Representative Lisa Subeck's E-Newsletter

 July 7, 2015


Contact Me


418 North State Capitol

P.O. Box 8953

Madison, WI 53708


PH: (608) 266-7521

TF: (888) 534-0078

FAX: (608) 282-3690

On the Web



Things happening in the district & around Madison


West Side Farmers Market

Saturdays, April 18th to November 14th 7AM - 1PM

Hill Farms DOT Building Parking Lot

University Ave. & Segoe Rd.


Olbrich's Home Garden Tour

Friday, July 10-Saturday, July 11

Reoccurring Daily

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

3330 Atwood Ave.


Tour exceptional gardens in Madison's historic neighborhoods. Linger in each of these gardens, talk with homeowners, see how other home gardeners use innovative landscape designs and get great ideas for your own garden. 

57th Annual Art Fair on the Square

Saturday, July 11-Sunday, July 12

Sat. 9am-6pm, Sun. 10am-5pm

On the Capitol Square.


One of the Midwest's most popular and highly regarded outdoor celebrations of the arts will return to the Capitol Square in July as MMoCA presents the 57th annual Art Fair on the Square. With its mix of music, entertainment, and outdoor dining, as well as more than 450 artists exhibiting paintings, prints, photographs, sculpture, jewelry, handmade clothing and accessories, and fine craft, the fair is expected to draw nearly 200,000 visitors to Madison's Capitol Square.


Art Fair Off the Square

Saturday, July 11-Sunday, July 12

Sat. 9am-6pm, Sun. 10am-5pm

200 Martin Luther King Blvd.


Located in downtown Madison along Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and on the Monona Terrace Convention Center Esplanade, the 36th Annual Art Fair Off the Square takes place July 11 - 12, 2015. Hours of the fair are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. The two day event is a showcase for about 140 Wisconsin exhibitors and includes food and unexpected, spontaneous happenings. The show features ceramics, art glass, painting, fiber, sculpture, jewelry, graphics, paper-making, photography, wood, and more.


Health Insurance Enrollment and Exemption Application Assistance.

 Thursdays, until August 31st

10 am - 3 pm


Dane County Job Center

1819 Aberg Ave., Madison  


Consumers can walk in for assistance or make appointments by calling Covering Kids & Families at 608-261-1455.




Dear Friends and Neighbors,


I hope you had a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend. It was great to see many of you at neighborhood picnics and Independence Day celebrations. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to join your events. If I didn’t make it to your neighborhood celebration, please know I wish I could have been there. Unfortunately, making it to all of the events would have meant being in two or more places at once, a skill which I have not yet acquired.


In this week’s newsletter, you will find a budget update, including a summary of the Joint Finance Committee’s final actions and information about other bills the legislature will be considering along with the budget this week.


If you have any questions or need assistance with any matter, please feel free to contact my office. 



Lisa Subeck

State Representative

78th Assembly District


Budget Update

After not meeting for over a month, the Joint Finance Committee finally completed its work on the budget late last week. With a $250 million cut to the University of Wisconsin system, an estimated loss of $800 million for neighborhood schools over the next 10 years, transportation spending on the state’s credit card, drastic changes to the state’s long-term care programs, and massive cuts to the Department of Natural Resources and other vital services, the Republican budget is an all-out catastrophe.


The Senate is on the floor today debating the budget, and the Assembly is scheduled to take it up tomorrow. In their final day of budget deliberations, Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee kicked the can further down the road on transportation, opting for unprecedented and unsustainable borrowing for some road projects while delaying others. They also passed on a party-line vote, with all Republicans voting yes, their final motion (known as Motion 999) chock full of giveaways to special interests, attacks on local control in Dane County, and even a move to eliminate nearly all government transparency on the state level. Read on for more information about their actions.


Transportation Funding

Instead of considering a number of revenue options recommended in a Department of Transportation report, Republican legislators ended their stalemate with an agreement to continue an unsustainable level of borrowing and leaving future generations to pay for our current infrastructure needs. Republicans on Joint Finance Committee approved $500 million in bonding for some projects with an additional $350 million in borrowed funds that Joint Finance Committee may approve during the biennium.


Without considering any revenue enhancers and $850 million in total borrowing, projects all over the state will see delays, including the Verona Road Reconstruction project, which will now see a two-year delay. These delays will hurt residents and businesses and will also deepen our state’s debt, creating an unsustainable and untenable future for transportation funding.


