March 16, 2018


Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) and I are all smiles this week.  For well over a year, we've been working together on a package of ideas to crack down on a few bad actors in Wisconsin's housing market... and we've just learned that our bills are headed to the Senate floor next week to be considered for passage!


I have experience in banking and business.  He serves a legislative district that was among the hardest hit during the 2008 housing and foreclosure crisis.  Although we don't always agree philosophically, he and I have developed strong mutual respect, and with the worst of that crisis now in the past, we put our heads together to find some solutions that we think make sense for every Wisconsin community.  Specifically, the law will no longer allow people who already owe their local governments tens (or hundreds!) of thousands of dollars in back taxes to keep buying up our neighborhoods.  The law will penalize bad actors who lie about their eligibility.  And the law will provide options for communities to conduct sheriff sale foreclosure auctions online so that new homebuyers can more readily compete to purchase the properties that need help the most.  (Have you tried buying a new home lately?  The market is as competitive as I've ever seen it!)


Madison isn't usually like Washington, DC.  Your state representatives can and frequently do set aside our philosophical differences and find answers to the questions that you send us here to solve.  Rep. Goyke and I are both looking forward to seeing Milwaukee, Sheboygan and many other Wisconsin communities benefit from our work.  We expect Assembly Bill (AB) 690 and 691 to advance next week in the State Senate with a bipartisan vote; they have already been approved in the Assembly, so after the Senate votes, they will head to Governor Scott Walker's desk.


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!


An Incredible Conservation Success Story


Prior to the late 1800s, elk once inhabited at least 50 of Wisconsin's 72 counties.  After more than 22 years of reintroduction efforts, Wisconsin's elk herd has grown to the point that our state's first-ever managed elk hunt will be able to occur in fall 2018!


The restoration project began in 1995 with the release of 25 elk from Michigan into the far north-central forests.  That herd, comprised today mainly of animals that were actually born in the wild here in Wisconsin, will reach a population of more than 200 this year, including a high proportion of bulls.  Starting on May 1st, Wisconsin residents may apply to enter the drawing for a total of 10 bull-only hunting licenses/tags.  Drawing winners will be required to complete a special elk hunting education course prior to the fall 2018 hunting season.  No hunting will be permitted among the smaller elk herd in the Jackson County area, where new elk have been recently added to the herd from Kentucky and where the herd still comprises a high proportion of cow elk.


In addition to professional Department of Natural Resources biologists and researchers, representatives from the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the U.S. Forest Service, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, Jackson County Forest and Parks, the Ho-Chunk Nation, the Wisconsin Bowhunters Association and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission have all participated in determining the 2018 elk harvest quota.  These groups have also helped enormously with the entire project; the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation alone has invested more than $1.6 million on elk reintroduction and other conservation projects in Wisconsin!


Service Opportunity: Be a Storm Spotter!


The National Weather Service and Sheboygan County Emergency Management invite you to become a 2018 severe weather spotter!  Training is free and open to the public; no pre-registration is required.


Training will be available on Wednesday, April 4th at the Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin, N6191 Resource Drive, Sheboygan Falls beginning at 6:30 PM.  The first hour of the training is about public safety during different types of weather hazards (i.e., tornado, flood, lightning, wind); the second hour of training teaches you what to watch for and how to report weather events.  New this year is the advent of volunteer social media search teams.  All are welcome to attend one or both parts of the free training!




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Room 208 North, State Capitol ● PO Box 8952 ● Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-0656  ●  ●