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In This Edition...

  • Justice Support Initiative Announced

  • Protecting Young Children in WI

  • Nominating Excellent Educators

  • Fall Duck Hunt

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Ron's Recap: September 20, 2019

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I had a great time during my District Day visits this past Monday! I talked with leaders from Kimberly Area School District, members of Gold Cross Ambulance in Menasha, employees at Ornua Ingredients in St. John, members at the New Hope Center, Inc. in Chilton, and employees at Roehrborn Meats in Brillion. Thank you to everyone who took the time out of their day to show me around. There are so many people making a positive difference in the 3rd Assembly District!

 Justice Support Initiative Introduced

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This week I announced the Justice Support Initiative (JSI). This legislative initiative builds upon the wins for our criminal justice system, such as the 64 new Assistant District Attorneys across the state, included in the State Budget. Two of those Assistant District Attorneys will be in Outagamie County and another one will be in Calumet. The five bills included in the JSI cover all three aspects of the justice system: Courts; Prosecutors; and Public Defenders. I'd like to highlight three items in particular:

Courts: One bill will create 12 new circuit court branches over the next three years.  It has been more than a decade since a circuit court branch has been created anywhere in Wisconsin.  I am hopeful that, if the bill is signed into law, one of those positions will be given to Calumet County, which has had an empty courtroom for more than 25 years!

Public Defenders: Another proposal addresses the shortage of attorneys in rural Wisconsin and addresses the need for constitutionally required representation for indigent defendants. This pilot program would require attorneys to establish practices in rural counties and take a number of Public Defender cases to be eligible for student loan repayment aid.

Public Defenders: In the current state budget, a merit-based pay progression system was funded for prosecutors statewide.  Unfortunately, a comparable system was not funded for state public defenders.  One bill, authored by Rep. Loudenbeck and co-sponsored by me, addresses this imbalance. While prosecutors and public defenders are on opposite sides in the courtroom, both groups are part of the criminal justice system and both play important constitutional roles maintaining public safety and defending liberty.

I hope these three bills, and the entire Justice Support Initiative, will be enacted this session.

 Protecting Young Children in Wisconsin

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Rep. Taylor and I introduced a bi-partisan bill that will help protect babies in Wisconsin. 

 

Wisconsin currently allows children over 1 year old, or over 20 pounds to sit in a front-facing car seat. However, evidence and guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics clearly show keeping young children in rear-facing car seats for as long as possible, or until they are at least two years old, maximizes their safety and chances of surviving serious car crashes.

The proposed legislation updates our statutes to be in line with medical guidelines by requiring infants and toddlers be in a rear-facing car seat system until they are at least two years old and advising that children over age two can be rear-facing until they outgrow the height and weight requirements. Click here to learn more about the proposed legislation.  

Nominating Excellent Educators 

The Herb Kohl Educational Foundation is seeking nominations for Wisconsin teachers and principals/administrators who have demonstrated a superior ability to inspire a love of learning in their students, have motivated others, and have provided meritorious service both inside and outside the classroom. I encourage parents, students, and community members to nominate educators whom you believe pursue excellence in education.

If your nominee chooses to apply, he or she will be considered for a $6,000 personal grant and a $6,000 matching grant for his or her school. The Herb Kohl Foundation annually selects 100 teachers and 16 principals to receive awards.The nomination deadline is Tuesday, October 8, 2019. To apply, click here or on the image below. 

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Fall Duck Hunt 

  • The statewide fall duck hunt begins on Saturday, September 28th.
  • As Wisconsin hunters hit the water for the 2019 waterfowl hunting season, they are reminded to do what they can to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species.
  • The public can find the latest results for a wide variety of wildlife surveys conducted in 2019 on the DNR’s website.  Survey results include population surveys and estimates, harvest results and wildlife observation reports for small game, big game, waterfowl, furbearer and certain non-game species.