State Capitol Report


November 17, 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

Kenosha Unity Coalition kickoff

When: Friday, November 18th from 12pm-1:30pm

Where: Carthage College Campbell Student Union Theater

What: Click HERE to read Kenosha News article about Kenosha Unity Coalition

RSVP: or 262-658-8166

Cost: Free


Stuff the Bus” Shalom Center food drive

When: Saturday, November 18th from 10am - 6pm

Where: Pick 'N Save, 5710 75th Street

What: Families and staff from Kid’s Castle will be collecting non-perishable food items. Culver’s mascot Scoopie will be there from noon to 2 p.m., passing out tokens for free custard. Kenosha Kingfish mascot Elvis will also be there from noon to 2.


38th Annual Mayor's Turkey Day Run

When: Thursday, November 24th

Where: Kenosha Public Museum on Kenosha's lakefront

Registration: Pre-registration is REQUIRED. Click HERE for more details.
Packet Pickup: Packet Pickup will be at the Kenosha Museum, 5500 1st Avenue, on Wednesday, November 23rd, from 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. and on race day beginning at 7:30 a.m. and closing at 8:45 a.m., 15 minutes prior to the start of the race.


Kenosha Christmas Tree Lighting

When: Friday, November 25 @ 4:30pm

**Before the tree lighting, join us at 4 p.m. inside the Kenosha Public Museum for a holiday program featuring musical performances and a visit from Santa.

Where: Kenosha Public Museum, 5500 First Avenue, outside on the west lawn of the museum

Cost: FREE


Lightin' Up

When: Friday, November 25 from 4-8pm

Where: Downtown Kenosha

What: Enjoy family activities, live entertainment and special promotions at Downtown shops, galleries, restaurants, and other businesses. Roaming carolers and musicians add holiday cheer along our illuminated streets


Multiple "Christmas at Kemper" events

When: late November - December

Where: Kemper Center

What: A variety of Christmas events

**Gallery of Trees, with Opening Night Gala

**Snowflake Jazz concert

**Durkee Mansion Historic Holiday

**Winter Wonderland Christmas Ballroom Dance

For more information: Click on the hyperlinks above, click HERE, or call (262) 657-6005


Local Resource: RSVP Mentoring Project


I have the pleasure of serving as a mentor for a young KUSD student. Each Monday morning, I meet up with my young friend to read together, chat about what's going on in their life, and talk about things that are coming up for them.


Right now, KAFASI's RSVP Mentoring Project is trying to find more mentors for KUSD students. Mentors can have such a positive impact for the students they spend time with. Likewise, the students have a significant impact for their mentors as well.


If you're looking for a way to give back to your community or to make a connection that will make a difference, give some thought to becoming a mentor through KAFASI's RSVP Mentoring Project. Right now, there is a waiting list of students who want a mentor, so they are trying to recruit 60 new mentors in 60 days. Perhaps that could be you?


For more information or to inquire about becoming a mentor, please call (262) 658-3508 ext. 115 or email


November is
National Epilepsy Awareness Month

Since 1969, the Epilepsy Foundation has celebrated National Epilepsy Awareness Month. This was made nationwide in 2003 when Congress passed an official resolution declaring November as National Epilepsy Awareness Month for the United States.


Epilepsy is a chronic disorder, the hallmark of which is recurrent, unprovoked seizures. Seizures commonly begin in people over 65, but can affect people of any age. In fact, 1 in 26 people will develop epilepsy in their lifetime.


Seizures can take many different forms, and vary in how they affect people. There are over 30 different types of seizures, and the signs of a seizure depend on what part of the body is affected.


I encourage you to click HERE and take a moment to read the CDC's information about seizure first aid.


To find out more about epilepsy to get involved locally, I encourage you to check out the Epilepsy Foundation Heart of Wisconsin, which covers Kenosha. Epilepsy Foundation Heart of Wisconsin offers services for families, schools, employers and public health workers that engage and educate individuals in order to raise awareness and reduce the stigmas and myths associated with seizures and epilepsy.


Friends and Neighbors,


To say the last week and a half has been a whirlwind would be a complete understatement. Whether you were happy or sad about the results of the presidential election, I hope you will continue to stay engaged in our political process and the important decisions that will be facing our state in the coming months. I am honored to continue serving the people of Kenosha in the State Assembly for another term. I will continue to listen, work hard, and do my very best to represent your needs and interests in the 2017-18 legislative session.


As planning for the new year and the new legislative session gets going, I hope you will let me know if your neighborhood association, club, or community group has meetings on the calendar I could attend. Meeting with you and discussing the issues important to Kenosha face-to-face is an important part of my job.


I hope this State Capitol Report is informative and helpful to you as the holiday season gets going. 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


Thank You Veterans

Last Friday November 11th marked Veterans Day across the United States of America. I was honored to attend multiple Veterans Day events here in Kenosha, in recognition of veterans' service to our country.


To our veterans, as always, thank you for your service and your sacrifice. To the families of our veterans, thank you as well for your role and your sacrifice.


Marijuana Legalization Wins Approval

In the last election several states passed ballot measures that hint at an impending national consensus with regards to marijuana. More specifically, California, Massachusetts, and Nevada voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The ballot measure was also successful in Maine, but the narrow margin of victory in favor of legalization has resulted in the opponents of the measure taking the necessary steps to request a recount.

Additionally, ballot measures approving medical marijuana in Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota were also successful.


Recently, there have been shifting public attitudes toward full legalization and the results of these measures are further proof. Legalization for small amounts would greatly reduce the scourge of mass incarceration of members of our communities. I will continue to monitor these very positive developments closely and as so aptly stated by the Associated Press, "collectively, it was the closest the U.S. has ever come to a national referendum on marijuana, which remains prohibited under federal law."


Minimum Wage Increase Wins in 4 States

In the recent election, several states also approved minimum wage ballot initiatives. The increases are as follows:


Arizona - $12 per hour by 2020 (with paid time off)
Colorado - $12 per hour by 2020
Maine - $12 per hour by 2020
Washington - $13.50 by 2020


Additionally, in South Dakota, the attempt by the state legislature to decrease the minimum wage for workers under 18 from $8.50 to $7.50 was rejected by voters.


This sends a clear message to Congress that the federal minimum wage of $7.25 is unacceptable. 


Vietnam Veterans Memorial Exhibit Displayed in State Capitol

Last week, to coincide with Veterans Day, the Wisconsin State Capitol was home to a powerful exhibit focusing on Wisconsin's servicemen and women who died in the Vietnam War, entitled "Wisconsin Remembers: A Face for Every Name."



This traveling exhibit featured 17 indoor display banners showing a photo for each of the 1,161 Wisconsinites officially listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. According to the exhibit description, volunteers across Wisconsin found these photos as a part of a national effort to put a "face to every name" and honor those on The Wall.


If you are interested in having the exhibit at your event or in your community, contact Gregory Krueger, Curator of Events at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, by email or phone at 608-261-0541. There is no cost to have the exhibit but host organizations are expected to cover the cost of shipping.


Thank you again to these veterans, their families, and all those who serve and have served.


2016 Wisconsin State Capitol

Christmas Tree Arrives

Yesterday, the official 2016 Wisconsin State Capitol Christmas Tree arrived in Madison from Eagle River. The tree is a balsam fir, donated by Bruce and Charlotte Carey. It will be installed in the Capitol Rotunda after Thanksgiving.






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