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February 21st, 2020

 
  

Contents

Wisconsin Petroleum and Convenience Store Operators

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On Tuesday, I met with Dick Powell from Spring Green as a part of the Wisconsin Petroleum and Convenience Store Operators. We discussed ways that we can keep Wisconsin a small-business-friendly place. Thank you for stopping by!

Water Bills Pass Assembly

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Thirteen bills recommended by the Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality passed the Assembly on Tuesday with bipartisan support. When this task force was formed one year ago, I could not have imagined how rewarding it would be to serve as chairman of this committee. We heard from over 70 diverse stakeholder groups, traveled over 2,000 miles, and heard over 100 hours of testimony. We brought everyone to the table to ensure we collected information that was both balanced and comprehensive.

The bills passed include investments in research and data collection, resources for our farmers to engage in conservation, and assistance for those in immediate need. Two bills I authored create the UW Freshwater Collaborative to aid in developing a freshwater workforce along with additional funding for County Conservation Staff who work to build relationships and implement the state’s many water quality programs.

To assist farmers engage in conservation, other bills passed include the creation of a Nitrogen Reduction Pilot Program which will award grants to farmers who implement nitrogen reduction strategies on their fields. We also increased funding for producer led groups that will allow this successful program to grow.

Finally, to encourage more counties around Wisconsin to follow the lead of the successful Southwest Wisconsin Groundwater and Geology Study (SWIGG), legislation passed will create a county grant program to provide funding to counties who wish to learn more about their unique groundwater challenges. I’m so very proud of the work this task force has accomplished. The issue we are dealing with has been decades in the making and will take time to fix. We have successfully worked across the aisle to craft meaningful legislation and build a foundation for continued work on Wisconsin’s most valuable resource.

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American Council of Engineering Companies

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On Wednesday, I met with the Ellery Schaffer and Greg Jewell of Jewell Associates Engineers Inc. who were in Madison for the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) legislative day. ACEC is a group of engineering firms who help design roads, bridges, dams, water treatment facilities, and various other buildings. Glad we could meet!

Southwest Tech Student Senate

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On Tuesday, Rep. Tranel and I met with members of Southwest Tech’s Student Senate to tell them about what I do as a member of the assembly. They were in Madison for the Wisconsin Student Government Conference. I met with Raife Ambort, Noah Klar, Megan Campbell, Emma Morgan, Stephanie Wilson, Alyssa Campbell, Honesti Runde, and Robin Hamel. Thank you for stopping!

 Bill Heads to the Governor

The law requires that net new construction data be included as part of a referendum question to exceed a levy limit. Due to actual net new construction numbers not being released by the Department of Revenue until August 15th of each year, it is difficult to hold a referendum during a regularly scheduled election in an even numbered year. This can result in costly special elections and low turnout. In 2013, the law was changed to allow for Green County to use a best estimate of net new construction in the referendum question to exceed the levy limit in order to continue operating Pleasant View Nursing Home. This session, I authored a bill that expands the ability to use a best estimate to local governments across Wisconsin. The bill, granting additional flexibility to our local governments, has passed both the Assembly and the Senate and will head to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

Have a Great Weekend!

 

 

 

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