State Capitol Report


April 14, 2016

Contact Me

State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708

PH: (608) 266-0455
TF: (888) 534-0065
FAX: (608) 282-3665

On the Web:


District Events

Downtown Kenosha Spring Clean-Up Day

What: Downtown Kenosha Inc (DKI) is holding a Volunteer Day corresponding with Earth Day. We can show some love to our Downtown. For two shifts (9-1 and 12-4) we will pick up garbage, sweep sidewalks, and help beautify Kenosha's Downtown.
: Friday, April 22nd from 9am-4pm

Where: Veterans Park, Just southeast of Kenosha City Hall, 625 52nd Street
Info: Click HERE for more information or to sign up to volunteer.


9th Annual Dairy State Cheese & Beer Festival
: Saturday, April 23 from 1pm-5pm

Where: The Brat Stop, 12304 – 75th Street, Kenosha
: $45 per person in advance for general admission ($50 at the door), $75 for VIP tickets ($80 at the door).

Wisconsin Marathon

When: Saturday, May 7th

Where: The Marathon and Half Marathon start near the corner of 54th Street and 1st Ave in downtown Kenosha, near the Kenosha Public Museum. Runners will run thru Harbor Park and past several newly built homes and storefronts. Click HERE for full route information.


2016 Older Americans Celebration

When: Thursday, May 19 from 11am-2pm

Where: UAW Local 72, 3615 Washington Road, Kenosha

What: This annual event honors our Older Americans. You will be serenaded by the famous Tremper Golden Strings, enjoy a sit-down dinner of turkey with corn-bread stuffing, cranberry sauce, fresh salad, and dessert. Program features Diane Giles of the Kenosha News with a Walk Down Memory Lane.

Tickets: $15/ticket. Tickets are on sale now and available at the Kenosha ADRC, 8600 Sheridan Road, Entrance D. Pre-tickets sales only.

Contact: Question? Call 262-605-6616.



Kenosha Arbor Day Ceremony to honor Highland, Vignieri


On April 29th, the City of Kenosha will honor Edna Highland and Charles Vignieri by planting trees in their memory for Arbor Day. A red oak tree will be planted in honor of Highland at 10 a.m. at Pennoyer Park and a sugar maple tree will be planted in honor of Vignieri at 11 a.m. at Simmons Island Park. Click HERE to read the Kenosha News coverage.



ICYMI: Barca Alarmed By Scope of Veterans' Service Shortcomings


Representative Peter Barca (AD 64) recently visited with Executive Board of the County Veterans Services Officers (CVSO) Association of Wisconsin, during which several important concerns were raised about the lack of support and involvement by the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) in the CVSO Association. HERE is a Kenosha News article about the meeting and what followed.



Local Resource: Racine|Kenosha Community Action Agency


Racine | Kenosha Community Action Agency (RKCAA) has been providing a broad array of anti-poverty services in Racine and Kenosha counties since 1967 under the guidance of a Board of Directors comprised of representatives from government, the private sector and the low-income community.


With programs on food and nutrition, education, health, and housing, RKCAA provides a wide variety of resources and information for individuals and families in our community. RKCAA works hard to improve lives by providing quality programs and innovative solutions for individuals and families, which in turn changes our community.


RKCAA's Kenosha office is located at 2000 63rd Street and can be reached the following ways:

  • Local Phone: (262) 657-0840

  • Toll Free: (800) 972-3787

  • Fax: (262) 657-1631

  • Online: Click HERE for RKCAA's contact form


April 28th Is
Workers Memorial Day


Every April 28th, people, communities, and countries all around the world recognize Workers Memorial Day. On this day, we remember and take action in recognition of workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work.

Earlier this year, I was proud to cosponsor Assembly Joint Resolution 108 to officially declare April 28th Workers Memorial Day here in Wisconsin. On this day, I hope you will join me in taking time to reflect on the men and women we lost in workplaces all around our state. We must rededicate ourselves to making workplaces safer for every worker.



25th Annual Wisconsin Main Street Awards Recognize Kenosha People and Projects


Earlier this month, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's Main Street Program recognized the best downtown revitalization projects of 2015 at the 25th Wisconsin Main Street Awards ceremony at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center. Several Kenosha projects and people were recognized for outstanding work.

  • Downtown Kenosha, Inc. (DKI) received "Best Image Item/Campaign/Event" for its 2015 Restaurant Week

  • Kenosha's Downtown Mural Project, an Expose Kenosha project led by Francisco Loyola, received "Best Public Improvement"

  • Bob Lichter of Kenosha was recognized as a Volunteer of the Year

  • Kevin Ervin of Kenosha was recognized as an Honorary Board Member

What a great representation of Kenosha's dedication to our downtown.  Congratulations to all!



GYT: Get Yourself Tested


During the month of April, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin is offering free, confidential STD testing. Same day and next day appointments are available for men and women to get tested.


STDs are really common. More than half of us will get an STD at some time in our lives. A lot of STDs don't have any symptoms so getting tested is the only way to know for sure. 


To schedule a time to get tested, simply call 1-800-230-PLAN or visit



Friends and Neighbors,


It is always a pleasure to share my monthly State Capitol Report with you. I think communicating with you about the events happening in the State Capitol and in Kenosha as the most important part of my job. I have enjoyed corresponding with you throughout the 2015-16 legislative session.


