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Listening Sessions

 

 

This week I held 5 listening sessions to hear what you as my constituents wanted to be included in this years state budget. We heard from constituents from across the district and it was wonderful to see everyone who came to participate. My staff and I had a number of very informative conversations about what issues we are facing and what you would like to see included in the budget.

From road funding, economic development, and rural broadband, we heard it all. Local road funding is the largest issue in our district and one of the most talked about topics this week at our listening sessions. This feedback is useful and allows me to better influence the budget process so our district has the resources it needs to be successful.

The budget process is already underway so don’t forget about the Joint Committee on Finance and the hearings they will be holding around the state to hear what you want in the budget. You can click here to reach the Joint Committee on Finances budget comment website.

Thank you to everyone who came out!

 

 


 

Priorities for the American rescue Plan Money

 

Republican members of the legislature at the Capitol Tuesday announced our priorities for how federal stimulus funds should be spent. Wisconsin will receive $3.2 billion in federal aid from the recently passed American Recue Plan Act of 2021. The legislature had previously passed legislation to provide for more oversight of how these funds were spent, but Governor Evers vetoed that bill on Monday of this week.

Making sure these funds are spent wisely and in areas of need is our responsibility to the taxpayers as elected officials. The governor has already announced his plan for spending these dollars, however does not focus enough on helping those struggling the most during this pandemic.

The Assembly Republican Caucus is proposing that a significant portion of these new federal funds be directed to help Wisconsin families. This is the taxpayers’ money and they are best stewards of it. Sending direct payments to homeowners would help those who have struggled to make ends meets during this pandemic. Many Wisconsinites experienced difficulties in paying property taxes this past year and these aid payments will go a long way in assisting them.

Governor Evers’ proposed spending plan also woefully neglected funding for long term care facilities. Nearly 50% of Wisconsin deaths from COVID-19 occurred in long term care facilities, but the governor allocated less than 10% of the newest federal aid to provide assistance there. It is essential that the state help those who dealt with the brunt of this pandemic.

Broadband expansion is one area that we agree should be addressed and can be with these funds, although he did not go far enough in his proposal. Republicans are proposing that $500 million of federal aid be spent on this priority. COVID-19 exposed a massive gap in internet access in our state. Nearly overnight, Wisconsin schools and businesses were forced to adapt to remote models. Using federal funds to help close the gap in internet access is a common sense solution. Broadband expansion would especially help our rural communities address the challenges we still face with remote work and learning.

I hope the governor listens to our priorities for this Covid-19 relief money. These funds are meant to help our communities get back on their feet and we should use it to do whatever we can to do so.

 


 

Coming up in the Legislature 

The legislature will be very busy next week. There will be a number of bills discussed across committees in both chambers. Below is the list of committee hearings for you to learn more about the legislatures work next week.

Monday April 5th

Senate Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges: Informational Hearing

Tuesday April 6th

Assembly Committee on Rural Development: Public Hearing

Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform: Public Hearing

Joint Committee on Finance: Briefing

Assembly Subcommittee on Education and Economic Development: Informational Hearing

Wednesday April 7th

Joint Committee on Finance: Briefing

Senate Committee on Economic and Workforce Development: Public Hearing

Senate Committee on Economic and Workforce Development: Executive Session

Assembly Committee on Agriculture: Executive Session

Assembly Committee on Agriculture: Public Hearing

Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy: Public Hearing

Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety: Public Hearing

Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety: Executive Session

Senate Committee on Transportation and Local Government: Executive Session

Senate Committee on Transportation and Local Government: Public Hearing

Thursday April 8th

Assembly Committee on Education: Informational Hearing

Senate Committee on Education: Informational Hearing

Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy: Executive Session

Assembly Committee on Agriculture: Executive Session

Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy: Public Hearing

Friday April 9th

Joint Committee on Finance: Public Hearing