Updates from the State Senate - November 12, 2018


The banner photo above was taken along the Wiouwash State Trail in Hortonville looking out over Black Otter Lake.



Robert Cowles


Serving Wisconsin's 2nd Senate District







Quick Fact


Brown County, which celebrated their 200th Anniversary last month, was formed in 1818 by a proclamation of Michigan Governor Lewis Cass and was one of the two original counties that became part of the Wisconsin Territory.


The Governor of Michigan named Brown County for Major General Jacob Brown, a military hero who led his troops to numerous victories on the northern border in the War of 1812.


Governor Seeking Ornaments to Decorate Capitol Chrismas Tree


Governor Walker is asking art teachers, parents, and children from across Wisconsin to help decorate the 2018 State Capitol Christmas Tree by making ornaments. The theme for this yearís tree will be ĎAmericaís Dairyland.í Anyone interested in sending ornaments to decorate the tree should make their submission by Friday, November 23, 2018.


To learn more and to see where to send ornaments, visit this link.


Helpful Links









Thank You Veterans!


Happy belated Veterans Day, and thank you to everyone who has served our nation! We owe you a debt that cannot be repaid.




In the Legislature, Iíve made it one of my top priorities to ensure that Wisconsin continues to be a great place for veterans to live after their military service has concluded. In previous e-newsletters, Iíve discussed efforts Iíve taken this session to ensure more veterans have an easier time transitioning into the workforce by co-authoring the Hire Heroes legislation. Iíve also requested and followed-up on an audit of the Veterans Home at King to ensure those veterans at King are receiving quality care and co-sponsored numerous bills to help veterans.


Iíve recently attended a number of events to honor our veterans. Two weeks ago for Brown Countyís 200th Anniversary, I joined hundreds of community members to welcome our veterans back to Green Bay after the recent Flight of Champions. Thank you to the Brown County Government and everyone else involved in setting up this truly amazing and unforgettable opportunity for these local heroes. Learn more about this event on WBAYís website. I also attended a number of events over Veteranís Day Weekend to honor those who have served our country.


Addiction Recovery Helpline Launched by State


The Wisconsin Department of Health Services recently launched a free and confidential service to help connect people with resources to overcome dependencies on opioids and other substances. The Wisconsin Addition Recovery Helpline is available statewide 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will help callers navigate local resources. Learn more about the new helpline by visiting DHSís website or watching this story on WBAY.


If you or someone you know needs help kicking a dependency, the Addiction Recovery Helpline can be reached by calling 2-1-1 Wisconsin.


Weekly Radio Address on Workforce Development


In October, I offered my third weekly Republican radio address of the year where I discussed recent action by the Legislature to advance workforce development in Wisconsin. Listen to the address or read the transcript on my website.


Collections for Law Enforcement Memorial Fund


The Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial Fund has provided support to family and fellow officers and honored the memory after the in the line of duty death of law enforcement officers for over 25 years. With legislation that Representative David Steffen brought to me to co-author being signed into law last session, the Fund will now have a stable funding source through annual contributions from drivers who elected to support their specialized license plate. While I hope they never have to use these resources, itís important that the Fund has the financial support needed to best serve the law enforcement community in those difficult times.





Recent Work on the Audit Committee 


After the release of several major audits earlier this year, I have been working with my colleagues on the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, which I Co-Chair, as well as the experts at the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau and leaders in the state agencies to follow-up on these audits and ensure that the recommendations made in these evaluations are thoroughly considered and implemented.


In this process, Iíve been helping to keep the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation accountable and transparent and have been working with the University of Wisconsin-System to implement recommendations on several audits. The Committee is also awaiting the release of an audit requested earlier this year of the costs in our adult corrections system, and weíve been following the release of several recent mandatory audits including the Petroleum Inspection Fee Revenue Obligations Program and the Department of Employee Trust Funds.


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:

  • I joined the Clean Bay Backersí Bringing Back the Bay Tour. This year, the event showed how innovative stormwater management practices are not only preventing flooding and improving the health of the Fox River, but are also appealing additions to new developments.



