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Dear Neighbor, 

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this month's newsletter. As we prepare for the 2019-20 Legislative Session, I would like to hear what your legislative priorities are. Please reach out to me anytime with your ideas by calling (608) 266-0650 or emailing me at Rep.Brostoff@legis.wi.gov.

If you have a suggestion for next month's event calendar, featured neighbor, nonprofit, or business, please visit my submission page here.

Keep up-to-date with ongoing information and developments by following me on Twitter and Facebook and by visiting my website.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve.

In service,
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Jonathan Brostoff
State 
Representative
19th Assembly District

 

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Lame Duck Bills, Explained

 

Last month, we witnessed an immoral override of the will of the people. Although our neighbors across the state made their voices heard on November 6th, a month later Republicans were ready to shamelessly and unapologetically subvert democracy in order to cling to power.  

In order to understand their impact, I’ve spelled out what each of the lame duck bills does.

 

AB1070/SB884:

  • Bars nominated secretary from performing any duties if the Senate rejects confirmation;
  • Eliminates the ability of Governor to discontinue an attorney general led lawsuit, and instead investing authority in the Joint Finance Committee;
  • Significantly rolls back changes made to grant state executive branch with more control over the rulemaking process;
  • Increases members of Group Insurance Board from 11 to 15, adding 4 legislative appointments;
  • Subjects Governor’s appointments to Group Insurance Board to Senate Confirmation;
  • Requires the approval of the Joint Finance Committee for any transfers from veterans homes to the veterans trust fund;
  • Requires the approval of the Joint Finance Committee for the creation of any enterprise zones at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC);
  • Increases WEDC board members nominated by the legislature and decreases those nominated by the Governor which would create a made up of half Republicans and half Democrats leading to gridlocks that would bar progress;
  • Allows WEDC Board to nominate WEDC CEO instead of the Governor;
  • Removes the ability for the Department of Administration (DOA) to appoint WEDC Economic Development Liaison position and gives it to WEDC board;  
  • Limits ability of state agencies to transfer funding internally. Specifically, the Departments of Transportation (DOT), Veterans Affairs (DVA), and Children and Families (DCF);
  • Adds burdensome reporting requirements;
  • Allow Legislature to intervene as a party in challenges to the constitutionality of statutes;
  • Requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to deposit all settlement funds to the general fund;
  • Eliminates office of Solicitor General in DOJ;
  • Codifies Voter ID administrative rules in the statutes;
  • Requires the approval of the Joint Committee on Legislative Organization (JCLO) for any security changes at the Capitol, including firearm restrictions in individual Capitol offices;
  • Requires each state agency to file quarterly reports with JFC detailing all agency expenditures, including specifically those by appointees;
  • Requires the Department of Corrections (DOC), at the request of the legislature, to post the name, crime, etc., of individuals pardoned; and
  • Authorizes Legislature to retain private counsel rather than that of the Attorney General.

 

AB1069SB883:

  • Eliminates the ability of the Department of Transportation (DOT) to transfer federal and state funds between state highway components. This means that this action would now require legislative oversight;
  • Requires the DOT to expand federal funds on at least 70% of the aggregate project components eligible for federal funding each fiscal year for certain types of projects. This will negatively impact prevailing wage requirements on some of the projects; and
  • This bill allows pass-through entities to elect to be taxed at the entity level, allows tax-option corporations and partnerships, including limited liability companies and other entities that are treated as partnerships under federal tax law, to elect to be taxed at the entity level.

 

AB1072/SB886:

  • Requires legislative authorization for federal waivers, pilot projects, and demonstrations;
  • Allows JFC to reduce agency budgets for non-compliance with waivers;
  • Requires JFC approval for all Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) transfers;
  • Requires JFC approval for all Medicaid State Plan Amendments and provider payment changes;
  • Codifies administrative rules for drug testing of food stamp recipients in the statutes;
  • Codifies Medicaid Work Requirement waiver language in the statutes;
  • Codifies Unemployment Insurance work search administrative code requirements in the statutes;
  • Eliminates the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) rulemaking authority to grant waivers from work search requirements; and
  • Requires the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) to implement Reinsurance Plan approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

This egregious power grab makes it clear that Legislative Republicans couldn’t accept the fact that, come January, they will lose control of the Governorship and Department of Justice and this blatant power grab is a desperate attempt at clinging to the offices out of which they were voted.

 

 
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Neighbor of the Month: Lenore Lee

Lenore Lee is a Connecticut transplant who loves Milwaukee. A former Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) teacher, Lenore has also served as the Director of the Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee and as the Director of the American Jewish Committee. Prior to that, she was a self-employed public relations consultant to small businesses, artists, and nonprofits.

Lenore served as chair of the MPS Women’s Rights Committee and as a member of the state Committee on Women’s Rights. She was a coordinator of the Equal Rights Amendment Campaign, was a board member of Project Equality, Lake Park Friends, and the Park People, and is the Co-founder of Musical Mondays at Lake Park.

She is currently a volunteer with Fine Arts Quartet Friends, Lake Park Wednesday Workers, and Urban Ecology’s Citizen Science Birders. She is a poll worker at Charles Allis Art Museum. Lenore has participated in poetry readings with Urban Echo Poets, Wednesday Writers, the ACLU, and is a Linnemans Featured Poet and a member of Congregation Shir Hadash Social Justice Committee.
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Nonprofit of the Month: Voces de la Frontera

This month’s nonprofit is Voces de la Frontera.

