issue of degrading water infrastructure in some of our most visited parks. Good drinking water quality should not be optional when it comes to the health and safety of our visitors. By addressing the critical water infrastructure projects identified by the DNR, we can continue to ensure that our state park visitors have an enjoyable outdoors experience and continue to use our parks."
Senate Responds to Public Health Concerns with Bill to Address Lead Laden Water "The Leading on Lead Act addresses the public health concerns that thousands of Wisconsin citizens, especially children are faced with every day from lead laden drinking water. Lead laterals are a significant source of lead contamination in our communities, but many of the impacted homeowners don’t have the means to replace these pipes. Today, the Senate overwhelmingly decided that this shouldn’t prevent Wisconsinites from clean and safe drinking water."
Bill to Improve Water Infrastructure in State Parks Passes Senate Committee “The Parks Revitalization Act is designed to tackle the ongoing issue of degrading water infrastructure in some of our most visited parks. By addressing these critical water infrastructure projects, we can continue to ensure that our state park visitors have an enjoyable outdoors experience and continue to patronize our parks."
Cowles Applauds Brown County OWI Court Proposal “Time after time, treatment has been proven to be more effective than punishment when dealing with offenders that have substance addictions. If an offender receives a fourth OWI, clearly punishment has failed to change their behavior. This program shows great promise in addressing the root of the problem by solving the addiction instead of focusing solely on the offense."
Senator Cowles Releases a Statement on the Budget’s Passage “Overall, this is a good budget for Northeast Wisconsin. By prioritizing education and supporting training for Wisconsin’s workers, this budget will help to move our state forward."
Uncertainties Remain on Foxconn Deal “The decision to vote no on the Foxconn incentive package did not come easy. Weeks of work were committed towards reviewing this package, but questions still remained. Unfortunately at this time, I was unable to support this specific legislation.”
Audit Assesses the Veterans Home at King “I am encouraged that the audit found, generally, the Veterans Home at King is running well, however I think the findings in the audit raise an important issue about the healthcare workforce shortage in Wisconsin. It is my hope that future work regarding this audit will contribute valuable information about the long-term health needs of our veterans and necessary staffing levels to provide them quality healthcare.”
Act 54 Helps Wisconsin Catch Criminals at the Pump "Credit card skimmers are one of the latest major threats to consumer protection, as the skimmers are easy to obtain, easy to use, hard to identify, and hard to track. Dozens of communities have already felt the impact of these identity thieves, but Wisconsin’s criminal statutes have been lagging behind. Today, we changed that."
GLRI Funding is Vital in the Fight against an Asian Carp Invasion "The federal government’s financial commitment pales in comparison to that of state and local governments, but is crucial to the long-term health of the Great Lakes. At a time where the Great Lakes are improving but threats still remain, reducing federal funding to Great Lakes restoration should be viewed as nothing less than reckless."
‘Ruff’ Burden on Law Enforcement Removed by Cowles/Jacque Bill “Until today, handlers, who regularly spend 40 hours a week or more with their K-9 partner, found their hands tied by state statutes while a crucial member of the police force sat on the sidelines. By allowing K-9 officers to stay in the field after a biting event, law enforcement will save the tax payers money and continue to protect public safety with one of the best tools available to them."
Cowles/Kitchens Bill Provides Hope for Access to Clean Water “Access to clean drinking water is vital to human health, and today’s action by the Assembly on the Clean Water Access Bill (AB 226) provides hope to those residents who do not have it. The Clean Water Access Bill is not a silver bullet, but assistance in replacing failing septic tanks and contaminated wells is a step forward for the residents of Northeast Wisconsin."
Cowles Bill to Protect Consumers at the Pump Passes the Full Legislature "Dozens of communities have felt the impact of these identity thieves, and Wisconsin’s criminal statutes have lagged behind. Today, we changed that. With the Governor’s signature, law enforcement and prosecutors will have the penalties they need to stop criminals before they place credit card skimmers and to properly punish them for stealing personal information."
Skimmers Bill Sees Success on the Senate Floor “I have authored Senate Bill 133 to protect consumers and punish criminals. Since 2015, countless residents in over 25 Wisconsin communities have gone to fill their gas tank or take cash out at the ATM, and shortly after, they felt the impact of having their personal information in the hands of a criminal. Today, the Senate took action to change that."
Committees Approve Proposal to Combat Credit Card Skimmers “Through weeks of working with numerous stakeholders, including the Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association, the Association of State Prosecutors, the Department of Justice, and the Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, we came to an amicable solution to one of the largest current threats to consumer protection."
A Day to Pay Homage "Every man and woman who has taken time to serve our country deserves our deepest gratitude, but those who made the ultimate sacrifice hold an honor that is unmatched. No matter how you choose to celebrate your Memorial Day weekend, please take a moment to remember those brave souls who perished to ensure our freedom."
