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October 5, 2017
    

Contents

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Blue Books Available

The 2017-18 Wisconsin Blue Books are here! If you would like a complimentary copy, email Rep.Novak@legis.wisconsin.gov

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 Monroe Arts Center Grant Approved by Governor

The budget motion I put forward which would give $100,000 in matching funds to the Monroe Arts Center passed as part of the state budget and was signed by Governor Walker on September 21st. The Arts Center will receive $100,000 to be used for funding improvements and an expansion to the building once they raise a matching $100,000 from private or corporate sources.

Richard Daniels, Director of the Monroe Arts Center has praised the legislation citing the importance of the facility to southwest Wisconsin. These funds will be used to complete the restoration of the the historical exterior and concert hall.

I’m very excited to see that this motion was not only passed by the legislature, but also signed into law by Governor Walker. This money will go a long ways towards improving arts education and showcasing the dynamic arts community we have in Southwest Wisconsin. 

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Dodgeville Foster Care Task Force Hearing

On Wednesday, September 20th the Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care traveled to Dodgeville to hear from local experts on the issues and challenges facing their child welfare systems. The Task Force heard from Iowa, Grant, and Green County Health and Human Service Directors on various topics including children in out-of-home care and the challenges the department  faces to provide them with adequate services. Unlike many of the counties across the state, Iowa County has seen a low number of children placed in out-of-home care. Tom Slaney, Iowa County Social Services Director, attributed this trend to the availability of community based services for those who are at-risk for entering the child welfare system.

A highlight of our hearing was a presentation by the Wisconsin Court Appointed Special Advocates Association, an organization that speaks on behalf of children in out-of-home care. CASA volunteers visit with children and report back to the judge on how they are doing in their out-of-home care placement. This organization helps to give judges an objective look at the lives of foster children and provides them with important insight as they make decisions relating to the well being of these youth.

Soon, we will be traveling to Milwaukee for our next hearing.  As a lifelong resident of southwest Wisconsin, I'm looking forward  to hearing about the unique issues facing the largest foster care system in our state.

 

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Removing Unnecessary Government Overreach

On Wednesday, the Senate held a hearing on AB 504, a bill Senator Marklein and myself authored that removes the requirement for children working at a family business to obtain a work permit.

This issue was brought to our attention by Curtis Eberle, owner of the Mixing Bowl Bakery in Sauk City, who was made aware that his young children were breaking the law when they performed tasks like make change or wash tables at the family bakery. As someone who grew up on a family farm, I know what a learning experience it is to work alongside your parents and siblings. Working on the farm developed my work ethic and taught me the importance of being a part of something bigger than myself.

Current law allows for an exemption from child work permits for work on the family farm, but not for family business. I believe these are one and the same and I look forward to seeing this bill through the legislative process.

 

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Children's Health Alliance Visits Madison

Caroline and Amber, representatives from the Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin, stopped by my office to advocate for quality health service and access for all children. Their mission is to ensure that Wisconsin children are healthy, safe, and have the ability to thrive. Thank you for visiting!