Sneak Attack on Government Transparency

As part of their final 999 motion, Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee proposed and voted in favor of dismantling Wisconsin’s open records laws by exempting nearly all legislative communications. In one evening, Republicans rolled back over a century of “sunshine” in Wisconsin, leaving many wondering what they have to hide.


Over the holiday weekend, outrage built quickly, and we heard from the media, good government groups, and people all over Wisconsin that this action was unacceptable. Wisconsin was one of the first states in the country to enact laws guaranteeing the public’s right to access government records, and Republicans were ready to undo this in one short evening with no notice and no public hearings. Thanks to the swift outcry, it appears the Republican majority is having second thoughts, and they have indicated that the changes will be reversed in the final budget deliberations. Make no mistake about it, though. They would move forward with their plan if they could get away with it, and every single Republican on the Joint Finance Committee voted in favor of the overhaul.


Yesterday, my Democratic colleagues and I introduced a bill that would prevent last minute abuses of the budget process, such as this one. The bill we are proposing would force non-fiscal policy items in the budget to be referred to standing committees in both the Assembly and the Senate, requiring public hearings and committee action prior to inclusion in the budget. This would prevent these sorts of sneak attacks in the future, no matter which party holds a majority in the Legislature.


 Padding the Pockets of Payday Lenders

Also included in the 999 motion is a giveaway to predatory payday lenders, allowing them more flexibly in the products that they can offer. These businesses prey on some of our state’s most vulnerable residents, exploiting those who are in need of help in order to turn a profit. Instead of protecting hardworking Wisconsinites, Republicans are rewarding their special interest donors, like the payday lending industry, by allowing them to expand their scope of business in our state.


As I spent much of my career working with low-income and homeless families, I saw firsthand the damage that these payday lending products can cause. Individuals who are already struggling to make ends meet are sold predatory loans with absurdly high interest rates, causing long-term damage to their credit when they find themselves caught in a cycle of extending the loan each payday after finding themselves able to pay only the interest. Hardworking Wisconsin families deserve protection from these predatory business practices.


Buried Deep in the 999 Motion

Republicans used the final 999 motion to line the pockets of special interests, to deal a not so nice payback to those who disagree with their politics, and to insert bad policy into a bad budget. Some other key items, in addition to those mentioned above, in the 999 motion included:


(Pictured to the right is a photo of some of my Democratic colleagues and I reviewing the 999 motion minutes after its release)

  • Changes to the composition of the Joint Survey Committee on Retirement systems, removing all non-elected representatives and making all positions appointed legislators. This is alarming, as it could be the start of major changes to the Wisconsin Retirement System which has been held up as a model of sustainability at a time when other such plans elsewhere have faced major deficits and challenges.

  • Modifications to a prior Joint Finance Committee action on participation in athletics and extracurricular activities by students not enrolled in public schools to specify that it would only apply to students who are enrolled in a home-based private educational program.

  • Allowing teachers and administrators who are licensed in other states to obtain Wisconsin teaching licenses without meeting Wisconsin standards.

  • Changes to the makeup of Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District governance structure, a move opposed by Dane County and by environmental groups concerned about regional oversight of water quality and lake clean-up efforts.

  • Prohibiting towns and counties from imposing certain requirements for approving a conditional use permit.

  • Sweeping changes to the duties and powers of the Milwaukee County Executive.

  • Changes to funding for the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board.

  • Removing information about certain criminal charges when no conviction occurred from the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (CCAP) public database.

  • Eliminating some Boards and Councils and transferring responsibilities to the Department of Administration and Department of Safety and Professional Services.

  • Requirements increasing the number of votes needed and making it more challenging for new union collective bargaining units to be approved.

  • Allowing employers to schedule employees to work a full 7 days per week with no day of rest. While this change in law provides the opportunity for employees to opt out, it is hard to imagine workers feeling empowered to say no when their jobs may be on the line.

  • Eliminating requirements that workers be paid a living wage and changing long-time law that requires, at the very least, a committee review and study when the current minimum wage does not keep pace with the cost of basic necessities.

  • Weakening protections for those exposed to lead-based paint.

Click here to see my statement on the final Joint Finance Committee action.


