Examining Energy Shortage Concerns "While I’m relieved to see we’ve made it past the most immediate concerns, we cannot simply move past this incident without doing everything we can to ensure this request for energy conservation during extreme weather events doesn’t need to happen again."
Audit Reviews UW System’s Financial Statements “While the administration of these funds was not noted as substantially concerning by LAB, I would also encourage the Board of Regents and UW System leadership to take a closer look at the decisions they make on the allocation of funds between different campuses."
Audit Reviews Decisions about the Use of Supplemental Federal Funds “LAB’s continuing effort to unravel this web of federal funding has highlighted that the administration spent billions of tax dollars with little to no input. It is evident that the Legislature should have greater involvement on the allocation of federal funds."
Audit Reviews the We’re All In and Wisconsin Tomorrow Grant Programs "I believe that this effort is going to be a very important element to not only ensure the proper administration of the grants, but also to potentially kickstart other state agencies to identify and report fraudulent actively in programs they’ve administered with federal COVID relief funds."
Thanks Sen. Darling for Service to Wisconsin “Senator Darling has provided steadfast leadership and unmatched expertise for our caucus, the legislative body, her district, and the entire state of Wisconsin for the several decades of service she provided in her role as Senator for the 8th District."
Thanks Sec. Preston Cole for Service to Wisconsin "Cole's dedication towards bettering the state’s environmental and public lands was well recognized, and he leaves big shoes to fill for those looking to find a suitable replacement for this important job. We wish Secretary Cole all is best in the next chapter of his life.”
Honoring the Life and Public Service of Dale Cattanach "From his time serving as the very first director of the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, throughout his tenure as Secretary of DOT, and his nearly two decades serving as State Auditor, Dale Cattanach embodied the dedication and service of our state’s distinguished legislative service agencies."
Perpetrators of Swatting Calls to Wisconsin Schools Can Be Charged Under Bill Cowles Passed "If the perpetrator of yesterday’s events are found, it’s my hope that the criminal justice system can utilize the penalties we established in state law to punish that person and show that we take this very seriously.”
Audit Recommends Improvements for Certain PSC Broadband Programs “We hear regularly from Wisconsinites who demand broadband access, however without any written procedures, documented verification efforts, or proper cost accounting, it’s still unclear if these dollars are being put to their highest and best use."
Incentives for Farmers to Go Above and Beyond on Land and Water Management Practices Now Funded "With today's action to release program funding, we can help farmers to implement new land and water conservation strategies to store more nutrients in soil and prevent pollutant leaching and runoff, which provides more opportunities for farmers to again lead the solutions of tomorrow."
Applauds the PSC’s Decision to Advance Petition on Solar Energy Financing “I’m pleased to see that the petition for a declaratory ruling will continue through to the proceeding process. I hope the Commissioners hear the facts and logic that will encourage them to acknowledge the legality of third-party financing arrangements in Wisconsin.”
Applauds Georgia-Pacific’s Expansion "Georgia-Pacific’s decision not only is anticipated to create 100 new jobs on top of their 800 existing employees, but it will support many local construction and supply businesses over the anticipated year or longer process to build the new facilities."
Applauds the Implementation of the Sexual Assault Kit Testing and Handling Procedures Law “After years of work with advocates and professionals in the field, I’m proud to see this important effort I’ve authored to create protocols and timelines for the collection and processing of sexual assault kits finally make the final step in the process with the implementation of this new law."
Audit Recommends Improvements for SWIB “Despite SWIB’s continued success and the ongoing strength of the WRS, there are some findings in this audit that are concerning. While I recognize the complexity of their work and the need for flexibility, this agency has added over 100 new staff positions with plans for more in coming years."
Audit Recommends OCI Improve its Financial Reporting Process “These were not small misstatements reported in the Fund’s financial statements. Accurate financial statements are the basis for competent government decisions. Further follow-up in fall will better assess the agency’s plan to avoid these problems in the future."
Water Quality Trading Clearinghouse Finally Moving Ahead “Today’s news has been more than two years in the making since the signing of Act 151. With the start of the water quality trading clearinghouse one step closer to reality, Wisconsin will soon see the various positive outcomes of the clearinghouse."
Pushes for Common-Sense from the PSC "It’s long past time we recognize that a financing arrangement for a homeowner, church, farm or small business does not infringe on the regulated monopoly utility model in Wisconsin. I encourage the PSC to act without delay to legalize the third-party financing of distributed energy resources."
Applauds New Sexual Assault Kit Tracking Database "Act 117, authored by Darling and Thiesfeldt, was a huge piece of the Legislature’s efforts to deliver accountability and justice to survivors of sexual assault and accompanies my effort from this session, Act 116 which established the timelines and protocols for the handling of these kits."
Audit Reviews State’s Administration of Federal Funds in FY 2020-21 "Since FY 19, there has been an increase of over $8.4 billion in federal funding to Wisconsin, dramatically increasing the budgets of many programs. As the findings identified, there are several areas of deficiency that need to be address by the Administration to avoid potential improprieties."
Audit Offers an Initial Look at Wisconsin Healthcare Stability Plan “The report analyzed information from OCI, which showed that in the first two years of the Healthcare Stability Plan, enrollee’s in the individual healthcare plans saw on average a monthly savings of $102 in lower premiums by the second year."
Audit Recommends Improved Monitoring for Housing and Energy Assistance Programs "Due to the diligent work of the Legislative Audit Bureau and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, we now have a roadmap to improve the administration of these programs given that well over $150 million remains unspent by DOA."
