Updates from the State Senate - June 26, 2017



Robert Cowles


Serving Wisconsin's 2nd Senate District







Banner Photo


The banner photo on the top of this E-Newsletter was taken at the Family & Childcare Resources of N.E.W.Ďs Fly a Kite Festival. The annual event was held last weekend at the Arnie Wolff Soccer Complex in Green Bay.


Quick Fact


Wisconsinís first post office was established in Green Bay in 1821.


Helpful Links









Skimmers Bill Earns Legislative Approval


Since the first credit card skimmer was discovered in Wisconsin, prosecutors have lacked proper tools to prosecute criminals who use credit card skimmers. Dozens of communities have felt the impact of these identity thieves, and Wisconsinís criminal statutes have lagged behind. During a regular session of the state Senate on June 14th, 2017 Senate Bill 133 to combat credit card skimmers was unanimously approved. One week later, the Assembly overwhelmingly approved the same bill.


With the Governorís signature, law enforcement and prosecutors will have the penalties they need to stop criminals before they place credit card skimmers and to properly punish them for stealing personal information. I would like to thank my co-author, Representative Summerfield and all of the co-sponsors who have identified this issue and the ability of this legislation to protect consumers and punish criminals.


To learn more about the penalties that will be enacted with this important piece of legislation, click below to read more.


Read More →

Hard Work Pays Off in Legislative Sessions


Over the past few weeks, some bills Iíve authored or co-authored have seen a lot of success in working their way through the legislative process. Iíve listed four bills that have seen recent success below:


>> 2017 Assembly Bill 226 increases award limits for replacing contaminated wells and provides local assistance to replace contaminated wells or failing septic tanks. AB 226 passed the assembly on a voice vote, and now is available for scheduling in the Senate. To learn more about AB 226, watch this story from WFRV-TV.


>> 2017 Assembly Bill 348 sets the stage for Wisconsin to get 5G cell phone reception by establishing procedures for citing mobile service support structures. This bill passed the Assembly, and now is available for scheduling in the Senate.


>> 2017 Assembly Bill 205, which I discussed in the last E-Newsletter, establishes accountability in the state procedure for leasing a building by requiring the Department of Administration to review other alternatives such as a different space or purchase of a nearby property. This bill passed the Assembly on a voice vote, and now heads to the Governor for his signature.

>> 2017 Senate Bill 90 allows auto repair shop staff to remove and replace Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) stickers. Under current law, removing a VIN sticker is a crime, but can severely slow the repairs, making it more difficult to the repair-man or woman and making it more costly to the consumer. This bill was passed by the Senate on the 14th and the Assembly on the 21st, and now goes to the Governor for his signature.


Removing a 'Ruff' Burden on Law Enforcement


On Friday, June 23rd, 2017 Assembly Bill 58 was signed into law by the Governor during a visit to the Green Bay Police Department. Previously, the law required a K-9 officer to receive three check-ups from a veterinarian over the ten-day period following a biting incident and confinement outside of work duties. AB 58, now referred to as 2017 Act 23, allows for the K-9 officer to remain at work while the handler monitors their health and reports any abnormal behavior to the health department.


This legislation allows handlers, not statutes, to be in charge of care for their K-9 law enforcement partner. Additionally, by allowing K-9 officers to stay in the field after a biting event, law enforcement will save the tax payers money and continue to protect public safety with one of the best tools available to them. This bill was supported by a broad coalition of law enforcement groups, and the Green Bay Police Department was pivotal in the billís drafting. I would like to thank my co-author, Representative Jacque, and all of the co-sponsors for their hard work on this bill.

Bonduel Partners with the UW for a Hands-On Education

The UWís Energy Institute recently highlighted their partnership with the Bonduel School District in an effort to provide a more innovative science education. As the middle school principal points out, partnerships like this can enrich the curriculum and encourage collaboration with neighboring districts. To read more about this partnership or to watch a video, click on the image below.



Athletic Excellence in Northeast Wisconsin

The WIAA spring season recently wrapped up, and some local student-athletes brought gold metals back to the 2nd Senate District. Congratulations to the Kaukauna High School softball team who won the Division I State Championship. Also, a big congratulations to the Freedom High School boys 4x200m and 4x400m relay teams who were able to place first with new school records at the Division II State Championship. Itís great to see such athletic talent in Northeast Wisconsin!


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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