I was really impressed by my visit last
week to Lakeshore Technical College's Adult Basic Education class in
Sheboygan. If you want to know who are the people in your
community who are motivated to learn the skills they need to succeed,
then you don't have to look any further than the folks enrolled in
Wisconsin's technical college system. And let me tell you: there
is a motivated group of students coming through the Sheboygan campus
right now. We spent a few minutes talking about the basics of
government, but we spent most of our time pretending we were the
legislature and "passing" our own agenda. Keep up your hard work,
students! Thanks for inviting me into your class.
Speaking of advancing good ideas, the
Assembly convened three times in the past eight days and advanced a
bunch of big new ideas that, frankly, I'm pretty proud to be a part of.
More on that below.
As always, I encourage you to follow
my updates on
social media or contact
my office directly with your questions. Best wishes on your
Forecast: a Flurry of... Freedom!
There are flurries in the air, and there has
been a flurry of big new ideas making their way through the state
legislature in recent weeks.
Yesterday, I voted in support of
Assembly Bill (AB) 384, a bill that sets automatic end dates for
administrative rules. Many people may not realize it, but many of the
regulations that govern life and work and recreation in our state aren't
actually laws at all. Instead, a large number of regulations, which
are just as powerful as laws, are written and enforced by state agencies
(such as the Department of Natural Resources; the Department of Agriculture,
Trade and Consumer Protection; and many others) with relatively little
participation by the elected representatives of the people. AB 384 is
part of Assembly Republicans' broader effort to go through the thousands of
pages of rules on the books and, slowly but surely, find the ones that don't
make any sense or stand in the way of personal liberty or business growth.
This one is a really important change!
Here's another big one.
Assembly Joint Resolution 47, also known as "Marsy's Law," is part of a
nationwide campaign to define and protect crime victims' rights by writing
them directly into our state constitution. Criminal defendants' rights
are, rightly, constitutional, and this strongly bipartisan resolution helps
make sure that crime victims are entitled to protection, dignity and respect
under the law that is no less valid than the defendants' protections.
This measure passed in both houses of the state legislature this week; it
must be passed again in a future year and then approved directly by voters
in a referendum before it becomes an amendment to the state constitution.
Stuff to Know
Brrrrr! The time changed last weekend;
the weather is changing this weekend; so here are a few fun things to know
about if you're mourning the end of your seasonable summer.
Siemers-Peterman, Wisconsin's 70th "Alice in Dairyland," has an idea for
your Christmas shopping trips this year. Keep your eyes peeled for
a bright red oval logo that labels a product as
from Wisconsin. More than 480 participating Wisconsin
businesses stamp this logo on their products (i.e., meat, cheese, candy,
soap, candles, lotions, wreaths and more) to indicate that at least half
of the ingredients, production or processing came from right here in
Wisconsin. If you buy Something Special from Wisconsin,
you'll know that you're getting local flavors and that you've supported
producers and employees right here in our local economy.
There is still time for Wisconsin
students to craft and mail in your handmade ornaments to decorate the
Wisconsin Capitol Christmas Tree! Many teachers already have the
details and have the elves in their classrooms hard at work, but just in
case you haven't heard, program details are accessible
here. In a few weeks, I'll be sure to send photos of the
Capitol Christmas Tree as it gets set up. (It takes several men
several days to get the 40-foot tree into the building and then cover it
with lights and the thousands of ornaments sent in by children from all
over the state!)
Are you just looking forward to winter
being over already? Believe it or not, the DNR says
this is the
perfect time of year to plant seeds for many of Wisconsin's native
plant species, especially the plants that are needed by pollinators such
as bees and butterflies in the spring. The seeds of most plants
that are native to our state actually need to go through the prolonged
cold of winter to grow successfully in the spring. Another way to
help pollinators is to let some fallen leaves remain in your yard rather
than cleaning them all up; many beneficial insects survive winter by
burrowing a few inches into fallen leaves or dirt, where they are
sheltered until springtime. Learn more