February 5, 2016



As the legislative session draws to a close, the entire Assembly will convene on several dates in mid-February.  In our scheduled February 9th meeting alone, I expect to vote on dozens of proposals that have been debated via the committee process over the past several months.  Because this is a busy time of year for the legislature, now is a great time to contact me with your opinions about the proposals being considered; I always enjoy hearing from you and appreciate receiving perspectives that I might not have considered! Here are some updates on a few of the bills that I have authored and which I expect to be passed by the legislature soon:


AB 508/SB 383.  Senator Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) and I proposed this bill at the suggestion of Sheboygan County law enforcement officers.  The bill ensures that the medical personnel who volunteer to assist law enforcement by executing court-ordered searches for illegal drugs are protected against frivolous lawsuits.  The bill has passed with unanimous bipartisan support in both Assembly and Senate committees and will receive a floor vote in February.


AB 602/SB 467I believe that every child should have an opportunity to receive the best education that his or her community can provide.  I authored this bill because I want to help reduce costs and cut bureaucratic red tape for private schools who participate in Wisconsin's school choice programs.  Senator Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) has been enormously helpful in keeping the bill moving through the Senate while I lead in the Assembly.


AB 720/SB 629A residential foreclosure is bad for everyone involved, including the affected family, the neighborhood, the lender and the local government.  Wisconsin's foreclosure process is among the lengthiest in the country, which means that the affected properties deteriorate, surrounding property values decline and, in the worst cases, vandalism and other crimes increase.  My bill, coauthored by Senator Frank Lasee (R-De Pere), protects homeowners and preserves local governments' authority but speeds up the foreclosure process to reduce all the negative consequences for communities.


As always, I encourage you to follow my updates on social media or contact my office directly with your questions.  And be sure to take a moment tomorrow (February 6th) to celebrate late President Ronald Reagan's birthday by watching this excerpt from his speech at the October 1964 Republican National Convention.  Best wishes on your weekend!


School Choice Application Period Now Open



The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is now accepting applications for students to participate in our state's school choice programs.  Several private schools in and around Sheboygan County participate in the statewide Wisconsin Parental Choice Program.  For more information, please click here for application information, lists of eligible schools and helpful answers to the most frequently asked questions.  The application period closes on April 20th, but you should act quickly!


Did you know that, on a per-pupil basis, funding for a public school district actually increases when a student departs a public school to enroll in a private school under the statewide school choice program?  This is because only about two-thirds of the money that the state provided to the public school to educate that student "follows" the student to the private school; the remaining one-third of the money remains behind with the public school.  The reverse is not true; if a student leaves the parental choice program, state funding immediately stops flowing to the private school.



Welcome to Sheboygan, Governor!



Governor Scott Walker was on hand just a few hours ago to deliver remarks to the Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce!  It was a packed house at the Blue Harbor Conference Center today; I hope you will forgive the "grainy" quality of my cell phone camera photo.  We have a lot to be proud of in Sheboygan County, where our unemployment rate is consistently lower than the state's current 4.2 percent unemployment rate, which is even lower than the nation's average.  Thank you, Governor Walker, for taking the time to attend our meeting and learn more about our exciting new workforce development programs!





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Room 18 North, State Capitol ● PO Box 8952 ● Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-0656  ●  Rep.Katsma@legis.wisconsin.gov  ●  www.repkatsma.com