Updates from the State Senate - October 11, 2018


The banner photo above was taken in Heritage Hill State Park in Allouez of the former Allouez Town Hall.



Robert Cowles


Serving Wisconsin's 2nd Senate District








Quick Fact


Wisconsin residents hunt at nearly three times the national rate and fish at twice the national rate.


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Recognition for Work in the 2017-18 Session


This session, I authored, co-sponsored and supported more than two hundred bills, many of which were signed into law. Some organizations have selected me for recognition based on this work. Iím proud to receive these acknowledgements as they show that the Legislature is making changes that help local government, small business, law enforcement, natural resources, and more. Some of these awards and recognitions include:

  • Friend of the Towns from the Wisconsin Towns Association (read more)

  • Legislator of the Year from the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks (read more)

  • Working for Wisconsin Award from Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce

  • Friend of Family Medicine from the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians (read more)

  • Municipal Champion from the League of Wisconsin Municipalities (read more)

  • Friend of Grocers from the Wisconsin Grocers Association

  • Award for Conservative Achievement from the American Conservative Union

  • Conservation Honor Roll from the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters

  • Friend of Housing from the Wisconsin Homebuilders Association (read more)

  • Law Enforcement Honor Roll from the Wisconsin Professional Police Association (read more)


Legislative Audit Bureau Recognized


Last month, the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) announced that they received the highest possible rating on a peer review. As the Co-Chair of the Audit Committee, I am consistently amazed by the high quality work achieved by LAB. This rating just reiterates the confidence and trust I have in LABís ability to maintain accountability and oversight of government programs. Read my full statement at this link.


Rule on Moving Deer Carcasses Suspended


This summer, Governor Walker announced that new administrative rules to combat the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in white-tailed deer in Wisconsin. These rules included enhanced fencing for deer farms, banning the movement of live deer from deer farms in CWD-affected counties, and banning the movement of whole deer carcasses out of CWD-affected counties to another county unless the deer is brought to a taxidermist or processor.


Last week, the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules held a public hearing on these new rules. While they heard a lot of support from people who testified for actions to combat the spread of CWD, they also heard many concerns about the quick implementation of these rules. Committee members also showed concern that the rule on moving deer carcasses was meant to be implemented just two days before the start of archery season.


The portion of this rule on deer carcass movement was suspended by the Committee. The other two sections of the rule related to deer farms are still in place, but as this is the emergency rule, the Committee indicated that they may revisit these rules once the final rule is drafted.


First Lead Lateral Removed Under New Program


Last month, Kenosha broke ground on the first removal of a lead lateral under the Leading on Lead Act. This not only was a big step for Kenosha, but for the stateís first authorized program under legislation I authored last session with Representative Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) for local governments to rid their communities of this aging and harmful infrastructure. While the scope of the problem in each community is different, I hope that more local governments will recognize that this program allows utilities to pursue the plan thatís right for their community while making lead laden drinking water a thing of the past for Wisconsinites.


Watch a video of the first lead pipe being pulled on Twitter or read my full statement on my website.


Senate Scholar Program Accepting Applications


The 2019 Senate Scholar Program is now accepting applications. This program provides students with an advanced week-long crash course in government and the legislative process by hearing from state leaders and through hands-on experiences. Open to high school juniors and seniors, the student chosen by Senate staff members will represent the 2nd Senate District during this unique educational experience.


In spring of 2018, the 2nd Senate District was represented by two enthusiastic and intelligent young individuals, one from Gresham and one from Shawano. I am hoping that we can send at least one more student to represent the district again during the 2019 Scholar Weeks. Applications will need to be received no later than November 21, 2018. A digital copy of the application and more information about the Senate Scholar Program can be found at this link.


Recent Events Attended


I have the opportunity to attend a number of community events each week. These events are central in my role as an elected official, as they allow me to stay up-to-date on the latest news from businesses, non-profits, and local governments. These events also give me a chance to meet great people and recognize the contributions that so many people make to our communities. Here is just a sampling of some of the events Iíve recently attended:

  • It was great to be able to join employees of the newest Kwik Trip in Little Chute with Representative Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) recently for their grand opening!


  • Hundreds of community members showed up on Saturday, September 8th to show support for veterans at the annual City Stadium Run for Veterans at Green Bay East High School. I had the pleasure of meeting many of the veterans in attendance, including honorary guest Bert Compton who fought in Iwo Jima.

  • Last month, I attended the 14th Annual Power of the Purse Lunch Event to raise money for the Womenís Fund.

  • While everyone knows Green Bay is a football town, sometimes we forget to appreciate the great college football thatís played here. I recently attended St. Norbert College Footballís Steak Fry to show my support for the Green Knights.

  • Last month, I had the pleasure of helping break ground for the Capital Credit Union Park. This project will convert a blighted brownfields site in Ashwaubenon into a multi-purpose stadium and events venue that will host Northwoods League baseball in the summer and will be a destination for other special events and family fun year-round.


  • Part of what makes our community great is that so many people are willing to take time out of their week to give back. I saw this first hand when I attended the Volunteer Expo in Green Bay with dozens of organizations looking for volunteers and hundreds of community members looking to help.

  • Law enforcement in Brown County doesnít just want to respond to crimes, they want to prevent them. The Crime Prevention Foundation of Brown County has distributed over $200,000 to community organizations to help run programs that can prevent future crimes. Last month, I attended their Annual Luncheon where they distributed grants to more local organizations.

  • It was a chilly fall morning, but I had a good time at the ribbon cutting for the newly renovated Trades and Engineering Technologies Department facilities at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

  • It was a pleasure to attend the groundbreaking of the three-story, multi-tenant Brown County STEM Innovation Center on the UW-Green Bay campus.

In Other News...


Here are some other stories I wanted to share with you:

  • Congratulations to the Bonduel School District on receiving a $50,000 Fast Forward Grant from the state Department of Workforce Development to create a CNC Regional Manufacturing Center. By creating more opportunities to learn technical skills, students will be better prepared to enter in-demand manufacturing careers. Learn more at this link.

  • Recent federal action is good news for Wisconsin consumers looking preserve their credit and protect their identities. Effective immediately, all credit freezes, which previously could cost up to $10, are now free. Additionally, fraud alerts requested by consumers from credit bureaus are now extended from 90 days to one year. To simplify the process of establishing these protections, each of the three major credit bureaus were required to create a webpage for requesting fraud alerts and credit freezes. You can access these resources on the websites of Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. To learn more, visit the state Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protectionís website.

  • Focus on Energy, a program which I have strongly supported, recycled their 80,000th appliance recently. Through the Appliance Recycling Program, residents may be eligible to receive $35 to recycle working refrigerators or freezers and can recycle other appliances. Since the program started in 2013, about 11 million pounds of metal and 1 million pounds of plastic have been diverted from landfills. Learn more about this program and if you qualify at this link.

  • Governor Walker recently announced $7 million in the latest round of Broadband Expansion Grants which will help expand service to 1,100 businesses and 14,000 homes. Among 37 grants were two in the 2nd Senate District, including one I supported in Seymour which is Outagamie Countyís first grant and another project near Shawano. Learn more at this link.

  • October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Every weekday this month, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) will release a cyber-safety tip with each week addressing a different theme. Learn how you can stay cyber aware by following along with these tips on DATCPís website at this link.


Thanks for Reading!


Feel free to contact my office with any questions or concerns you may have, and be sure to
visit my website and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Senator Robert Cowles




Mailing Address: P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707-7882 | Office: 118 South, State Capitol

Office: (608) 266-0484 | District: (920) 448-5092 | Sen.Cowles@legis.wisconsin.gov




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