Capitol Updates from State Rep. Dave Considine

July 6, 2015

Dear friend,

I hope you enjoyed your Independence Day weekend. We are planning for a busy week here in the Capitol, so I wanted to make sure you were up-to-date on what will be going through the Legislature. That information, as well as several local updates, is below. As always, if you have any questions, thoughts, or concerns, please feel free to contact me anytime. My email is, or you can give my office a call at (608) 266-7746 or send a letter to PO Box 8952, Madison, WI 53708. I would be glad to hear from you!





Rep. Dave Considine

81st Assembly District



In this issue:

  • State budget update: Out of Joint Finance, on to the Legislature

  • Ho-Chunk Nation returns to ancestral land in Sauk County

  • Downtown Baraboo named to the National and State Registers of Historic Places

  • DNR News: Conservation Patron licenses available


State Budget Update

On Thursday evening, after over a month of closed-door discussions, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) finally finished its work on the state budget. Here's an overview of what they did (and didn't do):

  • Transportation: The Governor's request for $1.3 billion in bonding has been reduced to $850 million ($350 million of which would be approved by the JFC). My Democratic colleagues on the committee proposed indexing the gas tax for inflation, which would have generated an additional $3.8 million in the next two years for transportation projects, but this was rejected by Republican committee members.

  • Taxes: On taxes, the JFC voted to cut taxes for married couples and reduce the Alternative Minimum Tax for wealthier Wisconsinites.

  • Motion 999: This final wrap-up motion, introduced late in the day on Thursday, contained a number of surprising proposals. Perhaps the only positive move is that the provision allowing anyone with "relevant experience" to teach our children was removed. Otherwise, Motion 999 was extremely concerning: it allows the return of the seven-day work week, and would drastically undermine our state's open records laws by exempting legislators and staff. To me, this is simply unacceptable - regardless of party, we as legislators are employed by our constituents, and you deserve the ability to stay informed and hold us accountable. Over the weekend, the Governor and members of Republican leadership have claimed that they will remove the open records provision from the budget "in its entirety," and I will do whatever I can to ensure that they do. You can view the entire text of the 999 motion under the "News" tab on my website:

  • No Wine Walks changes: Unfortunately, a provision to legalize Wine Walks in state statutes did not make its way into the budget, which means the proposal will now have to be passed as a standalone bill. However, I have been working with Sen. Howard Marklein and Rep. Keith Ripp on this issue since it was brought to our attention, and I am optimistic that we will be able to pass these changes through the Legislature later this year.

The budget now moves on to the full Legislature for a vote. We are expected to take it up in the Assembly on Wednesday and Thursday. I have been working continuously with my colleagues to draft a number of amendments that would restore funding to our public schools; protect our long-term care systems like ADRCs, Family Care, and IRIS; provide more support for quality mental health services; and more. We will likely also be voting on the Milwaukee Bucks arena plan and the bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. If you have any ideas you'd like to share with me or questions about any of these bills, please don't hesitate to contact me. I am here to represent you, and your input is extremely valuable to me in this process. You can reach my office by phone at (608) 266-7746, or email at


Ho-Chunk Nation returns to ancestral land in Sauk County

On Friday, June 25th, the Ho-Chunk Nation officially returned to a section of its ancestral land in the 81st District. "Day-wa-kun-chunk" is a 1,553 acre parcel of land which includes the "Land of the Spirit Voices", what is now Devil's Lake, and the section of land currently known to many as the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant. This land transfer comes after a long and difficult history of relocations, and is the result of many years of hard work and collaboration between tribal, legislative, and local leaders. It is not often that land is returned to its original owners in cases like this, so I am glad to see this day become reality for the Ho-Chunk Nation. As plans for the Badger Ammunition Plant continue to take shape, I look forward to helping to protect and improve this land so it will be available for generations to come. You can read more about this historic transfer here:


Downtown Baraboo added to Registers of Historic Places

I am happy to report that Baraboo's business district has been added to both the National and State Registers of Historic Places! Baraboo Mayor Mike Palm and Wisconsin Historical Society Director Ellsworth Brown announced the news at the 100th anniversary celebration of Al. Ringling Appreciation Day on June 26th. A formal celebration will be held later this summer. In the meantime, you can read the Baraboo News Republic's coverage of this year's Ringling Day celebration here, or see photos from the event.


Conservation Patron licenses available

A Conservation Patron license provides all the basic fishing and hunting privileges at a great price - $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 only $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. For more information, contact the Bureau of Customer and Outreach Services, 608-266-2621.




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