State Capitol Report


September 22, 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:



State Resource: Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation

WWBIC is an economic development corporation that has been “Putting Dreams to Work” for nearly 30 years. They provide individuals interested in starting, strengthening or expanding businesses with access to necessary resources and tools such as quality financial and business education and responsible financial products. They particularly focus on women, people of color, and low-income individuals. You can find more information: HERE



Kingfish To Host Spooky Sprint 5K to Benefit Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation

When: October 8th, from 9am

Where: Starting downtown Kenosha and ending at the home plate of Simmons Field

What: Benefit for Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation. There will also be a separate 1K Fun Run for kids 12 and under.


For more information and to register for this event please click HERE.



September is Literacy Awareness Month

Did you know September is Literacy Awareness Month?  Nationwide, more than 30 million adults can't read, write, or do basic math above a 3rd grade level.  Luckily for Kenosha residents, the Kenosha Literacy Council is hard at work helping people in our community improve their literacy skills.  Located in the Uptown Library at 2419 63rd Street, the Literacy Council provides classes and tutoring to adults who would like to learn English, learn to read, or improve their reading or basic math skills.


Check out the Kenosha Literacy Council's website for more information and to find ways to get involved with helping all Kenosha residents improve their ability to read, write, and communicate. 



Kenosha Community Foundation Announces 2017 Grant Opportunities

The Kenosha Community Foundation announces that local not-for-profit organizations can now apply for 2017 grants. Proposal can be submitted in the following categories: OMC Legacy Fund, LaFave Family Fund, Women's Fund, and Arts Fund.


Additional information on the submitting grant proposals can be found HERE.



Wisconsin AmeriCorps Grant Program

The Wisconsin National and Community Service Board is seeking proposals from nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, higher educational institutions, faith-based organizations, and Indian Tribes to operate national service programs addressing Wisconsin communities' education, public safety, environmental, and other human needs with AmeriCorps members. Further information on the grant program can be found HERE



Racine/Kenosha Community Action Agency seeking volunteer advocates

RKCAA is currently seeking (1) Racine County low-income representative and (1) Kenosha County low-income representative to fill vacancies on its Board of Directors. More information can be found HERE.



Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (KACVB) Photo Contest

KACVB is looking for photos of summer activities for its Kenosha Area Picture Perfect Photo Contest. They are looking for photos of recreational activities, landmarks, nature, festivals, events, and attractions. The photos may be used on the KACVB's website and to promote the Kenosha area. Please submit your photos HERE.



Shalom Center Food Drive Sponsored by the City Council

When: Saturday, September 24th from 10am-2pm

Where: Simmons Field (7817 Sheridan Rd, Kenosha, WI 53143)

What: Please bring non-perishable foods to Simmons field. Meet and greet King Elvis the First, Kenosha Kingfish Mascot at Noon. Special guest appearance by Soupy Shalom.


Information on the Shalom Center can be found HERE.



2016 Fall Hunting and Trapping Forecast

The 2016 Fall Hunting and Trapping Forecast is now available online by clicking: HERE.


Additionally, the document can also be found by searching for the following keywords “forecast” and “hunt” on the Wisconsin DNR Website. Later this month, the DNR will provide a separate document for deer hunting alone.



Area Colleges Hold Internship Fairs

Carthage College, Gateway Technical College, and the University of Wisconsin - Parkside are hosting internship fairs this Fall to connect students with professional, on the job learning opportunities and employers with great candidates that could potentially lead to full time positions.


Carthage College
When: Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016
Time: 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Where: Tarble Athletic & Recreation Center - Field House on the Campus of Carthage College, 2001 Alford Park Dr, Kenosha


Please visit the following website for more information: More info


UW-Parkside 2016

When: Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Location: Student Center Ballroom


Please visit the following website for more information: More info


Gateway Horizon Center
Horizon Center Career Fair
When: Wednesday, Oct.12, 2016

Time: 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Where: Gateway Technical College - Horizon Center


Please visit the following website for more information: More info


Health Care Job Fair
Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2016

Time: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Location: Kenosha Campus - Academic Building, Atrium


Please visit the following website for more information: More info




Friends and Neighbors,


It is that time of year again when kids go back to school and the leaves start to change. Fall also brings trips to the apple orchard and of course Halloween.


This Fall I am continuing my work from the summer where I was working through the details of  possible legislation for the next session. Wisconsin is in the national spotlight with regards to campaign finance irregularities because of the actions of Governor Walker and his associates. This story is ongoing, but it shows the unfortunate downsides of allowing unchecked and untracked money in politics.


