February 23, 2018


It's been quite a week in Madison as the Assembly's spring floor session period came to a close.  We've made a real difference in the lives of the people of Wisconsin!  Unlike the endless stalemate that seems to grip Washington, DC, more than 90 percent of Wisconsin's new laws receive bipartisan support.  We've delivered results in this session addressing the challenges that you told us are your priorities: investing in our children's future, ensuring access to quality health care, growing our economy, helping our most vulnerable and governing as good stewards of your money.


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!


Delivering Results That Matter


In the past week alone, the Wisconsin State Assembly:


  • Approved a bill to provide grants for armed safety officers in our schools, who are trained to fight back for our kids.  The bill also helps law enforcement crack down on "straw purchasers" who flout the gun laws we already have.  Regrettably, most Assembly Democrats voted AGAINST this bill.


  • Sent Senate Bill 466 to Governor Scott Walker for signature into law, a bill that requires the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to use Sheboygan County's Haven monitor, rather than the Kohler-Andrae monitor, for measuring ozone pollution.  See my previous newsletters for the whole story; under current law, Sheboygan County residents and businesses unfairly bear the punishment for other states' failures.  Even though we listened to the public and ensured in the bill's final draft that environmental data will continue to be collected at Kohler-Andrae, not a single Democrat voted to fix this outrageous regulatory burden.


  • Approved a proposal to permanently revoke the driver's license of any person convicted four times of drunk driving.  The proposal is expected to pass in the State Senate in March and head immediately to Governor Walker for signature into law.


  • Passed a bill to conform Wisconsin's tax code with several important changes recently enacted at the federal level.  For example, if the federal government discharges a person's student debt because the student died or became disabled, Wisconsin won't treat that as a taxable event.  And our bill gives families more flexibility to use 529 education savings accounts for qualified K-12 expenses.


  • Advanced a measure that would fund 54 new assistant district attorney positions in 40 counties with the greatest need.  Sheboygan County would receive two of these new positions.


Assembly Republicans have delivered on our promises to build strong families and safe communities!


Your Government Working for You


Revised renewal notifications for boats and recreational vehicles.  Instead of mailing reminder letters, the DNR has begun mailing reminder postcards to notify the registered owners of boats, ATVs, UTVs, snowmobiles and offroad motorcycles that it's time to renew these vehicles' registrations for 2018.  The best way to renew, even if you haven't received your postcard yet, is online so that you may immediately print your receipt and immediately operate your vehicle instead of waiting 3-4 weeks for processing your renewal by mail.


Electronics giant Foxconn is coming to Wisconsin... and they want to hire you!  The first resource fair for construction employees has been announced: March 29th from 1:00 to 4:00 PM at Festival Hall in Racine, where current and potential construction workers may receive information about upcoming opportunities.  Of Foxconn's planned $10 billion capital investment, about $5.7 billion will be for construction and equipment sourced from Wisconsin businesses; capital investment during construction alone is expected to generate about $330 million in new state tax revenues.


Protect yourself against tax fraud!  There's a particularly nasty new version of a consumer scam happening this year; maybe you've even heard about it on the news already.  Here's how it works: the bad guys falsely file an income tax return in your name; the government actually deposits refund money into your bank account; and then the bad guys fraudulently contact you and fool you into "correcting the error" by sending the money to them.  One of the most effective ways of catching the bad guys at the state level is to use this online tool to determine if anyone has already filed a tax return in your name this spring.  Or, if you have already filed your 2017 state income tax return this spring, you may use this online tool to determine the status of your refund.




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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