State Capitol Report


June 8, 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


Ben & Angie's 1st Pig Roast

When: Saturday, June 10th from 2-10pm

Where: Pete's Place, 4520 8th Avenue

What: The Cajun Strangers will take the stage in the beer garden at 4:30pm.


Bark for Life of Kenosha

When: Sunday, June 11th from 12-4pm

Where: Anderson Park, 8730 22nd Avenue

What: A free public event where families and their dogs come together for a few hours during the day and complete a short walk to honor the care giving qualities of their canine “Best Friends” and anyone who has been touched by cancer.


2017 Senior Safety Expo

When: Thursday, June 15th from 10am-1pm

Where: Madrigrano Auditorium, Gateway Technical College, 3520 30th Avenue



2017 Kenosha County Dairy Breakfast

When: Saturday, June 17th from 6:30am-10:30am

Where: Daniels Dairy Farm, 1077 248th Avenue, Kansasville, WI

What: Enjoy a morning on the farm that includes: A big farm breakfast, milking demonstrations, a Wisconsin products tent with items for purchase, an Agriculture in Action tent to learn more about the workings of a farm, old-fashioned children's games, farm toys for sale and much more!

Cost: $6/person for breakfast, but children under six are free


Kenosha Juneteenth Celebration

When: Saturday, June 24th from 12-6:30pm

Where: Columbus Park, 2003 54th Street

What: The event commemorates the day the last slave was freed in America on June 19, 1865. The festival offers a variety of food vendors, youth activities with a jumpy house, local choirs and praise dancers and concludes with DJ’s and live entertainment. Music genre will be traditional Old School and R&B, featuring Motown classics.

Cost: FREE


Wills & Power of Attorney Clinic for Vets

When: Saturday, June 24th from 10am-3pm

Where: Kenosha County Job Center, 8600 Sheridan Road

Who: The State Bar of Wisconsin's pro bono program, along with Tabak Law, LLC, will have volunteer attorneys available to advise and provide free estate planning documents for participants

To Qualify: An individual must meet the following conditions

 - Be a veteran or the spouse/surviving spouse of a veteran (documentation will be required prior to the day of the clinic)

 - A single veteran with an income of less than $3,000/month or a married couple with combined income of less than $6,000/month

 - Have less than $650,000 in total assets for a single person or less than $1.3 million in total assets for a married couple

Registration information: You must register in advance and complete an estate planning questionnaire prior to June 9. Married couples must sign up for two separate time slots for the day of the clinic. Each spouse will have their own time slot to work with separate attorneys.

To Register: Contact Kenosha County Veterans Service Office Ali Nelson at 262-605-6690.


June is Pride Month


Over the years, June has become a symbolic month in which LGBT people and their allies have come together in various celebrations of pride. Every June, I join many others in recognizing Pride Month because I believe doing so will help foster an atmosphere of inclusion, acceptance, and celebration to the community. This year, I have joined several colleagues in the legislature in sponsoring Assembly Joint Resolution 31, which would officially declare June 2017 to be LGBT Pride Month throughout Wisconsin.


While Pride Month and Pride-related activities tend to be concentrated during June, Kenosha Pride schedules its parade during a different month to remind us all that, as important as having a Pride Month is, it is equally important to continue our recognition and awareness of LGBT people and issues through all twelve months of the year. 


This year, the 5th Annual Kenosha Pride event will be on Sunday, July 16 at Veterans Memorial Park. More details will be available in next month's State Capitol Report, on the Kenosha Pride website, and on the Kenosha Pride Facebook page.


Local Resource: Women and Children's Horizons

Established in 1976, Women and Children's Horizons (WCH) advocates for victims of sexual and domestic violence/abuse. WCH provides assistance relating to sexual assault and domestic abuse, has an emergency safety shelter, offers legal advocacy which can provide support and important legal assistance, and offers children's services as well.

Unfortunately, the reality is 25% of women and 17% of men are or will be victims of sexual assault in their lifetime. And domestic abuse is far too common. If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic violence/abuse or sexual assault, it is important to know Women and Children's Horizons is a resource here in Kenosha. 

You can find WCH online at, on Facebook, or by calling 262-656-3500. Anyone needing immediate help can call WCH's 24-hour crisis line at 800-853-3503 (toll-free) or 262-652-9900 (local).


Good to Know: Swimming Pools at Washington Park & Anderson Park


Did you know Kenosha has two public pools? Did you know they open this Saturday June 10th weather permitting? The pools are located in Washington Park and Anderson Park. Regular pool hours are 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

Season pool passes may be purchased from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at the Public Works Department, 625 52nd St., Room 305.

