State Capitol Report


May 15, 2015

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 District Events

Shalom Center Walk/Run Against Hunger
When: Saturday, May 16th at 9am
Where: Veterans Park, northeast corner of 2nd Ave and 54th Street, Kenosha
For more information: Contact Lindsay at 262-658-1713 x 107 or

Kickoff for the Harbor Market Season
Saturday, May 16th at 8am-2pm
Where: On 54th St. (East) to Second Ave.
For more information: click here

Stars for Tomorrow Tennis Shoe Gala
Friday, June 5th at 6:00-11:00pm
Where: Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha Field of Dreams 1330 52nd St. Kenosha
For more information: click here

Urban League of Racine & Kenosha Inc. Presents 2015 Juneteenth Celebration
Saturday, June 20th at 1-6:30pm
Where: Sesquicentennial Bandshell at Pennoyer Park 3601 7th Ave. Kenosha
Live Entertainment, Kids Activities, Food, Beverages, and more.
For more information: click here

Relay For Life of Kenosha
When: Friday, August 7th at 6pm (continuing through the night)
Where: UW-Parkside's Outdoor Track, 900 Wood Road
For more information: call Kelsey at (262) 523-5516, email, Click HERE for our Facebook page, or visit

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Month! This was started 64 years ago by Mental Health America to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of mental wellness for everyone.

Fast Facts:

  • 50% of all mental disorders begin by age fourteen.

  • When left untreated, mental disorders are likely to persist, become more severe, and become more difficult to treat.

  • 47% of our population will experience a diagnosable mental illness or addiction at some point during their lifetime.

  • Stigma increases the likelihood that a person will choose secrecy and isolation over recovery.

Treatment for serious mental illnesses are highly effective. Between 70 and 90 percent of individuals have a significant reduction of symptoms with a combination of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments and support.

Tips for Mental Wellness:

  1. A healthy diet: Try to limit your caffeine intake, substitute processed foods for fruit, and drink eight glasses of water per day.

  2. Regular exercise: Working out can reduce your stress levels, increase your energy levels, improve appearance, and make you feel happier.

  3. Relaxation: Take time each day to unwind - laughing promotes muscle relaxation and reduces anxiety.

  4. Plenty of rest: Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep lowers your resistance to illness and can have an effect on mood changes.

In Case You Missed It


Kenosha Kingfish Baseball Opening Week: is May 26-27th, and 29th-31st. For a schedule on all home games as well as other fun promotional events throughout the 2015 season

click here

Kenosha Dream Playground Project: There is still time to buy a brick or purchase a picket for this great project.  Deadline to buy a brick is July 1st, and to purchase a picket is August 1, 2015.  They are also looking for volunteers to help build the park. For more information click here


Local Resource: Kenosha Veterans Resources


As Memorial Day approaches we take time to reflect on the important sacrifices Veterans have made and continue to make in defending our freedom.  With that in mind if you are, or know someone who is a veteran  in the Kenosha area I invite you to check out the Kenosha County's Division of Veteran's Services. 


This site can provide useful information on Veteran benefits through the state and federal programs.  For more information on employment assistance, education opportunities, loans, tax benefits, and other programs  stop into the local division office at 8600 Sheridan Rd. Suite 700.  If you have any other questions call there office at 262-605-6690 or visit their website by clicking here.

If you are a Veteran, or know of a Veteran living outside the Kenosha area and want to learn more about who your county contact is regarding state and federal Veteran issues click

here. On behalf of those residing in the 65th Assembly District again we thank our Veterans for your service to the State of Wisconsin and the Nation.


Seeking Your Ideas
For Legislation


As your state representative, one of my jobs is to introduce legislation to address Kenosha's needs and concerns. I will be focusing more and more on the laws and policies of our state. I'll be devoting time to researching what changes would make sense for our state. If you have ideas for possible legislation, I'd love to hear about them! Do you have an idea for a state law that needs fixing? Have you had an experience that brought a state problem to light that you would like to see addressed?

I believe the best legislation comes from constituents like you. So, I hope you will contact me to share your ideas for bill! You can
email me with your legislation ideas or you can call my office at (608) 266-0455.



Friends and Neighbors,


It certainly continues to be a busy legislative session here in Madison, with much of the focus still on the state budget.  Since my last report I had the opportunity to attend a listening session at UW Parkside.  Republican legislators were invited to attend this session but unfortunately chose not to do so. 


Representative Barca and I also held a listening session at the Job Center where we heard great concerns on privatizing the Aging & Disability Resource Centers and the IRIS program as well as cutbacks to Senior Care.  We also attended a forum organized by the Kenosha Education Association on K-12 funding. At this point these cuts are still being proposed.


