State Senator Van Wanggaard's eNewsletter 2015

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Contact Senator Wanggaard:
State Senator Van Wanggaard
21st Senate District  


Wisconsin State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7882

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Local Events

DNR Free Fun For Everyone
Free fishing and free entry to state parks and forests
June 6th - 7th 

Union Grove Lions Chicken BBQ& Car, Van and Motorcycle Show
Racine County Fairgrounds
June 7th, 10:30 am - 3:30 pm

Chocolate City InternationalShort Film Festival
Plaza Theater, Burlington
June 7th, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

If you would like to add an event to the Local Events calendar, please send information to: Colleen.Moran@legis.wi.gov

Bucks Arena Update

As we near the end of the biennial budget process, the fate of the proposed arena in Milwaukee is still unclear. As I expressed in a statement released Thursday, when evaluating any proposed arena plan, my first priority is to ensure that Racine and Kenosha county taxpayers are not subject to any new tax, or further continuation of the never-ending Miller Park tax. In addition, I feel the city and county of Milwaukee need to make a sizable contribution to this project. The economic impact of the arena will be largely localized, and the cost-sharing of the public portion of the project should reflect that.

In addition to ensuring there are no new taxes for those in my district, I want Wisconsin out of the arena business in general- including its current $120 million obligation to the Bradley Center for deferred maintenance and related costs. Taxpayers should not be funding cost overruns, ongoing maintenance, or upkeep and enhancements in an arena. 

As my colleagues and I continue to work toward an agreement on this issue, I believe that the proposed Milwaukee arena should be taken up separately from the budget so it can be debated on its own merits. However, whether it is separated or not, I will continue to work toward a solution where the state's economy and tax collections are not harmed by either the obligations for the current arena, a new 
arena or the lack of an arena in Milwaukee. 

Wanggaard Bill Seeks to Close Dangerous Loophole

Unfortunately, a dangerous loophole was recently brought to light that could allow potentially dangerous felons and serious child sex offenders to slip through the cracks in our sentencing system, releasing them back into society prematurely. To close the loophole and protect our citizens, I recently authored Senate Bill 181, and I was proud to testify in favor of the bill before the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee on Tuesday. 

The importance of this bill was brought to my attention by Racine County District Attorney Rich Chiapete after current law resulted in the dismissal of a homicide case against Keith Abbott in Racine County. Abbott was charged with a brutal homicide of a young woman who was stabbed to death, wrapped in plastic and transported to Rock County by Abbott in his pickup truck. Her body was found in a farm field about 40 days after her disappearance.

Despite the fact that her blood was found on Abbott's truck and clothing, Abbott was found not competent to stand trial. Under current law, if at a competency hearing an individual is found not competent to stand trial, but will likely become competent over 12 months then the court may commit the individual for treatment to regain competency. If at the end of 12 months they are still found not competent to stand trial, then the case is dismissed. This was the case with Abbott's trial, when after 12 months the court determined that Abbott could be restored to competency with additional treatment, but dismissed the case because the 12 month time limit expired.

Senate Bill 181 eliminates the arbitrary "one year" rule and allows treatment until the defendant's competency is restored for the most serious offenses. I hope that my colleagues see the importance of this measure so we can keep alleged offenders from being released into society prematurely, and keep cases such as the Abbott case from slipping through the cracks. 
Join Us!

On Monday, June 8th, I will be holding a town hall meeting with Speaker Robin Vos and Representative Tom Weatherston. Please join us at the Charcoal Grill from 6 - 8:00 pm. 
HOPE Via Groundbreaking

This morning, I was honored to be the keynote speaker for the groundbreaking for HOPE Via. Students in the HOPE schools have high rates of graduation and high student success in life and it is awesome to see how they are positively impacting students in our community.

Time and again – we have seen that a change in education environment can lead to positive change in educational achievement for students. School choice works, and we are seeing the positive impact extend beyond choice schools. Since school choice has come to Racine, we’ve seen a lot of progress in the public schools too. In fact, graduation rates are up 12% overall, and up even more among minority groups!

Congratulations to HOPE Christian Schools and thank you for your dedication to helping our students succeed!
In the Capitol

On Tuesday, June 2nd, I had the opportunity to visit with the fine folks of Honey Creek Counseling and Recovery Services when they came to testify in favor of  Senate Bill 126, which adds equine-assisted learning and equine-assisted psychotherapy to the list of equine related activities that are exempted from civil liability.
Copyright *2015* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Senator Van Wanggaard
P.O. Box 7882
Room 319 South
Madison, WI 53707

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