 - Cost for non-residents is $60 for a single pass, $180 for a group pass of up to five and $20 for each additional person on a group pass.

 - Daily pool fees are $4 for ages 3-17, $5 for ages 18-59 and $3 for ages 60 and older.

 - Swim coupons good for five visits also are available. Costs are $15 for children and $20 for adults.


ICYMI: Kenosha Dream Playground named as a Top 10 Playground


Here in Kenosha, we know what a special place we have in the Kenosha Dream Playground. But it's always nice to see it get recognition elsewhere, because we know that helps to spread the word about this amazing playground.


Late last month, the Play Across America blog named the Kenosha Dream Playground as one of the Top 10 Playgrounds in the entire country! The blog had these kind words to say:


"This fabulous, large, wooden play structure is certainly a sight to see! With it’s lighthouse and boat structures, kids can have fun pretending they’re heading out to the high seas. There are lots of musical toys here, too, so budding musicians can play their little hearts out. With all-inclusive elements like the swing that allows wheelchair bound children to stay in their chair but experience the thrill of swinging, kids of all abilities can enjoy playing here."


If you haven't had the chance to check out the Kenosha Dream Playground yet, I encourage you to do so. There's no time like the present.


Kenosha Dream Playground Ambassador Program being launched


On a related note, if you are interested in applying to be a Kenosha Dream Playground Ambassador so you can help promote safe play at the park, there will be an information meeting TONIGHT, June 8th at 7pm at the Boys & Girls Club (rooms 1,2,3). KPD Officer Ron Francis and Tammy Conforti will be explaining playground ambassadors roles and discussing playground safety guidelines. Applications to volunteer for the program will be available.


Inspiring Words


"Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."


- Vince Lombardi





Friends and Neighbors,


I love putting this e-newsletter together to send to you each month because it reminds me just how lucky we are in the Kenosha community. From accessible farmers markets to live music performances to nonprofit organizations and advocates who work to improve life for everyone in our community, Kenoshans really enjoy spending time together and really value making our community a great one in which to live.


In this State Capitol Report, I've included a summary of my recent healthcare town hall, a quick update on the state budget, a shout-out to our very own Senator Bob Wirch, and much more. As the spring winds down and summer approaches, even though the biennial budget still seems a long way from done, I look forward to spending a bit less time in Madison and a bit more time in Kenosha. I hope you'll stay in touch with me about the issues most important to you and say hello if you and I cross paths around the city!


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


Pay More, Get Less Healthcare Town Hall

A Huge Success


Earlier this week, ten legislators from all around the state joined me in Kenosha for a Town Hall/Listening Session on healthcare. With the attacks on healthcare going on in Washington and Madison it is more important than ever that we continue to educate and fight to make high quality affordable healthcare a right.


A full house at UAW Local 72 for the Pay More, Get Less Healthcare Town Hall


Amazing testimony was given by dozens of area residents. Thanks to everyone who came out to this event and to Curt Wilson and UAW Local 72 for making the event possible. It was great to show off the Union Hall to people from the community and to my colleagues in the Legislature.


L to R: Rep. Daniel Riemer, Rep. Peter Barca, Rep. Jimmy Anderson, Rep. David Crowley, Rep. Lisa Subeck, Sen. Mark Miller, Rep. Chris Taylor, Rep. Tod Ohnstad


Also special thanks to Planned Parenthood and Forward Kenosha for their work on promoting this event. If you missed the event you can see it by going to my Rep. Tod Ohnstad Facebook page.


Republicans Appear At Impasse

 on 2017-19 State Budget

For several weeks now, the Joint Finance Committee has been taking up the 2017-19 state budget bill, section by section. Now though, budget talks seem stalled as Republicans fight amongst themselves about funding for transportation and education and who knows what else. The Joint Finance Committee was actually supposed to be meeting today, but cancelled the meeting at the last minute. As the Wisconsin State Journal reported yesterday, even Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald admitted this indicates the 2017-19 budget bill is in a "rougher spot" than previously thought.


It is time to start having an open debate about these issues important to everyone in Wisconsin.


Rep. Ohnstad Attends Memorial Day Events

Honor Guard presenting the colors at Kenosha Area Vietnam Veterans

Memorial Day Ceremony at Library Park


I was pleased to attend several Memorial Day events with the kick-off hosted by the Kenosha County Veteran’s Council. I also attended the Navy Club Ship 40 Memorial Day Ceremony on the Kenosha Lakefront and the American Legion Post 21 Memorial Day Ceremony at the Green Ridge Cemetery. The Kenosha Area Vietnam Veterans had their annual program at Library Square and the VFW held their flag burning ceremony both of which I was able to attend.


