January 24, 2020


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Last summer, members of the Sheboygan Fire Department and the Sheboygan County Technical Rescue Team (comprised of members of the fire departments of the City of Sheboygan Falls, Town of Sheboygan Falls and Village of Cedar Grove) saved the lives of three men.  This week, these teams were recognized with the Hometown Hero Award (the State Assembly's highest honor) for their courage and selfless dedication to their duty.


On August 6, 2019, three workers became trapped in a grain silo while attempting to empty it.  Rescue teams employed a device they call the Great Wall of Rescue, which is a set of interlocking metal panels that are constructed around a trapped person to prevent the person from becoming engulfed in grain, sand, etc.  A total of 40 emergency responders worked for four hours that day, eventually rescuing all three men without any serious injuries.  You can read more details in today's Sheboygan Press.


Twelve of the teams' members traveled to Madison this week to be recognized on the Assembly floor before the entire Assembly.  Representing their teams were Eric Montellano and Dean Klein of the Sheboygan Fire Department; Greg Powers, Kendra Hass, Scott Neerhof and Calvin Kesweder of the City of Sheboygan Falls Fire Department; Matt Kroeplien, Bob Kroeplien, Brian Hunt and Tyler Hass of the Town of Sheboygan Falls Fire Department; and Kyle Voskuil and Greg Navis of the Village of Cedar Grove Fire Department.  The men and women who serve on these teams spend many thankless hours training to be ready for anything and preparing to put their own lives on the line when their neighbors are in need.  It is my great privilege to thank them for keeping our communities safe and to recognize the specific acts of heroism they displayed on August 6, 2019.  They might try to tell you they were just doing their jobs, but by all accounts, their quick thinking and brave action that day saved lives.


As always, I encourage you to follow my updates on social media or contact my office directly with your questions.  Best wishes on your weekend!


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Great News!

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The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau announced some terrific news this week: our state's economy is significantly outperforming the assumptions we made just a year ago when we deliberated the 2019-21 state budget.


Specifically: even though the Legislature enacted a middle-class income tax cut in 2019, tax revenues through FY 2021 are on pace to be $818 million higher than we anticipated.  (For perspective: your state government collects about $18 billion from you annually, which is in the ballpark of $3,150 per person.)  State law presently requires half of any such happy surprises to be automatically deposited into the "Rainy Day Fund," which is government's version of a savings account.  Having an appropriately sized Rainy Day Fund helps prevent budget crises like those being faced today by states such as Illinois and New York; our Rainy Day Fund is already larger today than ever before, and if this excellent forecast comes true, the fund will reach new record highs.


Our careful budgeting and responsible spending in recent years continue to bear fruit.  Governor Evers' budget proposal in 2019 would have created a structural deficit of more than $2 billion, but Republicans' leadership has resulted instead in surplus after surplus.  In the days ahead, we'll be looking to use the surplus to cut taxes, save for the future or manage debt rather than grow government.



Office of Representative Terry Katsma
State Capitol, Room 306 East
P.O. Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

(608) 266-0656 |