All of the Sheboygan-area legislators have been doing everything in our power to make sure that the State Highway 23 expansion project can get started in 2016. I had the opportunity to speak privately yesterday with Governor Scott Walker to share with him how important this project is for Sheboygan County and to emphasize that we simply cannot endure any further delays. I appreciate his support and the steps he has already taken to ensure that funding is in place as soon as the legal obstacles are overcome.
Recently, there has been significant progress. With my support, the legislature's Joint Finance Committee (JFC) exercised its authority to approve additional funds for several major Wisconsin highway projects, including the Hwy 23 project, in 2016 and 2017. (Click here to read the letter that Representative Tyler Vorpagel and I sent to JFC co-chair Representative John Nygren.) Based on the latest information we have from the Department of Transportation, we expect that the federal court battle will be resolved soon and that work can finally get underway next year.
I also want to highlight some major steps taken by the Assembly in early November to further curb waste, fraud and abuse in Wisconsin's public benefit programs. Assembly Bill (AB) 222 adds photo identification to FoodShare benefit cards. AB 200 limits the number of replacement FoodShare cards that may be requested in a calendar year. AB 188 deletes unused benefits from FoodShare accounts after one year of inactivity. And AB 212, the "Two Strikes and You're Out" bill, disqualifies an offender from receiving unemployment benefits for seven years if he or she commits two intentional acts of fraud. These bills head now to the state Senate for consideration. Please click here for my full statement on these important new measures.
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!
Deer Season 2015: Resources
Next week Saturday, November 21st kicks off Wisconsin's nine-day gun deer hunting season. There are a handful of important changes this year; below are some resources that you may find useful. Good luck, be safe and bring home a big one!
New in 2015, all harvested deer must be registered electronically (by phone or online). Detailed instructions are available here. If you prefer the tradition of registering your deer in person at your favorite local registration station, many locations will continue to serve as registration stations and will have phones or computers available for hunters to use. IMPORTANT: all deer must be registered no later than 5:00 PM the day after the animal was recovered and tagged.
Senate Bill 123 Signed Into Law
In my recent newsletters, I have described AB 115/SB 123, the measure I authored to help Wisconsin's cemeteries remain financially sustainable. I was honored this week to witness Governor Scott Walker signing this bill into law, which takes effect tomorrow, November 13th. This new law is going to help prevent cemeteries from needing to rely on public assistance; it couldn't come soon enough for some of the nonprofit cemetery organizations in Sheboygan County.