March 30, 2018


Bright and early yesterday, Governor Scott Walker welcomed members of the Sheboygan County Nonattainment Task Force to his Capitol office as he signed Senate Bill (SB) 466 into law!


The latest science has proved that even if Sheboygan County could eliminate all its manmade air pollution, the air monitoring station adjacent to Kohler-Andrae State Park would still indicate that our county isn't meeting federal ozone standards.  That's because the monitor is purposely positioned in such a way as to measure the unusually high ozone concentrations that occur in a very specific place due to other states' pollution.


That's interesting data.  Under SB 466, we'll still collect this data; hopefully it can inform environmental policies in other states.  But we have better data from another site -- data that is far more representative of what's actually happening in our community.  This data shows that, yes, the huge investments that our local businesses have made over the years to reduce and control air pollution are working.  Emissions from our businesses that cause ozone to form in the air are way, way down in the past 10 years; by any reasonable standard, we are perfectly compliant with even the strictest federal standards.  And, now that SB 466 has been enacted in state law, we will actually use a reasonable standard!  I deeply appreciate Governor Walker's support of our community's effort.


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... and happy Easter!


"Expand Highway 23" Coalition


A new resource is now available for keeping up with the latest news about Wisconsin's efforts to expand State Highway 23!  Expand Highway 23 is a grassroots coalition of citizens, business leaders, local organizations and government officials who believe that a full four-lane expansion is critical for our communities' safety and future economic growth.  On the coalition's new Facebook page,, you'll find all the latest news, project history and historical photos, testimonials from community residents and more.


Recently, I've been very encouraged by state officials' efforts at all levels to keep making progress despite the federal courts' interference.  The state legislature, Governor Scott Walker and Department of Transportation (DOT) officials have worked together to fully fund (with more than $19 million) as much construction progress as we may legally make during the 2017-19 fiscal years.  And DOT is expediting its work in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration to regain the federal permits, which are required for the project to continue, that we once held but which were blocked by the federal courts.


We've heard you.  We're keeping up the pressure.  And we're going to see this project through to completion!


Your Government Working for You


Scam alert!  The bad guys have no shame, it seems: this time, Wisconsin farmers are the targets of criminal fraudsters.  The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) warns that folks are receiving phone calls offering (nonexistent) federal grant money from the "Federal Crop Registry."  Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a federal crop registry.  Although there actually are some legitimate federal grant programs related to agriculture, you have to apply for them in writing.  Remember: no legitimate government agency will ever telephone or e-mail you to award you free money; never volunteer your sensitive financial information on an unsolicited telephone call or e-mail!


Opportunity alert!  Wisconsin businesses are strongly encouraged to join the Foxconn construction project! is up and running and is your one-stop shop for project updates and business opportunities.  Electronics giant Foxconn (best known as the assembler of Apple's iPhone) has promised that $5 billion worth of its total $10 billion construction investment will be awarded to Wisconsin companies, and once the facility is fully operational, Foxconn estimates that it will purchase $1.4 billion of goods and services from Wisconsin suppliers every year.


And by the way: a new analysis projects that every $1 of incentive money that Wisconsin is giving to Foxconn is going to return $18 to our state's economy.  Yes, you read that right: if Wisconsin pays Foxconn the maximum incentive of $2.8 billion over 15 years, Wisconsin's GDP will increase by nearly $52 billion!


Twister alert!  April 9-13 is Wisconsin's Severe Weather Awareness Week.  Expect statewide tornado watch and tornado warning drills (on the radio, with your local storm sirens, etc.) on Thursday, April 12th.  Wisconsin averages 23 tornado events annually... and, sure enough, we experienced 23 tornadoes last year.  Take a few minutes to communicate with family and friends and make sure that you're prepared for an emergency!




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