  • Thanks to Cellcom for hosting a great event last month where members of the community, including myself, were able to learn a little more about the future of 5G in Northeast Wisconsin. Not only will 5G speed up your cell phone, but it can transform cities and build our local industries. Learn more about the event on WFRVís website.

  • It was a pleasure to attend the grand opening of Wisconsin Womenís Business Initiative Corporationís Northeast Wisconsin Office in Appleton. I look forward to the positive impact they will have on our regionís business community.

  • A couple of weeks ago, I joined Kaukauna Mayor Tony Penterman, DOT Secretary Dave Ross, Representative Jim Steineke, and other local leaders for the ribbon cutting on the new Highway 41-Highway 55 interchange in Kaukauna. Not only was the project completed on time, but it looks great and will be safer and easier for the flow of traffic.


  • Itís the time of year where a lot of construction projects are being finished, which means I attended yet another ribbon cutting last month, this time for the new Resource Recovery and Electrical Energy project at the Green Bay Metro Sewerage District. This new project, known as R2E2, will allow NEW Water to recover more solids from wastewater and turn them into energy, saving nearly $2 million a year in energy costs. This new process will also reduce phosphorus pollution discharge into the Bay and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more on WLUKís website.

  • Last month, I attended an event in Green Bay for My Brotherís Keeper which is a great cause to help directionless young men have a male mentor in their life. The event was headlined by legendary wide receiver Jerry Rice, a former teammate of the organizationís founder, Harry Sydney.

  • Great to join my colleagues Representative John Macco and Representative Eric Genrich to talk about workforce development and tour Georgia Pacific in Green Bay as part of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerceís State of Wisconsin Manufacturing Tour. Take a look inside this plant for yourself during this segment on WLUK.


  • The Young Professionals Advisory Council recently held their latest SOUP event. SOUP, standing for Support Of Urban Projects, is a program of the Greater Green Bay Chamber that awards grants to local projects that help to enrich our communities. It was fun to learn more about these projects, and Iím glad to see the Young Professionals working hard to ensure more projects like these can be funded.


Congratulations State Championship Qualifiers


As the school year is now well underway, the fall high school sports season is coming to a close. While every student who takes time out of their day to join a sports team or other extra-curricular activity should be proud of their dedication and achievements, I wanted to take the time to congratulate and recognize those from the 2nd Senate District who excelled in the fall sports season and qualified for the WIAA State Championships in their respective sports.


Ashwaubenon School District

  • Boys Cross Country Individual Qualifier: Randy Johnson

  • Boys Golf Individual Qualifier: Hannah Kihl

  • Girls Swim and Dive Qualifiers: Hallory Domnick, Evelyn Geuts, and Sydney Popp

  • Girls Tennis Qualifiers: Caylee Behnke, Maddy Coopmans, and Marisa Marohl


Bonduel School District

  • Boys Cross Country Team

  • Girls Cross Country Team


Clintonville School District

  • Boys Cross Country Individual Qualifiers: Jesse Wilson


Freedom Area School District

  • Boys Cross Country Team

  • Girls Cross Country Team


Green Bay Area Public School District (Southwest High School)

  • Girls Cross Country Individual Qualifiers: Greta Hansen and Kaylee Kornowski

  • Girls Swim and Dive Qualifiers: Anabelle Metzler and Brigitta Neverman

  • Girls Tennis Qualifiers: Jenna Tackmier and Anna Ziech


Hortonville Area School District

  • Boys Cross Country Individual Qualifier: Jake Krause


Kaukauna Area School District

  • Girls Cross Country Individual Qualifier: Anna Fauske

  • Girls Golf Team


Little Chute Area School District

  • Boys Football Team

  • Girls Cross Country Individual Qualifier: Lindsay Grams

  • Girls Volleyball Team


Pulaski Community School District

  • Boys Cross Country Individual Qualifier: Brody Olson

  • Girls Cross Country Individual Qualifier: Anna Balstad


Seymour Community School District

  • Girls Swim and Dive: Erin Schuh


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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