Capitol Updates from State Rep. Dave Considine
May 22, 2015
Happy Memorial Day weekend! As you enjoy this time with family and friends and honor those who have served our country, I wanted to provide you with an update on what's happening in the Legislature, as well as some local opportunities for this weekend and beyond. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, I would be happy to hear from you. You can call my office at (608) 266-7746, send me an email at Rep.Considine@legis.wisconsin.gov, or a letter to PO Box 8952, Madison, WI 53708.
State Representative, 81st Assembly District
In this issue:
State Budget Update: K-12 Education, Corrections, SeniorCare, and more
K-12 Education: On Tuesday, my Democratic
colleagues on the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) moved to invest $450
million into our public school classrooms from existing revenues and
stop the expansion of the private school voucher program. Unfortunately,
both motions failed. Instead, our Republican colleagues filled in the
Governorís unnecessary $127 million cut and provided only $69 million on
top of that. Their voucher expansion program will cost public schools
over $48 million. This evens out to $22 million more in additional
funding for schools, which means a total increase per student of just
$25 over the next two years.
Corrections: Democrats and Republicans voted together to approve an opioid treatment pilot program within the state prison system similar to Sauk County's program, which has so far shown great success. Unfortunately, Republicans also cut $50,000 to the Urban Ministry and Project Return programs. These programs simulate community re-entry for offenders and utilize wrap-around support that have brought recidivism rates to the single digits in the Madison and Milwaukee areas.
SeniorCare: Good news - because of your efforts to protect the SeniorCare program, Joint Finance has voted to keep funding for the program as-is! Thank you to all who signed my petition to save SeniorCare, and spoke up in so many other ways. This truly would not have happened without your dedication and willingness to make your voices heard.
Other areas: JFC also voted to retain legislative oversight of WEDC, the economic development agency created by Governor Walker which has had a number of serious problems since its inception. The committee also removed Governor Walker from the WEDC board, but rejected a plan introduced by my Democratic colleagues that would have implemented more comprehensive changes to the agency. Unfortunately, the committee also chose not to accept the $360 million in federal Medicaid (BadgerCare) funding still available to Wisconsin.
Industrial Hemp Update
My industrial hemp bill, previously known as LRB-1692, has now received a bill number: Assembly Bill 215 (AB 215). It has been referred to the Assembly Committee on State Affairs and Government Operations. You can follow the progress of AB 215 by signing up for the free Legislative Notification Service.
Celebrating Memorial Day in the 81st District
I am honored to be speaking at the Sauk Prairie Memorial Day Service hosted by the Sauk City American Legion Kuoni Reuter Post 167 and the Sauk Prairie VFW Lachmund-Cramer Post 7694. The service will be on Monday, May 25th at 10:30 AM at the Sauk City Cemetery. Be sure to check your local papers for other events to honor those who have given their lives in service to our country! Please also note that my Capitol office will be closed on Monday in observance of the holiday.
It's graduation time for many students, and I want to congratulate all those who have or will be celebrating this major accomplishment. I am proud to represent such smart, thoughtful, hard workers in the Legislature, and I look forward to seeing all the great things you will do in the future.
May Photo Update
Check out these photos and more on my legislative website and Facebook page!
Touring Alliant Energy's hydroelectric dam in Prairie du Sac with Manager of Hydroelectric Generation Amanda Acton and Regional Director of Generation Operations JP Brummond.
On The Devil's Advocates to discuss my industrial hemp bill, AB 215, during my first radio interview as a legislator!
Honored to speak with Sen. Jon Erpenbach at the Anderson Novak Memorial Boat Launch Dedication in Prairie du Sac
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