State Capitol Report
La Fiesta Mexicana
Kenosha Streetcar Day
Kenosha Festival of Cartooning
Last month, Bill Guida of the Kenosha News wrote a great article about my Good Samaritan bill to protect folks who rescue kids, pets, and other vulnerable individuals from being locked in hot cars. If you missed reading it then, click HERE to take a look.
I'm pleased my bill has garnered support from both sides of the political aisle, with Republicans and Democrats signing on in both the Assembly and the Senate. This bill has been formally introduced as Assembly Bill 308 (which is now in the Assembly Judiciary Committee) and Senate Bill 230 (which is now in the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee). I'll keep you posted about it as things move forward.
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of attending an Open House event at the Kenosha Community Health Center, which this week is celebrating National Health Center Week to acknowledge the 50th anniversary of America's Community Health Centers. it was a great reminder of what a great resource KCHC is for the people of Kenosha. I was inspired to take this opportunity to remind you of the services they offer as well, in case they could help you or in case you know of someone else who could use their help.
One of the most important things to note about KCHC is they offer a lot of different services, ranging from medical services to dental services to behavioral medicine to outreach services and school-based health care. They also do a great job of helping folks understand the ins and outs of the health insurance marketplate. KCHC also has three different locations throughout Kenosha - you may be closer to one than you realize. Last year, KCHC served 16,613 dental patients, 7,361 medical patients, and 1,450 behavior health patients. Additionally, through an Aurora Health Care Better Together Fund, KCHC is taking a Mobile Unit into Racine within the next year.
If you would like more information about KCHC, or would like to inquire about setting up an appointment, I encourage you to call (262) 656-0044 or visit KCHC's website at www.kenoshachc.org. KCHC offers services on a Sliding Fee Scale basis, based on your family size and income. Thank you KCHC for your all of your dedication to and work throughout the Kenosha community!
As August is National Immunization Awareness Month, now is a great time to think about the importance of and the role of vaccines and immunization in our own lives, in our loved ones lives, and throughout our communities. Many folks focus on childhood immunizations, but immunizations are important throughout the entire lifespan. From annual flu vaccines to whooping cough vaccines for pregnant women to shingles vaccines, immunizations are important to keep in mind.
Here in Kenosha, we are fortunate to have the Kenosha Immunizations Coalition, which provides information to the public about immunizations as well as immunization services such as immunizations available Kenosha County Health Department. Vaccines are an important step to take to protect against potentially deadly diseases, so make sure to talk to your health care professional about whether you might need a vaccine or booster.
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. 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
What a whirlwind summer we have had. It seems like just yesterday school was finishing up for the year. And now the new school year is just a few weeks away. In this month's State Capitol Report, I have included some helpful reminders and information for those getting ready to head back to the classroom next month. Also in this State Capitol Report, you will an update regarding the Milwaukee arena project, some other bills I've signed on to, the upcoming Kenosha Dream Playground Project community build week, and exciting district events.
Next month promises to include a resurgence of activity in the State Assembly, with the legislature's next floor session beginning September 15th. As bills and topics get introduced and brought forward through the committee process, I hope you will let me know your thoughts and ideas.
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 Rep.Ohnstad@legis.wi.gov.
It is my honor to serve you.
View of the State Capitol from State Street
Milwaukee Arena Project Signed Into Law
Last month, I shared an update with you about the proposed Milwaukee arena project, which had been approved by the State Senate, but not yet taken up by the Assembly. Since then, the proposal came to the full Assembly for a vote, where it passed 52-34. Governor Walker signed the bill into law yesterday.
Although not many constituents weighed in on the arena, a slight majority of those that did favored the project. Before voting on it, I met with the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, the Southeastern Wisconsin Building & Construction Trades Council and the Teamsters, all of whom supported the bill. After a lot of thought and careful consideration, I decided to join colleagues from both sides of the aisle to vote yes for the new Milwaukee arena project, which will provide thousands of construction jobs for the next several years as well as over 2,000 additional indirect jobs. This project will not only provide a lot of jobs, it is also a good deal for Wisconsin taxpayers given that at least $2.5 million dollars in new revenue will be generated every year of the twenty-year deal.
This project would not have been necessary if Governor Walker had signed the Kenosha casino agreement, which included the Hard Rock Café’s offer to pay the public’s share of the Milwaukee arena, however unfortunately that train left the station in February. I sincerely believe this project is in the best interest of working people and taxpayers alike.
The Kenosha Dream Playground Project is scheduled to have its Community Build Week from September 7-12. KDPP is working with the designers and community organizers from “Play by Design” out of Ithaca, NY. The community-build is a tradition that unifies and empowers communities by bringing them together to design, organize, and construct one-of-a-kind playgrounds.
I am looking forwarding to volunteering during Community Build Week and being part of the excitement of turning this project into a reality. If you are interested in volunteering, please complete the Volunteer Interest Form available HERE. All responses are confidential. Volunteer Coordinators will be contacting you closer to the community build dates to confirm your commitment and pick specific work shifts. If you have questions about volunteering, please contact one of the two volunteer coordinators.
Other Bills Of Interest
Nearly every week during the legislative session, I receive emails from fellow state legislators with something called a "co-sponsorship memo." These memos are circulated through the Assembly and Senate along with draft legislation. They are used to ask and encourage fellow legislators to sign their names on to a particular bill as an official supporter of the proposal. Sometimes I sign on to the bills; other times I don't.
I thought this would be a good time to share with you some of the bills I have co-sponsored thus far this year. Not every bill gets front page attention, simply because there are so many bills introduced each year. But that doesn't mean they are any less significant. Here are some bills I have co-sponsored:
As always, if there are bills being discussed that you'd like me to look at more closely and consider co-sponsoring, I hope you will let me know. Hearing from you helps me represent the 65th District to the best of my ability, and I know co-sponsorships are a big part of that.
Back to School Resources and Reminders
As educators begin preparing their classrooms for fall and families start to get ready for a new school year, I wanted to take a moment to share some tips and resources to help everyone kick off a great 2015-16 school year. Here are some things to think about as September gets closer and closer:
Finally, click HERE to view KUSD's supply list for the 2015-16 school year. Each grade from early education and kindergarten through middle school requires something a little different, so be sure to take a look.
Wisconsin's "511" Service: Keeping Road Trips Safe and Straightforward
You may recall from past State Capitol Reports, the Wisconsin Department
of Transportation has created a "511" service, which provides
up-to-the-minute information about traffic alerts and conditions
throughout our state. Simply by visiting
www.511wi.gov, you can access
information for Kenosha to Superior to La Crosse to Green Bay. This is a
fantastic resource for anyone planning to travel in Wisconsin,
especially during the construction-heavy summer months.
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