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


In solidarity,


Tod Ohnstad
State Representative
65th Assembly District



Guardian Newspaper Exposes Wisconsin Campaign Finance Realities

The Guardian newspaper provided approximately 1500 pages of "John Doe" court documents highlighting secret elaborate steps taken by Governor Walker and his associates to conceal the influence of corporate donations in the political process here in Wisconsin. The story provides substantial context about how the wealthy and other third-party groups influence our state's politics.

Several years ago prosecutors investigated alleged campaign-finance violations by the campaign committee of Governor Walker and others. The investigation was subsequently halted by the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the related documents ordered destroyed. The Guardian has now published these previously unseen documents. The documents and the developing story can be followed from the links below:

I'm sure we will continue to learn more in the weeks to come.



Legislators Seek Answers About Neglected Vets

Lawmakers convened a public hearing into the reported neglect at Wisconsin Veterans Home at King on Wednesday, September 21. There have been widespread reports of neglect to the many veterans living at the home.


Our veterans have sacrificed tremendously for the freedoms we hold so dear. It is therefore very important that if neglect is discovered at this or other facilities, it be swiftly rectified.


The public hearing can be accessed on Wisconsin Eye at the following link:  HERE   



UW System A Good Investment For Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin System's overall positive impact on Wisconsin's economy is unquestioned. Here are tangible numbers in support:

  • Wisconsin receives an estimated $10 in economic impact for every $1 invested.

  • The UW System generates 7% of Wisconsin's GDP.

  • There are more than 331 UW-related startup companies.

  • Annually

    • 36,000 UW System degrees Conferred.

    • 176 New patents from student products and discoveries.

    • More than 185,000 volunteer hours contributed through student or UW-Extension-related volunteering.


Wisconsin's 2016 Fall Colors Report

As summer turns to autumn, colors begin to change all across Wisconsin. We are lucky to have such a distinctive fall season throughout our state, with previously green leaves turning into beautiful red, orange, and golden colors.


Knowing what an amazing sight our state in the fall can be, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism now maintains a "Fall Colors Report" on its main website, where anyone can log on and look at photos of the colors in each of Wisconsin's 72 counties.  With one hundred "reporters" snapping photos all over Wisconsin, there are sure to be some gorgeous fall pictures!


So, before you hit the road on your fall getaway or if you just want to take a peek at what autumn looks like in another part of our state, check out Wisconsin's fall color report online. The report provides updates for every county throughout the state, including estimated week of peak and photos from the area. 


Even better, the Fall Colors Report can be emailed to you each week when photos and color information are updated. You can sign up by clicking HERE.






September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September 2016 is also known as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month which helps promote resources and awareness around the issues of suicide prevention, how you can help others, and how to talk about suicide without increasing the risk of harm.


Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people and is often the result of mental health conditions which effect people when they are most vulnerable. Suicidal thoughts and suicide occur too frequently, but should not be considered common and can indicate more serious issues. In many cases the individuals, friends and families affected by suicide are left in dark, feeling shame or stigma that prevents talking openly about issues dealing with suicide.

  • If you are in crisis or am experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts: National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273 TALK (8255)

  • If you are looking for more information, referrals or support: NAMI HelpLine 800-950-NAMI (6264)

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately. Local information can be obtained from NAMI Kenosha by calling: 262-652-3606 or on their website by clicking HERE.


Wisconsin Woman Pioneer: Kathryn Clarenbach

Kathryn Clarenbach fought tirelessly for the rights of women. She was born in 1920, the year that American women won the right to vote. After earning a PhD from UW she convinced then-Wisconsin Governor John Reynolds to authorize a State Commission on the Status of Women, as was suggested by then President John F. Kennedy. As part of the Commission's work, Clarenbach went around the state advocating for changes to state law which openly discriminated against women. The Wisconsin commission found 280 provisions that discriminated against women and Clarenbach made it her life's goal to change these laws. Her efforts resulted in changes to state laws on sexual assault, divorce, and marital property. Additionally, the Commission's findings of widespread discrimination led to the addition of gender-based provisions in the comprehensive 1964 Civil Rights Act.


As was more aptly put by Kimberly Voss, a journalism associate professor at the University of Central Florida, "The steady work of state commissions is what allowed women to enter the public sphere, laying the foundation for the women’s liberation movement."


To learn more about a true Wisconsin Woman Pioneer: Kathryn Clarenbach, please click HERE or HERE.



ICYMI: Unified Heroes Kenosha

"Not all heroes look or sound the same. They don’t all fight crime or wear capes. Some are simply everyday citizens who have the heart and tenacity to make this world a better place," as stated by Unified Heroes Kenosha who recognize ordinary people doing extraordinary things.


Please join me in acknowledging all our fellow Kenoshan heroes.


Click HERE to read more about Wisconsin's Unified Heroes.



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