September 29, 2017

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The Week in Review

Foster Care Task Force Travels to La Crosse

This week, the Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care traveled to La Crosse for its fourth hearing on issues impacting foster care in Wisconsin. Members heard from a variety of experts in La Crosse and northwestern Wisconsin focusing on foster care in urban and rural areas.

Similar to previous hearings, advocates expressed the need to address issues surrounding preventative care and taking a look at the TPR process when a child is in danger. Speakers emphasized the importance of focusing on doing what is best for the child.

Last week, in Dodgeville, members heard from health and human services providers about the struggles facing rural communities as it relates to foster care. Like many communities throughout Wisconsin, rural areas are struggling to recruit more parents, however, foster care rates in southeastern Wisconsin are lower than in other parts of the state.

The task force plans to hold hearings in Milwaukee and Green Bay before releasing a report with recommendations for legislative action before session ends.

I’m looking forward to continuing our efforts to improve foster care in Wisconsin.

Have a great weekend!

The Equifax Data Breach

Recently the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection provided information to consumers regarding the recent data breach at Equifax that was announced on September 7, 2017. Equifax is one of three major credit reporting agencies. The following information from DATCP provides information to help protect yourself if you’re subject to a data breach.


According to Equifax, hackers gained access to certain files between mid-May and late July of this year. Information in the breach includes consumers' names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and addresses. Some consumers' credit card numbers, driver's license numbers, and dispute documents (that contain personally identifying information) were also accessed.

Equifax has established a dedicated call center at 866-447-7559 to answer consumers' questions about the breach. The call center is open every day (including weekends) from 6:00 a.m. – midnight, Central Time.

If you believe you may have been affected by this data breach, take these next steps:

  • Download a copy of the DATCP fact sheet "Data Breach: What to do if it happens to you."

  • Consider placing a free 90-day (renewable) fraud alert on your credit reports by contacting one of the three major credit reporting bureaus: Experian (888-397-3742), TransUnion (800-680-7289), or Equifax (888-766-0008). When you place a fraud alert with one bureau, that bureau will relay the request to the other two companies on your behalf. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name is actually you.

  • For an even higher level of protection, you may wish to place a security freeze on your credit reports. A freeze bars access to your reports to almost anyone without your express permission. Additional information about freezes is available in DATCP's credit report security freeze fact sheet.

  • Request a free credit report from the three credit bureaus by visiting or calling (877) 322-8228. Check your report for irregularities.

  • If you have additional questions about identity theft or wish to file an identity theft complaint with DATCP, visit or contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection by phone at (800) 422-7128 or by email:

Blue Books Available to the Public

The 2017-2019 Wisconsin Blue Book was unveiled this week. Blue books are available to all residents free of charge; just contact my office if you’re interested in obtaining a new copy!

You may contact my office at, or (608) 266-0610.



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State Capitol Room 204 - PO Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-0610