Public Review and Comment through January 15, 2016
For the 5th year running, Jeremy Lilyquist and Derek Gilbert are ringing for a 30-Hour Marathon at the County Market in Hudson. The goal of the marathon is to raise $75,000 over two days for the Salvation Army of St. Croix County. I was pleased to join Derek and Jeremy for bell ringing on Thursday afternoon, and I continue to be impressed by the generosity of the community in giving to help those in need.
The Christmas tree is up in the capitol. The 40-foot tall balsam fir was donated by Brad and Elizabeth Kowieski of Rhinelander. The tree is decorated by ornaments made by Wisconsin school children, with the theme of Wisconsin sports. If you are traveling to Madison, or passing through on your way for a holiday celebration elsewhere, be sure to stop by and see the tree. Capitol tours are also available to all visitors.
The Department of Natural Resources will be holding a public information meeting on October 20th at 6:00 PM to provide information on the Little Falls Dam in Willow River State Park. The meeting will be held at the Hudson Town Hall at 980 County Road A.
Some of Wisconsin’s worst aquatic invasive species (AIS), such as zebra mussel larvae or spiny water fleas, can be spread from lake to lake through transported water. That’s why the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recommends draining boats and livewells before moving from lake to lake.
Camping is one of a number of popular summer activities for families to enjoy in Wisconsin and frequently involves campfires. In order to prevent the spread of invasive insects, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) strongly urges you to leave your firewood at home.
The Joint Committee on Finance met on April 22nd to consider budget provisions relating to a number of agencies, including the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Tourism, and Department of Transportation. Given the size of large agencies such as the DNR and DOT, the Committee will be taking up these agencies again in future meetings to consider other parts of their budgets.
On April 13th the Wisconsin Conservation Congress’ Spring Fish and Wildlife Hearings were held around the state with more than 4,600 residents, sportsmen, and conservationists taking part. These meetings are held every year in each county to provide citizens with an opportunity to provide their input to state policymakers on fish and wildlife management issues.
The meeting results and written comments are used by the Natural Resources Board as they consider changes. Examples of resolutions supported by attendees this year include a proposal to increase possession limit for small game and to allow the opening day of pheasant season to begin at 9 a.m.
The Joint Committee on Finance continued its work on the budget bill on April 17th. The Wisconsin Technical College System, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Department of Health Services were among the state agencies taken up by the Committee.
Provide additional grant funding for broadband expansion in underserved areas of the state,
Require the Public Service Commission to conduct a review of studies relating to the health effects of those living near wind turbines,
Restore the Judicial Council, which is an advisory panel charged with bringing forward suggestions on improving Wisconsin’s court system, and
Maintain the current independence of the Judicial Commission, which is responsible for determining the discipline of judges, rather than moving the Commission under the Supreme Court.
As we all know from experience, incessant phone calls can be a nuisance and cause needless interruptions. The Wisconsin No Call List has long been a way for individuals to reduce unwanted sales calls and texts by making it illegal for companies to call or text registered phone numbers for sales purposes. Legislation passed last session means the state’s No Call List is now being partnered with the Federal Trade Commission’s list, making it easier for citizens by only having to register on one list and not having to renew every two years.
Construction on the Wisconsin approach to the new St. Croix Crossing at Houlton resumed this week. Although construction has started again, traffic should not be affected until late April when Anderson Scout Camp Road will be closed until October. A detour will be provided for traffic seeking to use this road. From late July to September a portion of County E will be detoured and from September to November the new WIS 35/WIS 64 westbound lanes will be opened, as well as the old highway opened as a frontage road.