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March 24, 2017


WASB Day at the Capitol

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Michael Boehme, the Clerk for the Monroe School Board, came by my office last week to advocate on behalf of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards. This organization brings together school board members from around the state to advocate for public education. Among other issues, we discussed some of the current provisions in the Governor's budget including increased per-pupil funding and other issues related to rural schools.

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Mineral Point 4th Grade Class Testifies in Front of Joint Committee

Cheese is one step closer to becoming Wisconsin’s State Dairy Product.

Assembly Bill 73, first proposed by Mineral Point 4th graders and authored by myself and Sen. Howard Marklein, was heard by the Assembly Committee on Agriculture and the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology, and Consumer Protection in a joint hearing on Thursday, March 23, 2017.

There is a lot of value in teaching kids the importance of civil engagement. These students put in a lot of time and effort into researching their proposal. It has been a privilege to see it through to the next stage of the process.

Students Ella Kroll, Isabelle Coogan, Matthew Goninen, and teacher Livia Doyle from Mineral Point Elementary spoke at the hearing in support of the bill.

“Ninety percent of the 30 billion pounds of milk our dairy cows produce each year is turned into cheese,” said fourth grader Matthew Goninen. “That’s a lot of cheese!” he added. Following Matthew’s testimony, Sen. David Craig (Town of Vernon) asked why Wisconsin’s State Dairy Product should be cheese and not custard. Thinking on his feet, Matthew replied “Only 10% of the milk produced stays as milk and [only] some of that goes into making [custard]. The Senator acknowledged that Matthew had provided an impressive response.

If their teachers approve, it would be great to have the class back to the Capitol to watch the full Senate or Assembly vote on the bill.

If the bill is passed by both the Senate and the Assembly, it will head to Governor Scott Walker’s desk to be signed into law.

Wisconsin's Economy is Growing

The Department of Workforce Development released data today showing that Wisconsin's unemployment rate has fallen to 3.7%, the lowest since November of 2000 and 0.2% lower than January. February's data shows that 7,600 private-sector jobs have been added and unemployment insurance claims are on track to be the lowest since 1989. 

Additionally, Governor Walker announced this week that German candy manufacturer Haribo will be opening its first North American manufacturing facility in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The new development plans to create 400 jobs in the area. This is great news!


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Wisconsin Towns Association

John Hess, Chairman of the Town of Wyoming, Iowa County, came by to advocate on behalf of the Wisconsin Towns Association last week. The Wisconsin Towns Association works to support and protect local control of government and lobby on behalf of townships around the state. Included in their legislative agenda for this session is additional state aid to repair and maintain town roads. Thanks for visiting, John!


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