It's been a big week for Wisconsin. With bipartisan support for the enabling legislation that Governor Scott Walker signed into law on Monday, tech giant Foxconn is officially coming to our state. A recent UW-Madison study estimated that Wisconsin will receive four dollars back for every dollar invested. But not even one taxpayer dollar will ever be paid to the company until after Foxconn follows through with its promises.
And, at long last, we have a budget! As I've described in previous newsletters, this plan is a good plan for Wisconsin. There will be record-high new investment in our schools, new tax cuts and new investments in worker training and government accountability. Governor Walker signed the budget into law on Thursday.
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 as of 3:02 PM today, happy First Day of Fall (even though it still feels like July)!
We're Fighting Back
This week, all the state legislators who represent Sheboygan County (so, in addition to me, that includes Senator Devin LeMahieu, Senator Duey Stroebel, Representative Jesse Kremer and Representative Tyler Vorpagel) unveiled new legislation that would put a stop to the federal Environmental Protection Agency's unfair classification of Sheboygan County as an air quality nonattainment zone.
Lake Michigan is known to be an "ozone cooker," where pollutants generated in other states collect and interact in sunlight to form ozone. Two air quality monitoring stations operate in Sheboygan County. Unsurprisingly, the one that is sited to measure ozone coming off the Lake from Illinois and Indiana shows high ozone readings; the one that is sited to measure Sheboygan County's share of the pollution shows normal readings.
The EPA has actually acknowledged that the real problem lies with other states, but the agency inexplicably chooses to use only the high readings to justify punishing Sheboygan County with extra pollution-control requirements for area businesses, extra costs, extra delays and even government bans on new business growth.
Our team of Sheboygan County legislators have cooperated to introduce a fix that would revise the federally-mandated state air quality monitoring plan so that the unfair data coming from other states' pollution cannot be used unreasonably against Sheboygan County any longer. Our proposed legislation will be formally introduced next week and is expected to receive a public hearing later this fall.
Click the graphic above to watch the short documentary video produced recently by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty that does a great job breaking down this issue and the unfair consequences for our local economy. Enough is enough!
Public Listening Sessions... and New Blue Books!
Senator Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg), Representative Tyler Vorpagel (R-Plymouth) and I will visit the Mead Public Library, 710 N. 8th Street in Sheboygan, on Monday, October 2nd at 1:00 PM. Senator LeMahieu and I will also visit Lakeview Community Library, 112 Butler Street in Random Lake, later that afternoon on Monday, October 2nd at 3:00 PM. Come on by to say hello, get to know us and let us know face-to-face what's on your mind! As always, even if you can't attend personally at one of those times, just give our offices a call or e-mail at any time and we'll do our best to help you out in whatever ways we can.
Also, the new 2017-18 Wisconsin Blue Book is set to be released next week, and I think that we legislators will take delivery of a quantity of them just in time to have a supply with us on October 2nd. In case you aren't familiar with these, the Wisconsin Blue Book is an almanac of state government that has been in continuous production since the 1850s, almost as long as Wisconsin has been a state. The state Department of Administration will sell you a copy for about $8 or so, but a number of the hardcover books are always provided to each state legislator so that we can make them available to you at no charge.
If you would like a free hardcover 2017-18 Wisconsin Blue Book, just reply to this e-mail and provide me with your address and I'll make sure that you receive one! The new edition and the past several editions will also be accessible online on the state legislature's website; editions older than 2005-06 are accessible online in their entirety through the University of Wisconsin library system.