State Financial Audit Identifies Continuing Concerns with IT Security "Several of these findings are ongoing concerns that still need to be addressed from prior audits. It is my hope that state agencies will implement the LAB recommendations quickly and put these IT security issues behind us."
Audit Examines SWIB Performance and Management "Maintaining thorough oversight of operating and project expenses needs to be at the forefront of the Board’s priorities to determine the appropriateness of budget overruns and avoid unnecessary cost while continuing to allow SWIB to manage investments to the best of their ability."
Audit Recommends WEDC Revise Procedures “Once again, the diligent work of the Legislative Audit Bureau has uncovered a discrepancy that had the potential to cost Wisconsin taxpayers money. This audit has given the Legislature and WEDC the ability to identify this issue and correct it prior to any tax credits being awarded."
Looking Forward to Leading Policy Discussions on Natural Resources and Energy for Two More Years "I’ve been proud to have a front row seat to the discussions that create innovative natural resources and energy policy in our State Capitol for the past four years, and I look forward to two more years."
Sen. Cowles’ Statement on Extraordinary Session “Many of the things the Legislature debated during the session were policy items I’ve already supported. These policies have already made it through the Legislative process and have had amble public input opportunities and thorough and careful considerations by myself and my fellow Legislators."
Weekly Republican Radio Address: Workforce Development Opportunities Available in Wisconsin Senator Robert Cowles offered the weekly Republican radio address today. The address talks about recent workforce development efforts by the Legislature to help integrate more people into the workforce, and how if you're looking for a new job, Wisconsin's a great place to be.
Receives ‘Friend of the Towns’ Award “Developing a state and local government partnership is crucial in advancing our state forward. As a State Legislator, I enjoy the relationship I’ve built with local elected officials in my district who help us best serve the needs of our constituents."
Work of Legislative Audit Bureau Again Affirmed "I am consistently amazed by the high quality work achieved by our state’s Legislative Audit Bureau. This rating just reiterates the confidence and trust I have in the LAB’s ability to maintain accountability and oversight of government programs."
Kenosha Breaks Ground on First Lead Lateral Replacement Under New Program “Kenosha, looking to tackle this public health concern, has taken prompt steps to initiate the state’s first customer-side lead service line replacement program and has broken ground just seven months after the bill was signed into law."
Cowles Helps Break Ground for New STEM Center “With this project passing a major milestone today, the Brown County STEM Innovation Center joins other recent announcements to position Northeast Wisconsin to produce more graduates with the skills that keep the region’s economy moving forward."
Green Bay Packaging Places Emphasis on Sustainability at Groundbreaking “During the event, we heard from company leaders about their commitment to sustainability in the facility’s design and construction, including increased energy efficiency, reduced air emissions, and an elimination of wastewater discharges into the Fox River."
Retirement Investment Funds Show Strong Returns in 2017 "The Annual Report demonstrates the strong health in the performance of the funds managed by SWIB as they maintained prudent financial management of the pension investments benefits for over half of a million Wisconsinites."
Cowles Reacts to the Passing of Senator John McCain "From Senator McCain’s military service including over five years as a prisoner of war and throughout life in the public eye, I have not only admired his patriotism, but his willingness to put the interests of his constituents and all Americans before himself and before politics."
Audit Analyzes Use of Forestry Account Funds “This audit is a great basis to look at the various programs that maintain state forests, prevent and fight forest fires, service debt on Stewardship holdings, and elevate the health and economic productivity of public and private woodlands."
PSC Approves First Plan under new Leading on Lead Act "I’m pleased that not only has Kenosha taken prompt steps to tackle this public health concern, but that utility customers will see no rate increase as this aging and harmful infrastructure will be removed and new service lines are installed."
Weekly Republican Radio Address: Advancing Water Quality in Wisconsin Senator Robert Cowles offered the weekly Republican radio address today. The address references a series of bills introduced by Senator Cowles and supported by his Republican Senate colleagues this Session and in the recent past to improve and preserve water quality in Wisconsin.
Cowles Applauds STEM Center Approval "Working to adapt to and evolve with the needs of the region, the addition of an engineering program, stationed in the STEM Center, to UWGB’s program offerings will help generate 50 more years of workforce leaders and innovators."
