EPA Promotes Innovative Solutions to Water Quality; Cowles Legislation, ‘P3,’ Helps to Advance these Goals “This current announcement by EPA demonstrates their clear commitment towards helping the State of Wisconsin implement the nation’s first statewide water quality trading marketplace. I’m glad to have it reaffirmed that EPA will be a partner, not a problem, when we implement this legislation.”
Latest Report Reaffirms Success of Focus on Energy “From supporting projects in buildings as large as the lighting, boilers, and HVAC system at Lambeau Field and as small as your bedside lamp, Focus on Energy has shown itself to be an accessible program for all Wisconsinites.”
Audit Examines School Safety Grants, Plans, and Best Practices “This is a great example of a functional audit. In distributing this report around the state, LAB’s review of best practices in all of the submitted school safety plans will further help other schools refine and improve their school safety plans into the future."
Audit Again Recommends WEDC Revise Procedures “While the written procedures were changed, the change doesn’t accurately reflect the statutory requirement. I hope that in WEDC’s next follow-up that their written procedures will explicitly require it to award credits for only wages paid for services performed in Wisconsin."
Audit Recommends State Agencies Improve Oversight of Residential Properties "The fact that this audit is the result from a tip made to the Waste, Fraud, and Mismanagement Hotline proves we need to continue to look at all aspects of state government to maintain accountability, but that sometimes we need others to report the government waste and abuse that they see."
Redevelopment in Green Bay Area Get a Boost from the State "These run-down parcels can often present unique opportunities, but these properties also come with distinct challenges. To unlock the full potential of redevelopment within our communities, partnerships with local governments and the state are not only helpful, but often may be necessary.”
Statement on Veto of CNA Shortage Relief Legislation "Despite the fact that a number of our surrounding states have instructional hours set at the same level as proposed in this legislation, the Governor vetoed a partial solution to the health care staffing shortage supported by both Democrats and Republicans.”
Cowles Applauds Northeast Wisconsin TAD Grants “By using diversion methods and rehabilitation, we’re reducing recidivism and saving taxpayer funds while improving our communities. I was proud to support the state’s continued investment in TAD during the passage of the 2019-2021 State Budget."
Audit Examines Wisconsin Fast Forward Program “It is critical to accurately verify the results of our workforce training programs to ensure that our state’s investment is being realized. Utilizing data that is already collected to verify the results of the grant awards is a 'no-brainer' and should have been implemented from the beginning."
Parks Revitalization Act 2.0 Passes the Senate "The water facility and infrastructure upgrades that would be completed under the Parks Revitalization Act 2.0 will help to improve visitor experience, promote parks-based tourism, and protect the health and safety of millions of State Park visitors for decades to come."
Wisconsin Turning the Page with Announcement by Alliant “Setting Wisconsin on a path towards stronger energy diversity and security with a cleaner and more robust energy portfolio requires a lot of commitments, but yesterday’s announcement is a significant building block in Wisconsin’s energy future.”
Cowles Applauds WEC Settlement that Utilizes Environmental Trust Financing for the First Time “Looking ahead, I hope that this sets a path for even more economically- and environmentally-friendly planning by utility companies, and I look forward to working on finding new opportunities to employ these types of unique financing structures."
Thanks Ray Cross for His Service, Wishes Him Well in Retirement “Ray Cross has been a great leader for higher education in Wisconsin. During Ray’s time as President, his commitment to our state has been undeniable and he’ll leave the UW-System in a better position than when he first took over."
Bill to Support Planning to Move Green Bay Coal Piles Passes Senate Committee "Utilizing funding from the Harbor Assistance Program to establish a suitable port in the new parcel at the Pulliam Plant and lead to the eventual drawdown of the coal piles on the banks of the Fox River would greatly improve Green Bay’s commercial opportunities and riverfront."
ICYMI: Cowles Joins National Leaders in Applauding EPA’s Attention to Lead and Copper Rule Revisions “While places like Flint and Newark have received national attention, Wisconsin hasn’t despite having some of the nation’s highest rates of lead poisoning among our state’s youth. We need, on a household, local, state and federal level, to give this public health crisis the attention it requires."
P3 Legislation Unanimously Recommended by Assembly Committee “While the goal is to create a reduction in nutrients entering waterways to help clean up our waters, these pollution prevention partnerships would have numerous ecological, financial, and recreational benefits."
