Many thanks to Shelley for inviting me to help with your shift at Festival Foods on Monday! If you're not familiar with RCS Empowers and the things they're doing in Sheboygan County to match up willing employees like Shelley with employers who need reliable help, let me tell you: they're changing people's lives! We were smiling for a couple different cameras at once; I think this shot captures the pride on both of our faces. Keep up your great effort, Shelley; I'm proud of you!
Actually, I'm spending the day today at the Osthoff Resort for an important statewide conversation about the broader needs for our workforce. The Senate and Assembly Workforce Development Committees (of which I am a member) are exchanging ideas with business leaders, the UW System, the Wisconsin Technical College System, government agencies and others to try to keep up the momentum at figuring out what we are doing well and where we can improve. It's a good problem, maybe the best possible economic problem to have, when you have plenty of economic growth happening and scarcely enough workers to fill open positions -- wages are driven up, for one thing, as employers compete to attract workers -- but it's still a problem, and I'm glad to be working proactively on solutions for our state's future needs.
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!
More Big Ideas
This is the time of year when legislators (just like students everywhere) are doing a lot of homework! Many legislative committees are working hard to evaluate new proposals and collect public input before deciding whether to recommend that the best ideas advance. Here are a few recent highlights; what do you think?
The Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety recommended four bills be considered for passage that crack down hard on sexual exploitation. Under current law, there is no penalty for an adult who solicits an explicit photo or recording from a juvenile; AB 389 would establish a penalty. The other bills would create a "three-strikes-you're-out" felony provision for repeatedly patronizing prostitutes; significantly increase the deterrent by requiring a new $5,000 fine for solicitation of prostitution; and creates a felony provision for patronizing a person who is under the age of 18.
Things to Know As Autumn Arrives
Big changes for hunters! Several improvements to Wisconsin's hunting license system, especially the deer hunting license and registration system, are immediately effective (now that the new state budget has been signed into law). Deer hunters do not wear a paper backtag anymore. You are not required to have paper deer tags at all; you do not need to attach any paper tag to a deer; and you do not need to keep any paper tag with the meat.
Instead, you need just two things to go hunting: (1) you need to carry proof with you in the field that you purchased a valid license. From your online DNR GoWild account, you may choose to print your license on regular paper and carry that into the field; or you may electronically link your account to your driver's license and just carry your wallet into the field; or you may carry your mobile device in the field and use it to show the warden a PDF version of your valid license. And (2) you need to register your deer online or by phone (online is much faster) by 5:00 PM the day after you harvest it. Registration requires just the valid tag number from your license; you don't actually need any paper at all. Click here for more details!
Outdoor fun! More than 20 fall-themed fun events are scheduled at Wisconsin's beautiful state parks! Check out the details by clicking here. Note well the events scheduled at Kohler-Andrae State Park on October 7th (candlelight hiking) and October 28th (Campers' Halloween/Trick or Treating)!
State Highway 23 project update. The general public is welcome at UW-Fond du Lac on Thursday, October 12th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM to receive the latest updates directly from Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) officials about State Highway 23 and provide input to the Department. A brief presentation will occur at 5:30 PM; the remainder of the event will follow an open-house format. This is a great opportunity to make your voice heard and learn specifically what steps the DOT is taking to get this project back on track. Click here for more details.