I do my best to keep you informed about the latest news from the state legislature, what my priorities are for the future and how you can reach me to share your opinions or ask questions. In recent days, almost all of my constituents received my Spring 2016 Legislative Report in the mail, summarizing our achievements during the 2015-16 session; in case you missed it, that report is also available on my website.
April 15th is Wisconsin's official first day of campaign season for the fall 2016 elections. Unfortunately, state law prohibits me from distributing e-newsletters to you after that date, which means that this edition of my e-newsletter is the last one that you will receive in your e-mail inbox from me until November. However, I encourage you to continue following my updates online or on social media (where I will continue sharing photos, community news and helpful tips for navigating state government), and you may always directly e-mail, phone or write to my office with your questions, comments and suggestions.
Over the past five years, Wisconsin's Republican legislature has cut taxes by more than $4 billion. We have held the line on property tax increases that were out of control. The 2015-17 state budget included no new state sales, income or property taxes and effectively ended the income tax "marriage penalty." Even so, our citizens pay more to the government each year than they pay to house, clothe and feed themselves. Wisconsinites now have a slightly easier tax burden than our neighbors in Minnesota and Illinois (two of the nation's most heavily tax-burdened states), but we have more work ahead to put taxpayers first, rein in government and get our spending under control.
It is my distinct honor to serve as your voice in the Wisconsin State Assembly, and I look forward to continuing to work with you toward these goals and many others!
Severe Weather Awareness
April 11-15 is Wisconsin's Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week, and two statewide tornado drills are scheduled for Thursday, April 14th. A mock tornado watch will be issued at 1:00 PM and a mock tornado warning will occur at 1:45 PM; most radio and TV broadcasts will test their alert systems at that time, and many communities will sound their severe weather sirens. New this year, there will also be a second mock tornado warning at 6:55 PM to give families, businesses and schools an opportunity to practice their emergency plans.
The most severe tornado recorded in Sheboygan County struck on the Fourth of July, 1873. Although only one person is known to have been hurt, the smokestacks of the two chair factories and the Vollrath & Co. steel foundry were toppled; numerous homes and barns were destroyed in Sheboygan, Sheboygan Falls, Plymouth, Elkhart Lake and Howard's Grove; and a vessel in the Sheboygan harbor was driven so hard against the Eighth Street bridge that the end of the bridge was moved several feet. Wisconsin averages about 23 tornadoes annually; tornadoes have touched down in Sheboygan County at least eight times in the past 50 years, most recently in 2008 and 2010.
Thanks for Visiting!
Students and chaperones from Bethlehem Lutheran School in Sheboygan (left) and Sheboygan Falls High School (right) toured the Capitol last week. Thanks for making the trip to Madison! Free tours of the Capitol are available to the general public at several times every day, including weekends and some holidays. No reservations are necessary if your group consists of fewer than 10 people. The friendly staff at the tour desk (right in the middle of the ground floor of the Rotunda) are happy to answer your questions or help make arrangements; they may be reached at (608) 266-0382.