Attacks on Dane County

Out-state Republicans with a political axe to grind have launched several attacks against Dane County through their most recent budget actions. The 999 motion contained unwanted changes to the makeup of the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District and usurps the county’s ability to enforce water quality standards. Their final motion also included a move to prohibit the county from imposing insurance requirements on the Enbridge pipeline project, potentially saddling county residents with the cost of cleanup should a spill occur. Changes made to the transportation budget will delay the next phase of the Verona Road project, negatively impacting commuters, local residents, and the small businesses in the area as construction on the project stalls.


This comes on the heels of other budgetary actions aimed squarely at Dane County and Madison. Among other actions, Republicans have singled out and eliminated Madison’s zoning authority for the state’s Hill Farms project, despite what had been a positive working relationship surrounding the project. They have passed a motion to strip Dane County and others of their ability to set its own local shoreland zoning ordinances.  The University of Wisconsin, Madison will see a massive funding cut that will have serious implications in the Madison area.


Another Republican backed budget motion will force state agencies to consider relocating outside of Dane County, which could mean future relocation or job losses for some Dane County residents. Finally, while not targeted specifically at Dane County, substantial funding cuts for bicycle and pedestrian projects will hamper complete streets efforts in Madison and throughout Dane County.


Madison and Dane County have seen healthy growth at a time when most of the state has been stagnant. The Republican majority in the Legislature should look to replicate our success elsewhere in the state rather than continuing to launch petty political attacks on the region.


Abortion Ban Update

Last month, the Senate debated and ultimately passed proposal bill introduced by Sen. Mary Lazich (R – New Berlin) and Rep. Jesse Kremer (R – Kewaskum) that would ban all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The Assembly is likely to consider the bill in a special session later this week, once we have completed our budget deliberations.


It is important to note that less than 1% of all abortions take place after 20 weeks in Wisconsin. Women who seek abortions at this time in their pregnancies are generally women who face serious and life-threatening health problems, untenable pregnancies, or severe fetal anomalies.


It is unconscionable that Republicans are calling a special session to consider this legislation that would take medical options away from these most vulnerable women and families. However, Governor Walker has made it clear that he wants to sign this legislation as he prepares to officially launch his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, so Republicans have chosen to play politics with women’s health in their effort to boost the Governor’s credentials with the extreme right wing.

Prevailing Wage Update

The budget is not the only thing on the Assembly’s agenda tomorrow. We will also be considering a repeal of Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law. Currently, our law sets a minimum wage based on prevailing wages for similar work, which must be paid to workers on publicly funded construction projects. Most public projects are awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, and establishing a minimum rate for construction workers on these projects helps to level the playing field, guaranteeing that contractors compete based on skill and productivity rather than how little they pay their workers.


Wisconsin’s current prevailing wage law works for Wisconsin’s small businesses, ensures hardworking Wisconsinites earn family-supporting wages, and protects the public from shoddy workmanship on our roads, bridges, and other public infrastructure. Yet, in their move to repeal the law, Republicans are again working to drive down wages and send more jobs out of state.


Be on the Lookout for Wild Parsnip

Summer has begun, and it is time to be on the lookout for the invasive wild parsnip. The plant (pictured to the right) has a chemical makeup in its sap that can cause serious skin irritation when exposed to sunlight. When the sap comes in contact with the skin and sunlight, it can cause severe rashes, blisters, and skin discoloration. To avoid this reaction, the Department of Natural Resources recommends wearing gloves, long sleeves, and long pants when handling or coming into contact with the plant. Wild parsnip has been found in 61 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, including Dane County.


Conservation Patron Licenses

Conservation Patron licenses are a great way to enjoy all the outdoors has to offer at a great price. A Wisconsin Conservation Patron license provides all of the basic fishing and hunting privileges for $165 for Wisconsin residents, a price reduction of nearly one-half when compared to the value for each item included. For Wisconsin residents under the age of 18, a Conservation Patron license costs $75.


Hunting and fishing licenses can be purchased through the Online Licensing Center on the DNR website, at all authorized license agents, and at DNR Service Centers. Hours for service centers vary so check the DNR website for service center days and hours of operation. DNR Service Centers are not open on Saturdays.


DNR Bureau of Customer and Outreach Services staff is available to assist the public online and via phone from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Spanish and Hmong bilingual customer service representatives are also available. You can reach customer service at 1-888-936-7463 or by e-mail at An online chat link is also available.


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