Effort to Support Survivors Finally Becomes Law "I’m pleased to see that the bipartisan legislation I’ve championed as author to provide a statutory solution to systematically prevent a testing backlog of sexual assault kits from ever happening again has now become law, and want to thank all those who helped make this possible.”
Easing the Financing Process for Local Utilities “The amount of planning that goes into major projects by our local utilities is already burdensome enough. Act 112 makes changes to the EIF that will reduce red tape by creating less paperwork and fewer unnecessary steps for water and wastewater utilities to continue their vital local efforts."
Celebrates Passage of Effort to Support Survivors “Sexual assault historically has been a notoriously underreported crime. Providing clarity and certainty to survivors with evidence collected from a sexual assault may lead to more survivors seeking justice and more successful investigations and prosecutions."
Bill to Simplify Water Meter Project Regulations Signed into Law “Water meter projects are both common and necessary as meters may become less accurate over time, resulting in over or under billing. Act 86 makes a simple change to remove a costly, time-consuming, and unnecessary regulatory rubber stamp for these necessary projects by our local water utilities."
Cowles/Thiesfeldt Bill Signed Into Law “The responsibilities placed upon local water utilities can make it a hard enough job without the delays faced in the regulatory processes. That’s why Act 85 looks to put a stop to these unnecessary delays by requiring that the PSC act on applications in a timely manner.”
Elections Administration Audit Released "Many of the findings show that WEC and its staff are not complying with state statute on several fronts. I plan to work closely with my legislative colleagues to address the recommendations in this audit, and I expect to have a hearing on this audit soon."
Community Revitalization Bill Passes Senate “I believe this legislation is a common sense step that we can take to truly help spur local communities and economies all while eliminating materials harmful to human health and environmental quality from our cityscapes."
Sexual Assault Kit Testing Timeline Bill Heard “The cause of the sexual assault kit backlog was a bipartisan and multi-disciplinary failure, which is why I was proud that this bipartisan bill was heard to provide a statutory solution that will systematically prevent similar circumstances from every happening again."
Bills to Remove and Streamline Some Water Utility Regulations Pass Senate "Each of these bills recognizes that the responsibilities placed on Wisconsin’s drinking water experts can be a hard enough job without unnecessary regulatory hurdles, and responds to those concerns with some important and common-sense changes."
Supports UW-System’s Mitigation Ability “The measures that have been implemented by the UW-System over the past year and that will continue as we begin this year, which are limited only to government property, are both reasonable and pivotal in maintaining in-person education and social interactions."
Economic Development Assistance for Green Bay Moves Ahead in Cowles’ Senate Committee "Senate Bill 406 and Assembly Bill 389 should help to launch tens of millions in remediation and redevelopment efforts that will create more local business opportunities and housing."
Tax Accountability Dashboard Posted Online “The website prepared and published by DOR, months in advance of the deadline we set by law, meets the requirements in Act 66 and exceeds my expectations. I encourage all Wisconsinites to visit the dashboard learn more about where their tax dollars are being used in Wisconsin State Government."
Consensus Changes Made to E-Cycle Program Under New Law “Despite the successes of the E-Cycle Wisconsin program over the past decade, including more than 325 million pounds of electronic waste collected, some areas for improvement have also become evidently clear. Act 79 provides us with a number of needed, simple, and consensus-based changes."
A Smarter Approach to Flooding Signed into Law “Better preparation for flooding events today can help to prevent millions of dollars in damages and hardship for hundreds of residents, businesses and farmers tomorrow. By restoring natural stream hydrology, we not only can reduce flooding impacts, but we’ll yield numerous other benefits."
Audit Reports Noncompliance with Unemployment Insurance Appeals Timeliness "14,500 individuals are still awaiting a decision on their appeal to get UI benefits. The Department should have anticipated the next steps. Instead, these audit reports highlight further lethargic reactions by DWD that have resulted in noncompliance, delays, and mismanagement."
Bart Starr Memorial Bridge Signed into Law "I’m glad to have had the opportunity to work with my colleagues to designate the Walnut Street Bridge in downtown Green Bay after this local legend to ensure his accomplishments are remembered for decades to come.”
Bill to Promote Tax Transparency Signed into Law "Act 66 is geared towards ensuring residents have a better chance to see and understand where their tax dollars are being spent by creating an accessible, clear, and upfront series of data and graphics. I look forward to seeing the Dashboard published prior to the next tax filing season.”
Cowles Votes ‘Aye’ on 2021-23 State Budget "Overall, this was a good budget for Wisconsin’s 2nd Senate District. When balancing those thoughts with the long list of positive items in the now passed budget, I determined a yes vote was the logical conclusion.”
Applauds Assembly’s Passage of Five Efforts “The PSC approval process can not only be time consuming, but it can be costly. ABs 300 and 302 represent small, yet important changes to give water utilities more regulatory certainty as they continue providing our communities with clean and drinkable water.”
Audit Shows Decline in Net Position of the Unemployment Reserve Fund "While, the audit recommendation requests that DWD respond in the month of September, I feel it’s imperative to quickly begin a dialog on how DWD will determine relief be provided to employers’ solvency accounts through federal reimbursement."
Newspaper Legal Notices Bill Signed into Law "Act 32 helps to bring government transparency into the modern era. By creating more avenues to get local legal notices in front of more Wisconsinites, we can improve local government, hometown journalism and civic engagement throughout the state."
Cowles to Join Upcoming Listening Session Senator Robert Cowles would like to invite residents of the 2nd Senate District and 5th Assembly District to an upcoming listening session in Northeast Wisconsin. Hosted by Representative Jim Steineke, the listening session will take place on Wednesday, May 19th at 5pm.
