Click on the photo above to watch our
discussion with the media this week about our huge step forward (13
steps, actually) with Wisconsin's foster care system. More than
7,400 Wisconsin children were in out-of-home care during 2016, which is
20 percent more children than in the previous year. (That increase
is being driven primarily by the opioid abuse epidemic in our state and
across the whole country.) We have already taken, and will keep
taking, many steps to work on the opioid crisis also; in the meantime, I
one of the 13 bipartisan ideas that emerged from the Speaker's Task
Force on Foster Care over the past year. I'm proud to report that
all 13 of these proposals advanced with overwhelming support in the
Assembly this week and now await action in the State Senate.
As always, I encourage you to follow
my updates on
social media or contact
my office directly with your questions. Best wishes on your
Encouraging Dignity and Independence
For many years
already, Wisconsin has been a national model for successful public benefit
reform. In a special session of the legislature this week, I voted to
advance 10 new ideas that promote responsibility and accountability while
still delivering assistance to those who genuinely need it. (Click
here to read my full statement on this important set of reforms.)
A few highlights include:
Limits on household assets. If you
own a home worth more than 200% of the statewide median-value home (that
is, worth more than $321,000 or so), you will no longer be eligible for
FoodShare, Wisconsin Shares and Wisconsin Works benefits. This
closes a loophole that isn't fair to the many Wisconsinites who
genuinely need help.
Previous public welfare reforms have paid big
dividends for Wisconsin's citizens and taxpayers. Just since April
2015, when our FoodShare Employment and Training program work requirement
took effect, more than 25,000 people in our state have found work--and the
dignity that comes with independence. Think about it; that's like
adding an entire city to our state's economy! Our bold reforms pay off
for the people of Wisconsin.
Fun for Everyone!
If you're like me, then maybe you're reaching
that point near the end of winter where you've really gotta get out
of the house.
Travelwisconsin.com, Wisconsin's official Department of Tourism website,
is updated all the time with fresh ideas; if you haven't visited the site
lately, you're missing out!
Front and center today is an article entitled
Snow Tubing Hills Perfect for the Whole Family." Next to that is
the statewide snow report that includes current updates on snowmobiling
conditions and ski trails. Keep scrolling down and you'll find "Best
Indoor Waterparks Around Wisconsin." At the top of the page, check
out the Trip Ideas
tab for "Spring Getaways," "Hidden Gems," "Family Getaways," "Frank Lloyd
Wright" and many others. Or, if all of this just sounds exhausting,
try the Dining tab for
Spots to Warm Up With Wisconsin Mac and Cheese" or maybe "Wisconsin's
Most Creative, Colossal Bloody Marys."
I think my favorite part of the site is the
tab. Look for the "Order
Guides" feature; I actually like ordering (at no charge!) the paper
copies of these to keep in the car, but maybe you'll like the electronic
versions better. There's also a "Packages
and Deals" section, a "Pet-Friendly
Directory," a "Travel
Green Wisconsin" section, and so much more!