Petition to Close GBCI Receives over 1,000 Signatures “As my local legislative colleagues and I prepare for 2019, I believe audit findings along with the petition from the citizens of Brown County and other corrections reports will prove that the Green Bay Correctional Institution’s closure should be a priority in the next budget.”
Cowles Reacts to the Passing of Senator Mike Ellis “I’m deeply saddened by the passing of my good friend and former colleague Mike Ellis. There was no one quite like Mike. He was a decisive, honest, and dedicated legislator. His humor and wit will be greatly missed by all who knew him in the Capitol and throughout the Fox Valley."
Applauds TitletownTech’s Investment in Northeast Wisconsin’s Future "Thanks to the partnership that started with Microsoft’s announcement last year about the new TitletownTech, Northeast Wisconsin is ready to prove that you don’t need to be in Silicon Valley to be in the cutting edge of the new digital world."
Thousands of Lead Water Pipes Being Removed Thanks to Loan Program “Today’s announcement to distribute another $26 million over two years to 42 Wisconsin communities will only further our state’s efforts towards creating communities where every single Wisconsinite can rely on clean and safe water coming out of their faucet."
Local Legislators Advocate for State Roads in Brown County “This proposed project will eliminate two at-grade intersections along State Highway 29 and replace them with a grade-separated interchange that will help to foster the economic growth in a growing community, be much safer for school transportation, and ease the mobility of goods and people."
Boaters Rejoice: Water Levels on Shawano Lake on the Rise after Safety and Community Concerns “I’m incredibly pleased to announce the decision by FERC to raise the water level on Shawano Lake. This decision came just in time for the busy Fourth of July weekends, meaning that we can allow residents and visitors to spend their holiday like they always have: safely on the Lake."
Applauds Announcement from Green Bay Packaging "Green Bay Packaging has been a central member of Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry for decades, and I am very excited about the company’s announcement to reinvest in our region for decades to come."
Safety First: Raise Shawano Lake’s Water Level "As another Wisconsin summer kicks off, decisions made by government regulators in Washington D.C. are putting a damper on summer plans for thousands of people. It is our hope that FERC takes the prompt and necessary action to right this wrong."
Weekly Republican Radio Address: Paving the Way to Highway Project Accountability Senator Robert Cowles offered the weekly Republican radio address today. The address references an audit of the State Highway Program and how legislation introduced and passed in a cooperative, bipartisan manner addressed concerns raised in the audit.
Governor’s CWD Strategy is a Welcome Step Forward “Today’s announcement of new administrative rules by the Governor to combat the further spread of CWD is a welcome step towards ensuring the future of Wisconsin’s deer population is healthy and the future of Wisconsin’s deer hunting tradition is strong."
Bill to Turn Plastics into Fuel Signed into Law "Today’s action opens Wisconsin’s doors to an innovative process that has the potential to divert tens or even hundreds of thousands of tons of non-recycled plastic each year from landfills and transform that plastic into valuable commodities like gasoline, waxes, and lubricants."
Bill to Combat Child Neglect Signed into Law "I’ve authored this bill to combat the problem that have put these vulnerable children at risk by adding substance and clarity to Wisconsin’s child neglect statutes for law enforcement, prosecutors, social workers, community leaders, and caretakers."
Cowles Questions DNR’s Closure of Another Iconic Tower "The observation tower in Potawatomi State Park provided amazing views of the Green Bay for over eighty years. I believe its absence will be greatly missed by park visitors, and this decision could leave a chilling effect on tourism in the park and throughout the community."
Governor’s Signature Paves the Way for Highway Project Accountability “In early 2017, the Audit Bureau released a devastating evaluation of the DOT’s State Highway Program. With the signing of Senate Bill 85 into law, we have now enacted enhanced oversight and transparency in our major highway project design, construction, and costs."
Farmer-Led Land Conservation Bill Signed into Law "Understanding that no one knows the land better than the farmers who cultivate it, the Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grant Program is working to improve Wisconsin’s water and soil quality by encouraging farmer-led conservation decision making and solutions."
Bill to Hire Heroes Signed into Law "For veterans, too often one of the hardest parts of transitioning from military service to civilian life is finding gainful employment. We have a long tradition of serving those who have served their country. The Hire Heroes program is meant to make the path to employment simpler for all veterans."
Bill to Save Our Pets in Emergency Situations Becomes Law “This bill will provide first responders with the legal authority they need to continue rendering aid to families throughout Wisconsin, regardless of whether the family member walks on two legs or four.”