Four Bills Authored by Sen. Cowles Pass the Senate "This legislation simply ensures that, as a state, we’re promoting preparedness through conservation while still ensuring that each project is in property owners’, our community’s, and our environment’s best interest."
Statement on Oneida Casino Shooting “As we are still learning more about the shooting at the Oneida Casino, one thing is clear: our community suffered a traumatic event. My heart goes out to those impacted by the shooting, to the Oneida Nation and to all of Northeast Wisconsin as we continue coping with this senseless violence."
Cowles to Join Upcoming Listening Session Senator Robert Cowles would like to invite residents of the 2nd Senate District and 5th Assembly District to an upcoming listening session in Northeast Wisconsin. Hosted by Representative Jim Steineke, the listening session will take place on Thursday, April 29th at 5pm.
Governor Celebrates Earth Day by Vetoing Clean Water Initiatives "What better way to celebrate Earth Day than with a veto of a bill to target $61 million towards water quality and infrastructure initiatives that have long had bipartisan support."
Audit Examines WEDC Operations "While I still have ongoing concerns at WEDC, I look forward to working with the members of the Audit Committee on several of the recommendations and considerations identified in this report to continue this trend of improved accountability at WEDC."
Cowles and Steffen Announce Listening Session Senator Robert Cowles and Representative David Steffen would like to invite residents of the 2nd Senate District and 4th Assembly District to an upcoming listening session in Northeast Wisconsin. The listening session will take place on Friday, April 23rd at 5pm.
Cowles and Tauchen Announce Two Listening Sessions Senator Robert Cowles and Representative Gary Tauchen would like to invite residents of the 2nd Senate District and 6th Assembly District to two upcoming listening sessions in Northeast Wisconsin. Both listening sessions will take place on Thursday, April 22nd.
Plan to Provide Cleaner Water Passes the Senate "These items represent strong consensus provisions and recognizes Congress’ intent of making investments in water quality and infrastructure as a means of building employment, sustaining and growing our economy, and providing a unique opportunity to address this vital issue.”
Audit Reviews State’s Administration of Federal Funds in FY 2019-20 "As Co-chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, I am committed to ensuring that the Legislature review that use of funding provided for Wisconsin’s response to the COVID pandemic was expended properly."
Senate Honors Memory of Dr. Alfred Tector Jr. "Dr. Tector's inventions, innovations, and research will stand the test of time as advancing medicine to the point where we are now, and the families and friends of his more than 14,000 open-heart surgeries can put a face to the name of this top-notch Wisconsin physician."
Senate Supports Survivors by Approving Sexual Assault Kit Bill “Sexual assault impacts every corner of the state and historically has been a notoriously underreported crime. Providing clarity and certainty to survivors with evidence collected from an assault may lead to more survivors seeking justice and more successful investigations and prosecutions."
Audits Review Child Care Counts Program and the Credentialing of Certain Health Care Providers “I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to the individuals who answered the call to work and aid our health care facilities during this time of need in the COVID-19 Pandemic. They are truly heroes."
Joint Legislative Audit Committee Co-chairs Statement on Green Bay Election Administration and Ongoing Elections Audit “The documents released recently detail concerning interactions between Green Bay officials – and non-government individuals affiliated with the privately-funded grants provided to Wisconsin’s largest municipalities to assist with the costs of election administration."
Votes Against PPP Tax Changes "Meanwhile, the rest of the businesses that did not receive a PPP loan are paying taxes as usual, and the businesses suffering most from the pandemic that did not turn a profit have no tax liability. I contend that this double tax benefit does not equitably assist businesses around the state."
Joint Legislative Audit Committee Approves Comprehensive Review of Elections Administration “I feel that the great work of LAB will lend credibility to this issue and the findings that result from this audit effort will show that our elections are run properly, but that it will also provide valuable insight on how we can improve any election practices that need additional attention."
Votes to Support Mask Use, Health Care Community "With all this in-mind, I voted my conscious today and rejected overturning the Public Health Emergency. Please, wear a mask in public, socially distance, avoid large gatherings, practice good hand hygiene, and stay home and seek a test when you’re under the weather."
Expo Center will be Regional Asset for Decades to Come "The events that will be held in the Resch Expo Center will not just bring funds to that facility and its vendors, but the people who attend those events will stay in hotels, eat at restaurants, shop in local stores, and may even spend a few extra days in the area or come back later."
Report Fraud, Waste, and Mismanagement in State Government to Legislative Audit Bureau Hotline (1-877-FRAUD-17) “The work of the Legislative Audit Bureau cannot be overstated. The audit reports they produce help to shape state policies and keep the legislature informed on the efficiency of state programs and finances."
Area Legislators Introduce Legal Notices Bill “When Representative Kitchens brought this idea to me, the importance of this bill was evident to ensure that government transparency is brought into the modern era. I’d like to thank Representative Kitchens for his efforts to find ways to get local legal notices in front of more Wisconsinites."
Condemns Events in Washington D.C. "The election has ended, and the continued peddling of conspiracies beyond the pale of rationality has only driven some to a point of chaos that we see today. The right to protest is sacred in our country, but citizens don’t have the right to intimidate or use violence as a means to an end."
Applauds Brown County’s Riverfront Leadership "Leaving the potential to free-up an important city-center parcel, directing more freight traffic to the mouth of the river, and creating more opportunities to get goods in and out of the region will help to create new and exciting opportunities for our region’s businesses and broader economy."
Inaugurated for a Four-Year Term “I appreciate the faith of the people of Wisconsin’s 2nd Senate District to send me back as one of their representatives in the State Capitol for four more years. I respect the importance of the oath I took today, and intend to view each day as a new opportunity to fulfil my obligation."