• Great News for Watertown
  • First Responders Award
  • F-35s and the 115th Fighter Wing 

Great News for Watertown!   

Back in April I was contacted by a constituent and student, she was concerned that Madison College was moving their Associate Degree Nursing program from Watertown to Fort Atkinson Campuses. The Watertown campus would get an LPN program, but this makes little sense since the Watertown Regional Medical Center does not employ LPN’s, but the hospital in Fort Atkinson does. I attended a presentation about the changes, met with college President Dr. Jack Daniels repeatedly and spoke with others affected by the decision. I strongly encouraged administrators to rethink the decision since it would end a pipeline of nurses to the Watertown Regional Medical Center at a time when there have been critical nursing shortages.

This week Dr. Daniels informed me that not only are they keeping the program in Watertown, they will be moving the entire two year program to the Watertown campus (students previously attended one year at the Watertown campus and one year at the Fort Atkinson campus). Not only will MATC be updating and modernizing labs at the Watertown campus, but it will allow for greater cooperation between the school and the hospital. Fort Atkinson will get the LPN program that would have been established at the Watertown campus, since their hospital employs LPN’s, but Watertown Regional Medical Center does not. In addition to these changes that will benefit both communities, this provides greater opportunity for Watertown High School students through the Certified Nursing Assistant Program available to our high school students.

I am grateful to Dr. Daniels for reconsidering the college’s plan and for his openness to listening to my and other’s concerns. I am also thankful for the student who wrote to me with her concerns; some of the greatest work I do as a legislator is when I am contacted by someone with a problem or concern.

First Responder of the Year 

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Yesterday, the Wisconsin State Assembly held their inaugural ceremony for honoring our state’s first responders. Wisconsin has approximately 9,400 career firefighters, 9,900 career EMS personnel and 13,700 law enforcement officers. An additional 23,000 are volunteer firefighters or EMS providers. The award for the 37th Assembly District went to Sergeant Jeff Meloy from the Watertown Police Department. Sgt. Meloy has 24 years of experience and served our community and beyond by providing valuable OWI training to other officers from around the state. Recently, Sgt. Meloy has served as our School Resource Officer. We are fortunate to have such a capable and experienced officer serving our area and our students.

The timing of the ceremony could not have been better since the Assembly also passed Senate Bill 266, which provides health insurance benefits to families of fallen officers. That bill will now head to the Governor’s desk.



Also this week I had the opportunity to vote in favor of Senator Fitzgerald’s AJR 88/SJR 69, which recognizes the contributions of the 115th Fighter Wing and shows support for basing F-35As at Truax Field Air National Guard Base.

Having F-35s at Truax Field would be a big opportunity for our state. In addition to creating jobs and bringing needed improvements to the Dane County Regional Airport, it will also enhance the 115th Fighter Wing. To see the speech I made on the floor regarding the resolution, click the picture below.

Many of the brave men and women in that unit are serving in Afghanistan at this very moment. They and their families live in our neighborhoods and make our communities better. They have my support.