September 17, 2021


State-Tribal Relations Bills Advance in Senate

This week, I spoke before the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee during the Public Hearing to support two bills that came out of the Special Committee on State-Tribal Relations that I chaired, Senate Bills 419 and 420. These bills were crafted after hearing from members of the public and tribal communities in response to issues that had been brought forward. They recently had a hearing in the Assembly, which I discussed in a past e-update

Senate Bill 419 would require tribal chairs and tribal law enforcement agencies to be notified when a sexually violent person is being placed on supervise release in a county where the tribe is located. Right now, only county chairs and law enforcement have to be notified, leaving tribal chairs and law enforcement in the dark about these placements. This puts our members of the tribal community at greater risk, as our tribal officials aren't aware there's someone on supervised release to be aware of. This bill makes sure our communities are all treated equally in these supervised release situations, and that whether tribal or non-tribal, the chairs and law enforcement are kept in-the-loop. 

Senate Bill 420 expands enhanced criminal penalties for causing or threatening harm to a court officer or their family to also cover tribal court proceedings and tribal court officers. Under current law if someone threatens or causes physical harm to a court official or their family as a result of a court proceeding, that offender is subject to heightened criminal penalties. However, that same protection doesn't apply to officers in tribal court proceedings. This bill would make it so regardless of whether it is a tribal or non-tribal court official, the penalties would be the same for threatening or causing physical harm to them. This provides equal protection under the law for judicial officials in the state. 

These bills have been making steady progress through the legislative process. I think these will do some real good for our tribal communities, so look forward to seeing them make it to Governor Evers' desk. 

Pre-Order New Wisconsin Blue Book

The new Wisconsin Blue Books are almost here, so now's the time to pre-order your 2021-22 Blue Book! We're expecting them to be sent to legislative offices on September 21, and at that point my staff and I will start mailing them out. The Blue Book is a publication released every two two years by Wisconsin, which essentially is an almanac with information on the government, economics, demographics, geography and history of Wisconsin, along with contact information for state offices and officials. It also includes a special article each year on a unique topic related to Wisconsin. Hardcover copies of the Blue Book can be pre-ordered for no cost through my office by clicking the link below: 

Pre-Order a 2021-22 Blue Book

Celebrating 74 Years of Marriage!

I had the pleasure of celebrating this past weekend with Don & Gloria Persinger on their 74th Anniversary! The two met when Don had been in the Navy, and after his retirement from service he went on to teach in Wisconsin. Don & Gloria have been long-time Wisconsin residents and have moved up to Amberg for their retirement where they've fit right into the community. It was great to celebrate their incredible milestone alongside their family and friends. 

Question of the Week: 
Eliminating Wolf Hunt Requirement

Right now, Wisconsin is the only state in the US that has a mandated wolf hunt in state statutes. Under current law, if the wolf is not listed on the federal or state endangered lists, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) must allow the hunting and trapping of wolves. In light of the recent hunt that saw harvest quotas exceeded by 83%, Senator Carpenter proposed a bill that would give the DNR discretion over whether a hunt should be held for wolves if they aren't on the endangered lists. Under his bill, the DNR may allow the hunting and trapping of wolves, but would remove the requirement to have a hunt. 

Supporters of the bill cite the hunt in February 2021, and feel that the DNR had been pressured to conduct the hunt against the agency's judgement and before tribal governments were consulted and an updated Wolf Management Plan constructed. They say this bill would give the DNR the time to take proper steps, planning and research without being held back by a strict requirement on when they must conduct a hunt. They feel that the bill will give the DNR the ability to "make scientifically informed decisions about wildlife management, uphold [their] responsibilities to consult with sovereign tribal governments, and take the considerations of the public into account before hunts are held."

Opponents of the bill are concerned with how the DNR has operated in recent years. They feel that the wolf population has become a problem and even a danger to residents in many areas of the state and are concerned that without a required hunt, the DNR could delay the approval of a hunt. They feel that since the wolf is no longer listed as endangered, there should be no reason for the DNR to not have a mandatory hunt just like with deer or bear each year to help control the population and keep it at a reasonable level.

Balancing wildlife preservation with safety and sportsmen interests can be a tricky issue in cases like this, so I'd like to hear your thoughts on this bill. Please take a moment to answer my question of the week:

Click here for my Question of the Week

Last Week's Results:
Dentists Administering Vaccines

I've heard from many people around the 36th Assembly District in response to last week's question. The chart below represents the responses from constituents to the question as of Thursday afternoon. 

Wisconsin Resources

As a legislator, one of the most helpful websites I've encountered has been The website is essentially the hub for all things Wisconsin and is definitely worth bookmarking or saving on your computer! Information, links to forms and more are all complied in one place in an easy to search format, and separated into different categories. Personally, this page is a great way to get the most out of what Wisconsin offers to residents, visitors, businesses and employees, and is definitely worth a visit.  

Upcoming District Events

The following are just a few of events that will be occurring soon around or near the 36th Assembly District. Please let me know if you have an event you would like to have considered for inclusion on this list. As always, remember to take proper precautions when at events for COVID-19 and check their webpages for any updates or cancellations.

Follow the Legislative Action

In order to stay up to date on any legislation, proposals, or your legislator, a free notification service is available through the Wisconsin State Legislature's website. You can sign up for nightly personalized email notifications based on our state's legislative activity. This is a wonderful way to stay informed about state politics and proposals that you are interested in.