|I would be
happy to arrange a capitol tour for you. Call my office at
(608) 266-0703 for more info.
unsubscribe, please send an email to
with ‘unsubscribe’ in the subject line.
The 2015-17 budget
process began this week with the Governor giving his budget
address on Tuesday. I am looking forward to working with members
of the Joint Finance Committee to finalize the budget proposal.
As a member of the
Joint Finance Committee, our primary responsibility is to serve
as the principal legislative committee charged with the review
of all state appropriations and revenues. As we begin to look
forward, there are a number of next steps in working to finalize
the budget. We will begin working with the Legislative Fiscal
Bureau (LFB) on their analysis of the budget. There will be four
public hearings around the state, and hopefully we will have a
public hearing in the 17th Senate District, where we will listen
and take concerns from you, our constituents. From there, we
will hear agency briefings, followed by voting in April and May.
We hope to have the budget finalized by early June.
I am encouraged to see increased sparisty aid and transportation
aid for rural schools. The increased school aids will help our
local school districts. I was also encouraged by the proposal
for grants that foster economic development and broadband access
in rural areas.
I have some concerns over the transportation budget that the
Governor proposed, as well as the UW System cuts. With two UW
campuses in my district, I am aware of the immediate impact that
those cuts would have, as well as the long-term impact.
While we work to protect the taxpayers of Wisconsin, I also want
to ensure that the most vulnerable citizens in our state are
being cared for and that necessary services are being provided.
I am confident that the budget process will yield a plan that
creates jobs, protects state services for those that need it
most, and invests in our future.
The introduction of the proposed budget by Governor Walker marks
the beginning of a long and fluid process. I want to remind my
constituents that the proposals in the Governor’s budget are not
set in stone. I encourage my constituents to share their
opinions regarding the budget with me as we begin the process
towards finalizing the budget.
In the District
Alliant Energy Operations Center
Last week I had the opportunity to tour the Alliant Energy
Operations Center in Mineral Point with Representative Todd
Novak. In addition to providing electric power to many of our
businesses and citizens, Alliant also employs 256 in the Senate
Maria Lauck, Regional Director-Generation Operations, Myself,
Representative Novak, and Bob Gutchenritter, Regional
Wisconsin Local Employment and Unemployment Estimates
The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) released the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) estimates of unemployment and
employment statistics for metro areas, major cities and counties
in Wisconsin. The estimates include revisions for November 2014
and preliminary estimates for December 2014. The following table
shows the local unemployment rates from December 2013 and
December 2014 for the counties in my district.
*Source: Department of Workforce Development