Kitchens/Cowles Bill Promoting Farmer-Led Conservation Passes Senate "By organizing farmers with industry experts and sharing the cost of implementing land and water conservation strategies, more phosphorus will be contained in the soil. Reducing runoff will not only strengthen water quality, but will also improve the farmer’s bottom-line."
Cowles’ Bill to Turn Plastics into Fuel Passes Senate "Pyrolysis and gasification represent an opportunity for new, stable, and long-term markets which benefits businesses and consumers, and an increased diversion of materials from our landfills which benefits local governments and communities."
Senator Cowles Stands With Tailgaters “While we are still six months away from tailgating season in Green Bay, last-minute moves in Madison put this gameday tradition at risk. As a result, I have withdrawn my support of AB 433 and choose to stand with the valued tradition of enjoying a beer and brat with friends in the frozen tundra."
Audit Recommends Increased Oversight and Monitoring of UW Relationships “The UW System needs to address these issues surrounding affiliated-foundation relationships. By developing consistent and comprehensive transparency policies we can help avoid future situations like those that have occurred in the past at UW-Oshkosh."
Farmer-Led Land Conservation Bill Passes Senate Committee “Understanding that no one knows the land better than the farmers who cultivate it, the Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grant Program is working to improve Wisconsin’s water and soil quality by encouraging farmer-led conservation decision making and solutions."
Legislature Paves the Way for Highway Project Accountability "With the passage of Senate Bill 85, we are only one step away from enhancing oversight and transparency in our major highway projects. Today’s vote proves that my colleagues in the legislature are serious about ensuring accountability in transportation projects for the taxpayers of Wisconsin."
Bill to Address Lead Laden Water Signed into Law “While the scope of the problem in each community is different, the local control provided by this bill will help to remove this harmful water infrastructure while addressing one of the largest public health concerns Wisconsin families face."
Cowles’ Bills to Combat Child Neglect and Hire Heroes Pass Senate "Study after study has concluded that children exposed to abuse or neglect are at a greatly increased risk for future emotional or behavioral problems. I’ve authored this bill to try and combat this problem by closing the loophole that puts these kids at risk and protect more vulnerable children."
Audit Recommends Improved IT Security for STAR “The GAAP deficit decrease and is moving us in the right direction. However, the deficiencies in IT security is concerning. As a state, we need to improve the oversight and security confidence in our technology programs.”
Senate Committee Passes Amended Wetland Reform Bill "While this legislation underwent several iterations, the Senate Substitute Amendment constitutes the greatest balance between conservation and community growth. This conciliation represents a step forward in wetlands regulations for everyone."
Audit Recommends UW System Address Continued IT Weaknesses “The audit confirmed that the financial strength within the UW System is reassuring, but the audit shows that more work is to be done within the UW. IT security is critical, and I look forward to working with my colleagues and the leadership of the UW to address this vital issue."
Assembly Votes to Protect Children from Neglect “I’ve authored this bill to try and combat this problem by closing the loophole that puts these kids at risk and protecting more vulnerable children from repeated acts of neglect and drug-endangered environments."
Senate Passes Bill to Save Our Pets in Emergency Situations "This bill will provide first responders with the legal authority they need to continue rendering aid to families throughout Wisconsin, regardless of whether the family member walks on two legs or four."
Leading on Lead Act Reaches Final Passage "The Leading on Lead Act addresses the public health concerns that thousands of Wisconsin residents, especially children are faced with every day from lead laden drinking water. SB 48 also recognizes that a one-size fits all solution will not work for Wisconsin."
Bills to Turn Plastics into Fuel Move Forward “Through new and innovative technologies like pyrolysis and gasification, businesses and consumers will have a new, stable and long-term market for their post-use plastics, which means more plastics being reutilized and less going into landfills.”
Bill to Reestablish the Conservation Corps Passes Committees "The projects completed by the Conservation Corps would be a huge benefit to the residents and tourists who spend time on public lands. The young adults completing these projects would have memorable outdoors experiences while gaining a new respect for our state’s natural resources."
Audit Recommends Improvements to Management of State Fair Park “While I’m glad that this audit shows that the Wisconsin State Fair is running in a safe and satisfying manner, the financial management is clearly deficient. The recommendations will help to strengthen the oversight and procedures surrounding procurement and contracting practices."