Capitol Update

Helpful Wisconsin Links

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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State Budget

The 2015-17 budget process began this week with the Governor giving his budget address on Tuesday. I am looking forward to working with members of the Joint Finance Committee to finalize the budget proposal.

As a member of the Joint Finance Committee, our primary responsibility is to serve as the principal legislative committee charged with the review of all state appropriations and revenues. As we begin to look forward, there are a number of next steps in working to finalize the budget. We will begin working with the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) on their analysis of the budget. There will be four public hearings around the state, and hopefully we will have a public hearing in the 17th Senate District, where we will listen and take concerns from you, our constituents. From there, we will hear agency briefings, followed by voting in April and May. We hope to have the budget finalized by early June.

I am encouraged to see increased sparisty aid and transportation aid for rural schools. The increased school aids will help our local school districts. I was also encouraged by the proposal for grants that foster economic development and broadband access in rural areas.

I have some concerns over the transportation budget that the Governor proposed, as well as the UW System cuts. With two UW campuses in my district, I am aware of the immediate impact that those cuts would have, as well as the long-term impact.

While we work to protect the taxpayers of Wisconsin, I also want to ensure that the most vulnerable citizens in our state are being cared for and that necessary services are being provided. I am confident that the budget process will yield a plan that creates jobs, protects state services for those that need it most, and invests in our future.

The introduction of the proposed budget by Governor Walker marks the beginning of a long and fluid process. I want to remind my constituents that the proposals in the Governor’s budget are not set in stone. I encourage my constituents to share their opinions regarding the budget with me as we begin the process towards finalizing the budget.


In the District


Alliant Energy Operations Center
Last week I had the opportunity to tour the Alliant Energy Operations Center in Mineral Point with Representative Todd Novak. In addition to providing electric power to many of our businesses and citizens, Alliant also employs 256 in the Senate District.



Pictured are:
Maria Lauck, Regional Director-Generation Operations, Myself, Representative Novak, and Bob Gutchenritter, Regional Director-Customer Operations.



Helpful Information


Wisconsin Local Employment and Unemployment Estimates
The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) estimates of unemployment and employment statistics for metro areas, major cities and counties in Wisconsin. The estimates include revisions for November 2014 and preliminary estimates for December 2014. The following table shows the local unemployment rates from December 2013 and December 2014 for the counties in my district.





Grant 4.3 4.8
Green 4.1 4.6
Iowa 4.6 5.1
Juneau 7.0 8.2
Lafayette 3.9 4.6
Monroe 4.9 5.9
Richland 4.5 4.9
Sauk 5.1 5.6
Vernon 4.7 5.1

*Source: Department of Workforce Development



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

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