Voces de la Frontera is a membership-based community organization that works to protect and expand civil rights and workers’ rights. The organization is made up of low-wage workers, immigrants, and youth who are passionate about ensuring that everyone can live in a word free of poverty and discrimination. Through their Workers’ Center, Voces de la Frontera supports immigrant and low-wage workers through legal clinics, “Know Your Rights” training, English classes, Citizenship classes, and more. In addition to their work at the center, Voces de la Frontera has worked on a number of campaigns including Legalizing with a Path to Citizenship, Advancing Worker rights, and more.

For more information, please visit Voces de la Frontera’s website here.

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Business of the Month: MagneTag

This month’s business is MagneTag.

MagneTag is a game where you wear a sensor system that helps keep score whenever the sensor gets hit with a magnet-embedded foam weapon.

This game was created in our very own city of Milwaukee by Adam Cohen and his team. It has gained interest from many people, including the TV show Shark Tank, who asked them to submit an audition tape.

In addition to being based in Milwaukee, they have also extensively collaborated with the Milwaukee Makerspace, Milwaukee School of Engineering, and as well, Foamation (best known for their famous “Cheeseheads”) to create foam weapons with magnets embedded in them.

For more information, please visit MagneTag’s website here.

 

MADACC

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Marble is an adult orange and black shorthair calico cat looking for her forever home. She has been spayed and housetrained and is up to date on her vaccinations.


For more information about Marble click here.

 

Humane Society

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Fish Stick is a brown five-year-old male. He playtime and spending time with humans. Fish Stick has been neutered and his adoption fee has been reduced to $25.


For more information about Duke click here.

 

 Community Events

32nd Annual Cool Fool Ice and Kite Festival

Date: January 1st

Description: The annual festival hosted by the Kite Society of Wisconsin features kite flying on the lakefront, free hot chocolate and coffee, and a professional ice carving group carving new designs live at the event.

Cost: Free

Location: Veterans Park,

1010 N Lincoln Memorial Dr,

Milwaukee, WI 53202

 

Senior Breakfast Club: Breakfast and Bingo

Date: January 1st

Description: To celebrate the New Year, Aurora Medical Center is hosting this breakfast and brunch event for seniors.

Cost: Free

Location: Aurora Medical Center Summit

36500 Aurora Drive

Oconomowoc, WI 53066

 

Family Nature Hike- Animal Signs

Date: January 5th

Description: At this family-friendly event, naturalists at the Havenwood State Forest lead a nature walk and scavenger hunt, with the opportunity to snowshoe if there is enough snow.

Cost: Free

Location: 6141 N. Hopkins Street

Milwaukee, WI 53209

 

Snow Day at the Milwaukee Public Museum

Date: January 5th

Description: At the special “Snow Day” exhibit you can meet the Door County Sled dogs and ask questions, learn more about what First Nations people did during Wisconsin winters, how frogs adapt to the winter months, and what animals live near the North Pole.

Cost: Free with General Admission, $12-18

Location: Milwaukee Public Museum

800 W. Wells Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233

 

Escape from the Library in the New Year at Bay View

Date: January 7th

Description: At this event, groups can test their teamwork and critical thinking skills with clues and puzzles to open a box and escape the library.

Cost: Free

Location: Bay View Library Community Room

2566 S Kinnickinnic Ave,

Milwaukee, WI 53207

 

Milwaukee Art Museum Playdate with Art: Play Full Patterns

Date: January 11th

Description: This monthly event is meant for children ages five and their parents and includes an art-making activity and a sing-along from 10:30 to 11:15.  

Cost:  Free for members and with museum admission, $19 for adults and free for children under $12

Location: Milwaukee Art Museum

700 N. Art Museum Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53202

 

Slow Art Saturdays

Date: January 12th

Description: Slow Art Saturdays are an in-depth, hour-long exploration of one piece of art lead by museum staff with the theme for this month being “home.”

Cost: Free for members and with museum admission, $19 for adults and $17 for students, veterans, and people over 65

Location: Milwaukee Art Museum

700 N. Art Museum Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Winter Wonderwalk

Date: January 12th

Description: Explore Three Bridges Park on this snowshoe walking tour led by staff from the Urban Ecology Center.

Cost: $8 for members of Friends of the Domes and $12 for nonmembers (includes snowshoe rental)

Location: Urban Ecology Center - Washington Park

1859 N. 40th St., Milwaukee, WI 53208

 

Gospel Brunch at Colectivo

Date: January 13th

Description: Part of a monthly music series hosted by Progressive Community Health Center in the Back Room of Collectivo, this event features traditionally inspired local gospel groups.

Cost: Free

Location: 2211 N Prospect Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Milwaukee, WI 53202

 

Locomotion at First Stages Pay What You Choose Performance

Date: January 15th

Description: As part of First Stage’s initiative to make theater accessible to everyone this performance of Jacqueline Woodson’s play Locomotion is pay what you choose. Play recommended for children age 9 and older.

Cost: Suggested minimum of $5 per person

Location: 325 W. Walnut Street

Milwaukee, WI 53212

 

Scout Night at the Wisconsin Humane Society

Date: January 16th

Description: At scout night, scouts can take a behind the scenes tour of the Humane Society, meet adoptable cats, make a cat toy to take home, and learn more about dogs and positive reinforcement training.

Cost: $8

Location: 4500 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53208

 

Stomp and Romp at the Milwaukee County Zoo

Date: January 20th

Description: This event is held in the honor one of the Zoo’s most famous residents Samson, the silverback gorilla, and all money raised will go to support the animals in the Zoo’s collection. Pick from a competitive 5k, a 2-mile fun run/walk, a 1-mile romp for children, and a ¼-mile mini-romp for children.

Cost: $10 for children, $20 for teams, and $25 for children

Location: 10001 W Bluemound Rd

Milwaukee, WI 53226

 


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