Plan to Move Green Bay Coal Piles Moves Closer to Reality "The passage of this legislation through the Assembly to utilize funding from the Harbor Assistance Program to establish a suitable port in the new parcel and assist with the eventual drawdown of the coal piles on the banks of the Fox River moves one step closer to reality.”
Honoring Electa Quinney’s Place in Wisconsin History “Electa Quinney’s position in Native American history, our public education system legacy, and the advancement of women’s rights has long proceeded her passing."
Senate Unanimously Supports ‘Biting Back’ Against Lyme Disease "By approaching the awareness and prevention of Lyme disease through the ‘Bite Back’ package, we can ensure that the Legislature has made a bold first step and fostered continuing discussions to combat Lyme disease and other vector-borne illnesses in our state.”
Senate Approves Sexual Assault Kits Bill “This bill sets establishes timelines and protocols to prevent a future backlog of sexual assault kits, ensure a proper chain of evidence, preserving of these kits throughout the statute of limitations, and most importantly, provide certainty to sexual assault survivors seeking justice."
Sexual Assault Kits Bill Receives Senate Hearing "Providing clarity and certainty to survivors with evidence collected from a sexual assault may help lead to more survivors seeking justice and may further lead to more successful investigations and prosecutions."
Solar Continues to Soar in Northeast Wisconsin "To truly promote diversity in our state’s energy portfolio, larger projects like the one in Two Rivers and smaller projects like the one on Nicolet Drive are both necessary for a cleaner and more robust energy portfolio."
DHS Investigations of the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King (2012-2016) “This concludes what has been a long effort to audit the Veterans Home at King. I hope to follow-up soon with DVA to get an update on the status of recommendations made in these audits."
Two Creeks Project Helps to Shift Narrative on Solar Energy "Two Creek Solar will help to forge a new era in Wisconsin’s energy sector that provides for a cleaner and more robust energy portfolio with a larger energy generation workforce than we previously thought possible."
SCHOOL Acts Unveiled as a Bipartisan Effort "With eight authors, four Republicans and four Democrats, we’re reintroducing the SCHOOL Acts to help protect children from lead poisoning when they leave their home. By working together, we believe that we will be able to best advance bipartisan solutions to nonpartisan problems."
Lead Poisoning Prevention Bills Introduced to Protect Wisconsin Children "With the SCHOOL Acts, we’re looking to give our youth a brighter future by reducing lead exposure and giving parents and guardians the peace-of-mind that their kids will drink clean, safe water when they leave the house in the morning.”
Senator Cowles Responds to Governor’s Press Conference on Lead “I will continue to work this session on initiatives that advance water quality in Wisconsin and address the issues of lead laden water, and I plan to continue seeking bipartisan solutions to these nonpartisan problems. I hope the Governor will too.”
Report Fraud, Waste, and Mismanagement in State Government to Legislative Audit Bureau Hotline (1-877-FRAUD-17) "Getting the information from the Fraud, Waste, and Mismanagement Hotline on a more frequent basis will allow the Audit Committee and its co-chairs to more rapidly consider issues of waste, fraud, and abuse in state government."
Great Potential for Northeast Wisconsin with Expo Center Groundbreaking “Serving as a regional asset for decades to come, the expo center will provide even more opportunities to showcase all of what Northeast Wisconsin has to offer."
Legislators Introduce Joint Resolution to Establish ‘MVP Week’ in Wisconsin "Some of the most talented players in professional basketball, baseball, and football have played for a Wisconsin team, and 22 times, have earned their league’s MVP award while wearing a Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, or Green Bay Packers uniform."
Budget Provides a Substantial Improvement for Northeast Wisconsin "By prioritizing our state’s fiscal health and protecting taxpayers while still making substantial and necessary investments in vital state services like transportation infrastructure, K-12 education, improvements in our justice and corrections systems, and addressing Wisconsin’s healthcare needs."
Shawano Lake is (Finally) Open for the Summer “This order comes just in time to allow residents and visitors to continue enjoying their weeknights, weekends, and visitors to continue enjoying their weeknights, weekends, and vacations like they always have: safely on Shawano Lake.”
Shawano Community Concerned about Federal Government "Any further delay not only impedes recreation heading into a busy Fourth of July week, but seriously risks safety and property damage for those who don’t realize what’s just below the surface. I trust FERC will make the right call and issue this temporary order."
