State Capitol Report


August 10, 2017

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:


Upcoming Events


Kenosha County Fair

When: Wednesday, August 16-Sunday, August 20

Where: Kenosha County Fairgrounds, 30820 111th Street, Wilmot, WI

**Click HERE for driving directions.**

For more information: Click HERE for official county fair website


2nd Annual Stop Heroin in Kenosha BBQ

When: Saturday, August 19 from 1-9pm

Where: Simmons Island Park, 5001 Simmons Island Drive, Kenosha, WI 53140

What: There will be free food, non alcoholic drinks, Speakers, Community Resources, and fun for all ages.

**There will be a candle light vigil in the evening in memory of those that were lost to the misery of heroin addiction.**

For more information: Click HERE for Facebook event


32nd Annual KAVV Fundraiser

When: Saturday, August 19 from 12-5pm

Where: Cheers Bar, 4619 8th Avenue, Kenosha

What: Beer, raffles, music, food, door prizes

Cost: $5 Donation


Harbor Park Jazz, Rhythm & Blues Festival

When: Saturday, August 19

Where: HarborPark/Celebration Place, 56th Street & 1st Avenue, Kenosha, WI

For more information: Click HERE


La Fiesta Mexicana

When: Sunday, August 20 from 11am-11pm

Where: Caledonia-Mount Pleasant Joint Park located at 9614 Hwy-K in Franksville

What: A traditional Mexican fiesta with great food, live bands and DJ’s, other entertainment and a 50/50 cash raffle drawings

Sponsored by: Urban League of Racine and Kenosha

Cost: Advance ticket price is $5. Gate prices are $8 for Adults; $5 for children 6-12; and free for toddlers 5 and under.


Grill Games BBQ Competition & Lakefront Festival

When: Friday, August 25-Saturday, August 26

Where: HarborPark/Celebration Place, 56th Street & 1st Avenue, Kenosha, WI

For more information: Click HERE


Safe Harbor Humane Society Walk for Paws

When: Sunday, August 27th from 1-6pm


Cost: $10/ticket; $5 unlimited beer tickets available


Kenosha Classic Cruise-In Car Show

When: Saturday, September 2 from 9am-4pm

**If showing your car, gates open at 7am.

Where: Downtown Kenosha (enter at 56th Street & 7th Avenue)

Cost: FREE


4th Annual Cheese-A-Palooza

When: Saturday, September 2nd - Sunday, September 3rd

Where: HarborPark, 1st Avenue & 54th Street, Kenosha, WI 53140



When: Monday, September 4th

Where: St. Therese Picnic Grounds, 2020 91st Street, Kenosha

What: The annual Kenosha Laborfest features booths from all labor organizations in the Kenosha area. Raffle prizes, beer tent, and activities for the whole family are offered. The Labor Person of the Year will be recognized, too!


August is National Water Quality Month


August is Water Quality Month! As a district calling the shores of Lake Michigan home, water is one of the most vital resources to our wellbeing. The quality of water is connect to our lifestyle, and by supporting clean water initiatives we are doing more than keeping our lakes, rivers, and streams clean--we are supporting our waste management and treatment systems that improve our quality of life. 


Local Resource: Volunteer Guardians Services

Volunteer guardians play an integral role in the life of an at-risk elderly or disabled adult. Serving as a legal decision maker and advocate for an individual, a volunteer guardian is appointed by the court to make health, welfare and/or financial decisions for a adult in need. Volunteer guardians make important decisions and advocate for individuals who can no longer make decisions for themselves.


A volunteer guardian is NOT a hands-on or live-in caregiver and does NOT provide funds or financial assistance to the individual.


Volunteer Guardians Services matches volunteers from the community with at-risk or elderly adults who have been found unable to make healthcare/financial decisions.


Guardians do not need to live in the immediate area as long as they can be contacted. They do not provide financial assitance and are not hands on home caregivers.


Prospective volunteers attend a two hour training session with Lisa Koenen and will need to pass a background check.


If you are interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer guardian, please contact Lisa Koenen at 262-697-4675. You can also view a Volunteer Guardians Services brochure HERE.


ICYMI: New Website
for the Wisconsin
State Legislature


Earlier this summer, the Wisconsin State Legislature unveiled a new-and-improved website. It contains all the same useful information (and more!) but now has an exciting and more user-friendly look. I encourage you to take a moment to check it out. All of the State Legislature's happenings, from committee meetings to floor sessions to updates about legislative proposals, can be access from there.


One particularly exciting resource made available through the State Legislature's website is MY legislative website for the 65th Assembly District. Check it out as well!


Inspiring Words


"Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever does."


- Margaret Mead





Friends and Neighbors,




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



Please keep an eye on my page for Foxconn updates. This Thursday, August 17th, the full Assembly will vote on the bill. You can view the full statement HERE on the Committee on Jobs & Economy Executive Session.


Staff Changes

            There is one thing you can always be sure of, things change. This was the last month in the Capitol with my Research Assistant, Joanna Beilman-Dulin. She has been with me since my first day in the building and words do not express my gratitude for her service to my office and the people of the 65th District. I wish her the best in her new position at One Wisconsin Now where she will continue to work for the best interests of the people of Wisconsin.

