Capitol Update

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Visiting Madison?
I would be happy to arrange a capitol tour for you.  Call my office at (608) 266-0703 for more info.
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2015 State of the State Address
On Tuesday, Governor Walker gave his annual State of the State address to the State Legislature. I am interested in hearing more about the plan to merge agencies that Governor Walker outlined in his speech. This idea is worth debate, especially if it reduces bureaucratic red tape and burdensome government regulation.

I am supportive of Governor Walker’s commitment to reduce property taxes. Property taxes statewide fell last year and we need to do all we can to keep property taxes low.

I am committed to working with my colleagues to bring good-paying jobs to Wisconsin. My highest priority is to make Wisconsin a great place to work and raise a family.

As we begin a new year, I am looking forward to working with both Republicans and Democrats alike to use good ideas to help the communities in Southwest Wisconsin.

Outstanding Principal on State Bonding Programs
As a member of the Joint Finance Committee (JFC), I have begun reviewing materials on the state budget as we begin the budget process for the next biennium. One item that I have found particularly interesting in my overview of state debt and bonding is the outstanding principal on state bonding programs, which shows our outstanding debt from year to year. As a CPA, I will continue to monitor our debt levels to assure that our future debt payments are affordable by our taxpayers.

Outstanding Debt-December
Types of Bonds 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
General Obligation: GPR-Supported $4,654,153,581 $4,919,237,037 $5,314,548,734 $5,208,529,003 $4,885,766,328
General Obligation: PR & SEG-Supported 2,168,618,400 2,459,373,282 2,700,156,786 2,819,002,241 2,970,919,274
Transportation Revenue Obligations 1,866,138,000 1,768,193,000 1,806,153,000 1,872,903,000 2,034,983,000
Clean Water Revenue Obligations 968,165,000 897,475,000 855,510,000 822,940,000 764,745,000
PECFA Revenue Obligations 188,610,000 188,610,000 188,610,000 164,445,000 139,100,000
Appropriation Obligations: Pension 1,836,825,000 1,816,775,000 1,791,395,000 1,754,890,000 1,682,140,000
Appropriation Obligations: Tobacco Settlement 1,522,865,000 1,517,080,000 1,511,230,000 1,504,600,000 1,497,090,000
Total $13,205,374,981 $13,566,743,319 $14,197,603,520 $14,147,309,244 $13,974,743,602

*Legislative Fiscal Bureau, January 14, 2015

In the District

Listening Sessions
I will be holding two listening sessions in the next two weeks. The first will be Monday, January 19th in Monroe from 3-4pm at the Monroe Senior Center.

Monday, Jan. 19, 2015
3-4 p.m.
Monroe Senior Center
1113 10th Street, Monroe
2nd floor meeting room

The second listening session will be Monday, January 26th in Reedsburg at the Reedsburg Public Library. This session will be held with Representative Ed Brooks.

Monday, Jan. 26, 2015
Reedsburg Public Library
370 Vine Street, Reedsburg
Community Room

I am looking forward to hearing opinions and concerns from my constituents. This is a great opportunity for myself and Representative Brooks to connect with our constituents and receive input as we begin to discuss the state budget and legislative priorities for the 2015-2016 session.

Take Your Legislator to Work Day

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend “Take Your Legislator to Work Day” facilitated by the Board for People with Developmental Disabilities. Representative Ed Brooks and I received a great tour of the Center Lodge in Richland Center from constituent Robert Shutes. Thanks for the opportunity, Robert!

Robert Shutes, Representative Ed Brooks, and me


Helpful Information

State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB): Preliminary Returns Positive
This week, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) announced positive preliminary returns for the end of the year. This equates to modest increases in monthly pension amounts for retirees and interest rates credited to active employee accounts. The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Core Fund ended year with preliminary return of 5.7%. The preliminary five-year return on the Core Fund is 9.3%. The preliminary market value of the Core Fund is $88.7 billion. These results have surpassed one year benchmark of 5.6% for the Core Fund.

The Variable Fund, which is an option stock fund targeting domestic and international equities ended the year with a preliminary return of 7.3%. This equates to a preliminary market value of $7.3 billion for the Variable Fund. Unfortunately, this is slightly behind the benchmark of 7.5%. Total assets under SWIB management amount to $103 billion as of December 2014. This includes approximately $96 billion in WRS trust funds, which provides benefits to over 588,000 current and former state and local employees. This makes WRS the 9th largest public pension fund in the country and the 25th largest public or private pension fund in the world.


State Capitol - Room 8 South - Post Office Box 7882 - Madison, Wisconsin 53707 - Phone: (608) 266-0703

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