Audit Notes WEDC Improvements and Makes Additional Recommendations "A cloud will continue remain over the agency until they can accurately verify data being received from award recipients. While WEDC has significantly improved in several areas relating to the administration of its programs, Wisconsin needs to have a precise understanding as to which programs are most beneficial to our economy."
Highway Project Accountability Bill Passes the Senate "With Senate Bill 85 passing the Senate, we are one step closer to further accountability and transparency in our transportation design and construction. The audit revealed an unacceptable trend of under-estimating the cost of major highway projects during enumeration, and today’s unanimous approval of the bill proves that my colleagues and I are serious about ensuring full cost estimates when conducting business with taxpayer dollars."
Audit Reviews Revenues, Expenditures, and Capital Projects at King “I am encouraged that they apparently already have funds that can be utilized to fix several concerns raised regarding the facility. I feel it is critical that DVA develop a robust plan to expend the balance on improving the King facility and its care for veterans. Additionally, I want to see the next phase of the audit to dive further in detail about how we can achieve better outcomes for our veterans at King.”
Highway Project Accountability Bill Advances in the Legislature “I am pleased to say that both the Senate Committee on Transportation and Veterans Affairs and the Assembly Committee on Transportation have recommended this bill for passage. The Audit Bureau, through utilizing their team of experts, undertook one of the largest audits in recent history. This is a shining example of an audit being put into action. I call on my colleagues in both houses to bring this bill to the floor.”
Senator Cowles Statement on Non-Fiscal Policy Items being taken out of the State Budget "I strongly applaud the move made by the Joint Finance Committee Chairs to remove all of the non-fiscal policy items from the state budget. I have long been an opponent of non-fiscal policy items in the state budget. I have said, for several budgets, that these items should all be stripped out and discussed through the committee process with public input, as separate legislation."
Senator Cowles Statement on the Death of Ashwaubenon Village President Mike Aubinger “I’m terribly saddened to learn about the death of Mike Aubinger. The Village of Ashwaubenon was fortune to have Mike serve for nearly eight years as a strong community advocate and a great leader. More than that, Mike was a dedicated husband and family-man, and a great friend."
Senator Cowles, Representative Summerfield to introduce legislation to tackle Credit Card Skimmers “These devices are popping up all over the place. Wisconsinites need the protections from these criminals and our law enforcement agencies need modern laws that accurately reflect the dangers that are impacting our communities.”
Lawmakers Release “Ratepayers First” Proposal “These contracts are impacting Wisconsin’s economy. Allowing PSC to review Power the Future contracts on an ongoing basis is nothing but fair. We need to regain equity between the utilities and needs of ratepayers in Wisconsin."
Bill to Lower Phosphorus Levels, Strengthen Economy Finally Passes EPA Hurdle “I’m incredibly pleased that we were able to move this much-needed legislation. However, I am still disappointed by the amount of time it took the EPA to review and approve our creative approach to reduce phosphorus. The MDV will potentially save Wisconsin’s water ratepayers and businesses billions of dollars while at the same time removing more phosphorus from our waters than is possible under the current system."
Senator Cowles to be Joined by Representatives Steffen, Steineke and Tauchen for District Listening Sessions Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) and Representatives David Steffen (R-Green Bay), Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) and Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel) are pleased to announce three upcoming listening sessions in Northeast Wisconsin.
Senator Cowles introduces the Leading on Lead Act Giving Local Control to replace Lead Water Pipes "Lead is harmful. Not only to children and pregnant women, but to everyone. We need to get these lead-laden drinking water service lines replaced. We have this problem all over the state. Utilizing the knowledge of our local governments and water utility professionals will lend a great deal of expertise in eradicating the lead in our drinking water."
Auditors Identify Potential Savings in the State Highway Program "In both circumstances, this is more than double original estimates. Unacceptable. Wisconsin taxpayers deserve accurate and complete estimates for their transportation projects. This audit should serve as a resource to tighten up DOT practices so that future cost estimates correctly reflect true costs."
Sen. Cowles Supports Governor’s efforts to support Financial Stability "When you are just starting to get on your feet financially and you abruptly lose food benefits, child care, healthcare or even possibly your home, it’s very challenging to continue that positive momentum. Implementing some quality reforms to lighten this drastic shift, known as a “benefit cliff”, can alleviate some of the challenges for those on public assistance."
Report Fraud, Waste, and Mismanagement in State Government to Legislative Audit Bureau Hotline (1-877-FRAUD-17) "Guidance available on LAB’s website describes the type of information that is most helpful to provide when reporting a concern to the hotline. I hope that anyone who has observed fraud, waste, or mismanagement in state government will use this resource to report such concerns."
Senator Cowles Issues Statement on Governor Walker's State of the State Address: Continued Focus on Workforce is Important to Wisconsin's Economy “I applaud Governor Walker’s focus on developing our workforce during this evening’s State of the State Address. Wisconsin has continued to increase our efforts to address workforce development, but there is still work to be done."