State Capitol Report


June 28, 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:


District Events

39th Annual Firecracker 5K/10K Race

When: Sunday, July 3rd @ 8:30am
: Third Avenue Historic District/Lakefront
**Click HERE to view course map**
: 5K Run/Walk and 10K Run


Kenosha Civic Veterans Parade

When: Sunday, July 3rd @ 1pm

Where: Begins at 22nd Avenue and 63rd St. in Uptown. The parade ends at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Seventh Avenue downtown. Click HERE for a map.

**NOTE: While Sixth Avenue is closed at 50th Street, the parade ends a half block before 50th Street (just south of the Marina Gardens restaurant).

Keep in mind: Many streets on and around the parade route will be closed from 10am-3:30pm. Everyone is urged to use caution whether on foot or on wheels and to be a good neighbor by disposing of your trash properly.


6th Annual Museum Crawl

When: Friday, July 8pm from 6-10pm

Where: Kenosha Public Museum, Civil War Museum, and Dinosaur Discovery Museum

What: A progressive after-hours party at the Dinosaur Discovery Museum, Civil War Museum and Kenosha Public Museum. Sample delicious treats and brews from local restaurants and breweries. Explore cool exhibits at three unique Museums; enjoy snappy tunes from live musicians; let loose with silly games. Plus check out the gift shops and take advantage of photo opportunities.

Cost: $40/ticket (or $30/ticket for museum members). Click HERE to order online.


8th Annual Mike "FEC" Fechner Memorial Pig Roast

When: Saturday, July 16 from 12pm-6pm

Where: Fec's Place, 5523 6th Avenue

What: Featuring silent auctions, raffles, live music, hula hoop contest, family entertainment, food & refreshments, corn roast.

Cost: $10 in advance for adults ($15 for adults on the day of). Children 6yrs-10yrs are $5. Children 5 years and under are FREE.


Kenosha Pride March

When: Sunday, July 17 - organizing @ 12pm, step-off @ 12:30pm

Where: Parade will organize at Library Park, in downtown Kenosha. The Pride Party will be at Harbor Park Parcel A, the green space across from Trolley Dogs Restaurant on 6th Avenue and 55th Street.


Friends of the Museum Art Sale

When: Sunday, July 17 from 10am-4pm

Where: Kenosha Public Museum

What: Peruse through fine art and crafts, listen to live music and sample delicious food at the Friends of the Museum 52nd annual Art Fair.


Home Run Derby at the Harbor

When: Monday, July 18th at 7:30pm (gates open at 5:30pm)

Where: Near the intersection of 52nd Street and 6th Avenue in Downtown Kenosha

Derby Details: From the pier extending out into the harbor, NWL All-Stars will be partaking in a baseball first as they participate in a home run derby on water. A buoy line replicating the field dimensions of historic Simmons Field will be placed over the water to define a home run boundary.
For Fans: Fans are invited to enjoy food, beverage, live music, fireworks and kids games on land bordering the harbor for a ticketed event.

Tickets: For tickets or more information click HERE or call (262) 653-0900.


Safe Harbor's 5th Annual Yard Sale

When: Thursday July 21 from 9am-4pm, Friday July 22 from 9am-4pm, and Saturday July 23 from 9am-3pm

What: Yard Sale to benefit Safe Harbor. All donations are tax deductible and all proceeds from the yard sale will go directly to the care of the more than 3,000 animals Safe Harbor receives each year.

For more information: Click HERE for more information or call (262) 694-4047


Taste of Wisconsin

When: July 29-31 (Friday, July 29 from 3-11pm; Saturday, July 30 from 11am-11pm; Sunday, July 31 from 11am-7pm)

Where: Downtown Kenosha lakeshore (click HERE for directions and a map)


Pike River Rendezvous

When: Saturday, August 6 from 9am-5pm; Sunday, August 7 from 9am-4pm

Where: Simmons Island Park, 50th Street & 4th Avenue

What: More than 350 reenactors in 150 camps will be encamped on Simmons Island. Talk with them about what life was like during the fur-trading era. See craft and trades demonstrations throughout the camp.


ICYMI: Juneteenth Festival replete with sunshine, history


This year's annual Juneteenth celebration, hosted by the Urban League of Racine and Kenosha, was truly outstanding. From dance performances to


Click HERE to read the Kenosha News coverage of the event.


Kenosha Independence Day Festivities


This year's Independence Day Fireworks will begin just after dusk (about 9:30pm) on Saturday, July 4th at Harbor Park, located at 56th Street and 1st Ave.

This event is on Kenosha's streetcar line. The streetcar will run for one hour following the fireworks. Click HERE to view a map.


June is National PTSD Awareness Month


Since 2010, June 27th has been declared National PTSD Awareness Day and June as a whole has become known as PTSD Awareness Month. PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, can occur after you have been through a traumatic event like combat exposure, child sexual or physical abuse, serious accident, or other events.


Most people who go through a trauma have some symptoms at the beginning. After a trauma or life-threatening event, it is common to have reactions such as upsetting memories of the event, increased jumpiness, or trouble sleeping. If these reactions do not go away or if they get worse, you may have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


To learn more about PTSD, to find out how to connect if you think you or someone you know might have PTSD, and to continue spreading awareness about PTSD, please click HERE for more information. Everyone makes a difference.