This month's newsletter will be the last distributed until after Election Day in November 2016, per Wisconsin State Statute. However, I will still be preparing them and posting them on my legislative website, my legislative Facebook page, and on my legislative Twitter account. Please check in regularly to keep up-to-date.


As always, if you would like something to be included in future e-newsletters, just let me know at (608) 266-0455 or




Tod Ohnstad
State Representative
65th Assembly District


The "Wisconsin" statue on the State Capitol dome was sculpted during 1920 by Daniel Chester French of New York. Its left hand holds a globe surmounted by an eagle and her right arm is outstretched to symbolize the state motto, "Forward".


Representative Ohnstad Unveils
New Legislative Website

One of the most important parts of my job as your State Representative is communicating to you what is happening at the State Capitol and around the 65th District, and making sure I'm available to you to hear your comments, concerns, or questions. I view my legislative webpage as a component of that communication.


That is why I am so pleased to share with you my new, updated legislative website. My website houses information about how my office can help you, past issues of my State Capitol Report, an electronic version of my spring legislative survey, as well as links to the latest news and photos from both the Capitol and here in Kenosha.


I hope you'll take a moment to check out my new website and visit it regularly in the coming months. I am here to serve you and keeping my website up-to-date with current information will stay a top priority for me.


Rep. Ohnstad Calls on U.S. Senator Ron Johnson To Hold Hearing on Supreme Court Justice Nominee Merrick Garland

On Wednesday, March 16, President Obama nominated Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Garland, who currently serves as the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, would fill the vacancy on the court left by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia.


Unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced he would not schedule a confirmation vote for Judge Garland by the Senate. Additionally, while Senator Tammy Baldwin expressed support for the Senate holding a confirmation hearing and vote on Judge Garland, Senator Ron Johnson indicated he would support Senate Majority Leader McConnell's refusal.


In light of Senator Ron Johnson's statement and in light of what I see as the constitutional obligation of the Senate, I joined several legislative colleagues in sending Senator Johnson a letter asking him to reconsider. You can read that letter HERE.


To date, Senator Ron Johnson has not responded to this request.


"Posters In The Rotunda" Event Features

UW-Parkside Student Research

Yesterday, I was fortunate to visit with UW-Parkside students participating in the UW System's annual "Posters In The Rotunda" event, which is a remarkable showcase of research done by UW undergraduate students. Hearing about each research project, the future for the research, and its potential applications was very interesting. Kenosha is clearly home to many smart, creative individuals.


Professor Derek Riley from UW-Parkside's App Factory and undergraduate student Kyle Zawacki tell Rep. Ohnstad about the ReadyBadger mobile application


UW-Parkside undergraduate Michele Gloede tells Rep. Ohnstad

about her research regarding audiotory versus visual memory


I think UW System Chancellor Ray Cross said it best: "The research projects on display embody the personal and intellectual growth that the students who created them have experienced. ... [T]hey are a tangible representation of our ongoing commitment to expanding human knowledge and improving the human condition, the cornerstone of our educational mission. These projects also represent the kind of ideas and knowledge that are critical to the future of our economy."


Chancellor Debbie Ford with UW-Parkside students and faculty at Posters In The Rotunda


Thank you to the faculty and students from UW-Parkside for sharing your research and conclusions with the public and with policymakers!


UW-Parkside Outlines Impact of 2015-17 State Budget Cuts to UW System

As you recall, the 2015-17 state budget passed by legislative Republicans and signed into law by Governor Walker last year cut $250 million in state funding to the UW System. Each campus has taken a different, locally driven approach to implementing and managing the most recent budget reductions. UW-Parkside has outlined in these helpful documents the impact of those budget reductions and described how it has managed the cuts.


Over the next several months, Regents will visit campuses, attend campus and public forums, and meet with community leaders and students to gain a deeper knowledge about how the reductions are being managed and to develop a strategy to communicate the need for further state investment in higher education in future budgets.


Norm Buchholz To Receive
Remarkable Older American Award

On Thursday, May 19th, Kenosha's own Norm Buchholz will receive the 2016 Remarkable Older American Award at the Kenosha ADRC's Older Americans Celebration. I was proud to nominate Norm for this recognition, as was County Executive Jim Kreuser.


At ninety three years old Norm has been, and remains, active in the Kenosha community. For decades Norm has volunteered on many fronts. He has hosted a monthly Legislative Breakfast for nearly fifty years, where Kenoshans have been and are still encouraged to report on and debate important issues of the day.


Norm has been active in various civic capacities as well, volunteering at the City Clerk’s office during elections and volunteering for over forty years on the Kenosha Civic Veterans Parade. He has also volunteered for over 40 years for the Kenosha Pops Concert Band providing security and parking control as well as for the Kenosha County Auxiliary Police during school and church festivals in the county.


Norm volunteered as the Treasurer for the Senior Action Council, a position he held for over five years until he recently resigned.


Norm has lived in Kenosha his whole life and still resides in the house he had built with his wife Dorothy. It is truly an honor to know Norm. I am thrilled he is receiving this recognition. Congratulations Norm!




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