August 11, 2011
Please feel free to contact me with any concerns or opinions you might
Office Phone: (608) 266-7505
Toll-free Phone: (800) 361-5487
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707
neighbors and being involved in our community is of the utmost
importance. Some community events that might be of interest to you and
your family are listed below.
Bay Viewers: Tell
August 6 and
Visit the Beulah
Brinton House to preserve and share your Bay View stories, photos and
artifacts. Bay View High School students will be available between 10
a.m. and 2 p.m. both Saturdays to record your Bay View stories, photograph
Bay Viewers and document any Bay View artifacts or photos. This is the
perfect opportunity for neighbors to be a part of our community's
history. For more information about the event, please
Beulah Brinton House (MAP)
2590 S. Superior
Milwaukee, WI 53207
Milwaukee Wine Festival
August 12 at 4 p.m. until August 13 at 9 p.m.
Enjoy sampling from more than 200 wines outside along Milwaukee's
lakefront. Also, take in cooking demos by chefs from The Capital Grille
and other eateries, expert-led wine seminars, and food from some great
local restaurants. This event will feature live music as well. A portion
of every ticket will help fund Friends of Art, the Milwaukee Art
Museum's volunteer organization. The festival runs from 4 p.m. to 10
p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is $27 in
advance or $35 at the door. Designated drivers pay only $10.
CLICK HERE for more information.
Milwaukee Art Museum (MAP)
700 N. Art Museum Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
August 18 at 5 p.m. through August 21 at 10 p.m.
For more than three decades, Milwaukee's Irish festival offers an
experience that can only be rivaled by visiting the Emerald Isle.
Attendees can enjoy musical performances, traditional Irish dance,
authentic cuisine, a dog show, Gaelic poetry readings, theater events,
and more. The festival is open Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday
from 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from noon to midnight, and Sunday from
11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is $5 on Thursday. Friday through Sunday, adults
are $15, seniors (60 and up) pay $10, and kids 12 and under are free.
CLICK HERE for more information including an entertainment line-up
and admission deals.
Henry Maier Festival Park (MAP)
200 N. Harbor Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Here are some updates on how my colleagues and I have been working
together to protect the constitutional right of Wisconsin's citizens to
participate and vote in our democratic elections.
State Senator, District 7
Democrats Introduce Bill to Protect
week, my Democratic colleagues and I introduced legislation to help
ensure voters are given proper information when applying for an
identification card for voting purposes. Senate Bill 162, if passed,
would require the DMV to notify Wisconsin citizens, on both the application
for a state identification card and verbally, that a new, renewed or
reinstated ID for voting purposes is free of charge.
Currently, the law requires the state to provide Wisconsin citizens who
will be at least 18 years old on the date of the next election with free
identification cards. However, the DMV is only required to give out free
IDs if the person states that it is to be used for voting purposes. Many
legislative offices have received complaints of neighbors being charged
the $28 fee when applying for and ID. Voting is a constitutional right and this bill would
guarantee that Wisconsin voters are provided with adequate information
regarding free IDs for voting purposes so that our family, friends and
neighbors are not consequently charged a poll taxed.
The passage of 2011 Wisconsin Act 23,
the voter suppression bill, created significant barriers to eligible
voting populations including seniors, students, minorities, people with
disabilities and new residents. Many neighbors within these populations
currently do not have a state issued driverís license or state
identification card, including 175,000 people over the age of 65
according to a 2005 study.
As a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 162, I support this bill, which will
ensure that all of our neighbors are getting adequate and clear
information regarding their voting rights. I encourage my colleagues on both
sides to join me in supporting this legislation.
CLICK HERE to view a copy of Senate Bill 162.
DMV Centers to Remain Open
Scott Walker announced a plan last month that would close 16 Department
of Motor Vehicle offices, while extending hours in other locations. This
decision appeared to place partisan politics above the constitutional
rights of Wisconsin voters as the offices targeted for closing were in
Democratic-leaning districts, while the offices that were to have
extended hours were in Republican-leaning districts.
The budget requires that DMV service centers in all 72 Wisconsin
counties be open at least 20 hours each week so that Wisconsin citizens
may obtain a state driver's license or identification card before the ID
requirement for voters goes into effect. Currently, only 30 counties
statewide have at least one DMV location that is open 20 hours each week
and three counties have no DMV service center at all.
After receiving pressure from legislators, advocacy groups, and
neighbors, Governor Walker has backed down from his initial plan.