Congratulations to Senator Bob Wirch!

Earlier this week, Kenosha's own State Senator Bob Wirch was named Conservation Legislator of the Year by the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. This is an incredibly prestigious award from a very respected organization, and it is very well-deserved. As many of you probably know, Senator Wirch is an avid fisherman and he has been a strong advocate for legislation providing greater opportunity for Wisconsin residents to participate in outdoor recreation and preserving our precious natural resources.


Congratulations, Senator Wirch! We are fortunate to be represented by you in the Wisconsin State Senate.


Rep. Ohnstad with Kenosha County Health Division staff following a meeting with Pamela Smith to discuss possible legislation regarding infant mortality in our community


Some Reminders As Temperatures Rise

As many of you will recall, I had a bill signed into law last session to make it legal for Good Samaritans to rescue children, vulnerable adults, or household pets like dogs and cats from being trapped in hot cars. With summer nearly here, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to remind everyone what the law requires if you encounter this situation.


If you see a person or household pet in distress in a locked car, you must call 911 before entering the vehicle so the 911 responder can help you assess the situation and deploy emergency personnel as needed. After calling 911, if you need to break the window of a car to enter, you need to wait by the car for an officer to arrive or leave a note with your contact information.


By following these steps, you can take the important action while knowing you're being advised by trained emergency personnel and minimizing damage to the vehicle. 


Fox11News in Appleton did a nice story on the law, which highlighted the steps and clarifications I noted above. You can check it out HERE.  


HarborMarket, Farmers Markets Are Open

We are fortunate in Kenosha to have several outstanding farmers markets in town. Here is a list of the times and days of the week for each location.

  • Kenosha Farmer's Market - Pennoyer Park
    35th Street & 7th Avenue
    Tuesdays, 6am - 12pm

  • Kenosha Farmer's Market - Columbus Park
    54th Street & 22nd Avenue
    Wednesdays, 6am - 12pm & Saturdays 6am - 1pm

  • Kenosha Farmer's Market - Lincoln Park
    18th Avenue & 70th Street
    Thursdays, 6am - 12pm

  • Kenosha Farmer's Market - Baker Park
    66th Street & Sheridan Road
    Fridays, 6am - 12pm

In addition to the rotating farmers market, there is also the HarborMarket on Saturdays, located at 56th Street & 2nd Avenue. HarborMarket runs each Saturday from 9am - 2pm.


Farmer Markets accept WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) checks.


Local Summer Music Events Kick Off

Kenosha is home to a rich tapestry of live music opportunities. Here are some of the regular summer music performances held in our community. This summer, make sure to stop by and enjoy some (or all!) of these outstanding musical performances.

  • Kenosha Pops Concert Band - 7pm each Wednesday evening @ Pennoyer Park band shell, from June 10 through August 2 (except week of

  • Peanut Butter & Jam Concert Series - from 11:30am-1pm and 6-8pm each Thursday @ Veterans Memorial Park, from July 13 through August 31

  • Twilight Jazz - 7-9pm on select Tuesday evenings, beginning June 11 and ending August 29 @ Anderson Arts Center

  • Tuesdays At The Shell - 6pm each Tuesday @ Pennoyer Park band shell, from July 11 through August 29

Kenosha Independence Day Festivities

As is the case every year, Kenosha will be home to some fun and family-friendly Independence Day festivities.


Kenosha's Civic Veterans Parade will take place on Sunday, July 2nd at 1pm. The parade will feature marching bands, floats, and local dignitaries, with more than 10,000 spectators expected. The two-mile parade route begins at 22nd Avenue and 63rd Street in the Uptown district. 


Also taking place will be Celebrate America Kenosha, which will run from July 2nd through July 4th along Kenosha's lakefront. There will be live music, food, exhibits, and carnival rides. Admission is free.


Finally, on Tuesday, July 4th, the Pennoyer Park Bandshell will feature live music from 3pm-9pm. Admission is free. Festival Food Fireworks will begin just after dusk (about 9:30pm) on  at Harbor Park, located at 56th Street and 1st Ave. Pack a picnic or choose from a selection of hot, fresh food from local vendors.

July 4th Streetcar service will be free and offer additional service hours from 9 am to 11 pm. Click HERE for Kenosha Streetcar information.



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