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May 31, 2019

 What's Inside:

- Budget Survey

- June is Dairy Month

- Hemp

- Water Task Force

- Budget Updates

- National Trails Day

Happy Birthday, Wisconsin!

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Budget Survey

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If you haven't already, please take a moment to fill it out and let me know what you believe should be the top priorities for our district!

June is Dairy Month

As most of us know, Wisconsin is America's dairy land! This month, we celebrate our dairy farmers across the state and their contributions to the dairy industry and learn more about the delicious dairy products that we produce right here in Wisconsin. 

The 50th Assembly district includes 5 counties, so here are 5 fun opportunities to attend a dairy breakfast in your area!

Like my Facebook page and follow my twitter account @RepTonyKurtz to learn more about Wisconsin's dairy industry as the month goes on!

 

Hemp

Yesterday, I spoke at a press conference about Senate Bill 188, which is also Assembly Bill 206 that I co-authored with Senator Patrick Testing regarding industrial hemp growth here in Wisconsin. I also spoke at the Senate's public hearing for the committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions yesterday with Senator Testin. This bill is a higher level bill that makes the hemp pilot program a permanent program in Wisconsin.

Hemp is a (non-psychoactive) variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products. Hemp can be used in many different ways like paper, textiles, clothing, food, bio-degradable plastics, paint, insulation, bio-fuel, animal feed and more!

Next week, June 3rd through June 7th, Wisconsin is celebrating hemp heritage week! I will be hosting an event at my farm to showcase my hemp fields with my co-authors, Senator Patrick Testin, Senator Lena Taylor, Representative Dave Considine, and State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski.

Click on the photo to learn more about hemp! 

 

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 Water Task Force Hearing in Janesville

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I was in Janesville this week for the Water Quality Task Force public hearing and I heard testimonies from the Rock County Environmental Health Director and the County Conservationist, the Wisconsin Soybean Association, the Wisconsin Septic Trades, and the Wisconsin Biomass Energy Coalition.

June 12th, we will be coming to Juneau County and we will be in Lacrosse on the 13th for public hearings. 

This past week, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) met to vote on various provisions in the budget. The JFC approved additional investments to improve the quality of Wisconsin's water and environment through the DNR's budget. 

Budget Update

This past week, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) met on Tuesday for executive session to vote on various provisions in the budget.

The committee made significant investments in our criminal justice system by increasing the number of prosecutor’s statewide, improving compensation for prosecutors and public defenders, and raising the rate paid to private attorneys who take public defender assignments.

The committee voted to provide additional funding to the circuit court costs appropriations for court appointments made at county expense. If a public defender or private bar attorney are not available to take certain county cases, a county may attempt to appoint an attorney at a higher rate, but at the county’s expense. Last year, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ordered the county appointment rate be increased to $100 per hour. These funds will go toward helping counties meet this new compensation obligation.

The committee also voted to freeze tuition for Wisconsin undergraduate students at UW institutions for another two years. Tuition will have been frozen for 8 consecutive years. They also increased funding for the UW System by $45 million. This investment builds upon the over $100 million budgeted for UW System in the 2017-19 budget which was the largest investment in a decade. 

 

National Trails Day

This Saturday, June 1st, is National Trails Day!

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This weekend is also FREE fun weekend (June 1-2) at all state parks and forests!! The following outdoors activities are free for Wisconsin residents and visitors alike! Learn more about this fun weekend here!

  • Free entry to state parks and forests
  • Free fishing
  • Free DNR trails
  • Free ATV/UTV riding on public trails open to such uses

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