The Week in Review
Our Work Begins
Since inauguration just a few short weeks ago, the
Assembly has wasted no time getting to work.
Committee hearings have begun and legislation is already underway. According
to the Legislative Reference Bureau, more than 1,000 pieces of potential
legislation have been drafted just since the start of the new session. The
Joint Finance Committee will soon begin hearings on the largest bill of the
biennium when the governor releases his budget on February 8.
While Joint Finance will be wading through the budget, Assembly standing
committees will be debating new legislation. This session I have been
assigned to serve on three Assembly Committees including Education, Energy
and Utilities, and I have been named Chair of the Family Law Committee.
I will be providing more details on several of my policy proposals in the
coming weeks. Stay tuned!
Have a great week!
Transportation Audit Raises Questions
On Tuesday, the nonpartisan Legislative Audit
Bureau released the
of the State Highway Program. The legislature had been waiting for the
audit to be released to determine how to address transportation needs going
into the next biennium.
The audit revealed several deficiencies within the Department of
Transportation. DOT grossly underestimated the actual costs of major highway
projects by not taking into account the cost of inflation and unexpected
expenditures. The audit estimates $3.1 billion in cost overruns for 16
ongoing major highway projects.
Furthermore, it was discovered road conditions in Wisconsin rated "good"
fell from 53.5 to 41 percent, below the national average. Many projects were
not bid competitively with 363 projects going to the only bidder. Lastly,
debt service for cost of projects has risen 168 percent
Speaker Vos, Majority Leader Jim Steineke and Rep. John Nygren
have asked the Department of Transportation to provide a detailed report
with updated estimates on all projects to determine the true cost for future
The first event of the year-long celebration of the
100th year of the Wisconsin State Capitol will take place on Tuesday,
January 31st with a Kick-off Celebration in the Capitol rotunda. The event
includes speeches from Gov. Walker, former Gov. Tommy Thompson and former
Speaker and Ambassador Tom Loftus.
The ceremony begins at 10 am and the public is welcome to join the celebration! Look for more events as
we continue the year-long celebration.
For more information on events or history of the Capitol, visit