Capitol Updates from State Rep. Dave Considine
February 24, 2017
Welcome to my monthly e-newsletter. I hope you find the information below helpful in keeping up-to-date on what's happening in the 81st District and our state government.
The legislature is now back in session and the Governor has submitted his biennial budget to the Joint Finance Committee of the legislature for review. While I support the proposed funding increase provided to K-12 education and the University of Wisconsin, I am leery of how we finance the whole budget (a $76 billion proposal). The budget is based on very optimistic fiscal projections and if my colleagues and the Governor refuse to raise any taxes or fees, we could be back to cutting education budgets two years down the road. This is not fiscally responsible and creates havoc for those trying to run and manage the schools that educate our children.
As you will see below, I am holding a number of upcoming listening sessions to hear from you about the Governor's budget proposal as well as other state issues currently in front of the legislature. I hope that you can join me for one or more of these events.
As always, please feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions, concerns, or thoughts you'd like to share with me. It is a pleasure to serve as your Representative in Madison.
Rep. Dave Considine
81st Assembly District
Industrial Hemp Legislation
Last week I introduced a bill that would create a state licensing process for the production of industrial hemp in Wisconsin. Hemp has a long history of agricultural production in North America and thrived in Wisconsin through World War II. The state currently imports hemp products but could benefit from producing our own hemp crops.
This bill would allow the state of Wisconsin to issue licenses that authorize the growing and processing of industrial hemp. It is time that our state returns to being a leader in the hemp industry. Passing this legislation would be a financial win for farmers, consumers, and the agricultural industry as a whole.
Mental Health & Education Committee Hearings
The mental health committee and the education committee recently held their first meetings to receive an overview from organizations working in these policy areas. At the mental health hearing we heard from the National Alliance for Mental Illness, the National Association of Social Workers, the Wisconsin Hospital Association, and private behavioral health practitioners. Workforce shortages and Medicaid reimbursement were two areas of primary concern for organizations and providers working to address mental health.
At the education committee hearing, the first meeting was geared towards getting rid of burdensome or outdated administrative rules. This is part of a larger "Right the Rules" process being undertaken in various committees throughout the legislature so that state government can operate more efficiently and effectively. With each of my committee assignments, I am looking forward to crafting and approving legislation that helps address the needs of our state.
Governor Walker's 2017-2019 Biennial Budget Release
You can find the full text of Governor Walker's budget here. While the budget as a whole is listed as AB 64, in reality, the budget is composed of hundreds of individual bill drafts, each dealing with a particular topic or program and each assigned a four digit number.
The budget is currently with the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) of
the legislature. The JFC will hold hearings on each section of the
budget to gather input from stakeholders and will inevitably make
substantial changes to what the Governor has proposed. Once the JFC
revises the Governorís request, it will come to the full legislature
for a vote.
It is a pleasure serving alongside my colleagues in the Assembly Democratic Caucus. Together, we are planning an agenda focused on job creation, economic growth, and access to quality health care. Visit our new website to see more about what the Assembly Democrats are proposing for Wisconsin.
Check out these photos and more on my legislative website and
Republicans in the legislature recently authorized at least $175,000 to hire outside attorneys to defend the legislative maps in Wisconsin that were recently declared unconstitutional by a federal court. Rather than accepting the decision that our statesí maps are unconstitutionally drawn, the state is instead writing checks using taxpayer money to attempt to defend their merit.
Ensuring the integrity of the electoral process is of vital importance to me. Last session I worked with several of my new freshman colleagues in the Assembly to introduce Assembly Bill (AB) 328, which would replace Wisconsinís current redistricting standards with a non-partisan process based on the highly regarded Iowa model.
In the District
Budget Listening Sessions with Dave
Public Service Commission Continues to Sell Out Wisconsin
The Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved a number of projects increasing the power lines running through my district. The PSC exists to regulate public utilities in Wisconsin. Its decisions should have the best interests of Wisconsinites in mind, but time and time again, our citizens are overruled in favor of whatís best for the transmission companies.
To unsubscribe, please reply to this message with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line.