State Capitol Report


October 11, 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 History Center Chili Cook

When: October 21st


Where: Kenosha History Center

220 51st Pl, Kenosha, WI 53140


What: Thirteenth Annual Chili Cook-off

Join the Kenosha History Center for an evening of chili, music, and more. Restaurants/fire stations compete for the coveted first place Kenosha History Center Chili Cook Off Traveling trophy that they can display in their restaurant/fire station for one year. 

40th Annual Kenosha Crop Walk

When: Sunday, October 15th



Where: St. Mary's Lutheran Church

2001 80th Street


What: On the day of the walk, participants will gather to check in beginning at 1:30 pm. The walk will begin at 2:00 pm.

Participants will have a choice of a one-mile, two-mile, or three-mile walk. Route maps will be available during check-in on the day of the walk.

Registration packets are now available.. Recruiters and those planning to walk on their own may pick them up at North Shore Bank, 5117 Green Bay Road, Kenosha during bank business hours.


City of Kenosha Halloween Nights


When: Tuesday, October 31, 2017
4:00 - 8:00 p.m.


Where: City of Kenosha


What: The City of Kenosha has released its official hours for trick-or-treating on Tuesday, October 31st. Households interested in giving away treats should indicate their interest by turning on a light on their porch or front yard.


26th Annual Pasta for Shalom


When: Sunday, November 5th 2017

11:30am to 6pm


Where: St. Mary's Lutheran

2001 80th Street


What: Join the Shalom Center's largest single fundraiser of the year!

$9.00 Adults

$4.00 Children 4-17

Free for Children 3 & Younger


September through October 15th is National Hispanic Heritage Month


As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage this month, I want to take a moment to recognize the importance of this commemoration. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan expanded what was then "Hispanic Heritage Week" to a full month. The 15th of September was chosen as the start date to coincide with the declarations of independence by Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua on that date in 1821. Mexico, Chile, and Belize also have independence dates during September and October. The celebration is meant to recognize the rich culture of Hispanic and Latino Americans, and their contributions to our country. These Americans have served in our armed forces, built businesses, developed scientific breakthroughs, and advanced the rights of workers of all races. I applaud the continued annual celebration of this history, and I thank Hispanic and Latino members of the Kenosha community for their important contributions.


Local Resource: The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha

Local Resource: Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha


For over 25 years, The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha has been the largest provider of youth sports, recreational, cultural and educational opportunities. News of their activities is often getting mentioned in the news and by other local organizations.


From programs ranging from youth sports leagues to job programs for teenagers, Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha helps build community and guide our young people toward successful health, social, educational, and character-building skills.


If you have children or would like to get involved helping Kenosha's children and youth, I encourage you to keep Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha in mind. And thanks to all of the Boys & Girls Club staff and volunteers for the good work you do throughout Kenosha!





Inspiring Words

"It always seems impossible until it's done."


- Nelson Mandela








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


Rep. Ohnstad on the Republican Budget & Foxconn

On September 13th, the State Assembly returned to its regular floor session to debate the 2017-19 biennial budget. Rep. Ohnstad voted with his Assembly Democratic colleagues to oppose this ill-advised Republican budget, stating, "Repealing the prevailing wage hurts thousands of Wisconsinites. The average Wisconsinite sees zero benefits from a weak transportation plan and tax cuts for the wealthy."


It has been a session full of disappointing legislation which fails to meet the needs of the people of Wisconsin. At a time when Wisconsinís middle class is shrinking faster than in any other state, where our median income has actually shrunk in two thirds of our counties, and we are 37th in the nation in private sector job growth.



Clean Wisconsin Sulfide Mining Bill

Wisconsin's Prove it First Law is essential in protecting our waterways. This law requires companies who want to mine in Wisconsin show proof of mines having been operating for 10 years without polluting nearby water.  Senate Bill 395 would undo decades worth of environmental protection from harmful toxins found in mining.

Unfortunately, in recent years, components of Wisconsinís laws related to mining have been under frequent attack.  In 2013, the very first bill legislative Republicans passed rolled back major environmental protections in the area of iron ore mining.  That bill didnít protect the environment, but instead removed important protections and now threatens the aquifer that feeds Lake Superior.  After the Army Corps of Engineers rejected this plan as a danger to public health, the company ultimately decided against going forward with the project.  Zero jobs were created.  I do not believe we should rely on empty promises from mining companies that this proposal will actually create jobs and comply with federal environmental laws.     

A public hearing will be held Friday, October 13th in the capitol. I serve on this committee, and I assure you will ask many questions about the concerning environmental components of the bill.  I am not opposed to mining in Wisconsin, but I feel it is crucial mining be done the right way.  Some of the most toxic chemicals to human health are involved in acid mining, including mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, and asbestos. Mining is a significant industry in our state, but we cannot degrade other important sectors, like tourism, and ruin our pristine natural resources.  Our land, air, and water are too important. Mining must be done right or not at all.


Foxconn Update

Much of this month has been spent debating Foxconn. Representatives Barca, Mason and I were joined by Senator Wirch in voting for this controversial bill. Iím sure weíre all convinced this is an imperfect bill but one which promises thousands of middle class jobs in our region. Mayor Antaramian ultimately withdrew his proposal for this project to be housed in Kenosha County because amendments which were adopted in favor of the Racine location.  This made it impossible for the Foxconn project to work in Kenosha. In his letter, the Mayor concluded by saying he continued to support the project.  


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.



Labor Fest

I was pleased to attend the Annual Labor Day event at St. Therese. Itís always a great opportunity to see many of many friends. Iíd like to once again congratulate Pete Deitz, seen receiving his award, from the Kenosha Professional Police Assn. for being the 2017 Labor Person of the Year.


2017-18 Wisconsin Blue Books Are Here!

Every two years, Wisconsin the official Wisconsin Blue Book, a biennial manual of state government. Compiled by the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB), the Blue Book is a gold mine of information about our state. 

In its early years, the Blue Book was primarily a manual and reference book designed for legislatorsí use. Over time, though, it has developed into a resource for the general public.

If you would like to request a complimentary copy of the soon-to-be-published 2015-16 Wisconsin Blue Book, please provide your name and contact information HERE. I have received a limited number of Blue Books to send to constituents, so make sure to add your name to the list early!


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