The Lift Bridge in Kaukauna Works?

You Bet it Does!

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to join neighbors in Kaukauna as they gathered to celebrate the reopening of a number of locks along the Fox River. Also included in this reopening ceremony was the restoration of the Veterans Memorial lift bridge – a project I’ve been working on for the past several years. Check out and ‘Like’ my Facebook page to see photos and video from the event!

Left as inoperable for the past 30 years, the lift bridge was an essential piece of the puzzle as local leaders worked to make the Fox River navigable again. Under orders by the U.S. Coast Guard to have the bridge operable again by 2021, local leaders first reached out to see if there was anything we could do to help offset the financial impact for this regional project. Without help, the more than $2 million in repairs would have fallen squarely on the taxpayers within the City of Kaukauna.

That’s when my office got to work – collaborating with local, state and federal officials to find a solution. We worked to secure funding in the last state budget to make the upgrades.

Great to see Congressman Mike Gallagher and Kaukauna Mayor Tony Penterman at the opening ceremony.

After a curveball veto by the governor and some project delays due to COVID-19, I’m happy to report that the funding was ultimately secured through our efforts and the bridge is now operational yet again. This was a true bipartisan effort and I look forward to seeing the benefit this brings to our region for decades to come.

You can find out more about the work of the Fox River Navigational Authority and how they are progressing on their plans to have the river fully-navigable here.

Another Day, Another Head-scratching Decision from Evers

Bonus Unemployment Payments Continue Under Evers

I’ve written about it here before, but as area employers continue to find enough employees to keep their businesses open, Gov. Evers and his administration are insisting on paying out bonus benefits for those seeking unemployment.

When Republicans sent him a bill to end these bonus payments, the governor vetoed the legislation saying he just hasn’t seen any evidence that such a move is necessary.

While I don’t think it takes a trained economist to find that an extra $300/week in unemployment benefits is going to serve as a disincentive to find work, Gov. Evers isn’t convinced. And despite a growing number of reports suggesting otherwise, the governor says there’s just no evidence.

Read: 1.8 million Americans have turned down jobs due to unemployment benefits

Read: Americans Are Leaving Unemployment Rolls More Quickly in States Cutting Off Benefits


Governor Uses Federal Aid as His Reelection Slush Fund

Despite the growing evidence, yesterday the governor announced he would be dolling out millions of dollars sent to him from the federal government to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak to find “workforce solutions.”

This comes after Evers shut down the state with his one-size-fits-all emergency orders and failed to provide any leadership as thousands were left in the dark awaiting their unemployment payments last year.

While he refused to outline how he would spend this money during our state budget negotiations, it’s now becoming readily apparent that the governor plans to use this money sent to him from Washington D.C. to roll out flashy initiatives and gimmicks now that he’s announced his intention to seek re-election.

Are You Ready for the Fair?

Outagamie County Fair Set for July 21-25

It's hard to believe we're already half-way through July, but that means the Outagamie County Fair is just around the corner! Kicking off next week Wednesday, the County Fair Association has been hard at work planning this year's event. There's something for everyone of all ages -- be sure to check out the full listing of activities here.

Have an Upcoming Event? Is Your Business Re-opening?

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Thank you for taking the time to read my legislative and district update! If you have questions about any of the content in the message or about state programs or initiatives, please feel free to reach out to me or my office!