November 10, 2017


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 weekend!


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.


Fun 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.


  • Crystal 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 Something Special from WisconsinMore 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 here!




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Room 208 North, State Capitol ● PO Box 8952 ● Madison, WI 53708
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