Friends and Neighbors,


As I was preparing this e-update for you, I was struck by just how much amazing activity is taking place in our community this summer. From Independence Day fireworks to free musical performances to our city's annual Pride parade, it seems there is always something happening to bring community members together. As you take moments this summer to rest and relax, I hope you will give thought to the seemingly unending possibilities for excitement right here in our hometown.


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




Tod Ohnstad
State Representative
65th Assembly District


U.S. Supreme Court Issues Major Ruling on Abortion Rights, Domestic Violence

Yesterday was the final day of session for the U.S. Supreme Court's current term. The Court handed down two particularly important legal opinions which I want to highlight for you today.


First, on a 5-3 vote in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, the Supreme Court struck down Texas's HB2 law, which had previously instituted medically unnecessary requirements for abortion clinics designed to shut clinics down most abortion clinics throughout the state. The Court found HB2's requirements were unconstitutional, saying it was clear requiring abortion clinics to meet ambulatory surgical center standards and demanding doctors at abortion clinics have formal admitting privileges did not improve the safety of women, but instead operated as a barrier for women accessing safe, legal abortion. This was a huge victory for women and families throughout our nation, as it ensures women will continue to be able to access constitutionally-protected healthcare. Here in Wisconsin, an admitting privilege requirement like the Texas law is now permanently blocked.


The Supreme Court also issued a major decision yesterday regarding handguns and domestic violence. The court held 6-2 in Voisine v. United States that a domestic-violence conviction is a misdemeanor crime of violence for purposes of limiting access to firearms. In other words, the Court prohibits people convicted of domestic violence from possessing guns. This decision makes good common sense and will provide greater protection for individuals and families everywhere.


Highlighting UW-Parkside's

Contributions to Kenosha

UW-Parkside serves our region like no other university in the UW System.

  • In the past five years, UW-Parkside has conferred more undergraduate and graduate degrees than during any other five-year period in its history;

  • First-to-second year retention rates have topped 70 percent for the past three years - the first time in its history;

  • First-to-second year retention rates for underrepresented minorities exceed 75 percent;

  • UW-Parkside's computer science graduates benefit from programs providing a 100% job placement rate; and

  • Pre-medical and pre-health programs sustain a placement rate that tops 90% in medical and other health-related professional schools, including the Medical College of Wisconsin and the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.

We are truly fortunate here in Kenosha to be home to such an amazing institution of higher education. Thank you to all UW-Parkside students, staff, and administration for your contributions to our community.


Rep. Ohnstad Named Conservation Champion by Wisconsin League

of Conservation Voters

Earlier this month, I was honored to again be named a Conservation Champion by the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters. This honor was given to me because I maintained a 100% voting record on conservation issues during the Assembly's 2015-16 legislative session.  I have heard from many of you on the important issue of preserving and protecting Wisconsin's environment, which too often this session came under attack.


You can click HERE for more information about the issues and bills WLCV considered.


Summer Music Events Kick Off

We are fortunate to have many opportunities to enjoy live summer music in Kenosha. If you haven't done so already, be sure to stop by and enjoy some outstanding musical performances this summer.

Attending summer music concerts is truly a favorite pastime of mine. I encourage everyone to join me in attending a concert or two (or more!) this summer.


Against The Grain Creative Concepts Business Moves to Kenosha

Scott and Jaime Buell opened their new showroom for “Against the Grain Creative Concepts” on June 24th with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce.

Against the Grain began in 2014 out of Chicago, selling a unique collection of custom pieces and restored antiquities. The four facets of Against the Grain are Restoration, Reclamation, Repurposing, and Custom Carpentry. Many of the pieces in the showroom are made from reclaimed wood coming out of historic buildings and barns that were slated to be burned down. These elements combine to form a unique mix of shared history, created memories, and legendary stories.

The Buells are excited to be a part of the Kenosha community and hope to build connections with other area small businesses and community members. Currently, showroom hours are Friday 3 pm- 8 pm, Saturday and Sunday 9 am – 5pm, and weekdays by appointment. Their showroom is located at 5521 18th Avenue.


Find Your Missing Money

Did you know the Wisconsin Department of Revenue maintains a database of unclaimed property? If you used to have a financial asset that became inactive - like savings accounts, checking accounts, unclaimed wages, or credit balances that you never claimed - your property may be available for you to claim! DOR holds onto unclaimed property for safe keeping until it is claimed by the owner.

To check whether you have unclaimed property (whether you're an individual or a business), simply go to and submit your information into the "Unclaimed Property" section. You never know what you might find.


Legislative Staff Available To Assist You

At any time of year, you can always contact my office for assistance or information about state agencies or issues, or to get some help figuring out who to contact about a particular issue or problem.



My staff - Joanna and Leon - are happy to assist you and communicate your opinions and concerns to me. You can always email or call (608) 266-0455.



If you would like to have your name removed from this email list, please reply to this message with “Unsubscribe” in the subject line