Spiros/Cowles Disappointed in Governor Evers’ Veto of SB 703 “When Rep. Spiros brought this bill idea to me, I discussed it with some of my local employers including Schneider National and I quickly learned that this is not only common-sense, but is crucial for Wisconsin’s supply chain."
Bill to Support Farmers and Improve Water Quality Signed into Law “For decades, farmers have been a substantial part of efforts to maintain and improve water quality, but they’re asking for help to do more. Act 223 helps farmers implement new land and water conservation strategies to store more nutrients in soil and prevent pollutant leaching and runoff."
Rock County One of the First, But Won’t be the Last to Challenge the Private Sector EV Charging Market "Just a few weeks ago, I warned that, without my legislation to prevent government encroachment into the private sector, we would see immense consequences for private businesses and taxpayers. Unfortunately, I’m sorry to see my prediction is coming true sooner than I would have imagined."
Honoring the Oneida Nation’s Purple Heart Recipients “It was great to be able to work on this bill with Representative Steineke to simply ensure that the Oneida Nation can honor their status as a Purple Heart Reservation by removing the hurdle preventing sign placement along highways.”
New Law Promotes Private Sustainability Efforts “Local governments are constantly trying to find ways to partner with local businesses to promote economic development in their region, but few ways can be as effective as PACE and even fewer ways can happen without putting the taxpayers at risk."
Funding Critical Infrastructure Upgrades in the Wisconsin State Parks System "By making these investments, we can improve visitor experiences, promote parks-based tourism which has positive economic impacts throughout our communities, and protect the health and safety of millions of State Park System visitors for decades to come.”
New Law Provides Accountability and Transparency for a State Loan Program "Act 170 is the next step in this ongoing mission to ensure accountability and transparency across state government by creating reporting and disclosure requirements on a little known and barley reported state loan program known as the Transportation Infrastructure Bank.”
Constituent Idea Protects the Rights of Condo Owners "By providing this access to financial records, we can help to resolve disputes before they arise by providing more accountability and transparency in association decisions and ensuring that Wisconsin condo owners have their basic property rights protected."
Statement on Retirement of Senator Jerry Petrowski “I want to thank Jerry for his years of service, congratulate him on his retirement, and wish him all the best in his next chapter. His background, knowledge, expertise and overall presence will be sorely missed in the Senate Republican Caucus.”
Bill to Explore Ways to Improve Water Quality Passes the State Senate "No single approach can solve our water pollution problems, but concerted efforts such as Assembly Bill 727 can make a noticeable impact for the state’s agricultural producers, rural residents, and those who enjoy recreating on Wisconsin waters."
Constituent Idea Eases Ancestry Research “Drafted after hearing from a constituent, Act 150 is a simple, common-sense law that creates an avenue for the adult offspring of a person who was adopted to learn more about their genetic family history while still ensuring the privacy of the adoptee’s birth parents throughout their lifespan."
Community Revitalization Bill Signed into Law "Act 149 doesn’t solve the problems Wisconsin communities are facing, but it is certainly part of the solution. This legislation is a common-sense step to help benefit local communities and economies while eliminating materials harmful to human health and environmental quality from our cityscapes."
Honoring the Oneida Nation’s Purple Heart Recipients "It’s an honor to be able to pass this bill with Representative Steineke to simply ensure that the Oneida Nation can honor their status as a ‘Purple Heart Reservation’ by removing the hurdle preventing sign placement near the memorial.”
Four Cowles’ Bills for NE Wisconsin Pass Senate Senator Robert Cowles released this statement after four bills he authored after hearing from constituents and area businesses passed the State Senate during today’s floor period. All four bills are now available for scheduling in the Assembly.
Push to Collect PFAS-Containing Firefighting Foam Finally Successful “I want to thank the members of the Joint Finance Committee and particularly Co-Chair Marklein for their interest in this topic, and I’m glad to see that we finally have the funding necessary for a safe method collect, store, and properly dispose of unwanted AFFF from our local fire departments."
Streamlining Exam Administration for Wisconsin’s Environmental Professionals "The rule that just passed through my Committee ensures that applicants for certifications and licenses today and in the future have an online option to ensure distance, time, or capacity limits are not a concern for professionals looking to join these pivotal industries."
Effort to Ease Water Supply Planning Requirements Signed into Law “2021 Wisconsin Act 126 will relax the red tape on local water utilities by limiting plan approvals, retaining consistency with existing regulatory oversight, and providing additional flexibilities in these plans. I want to thank the supporters of this effort."
Cowles’ Bills on Clean Water Pass Senate “Senate Bill 678 helps farmers implement new land and water conservation strategies to store more nutrients in soil and prevent pollutant leaching and runoff, help rural low-income homeowners replace contaminated wells, and provide more opportunities for farmers to lead the solutions of tomorrow."
Cowles Issues Statement on Thompson Resignation “Governor Thompson’s presence and leadership will be sorely missed at the UW. His charisma, drive, energy, and passion remain unrivaled and it was clear Tommy was the man to lead UW in this time. UW was fortunate to have a leader and advocate as strong as Tommy Thompson by its side."
Statement on the Passing of Bill Vander Loop “Anyone who had the pleasure of knowing Bill Vander Loop knew that he could have a pleasant conversation with anyone, and anyone who had an opportunity to have a conversation with Bill knew of the passion he had for serving the Fox Valley, the State of Wisconsin, and the United States."