October 27, 2017



Fall is usually a time of year at the Capitol when the legislature's numerous committees are hard at work on lots of new ideas, and this year is no exception.  (The Assembly alone has 44 committees, not counting other ad hoc working groups.)  The committees' behind-the-scenes efforts in recent weeks have prepared dozens of proposals for debate and action by the full Assembly.  In the next two weeks, we're going to take up bills to ensure that nurses' professional licenses continue to be valid across state lines; to reduce hunting and fishing license fees for junior sportsmen, senior citizens and veterans; to legalize the use of technology to allow businesses to conduct shareholder meetings virtually if they wish; and much, much more.  I also expect the State Senate to advance a bill that I authored earlier this year that will enable local governments to be more flexible with the investments they make to pay for future projects, which I think is going to save a lot of taxpayer dollars in the future.


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!


Fun Facts


Need a little feel-good story at the end of a long week?  Here are a few reasons why you should be proud of Sheboygan County and the State of Wisconsin!


  • Sheboygan, Wisconsin has the lowest poverty level of any city in the nation!  Financial news website 24/7 Wall Street analyzed 382 metro areas in the country.  The Sheboygan area came in first place nationwide: only about 5.4 percent of the county's 115,000 residents live at or below the federal poverty line (compared to about 14 percent nationwide).  Although there are still some individuals and families who are struggling, local wages have risen and local unemployment has dropped nearly to all-time lows over the past few years.  (Sheboygan isn't alone; Fond du Lac and Appleton also made the top 10!)


  • October is Wisconsin Manufacturing Month, and Sheboygan County's diverse manufacturing economy is a huge reason for our broad economic stability.  The average pay for a Wisconsin manufacturing employee is $55,500 per year, which is $10,000 higher than the average pay for Wisconsin's private-sector workforce.  About 85 percent of manufacturing workers in Wisconsin receive health benefits through their employers, compared to 72 percent of all workers.  Wisconsin may be famous as America's Dairyland, but fully 18 percent of our state's gross domestic product ($56 billion worth of economic output) comes from manufacturing.  Check out www.someplacebetter.org to learn about the nearly 3,000 job opportunities that still need to be filled in Sheboygan County!


  • Halloween is a big deal for Wisconsin businesses!  There are 51 businesses in our state that produce chocolate; these employ about 1,507 workers.  Fifteen other businesses manufacture candy, employing another 428 people.  Wisconsin produced at least 11,000 tons of pumpkins each year, which were worth a combined $3,572,000 in 2016.  Nationwide, Americans are expected to spend $9.1 billion celebrating Halloween this year (about $86 per person), up significantly from $8.4 billion in 2016.  It's going to be a good season for this sector of our economy too!


Drug Take-Back Day

Healthy Sheboygan County 2020, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, will co-host a statewide "Drug Take-Back Day" tomorrow, Saturday, October 28th.  From 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM, the general public may bring unused medications (pills, ointments, patches, inhalers, pet medications, etc.) to any of five drop-off locations in Sheboygan County for safe disposal.  The five Sheboygan County locations are St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan; Oostburg High School; Generations in Plymouth; the Random Lake Fire Department; and Howards Grove Village Hall.


If you can't make it tomorrow, don't worry!  Five area police departments (Sheboygan, Sheboygan Falls, Plymouth, Kohler and Elkhart Lake) maintain permanent medication drop-boxes as well.  More than two-thirds of people who have abused prescription painkillers got them illegally from a friend or family member, so proper disposal of your unwanted medications can help reduce the risk of abuse.


During the Drug Take-Back Day that occurred during spring 2017, Sheboygan County residents turned in more than 600 pounds of unused medications!  Overall, Wisconsin was third in the country (behind only Texas and California), disposing of 66,830 pounds of drugs during that event.  Residents are reminded that collection events such as Drug Take-Back Day are the best way to dispose of unwanted substances; never flush them down the drain or the toilet, because water treatment facilities are not equipped to remove them all from the water supply!




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Room 208 North, State Capitol ● PO Box 8952 ● Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-0656  ●  Rep.Katsma@legis.wisconsin.gov  ●  www.repkatsma.com