Instead, four new DMV offices will be opened and all existing offices
will be maintained to establish 92 DMV offices across the state.
Additionally, the number of hours all offices are open will be expanded
by 620 hours weekly or 32,000 annually. I encourage all Wisconsinites to
continue fighting for their constitutional right to vote in our state.
Legislators Seek Unemployment Interest
This week, colleagues on both sides of
the aisle signed onto a letter requesting that President Barack Obama and the
Secretary of U.S. Department of Labor Hilda Solis grant a second
waiver for interest payments due on loans made by the federal government to our
Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund.
In February of 2009, the state of Wisconsinís UI Trust Fund was
exhausted during the worst economic recession our nation has seen since
the Great Depression. Like many states, Wisconsin borrowed much-needed
funds from the U.S. Treasury so that families in Wisconsin could
continue to pay for their mortgages, car payments, feed their families,
and cover costs for other crucial living expenses.
Interest began to accrue on these loans at the beginning of this year after
being waived for a grace period that extended from February 2009
through December 2010, which was put in effect by the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009. This month, Wisconsin employers, both large and
small, whose taxable 2010 payrolls exceeded $25,000 were issued Special
Assessment billing notices from the Department of Workforce Development.
Currently, the due date for employers to pay these assessments is set
for September 9, 2011.
This bipartisan request is an effort to provide Wisconsin employers a
second grace period for UI interest. Wisconsinís economy is still
unstable and this grace period would help our stateís employers to
continue moving their businesses to a more secure and solid position,
which would foster increased job creation.
It is my hope that our request for a second waiver on UI interest
payments is given prompt consideration so that Wisconsinís economy can
DOT Listening Session
Tuesday, August 16 from 4 p.m. to 7
Make your voice heard regarding the
expansion of WIS 241 (S. 27th Street, the six mile segment from County
Line Road to College Avenue) by being part of the discussion and attending
the last S. 27th Street public information meeting.
The meeting will be an informal open
house-style meeting that allows citizens to stop in anytime to meet with
Wisconsin Department of Transportation project staff. Exhibits and
information will be available regarding preferred roadway and
intersection alternatives, changes to median openings and driveways, and
the right way of impact. For more information
CLICK HERE and enter S. 27th Street in the search box.
St. James Church Hall (MAP)
7219 S. 27th Street
Franklin, WI 53132
Celebrate Wisconsin Tradition at the
160th Annual State Fair
The Wisconsin State Fair starts this
week, marking 160 years of family-friendly entertainment and countless
Wisconsin customs. Fairgoers will flock to the State Fair Grounds in
West Allis starting August 4 through August 14 to enjoy and take part in
this proud Wisconsin tradition.
The State Fair attracts over 800,000 fairgoers annually, giving people
the opportunity to enjoy 30 stages of free, live entertainment, pay
tribute to Wisconsinís famous agriculture industry through barn tours
and auctions, admire ribbon-winning fair items such as pies and
textiles, and savor Wisconsinís Official Dessert--the cream puff.
This year, fairgoers can expect to enjoy a selection of unique indulgent
or deep-fried foods both on and off sticks in true fair custom. Among
the new items are the deep-fried beer, deep-fried butter, breaded
deep-fried oysters on a stick, and a bacon sundae.
The State Fair is important to Wisconsinís economy by providing
residents much-needed jobs in these tough economic times. The Fair will
employ more than 1,400 people. Additionally,
surrounding communities benefit economically from the fair by providing
parking to out of town fairgoers and increasing business for
neighborhood restaurants and bars.
For more information on the activities, musical line-ups and food
options for this yearís Wisconsin State Fair, please
Changes to Voting Laws in Wisconsin
General and special elections
are now upon us. Given the recent changes to Wisconsin's voting
laws, I have included a handout to provide you with updated information
on voting procedures for this summer's elections. Please contact me if
you have any questions.
CLICK HERE to view the changes to
Wisconsin's voting laws.
Summer Activities in Our Community
Our community offers a wide variety of
summer activities for families, children and adults. Below is just
one of many activities that you can take part in this summer.
Point Fish Fry and a Flick
a Friday night fish fry with an outdoor movie on Milwaukee's lakefront
this summer at Discovery World. Each night features a tasty fish fry and
a variety of food options from many of the city's favorite food carts.
Point Brewery will also offer an expansive beer and spirits selection.
Movie admission is free of charge.
CLICK HERE for more information and a schedule of upcoming featured
Discovery World (MAP)
500 N. Harbor Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202
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