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February 17, 2017


Iowa County Round Table

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 I had the privilege to welcome Attorney General Brad Schimel to Iowa County for a Department of Justice round table discussion. A diverse group of area leaders gathered to discuss local issues including drug abuse, mental health treatment, gang activity, and implementation of body cameras for law enforcement officers.


Broadband Bill Introduced


As part of the Rural Wisconsin Initiative, I've signed on to legislation that allocates additional funds to rural broadband grant initiatives and reforms the way these grants are awarded.

The advantage of this bill is that it makes changes in the current fiscal year as opposed to waiting until next year when the budget takes effect. This legislation gives us a starting point upon which we can improve during and after the budget process this year.

The proposed legislation allocates an additional $15.5 million for broadband grants using surplus funds from the Universal Service Fund, the federal e-rate program, and unencumbered balances from other USF-funded appropriations. 

The Technology for Educational Achievement (TEACH) program will also receive an additional $7.5 million from the federal e-rate program in order to improve information technology infrastructures for school districts in our state. The eligibility criteria for this grant has been changed to include slightly larger school districts with a membership of 2,500 or less allowing for more under served districts to apply.

These funds, along with more comprehensive guidelines on the process by which these grants are awarded, stand to benefit our rural communities. I look forward to helping move this bill quickly through the legislature.

Local Law Enforcement

Iowa County Sheriff Steve Michek, Green County Sheriff Mark Rohl, and Lafayette County Sheriff Reg Gill stopped by my office this week to discuss their legislative priorities in the 51st Assembly District ranging from modernizing our 911 system to extending benefits to the families of officers who are killed in the line of duty. It is encouraging to have their support and look forward to advocating on their behalf this session.


 League of Municipalities Lobby Day

 Darlington representatives John Sonsalla, David Breunig, and Cindy Corley joined Platteville representatives Eileen Nickels and Barb Daus for a meeting in my office during the League of Municipalities Lobby Day. Among other issues, they expressed their concerns with local property tax laws as well as their support for economic development grants around the state.