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January 12, 2018


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Frank Lloyd Wright Trail Success

The product of a bill I authored, the Frank Lloyd Wright trail was featured in a report released by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism showing that the trail has generated over $50 million in earned media. It is exciting to see this trail bringing attention to some of the impressive attractions in our area.

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Trip to National Legislative Agriculture Chairs Summit

This past weekend, I traveled with State Representative Travis Tranel and Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Sheila Harsdorf to the Legislative Agriculture Chairs Summit hosted by State Agricultural and Rural Leaders in Kansas City. Legislators from around the United States and Canada gathered to discuss challenges facing our rural and agricultural communities. Rep. Tranel, Secretary Harsdorf, and I participated in breakout sessions that touched on rural infrastructure and transportation, affordable housing, rural schools, and various challenges facing the agricultural economy.

As you would expect, many of these issues are not unique to our state. Other states have experienced and dealt with similar challenges and it was beneficial to gather information to bring back to Wisconsin.

I appreciate the opportunity to attend and I look forward to future opportunities to collaborate on these topics.

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Legislation Progressing

It was a busy week in the State Capitol. I was able to testify in support of two bills I authored as they received hearings this week. The first requires the Department of Justice to exclude the names of crime victims, who receive restitution from the state, from semiannual reports to the legislature. Under current law, these reports must include the individual names and the amount of restitution each victim received. By changing these requirements, we are protecting the privacy of crime victims.

My bill waiving fees for occupational licenses for veterans and families with incomes less than 180% of the federal poverty level also received a hearing this week. For low income individuals, a licensing fee can be the difference between obtaining gainful employment in their desired field or remaining unemployed. Every additional expense makes it increasingly more difficult. Veterans stand to benefit as well. Often forced to reintegrate into civilian life following military service, this bill makes the process a little bit easier.

I expect next week to be just as busy as more of my proposals come before their respective committees for a hearing. 

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White Space Technology

On Wednesday, I took part in the announcement of a resolution calling for the implementation of White Space Technology in Wisconsin. The resolution calls for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt regulations that will allow for the use of TV white space. This technology utilizes the unused spectrum between TV stations to broadcast high speed internet. The internet transmitted by these means is four times faster and reaches sixteen times farther than current Wi-Fi.

Our rural areas are in need of high speed, affordable internet access. Innovative technology like this brings a unique option to the table with the potential to make a difference in our rural areas as we invest in their access to the internet.

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Thanks for Visiting!

This week, Clean Wisconsin Water Program Director Scott Laeser of Argyle visited my office in support of a new rule that will address the drinking water contamination occurring in Northeast Wisconsin. 

Jason King, Darlington Police Chief, visited during the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Advocacy Day. We discussed issues related to mental health emergencies and PTSD awareness in public safety fields.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my office. I look forward to working with both of you.