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November 17, 2017


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Good Luck Hunters

Saturday marks the beginning of Wisconsin's Gun Deer Hunt. Click here for updated information regarding this years hunt including guidelines on the new age restrictions to obtain a mentored license.

Bills Introduced

I recently introduced two bills I have been working on. The first is a bill aimed at protecting the rights of crime victims and the second relates to supported decision making agreements for adults with disabilities. I'm excited to share these ideas with the legislature and I hope for passage before the end of our 2018 session.

Recently, Marsy's Law, a constitutional amendment protecting the rights of crime victims, passed both the Senate and Assembly, and is on its way to the Governor's Desk. My work on this bill has brought to light some additional changes we can make to protect the privacy of crime victims. Currently, the Department of Administration and the Joint Committee on Finance are provided with a report detailing restitution payments and to whom they are being sent. In the interest of privacy, AB 650 would remove individual names and simply provide the aggregate amount being paid.

I also introduced AB 655 allowing an adult with a disability to create an agreement with another person who would assist in decision-making with adult life decisions. These decisions might include housing, health care, financial, or any other areas the individual identifies. This supporter would not be able to sign legal documents or bind the adult to a legal agreement; the adult always makes the final decision. Put simply, this arrangement would be a legally recognized alternative to guardianship.

I look forward to advocating on behalf of this legislation as the session continues and I welcome any and all feedback on these proposals.

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Labor Permits

On Wednesday, AB 504, which allows for children under the age of twelve to work at a business owned by their parents, without the need for a work permit, was heard in committee. Diane Clement, Terry Turnquist, Pamela Ziegler, and Curtis Eberle visited the capitol to testify in support of this legislation. Representative Marklein and I authored this proposal after Curtis' business was reported to the state because his young children were helping take orders, wash tables, and make change at The Mixing Bowl Bakery in Sauk City.

Currently an exception in the law exists to allow for children of any age to help on a family farm without a work permit. I firmly believe that children should be able to help at any family business, regardless of age. I look forward to voting in favor of this bill in the coming months.

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Monroe Arts Center Ceremony

On Sunday I attended the Monroe Arts Center Reception celebrating our grant from the State of Wisconsin as well as the recently announced "Colony Brands Challenge" to raise funds for building improvements at the Center. 

Pictured above are Monroe Arts Center President Kevin Callahan, Colony Brands President and CEO John Baumann, and MAC Foundation President Chuck Wellington. The state grant, included in the budget at my request, has already been matched for a total of $200,000 and the center now sets its sights on this generous support from Colony Brands. Colony Brands has pledged to donate $700,000 if a total of $200,000 is raised by both the Monroe Arts Center and Monroe Arts Center Foundation in addition to the state's match of $100,000 for a grand total of $1 million. It is exciting to see support coming from so many different places for this amazing facility.