Between district outreach and the many emails, phone calls, and social media comments it is clear this budget proposal is harmful to not only many of you I represent in the 65th Assembly District, but others throughout WI. 


With your help, Assembly Democrats and myself delivered over 13,500 signatures to Republican leaders asking them save Senior Care as we know it.  While the budget process continues, I pledge to do all I can to fight for other programs and services that are essential to you.


Funding for education K-12, Technical, and 4-year Colleges, IRIS, and FamilyCare are just some of the programs that provide a quality of life important to you, and others I represent. Budgets are about prioritizing, and for me preserving those services already mentioned as well as others will be on my mind when it comes time to vote on a final budget. 


As always, if you have information you'd like me to share in future State Capitol Reports or if you have issues you'd like to see brought up, please let me know.  And if you or someone you know is having difficulty in dealing with a state agency and would like help, I hope you will give my office a call.  You can always reach me at (608) 266-0455 or


It is my honor to serve you.


Tod Ohnstad
State Representative
65th Assembly District


Rep. Ohnstad and other legislators listen

to senior citizens tell their stories


 Did You Know: Kenosha/Racine

Chapter of Oxford Houses

For those who may have a family member or loved one that has struggled with past addiction to alcohol and drugs there is help.


Kenosha/Racine Chapter of Oxford Houses can help provide a safe, sober and supportive living environment.  Wisconsin currently has 21 self-run Oxford homes, and over 1,880 houses across the nation. 


This program was started in 1975 and independent studies show that fewer than 20% of individuals living in these homes are expelled for relapse.  Homes like these provide the time and peer support needed for healthy long-term behavior changes.


For more information please call Oxford House Lena Women (Kenosha) at 262-577-5617, Oxford House Ayers Men (Kenosha) at 262-605-9553, or Oxford House Joe Prott Men (Racine) at 262-833-5010.

Rep. Ohnstad Visits App Factory

at UW-Parkside

Rep. Ohnstad joins UW-Parkside professors and students

for tour of App Factory


Earlier this month, I had the privilege of touring UW-Parkside’s App Factory, a new creative, professional, interdisciplinary group on campus that develops mobile apps for community clients throughout southeastern Wisconsin. It was fascinating to speak with the App Factory’s professors and students and learn more about their past and present projects.


Fun fact: the App Factory developed the City of Kenosha’s very own Kenosha App, which I featured in last month’s State Capitol Report. To download and use Kenosha’s app, just click HERE, follow the download instructions, and get started. Thanks to the App Factory for your great work!


Visit to Planned Parenthood's Kenosha Clinic

Last month I had the opportunity to tour and learn more about services offered at the Kenosha Health Center located at 3601 Roosevelt Rd. and other facilities in WI. 


Planned Parenthood provides reproductive health care to men, women, and teens at 27 health care centers across the state for the last 77 years.  Recent numbers show that over 70,000 patients were served statewide in areas such as annual patient exams, colposcopies, breast, cervical cancer screens, and STD tests & treatments just to name a few. 


For more information on programs and services offered at the Kenosha Health Center click here.


Meeting with Racine/Kenosha
Community Action Agency

In the last month I also had the chance to meet with staff from the Racine/ Kenosha Community Action Agency.  I learned more about the vital services, and programs they offer under health, education, housing, food and nutrition in order to build a stronger community.  To learn more or see if you may qualify for some of the services provided click here.


Constituents Visit the State Capitol

I was pleased to have visitors from Congregations United to Serve Humanity (CUSH) stop by my office during this last month.

Rep. Ohnstad with citizen advocates from Kenosha's CUSH (Congregations United to Serve Humanity) during People of Faith United for Justice lobby day


WEDC Audit Reveals Continued Major Problems

This month the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau released a scathing report that revealed Governor Walker's Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) didn't follow laws to protect taxpayers.


This certainly isn't the first time such an audit report raised concerns with this agency.  WEDC has been a mess from the start with improper awards, little accountability for funds dispersed, continuous turnover in administrative staff, and not following the rules.  All this has led to financial mismanagement and lack of actual job creation for Wisconsin. 


I believe taxpayers deserve a better return on their hard-earned tax dollars, and more transparency on where the money is going. Governor Walker has since abandoned his hasty idea of an agency merger.  However, I and others call on him to take further steps to correct his administrative failures with regards to WEDC.


Thanks to Intern Josh Greenberg

During Wednesday's floor session, I had the opportunity to recognize and thank Josh Greenberg, who has served as an intern in my office for the past semester. Josh is finishing up his junior year at UW-Madison, majoring in History and Communication Arts. Thanks, Josh, for all of your hard work for the people of Kenosha! Best of luck in your future endeavors.


Amazon Continues to Seek Employees

As announced last month Amazon began hiring for the Kenosha Center.  If interested in applying or learning more about what positions are still open click here.



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