Supporting the Residents of Hortonia "Any conservationist should have serious concerns over this proposal to pave and build on this property. It’s my hope that the Administration doesn’t show continued indifference to these concerns.”
Budget Motion to Replace Green Bay Correctional Institution Passes "The commitment that JFC approved today starts us down the path to replacing the antiquated GBCI with a new, state-of-the-art facility that will be safer for correctional officers, better for the rehabilitation of inmates, and more suited for the community.”
Major Progress in Addressing the Wastewater Permitting Audit “Business owners deal with enough red tape without the added frustration of permits being delayed. The four positions I advocated for in this budget motion will prove to be pivotal in reducing the agricultural permitting backlog."
It’s Time to Bite Back Against Lyme Disease "By approaching the awareness and prevention of Lyme Disease through this package, we can ensure that the Legislature has made a bold first step and has fostered continuing discussions to combat Lyme Disease and other vector-borne illnesses in our state."
Rep. Nygren and Sen. Cowles Introduce Bill Curbing Use of PFAS Fire Fighting Foam "This bill strikes a balance in reducing the risks to human health and negative environmental footprint PFAS chemicals pose, while not hamstringing first responders who need to use firefighting foams in real emergencies."
Allouez to be Reimbursed for Law Enforcement Services Related to GBCI "After working with JFC members to show them how this unfair burden is uniquely impacting Allouez’s budget, the Finance members agreed to this common-sense motion. I’m glad to see that we’ll be able to reimburse law enforcement expenses related to GBCI calls."
Pollution Prevention Partnerships Unanimously Supported by Senate “Nearly every point- and nonpoint-source has the potential to benefit from this legislation, and dozens of groups understand this benefit and have expressed strong support. Working to help stabilize markets while reducing water pollution is a win for everyone."
Audit Examines WEDC’s Operations “The inability of WEDC to comply with state statutes and guidelines has put taxpayer funds at risk. This isn’t just an issue of unaccountability, but shows the desired outcomes of these programs have not been consistently achieved."
Audit Examines UW Financial Management and Operations “While the UW-System has taken some steps in the right direction on improving its relationships with affiliated organizations, this analysis showed once again that more follow-up will be required to ensure smart practices are employed when using student and taxpayer funds."
Audit Reviews Adult Corrections Expenditures "The goal is still to reduce staffing vacancies, turnover, and instances of excessive overtime. Doing this would not only result in cost savings, but ultimately a safer work environment."
DOT Now Has the Tools to Properly Address Fraudulent Auto Sales With New Law “Senate Bill 3 acknowledges that consumers shouldn’t have to expect to be defrauded during vehicle sales or purchases. While we may not be able to stop every case of fraud, these changes will help to give Wisconsinites a better piece of mind during automotive transactions.”
Mike Ellis’ Legacy Honored with a Memorial Interchange "I feel that having this interchange named in his honor is a common-sense way to commemorate a truly great legislator, community member, and friend who committed decades of his life towards making the Fox Valley and the entire state a better place to live, work, and visit."
Committing to Stewardship through 2030 "We have the opportunity to build on that legacy by reflecting on the past to create a program that builds for the future. Today, on Earth Day, I am announcing my recommitment to a ten-year reauthorization of the program, and asking for my colleagues to consider programmatic changes."
Outagamie County Legislators Send Letter to Help Address Concerns with Proposed Hortonia Youth Corrections Facility Today, several state lawmakers representing portions of Outagamie County sent a letter to JFC to request that approval of a juvenile offender facility that is planned to be located in Hortonia be delayed until DOC holds an informational session in Hortonia and gains support for the placement.
Applauds PSC’s Approval of New Solar Energy Projects “Today’s action by the PSC is a bold step forward for our state’s energy diversity and security, and could mark the beginning of a new era for Wisconsin’s energy industry."
Bill to Designate Mike Ellis Memorial Interchange Passes Legislature "I feel that Senate Bill 1 is a fitting honor for a truly great legislator, community member, and friend who committed decades of his life towards making the Fox Valley and the entire state a better place to live, work, and visit."
Bill to Address Fraudulent Auto Sales Passes Legislature “Senate Bill 3 acknowledges that consumers shouldn’t have to expect to be defrauded during vehicle sales or purchases. By simplifying the licensure review process, we provide DOT the ability to better protect Wisconsinites from fraudulent activity."