            Meanwhile, my Legislative Aide and new father, Leon Creary has accepted an offer to become full time for Representative Fred Kessler as his Research Assistant. Congratulations and a sincere thank you for his service as well and his daughter is beautiful!

            Alex Madorsky will be coming on board after Labor Day to fill my full time position. Alex comes with years of experience from the office of Rep. Cory Mason and also has a legal background like Joanna and Leon. I am also fortunate to have a new Legislative Assistant Shianyia Thao, a recent graduate from the University of Madison who majored in International Studies and Chinese.

            Thanks to all the staff members who stepped up to help me make it through this transition period.

Rep. Ohnstad Supports Legislation

To Legalize Marijuana

As many of you know, I am a long-time supporter of legalizing marijuana in Wisconsin. I was pleased to join Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) at a press conference to announce new legislation to fully legalize marijuana in the state of Wisconsin. This proposal will include the manufacturing, distribution, delivering, possession, and use of both recreational and medicinal marijuana.


LRB 2457 has recently been submitted to the Assembly Chief Clerk to get an official bill number and get referred to a standing committee. While we wait for that information, HERE is a helpful FAQ document about the proposal. Thanks again to Rep. Sargent for her leadership on this issue. I am thrilled to join her in bringing this bill forward and continuing Wisconsin's conversation about marijuana legalization.


Rep. Ohnstad Urges U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to Reverse Decision, Restore Funding for Wisconsin's Homeless Veteran Programs

For many years, Wisconsin's Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) has run Wisconsin Veterans Housing and Recovery Programs at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at Union Grove and the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King. These programs have received federal funding to operate since 1995 and 1997, respectively.


Unfortunately, these programs were recently denied this federal funding by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Rep. Ohnstad joined colleagues from both sides of the political aisle in urging the Director of the VA Homeless Providers GPD Program Office to reconsider this decision and to restore this funding.


A copy of the letter can be found HERE.


Rep. Ohnstad Urges FCC To Reject

Net Neutrality Rollback, Protect Equal Access to Information and Service

In recent weeks, there has been significant media coverage of the proposal by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to roll back federal “net neutrality” rules. These net neutrality rules were enacted under the Obama administration. They require Internet service providers to treat all web content equally when managing access and speeds. Rolling back these protections would allow the FCC to pick 'winners' and 'losers' and decide who gets faster or slower internet service.


I think ensuring net neutrality is vitally important. I disagree with the FCC's proposal to remove these protections.


To that end, I joined several legislative colleagues in sending a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, asking him to support the existing net neutrality rules. Here is a brief quote from the letter: "The Internet is an integral component of information services that the people of Wisconsin rely on. Small businesses, local governments, and families utilize the open Internet to conduct business, earn a degree, file their taxes, access benefits, and communicate. Any obstruction of an open Internet is in stark opposition to our values of fairness, opportunity, and community."


You can view our letter in full HERE.


New Kenosha Artwork On Display

In Rep. Ohnstad's State Capitol Office

One of my favorite elements of my State Capitol office is the outstanding artwork I am fortunate to display from Kenosha area artists. As is my tradition, I want to publicly thank the artists for their amazing work and share with you the new pieces now hanging in my office.


"Gefjon Returns" by Rebecca Power, Photography


"Reflections" by Sujit Sudhi, Watercolor


"Red Apples '1'" by Barbara Farrell, Watercolor Monotype


Thanks as always to the Lemon Street Gallery and the gallery's fantastic staff for sharing this amazing art and making the regular trip up to Madison for installation!


Reminder: Beware Of Storm Chasers

Right around the time I sent out my July e-update, Kenosha and surrounding communities were hit with such massive rains that many areas experienced significant flooding and other storm damage. So I thought it prudent to share a reminder from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to seek trusted local contractors for repairs and to be on the lookout for transient contractors (or “storm chasers”).


Always use caution in your interactions with storm chasers, never let them into your home, and do not give in to their high-pressure pitches. Start your search for help with a storm repair project by researching trusted local contractors. Seek references from friends, family members, local home builder associations and co-workers, and contact DATCP’s Consumer Protection Hotline (800-422-7128) to find out about complaints against particular businesses.


Consider these additional tips if you are seeking help with a home repair following a major storm:

  • Ask contractors if they are subcontracting your job. If they are, find out who the subcontractor will be and check them out as well.

  • Get lien waivers from anyone you pay for home repairs. Lien waivers protect you if the person collecting the money does not pay the suppliers or workers.

  • Get a written contract with a start and completion date and warranty information. Also, make certain that the contract states exactly what work is to be done and what materials are to be used. Never rely on a verbal commitment.

  • Have someone watch the work being done. Check with your local building inspector to see if the work requires a permit. Make sure an inspector visits the job site before you make a final payment.

  • Request a copy of the contractor's certificate of liability insurance.

Local door-to-door solicitation rules vary by municipality, and there are legitimate businesses that may knock on your door with a sales pitch. A good practice to follow is to request a business representative’s permit to operate if your municipality has a door-to-door sales ordinance.



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