June 05, 2015

Introduced Bill to Deliver Timely, Emergency Response across State Lines

Last week on May 27th, I introduced Assembly Bill 249. This bill Addresses a growing concern of emergency services in Lafayette County and will help in the delivery of timely, emergency response across State Lines

Rep. Novak Addresses Growing Concern of Emergency Services in Lafayette County

Assembly Bill 249 (Senate Bill 182) was introduced on behalf of constituents in southern Lafayette County who have, for many years, utilized the services of the Warren, Illinois ambulance service. Warren, Illinois is closer for many in rural Southern Lafayette County than any other Wisconsin based EMS. For many, utilizing the Warren EMS can save precious time and make a difference for those in emergency and life threatening situations.

As we know, in medical emergencies time is of the essence. Last year a constituent in the South Wayne area had a medical issue. Both the Warren and Darlington ambulances were dispatched. Within minutes, Warren EMTs arrived on the scene and took steps that ultimately saved the man’s life. Due to the distance they needed to travel, this all occurred before Darlington had arrived at the scene. Doctors said if it wasn’t for the fast arrival of Warren the man might not have lived. Time saves lives in many medical emergencies.

I appreciate the help of DHS in this issue and as soon as they became aware of the matter they beagn to work with myself and Senator Marklein to find a solution to the problem. With the help of the Department, we have drafted language for this bill which creates a limited exemption from the requirement for ambulance service providers licensed in another state that make ten or fewer patient transports per year that originate and terminate in Wisconsin.

The bill has been placed on the calendar for June 09, 2015.

Budget News: Stewardship Fund & Frank Lloyd Wright Heritage Trail

Supporting Efforts to Maintain Stewardship Fund:

I was pleased with the action taken by the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee in reversing Governor Walker’s proposed moratorium of land purchases as a part of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. Friday May 29th, the JFC approved a plan that restores the ability for continued land purchases and reduces the Stewardship Program’s overall debt.

Preserving our Wisconsin’s rich natural resources for future generations is something that I strongly believe needs to be a priority in our budget, In sharing my concerns about the Governor’s proposed moratorium, I want to thank the members of the JFC for reversing this proposal and moving to improve the Program’s sustainability.

Under the proposal initially presented by the Governor, the state would have been unable to continue land purchases for the next 13 years. In the motion adopted by the JFC earlier today, land acquisition authority was restored and a conservative plan for purchases was outlined to increase the financial sustainability of the Program. Overall, the Stewardship Program’s debt will be reduced by about $140 million over the course of the next 20 years.

Thanks to the success of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, today southwest Wisconsin is home to a number of preserves and restoration areas that draw tourists, sportsmen and women and nature enthusiast alike. Thanks to the input of many constituents and stakeholders, I’m proud to have worked to prioritize this successful program in our state’s next budget.

Creating Frank Lloyd Wright Heritage Trail

New Trail will draw tourists to Wright sights across Wisconsin

I was happy to see my budget motion pass the legislative Joint Finance Committee (JFC). Wednesday May 27, JFC moved to approve a plan that would create a driving, heritage trail through the state, highlighting the architectural works of Wisconsin native Frank Lloyd Wright. Showcasing many of the Wright-designed buildings across the state, the new trail will provide a clear guide for tourists looking to visit these sites in communities from Iowa County to Kenosha County.

As a lifelong resident of southwest Wisconsin, I know how lucky we are to be able to enjoy the many architectural wonders of Spring Green’s own, Frank Lloyd Wright. With the creation of the Frank Lloyd Wright Heritage Trail, we’ll be able to highlight his many impressive works while also bringing tourism dollars right back to our communities.

Spanning from Interstate 94 in Kenosha County all the way to Wright’s famed-home, Taliesin, in Spring Green, the trail is designed to highlight the many buildings designed by Wright in southwest Wisconsin. The project, which will be supported within the Department of Tourism’s marketing budget, will help to provide signage along the route and direct motorists to nearby Wright landmarks.

I’m excited to have the opportunity to show off these extraordinary buildings, embedded in the fabric of our communities, to visitors from across the state. I want to thank my colleagues on the Joint Finance Committee for helping me initiate this effort. I look forward to welcoming its many visitors to southwest Wisconsin.


What's Happening in Madison...

Last week the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) completed its eleventh executive session of the 2015-17 budget.
Below is a list of issue areas remaining to be tackled by the JFC:
General Fund Taxes -- Income and Franchise Taxes
General Fund Taxes -- Sales and Excise Taxes
Department of Revenue -- Department wide
Department of Revenue -- Tax Administration
Sports and Entertainment District
Department of Transportation -- Transportation Finance
Department of Transportation -- Local Transportation Aid
Department of Transportation -- Local Transportation Assistance
Department of Transportation -- State Highways Program

On June 02, 2015 I testified before a joint legislative committee about my bill that will allow for out of state ambulance service in portions of Lafayette County. Assembly Bill 249/Senate Bill 182 moves to address a growing concern along the Wisconsin/Illinois state line where ambulance services may be delayed due to complications with interstate ambulance licenses. We all know that in medical emergencies, time is of the essence. At the request of concerned constituents, I co-authored this bill to make sure that emergency services can be delivered in a timely fashion.”

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting a couple school groups from Dodgeville that came to visit the Capitol building. Donna Leonard, Dana Graber, and Teresa Stanek-Noble from St. Joseph's School along with their 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders--I hope you all enjoyed the building!

If you ever find yourself in Madison or your group plans to visit the State Capitol, I hope that you can stop by my office, 304 North. It is a beautiful facility full of history. I'd definitely encourage you to take a tour someday - Now that Winter is coming to a close, the Capitol and surrounding area would make a great day trip for the family.


Testifying on AB249 with Senator Howard Marklein, and Lafayette County Sheriff Reg Gill Donna Leonard, Dana Graber, and Teresa Stanek-Noble from St. Joseph's School along with their 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders--I hope you all enjoyed the building!  



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State Capitol Room 304 North - PO Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-7502
Email: Rep.Novak@legis.wisconsin.gov