Sen. Cowles’ Statement on State of the Tribes Address "The Oneida Nation plays a pivotal role in the culture, community, and economy of Northeast Wisconsin. It’s only fitting that their contributions to our region and our state were highlighted by a strong advocate such as Chairman Hill."
Sen. Cowles Concerned Following an Analysis Showing the Governor’s Plan will Create a $1.96 Billion Structural Deficit “There’s an old saying in politics that budgets are a reflection of priorities. My colleagues can attest that my concern over the structural deficit during budgetary cycles is not a newfound partisan concern, but has been a consistent principal of good budgeting that I advocate we need to maintain."
Bill to Address Fraudulent Auto Sales Available in Both Houses “Senate Bill 3 acknowledges that consumers shouldn’t have to expect to be defrauded during transactions with auto dealerships. While we may not be able to stop every case of fraud, these changes will help to give Wisconsinites a better piece of mind during automotive transactions.”
Audit Reviews State’s Administration of Federal Funds “Maintaining oversight and upholding security over students’ financial assistance information should have been dealt with over the past several audit findings. This is a repeated finding that the UW System has left hanging too long."
P3: Pollution Prevention Partnership Clears the Senate Committee "More than 50 bipartisan legislators and groups representing agriculture, business, local government, and natural resources all recognize the benefits of this approach and the opportunity these Pollution Prevention Partnerships present for water quality improvements and our state’s economy."
Senator Cowles and Representative Tauchen to Hold District Listening Sessions Senator Cowles and Representative Tauchen invite their constituents to show up and express their opinions on state legislative issues, including the budget or proposed legislation for the 2019-2020 Legislative Session. Both listening sessions will take place this Monday, March 25th.
Shawano County Legislators Applaud Federal Action on Wolf Protections “Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources has a proven history of successful wildlife management. We’ve waited too long for gray wolf management to return to the experts in our state agency instead of Washington D.C. bureaucrats and federal judges."
Sen. Cowles Response to the Budget Address “I plan to ensure that the priorities for Northeast Wisconsin residents will be addressed and that if I vote for the final budget, it will keep our state’s economic standing strong and continue to move our state forward.”
Legislation to address Water Quality by Creating Pollution Prevention Partnership “Due to our farming culture and abundant water quantity, Wisconsin is uniquely situated to host this marketplace. This legislation creates a groundbreaking opportunity to marry more advanced land and water management with an incentive for farmers to participate in pollution reduction."
State Legislators Call for Action to Replace Green Bay Correctional Institution "The Green Bay Correctional Institution has served the state exceptionally well for over 100 years, but it is time to move on. A new facility brings assurance that state of the art technology and design will ease the stress placed on our correctional officers currently operating the facility."
Senator Cowles to Host Listening Sessions on Friday Senator Cowles invites his constituents to show up and express their opinions on state legislative issues, including the budget or proposed legislation for the 2019-2020 Legislative Session. Both listening sessions will take place this Friday, February 22nd.
Audit Recommends Improvements to Group Insurance Programs "Employee Trust Funds needs to put Group Insurance Board in a much stronger position to make decisions regarding its spending of program reserves. The amount of reserves spent affects the amount of premiums paid by participating government employers who fund these costs with taxpayer money."
Senator Cowles to Host Listening Sessions on Friday Senator Cowles invites his constituents to show up and express their opinions on state legislative issues, including the budget or proposed legislation for the 2019-2020 Legislative Session. Both listening sessions will take place this Friday, February 15th.
Announced as Member of Speaker’s Water Quality Task Force “Each watershed is different and the issues each face are unique. I’m excited to listen to the people of Wisconsin on the water issues they see in their own backyard, and I hope there will be a focus on implementing immediate solutions and accomplishing long-term goals."
Report Fraud, Waste, and Mismanagement in State Government to Legislative Audit Bureau Hotline (1-877-FRAUD-17) “I’ve always had complete confidence in the Legislative Audit Bureau. Their work has helped to shape state policies and keep the legislature informed on the efficiency of state programs and finances."
Pleased to be Returning as Audit Committee Co-Chair "Working with my colleagues and the award-winning experts at the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau to ensure that we root out waste, fraud, and abuse in our state government is a unique way that I have the ability to serve the people of Wisconsin."