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I-94 NORTH-SOUTH update: November 2-November 8

News you can use


Here is an update from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) for the I-94 NORTH-SOUTH freeway project:


Construction update November 2 –November 8:
I-94 North-South Freeway Project update for Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties


All closures are weather-dependent and subject to change.
New long-term closures are BOLD.

MILWAUKEE COUNTY


Monday, NOVEMBER 2

Full Closure of I-94 EAST (SB) exit to Airport Spur 9:30pm – 5:30am

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Study: Cost of private health insurance skyrockets under government reform

Government health care, Taxes


A new study shows the impact of government health care reform on private health insurance would be quite costly.

America's Health Insurance Plans commissioned the firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers to determine the effect of four provisions included in Senate Finance Committee legislation. From the study, those provisions are:

1) Insurance market reforms and consumer protections that would raise health insurance premiums for individuals and families if the reforms are not coupled with an effective coverage requirement.

2)  An excise tax on employer-sponsored high value health plans (or "Cadillac plans") that in a few years could also raise premiums for some moderate value plans.


3) Cuts in payment rates in public programs that could increase cost shifting to private sector businesses and consumers. These changes are expected to more than offset the potential reduction in cost shifting resulting from providing coverage to the uninsured.

4) New taxes on health sector entities that are likely to be passed through to consumers.”


Here is what the study found:

“The overall impact of these provisions will be to increase the cost of private insurance coverage for individuals, families, and businesses above what these costs would be in the absence of reform.


On average, the cost of private health insurance coverage will increase:


  • 26 percent between 2009 and 2013 under the current system and by 40 percent during this same period if these four provisions are implemented.
  • 50 percent between 2009 and 2016 under the current system and by 73 percent during this same period if these four provisions are implemented.
  • 79 percent between 2009 and 2019 under the current system and by 111 percent during this same period if these four provisions are implemented. 


The increases in private health insurance coverage described above would be on top of the underlying growth in medical costs over the coming period. This analysis shows that the cost of the average family coverage is approximately $12,300 today and could be expected to increase to approximately:

  • $15,500 in 2013 under current law and to $17,200 if these provisions are implemented.
  • $18,400 in 2016 under current law and to $21,300 if these provisions are implemented.
  • $21,900 in 2019 under current law and to $25,900 if these provisions are implemented.

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Your auto insurance is going up and here's why

State budget


Auto insurance ratepayers in Wisconsin are learning about an increase in their premiums and they are not pleased.

Drivers are starting to understand the direct impact of the 2009-11 state budget, a document composed and approved by legislative Democrats and Governor Doyle. The current state budget is costing motorists much higher premiums due to government provisions in the state budget mandating changes to your auto insurance.

A Democrat leader in the state Assembly tried to put the blame on insurance companies in a letter to a constituent dated October 7, 2009,  that reads, in part:

“Recently, some members of the insurance industry are trying to pass the buck for increasing rates on their customers, blaming rate increases on the state budget passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Doyle. Quite simply, any previous increases are due to the business decisions of insurance providers rather than any action taken by the Legislature.”

The fact is that legislative Democrats and the governor pushed, supported, and voted for state budget provisions that are directly responsible for higher insurance costs that are making consumers angry. The news media sent out warnings earlier this year.

During state budget deliberations last June on the floor of the state Senate, I was the lead author of an amendment that would have removed all costly insurance mandates from the state budget. The amendment was defeated along party lines by Democrats that control the state Senate.

As a result, premiums and tempers are on the rise.
Terry Scheller of Nichols with insurance on three vehicles increasing $231 told the Wisconsin Associated Press, “I think it’s awful. How much more can people afford? Times are tough. Guess who’s paying for it? People like me with clean driving records.”

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Congratulations Muskego High School!

Good news from Senate District 28


Over the weekend, the Muskego boys soccer team won the WIAA Division 1 state championship, defeating Madison Memorial 1-0. 



 

Read more

I-43-County Y interchange work completed in Waukesha County

News you can use

 

Here is an update from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) for the I-43 /County Y intersection:

Release date:  Nov. 2, 2009

Read more

UPDATE: Should the deer hunting season be extended?

News you can use


The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board is proposing extending the deer gun hunting season from the current 9-day hunt to 16 days. The season would begin one week earlier. 

Several public hearings have been conducted around the state. Today, Tuesday, November 3, 2009  is the deadline to submit written comments to Keith Warnke of the Bureau of Wildlife Management at: keith.warnke@wisconsin.gov

Here is more information about the proposed rule.

Americans fear government health care weakens free enterprise

Government health care


According to the Gallup polling organization, the percentage of Americans believing the co
sts of health care will get worse under government control continues to increase. The percentage of Americans who think the cost will get better under government control stays the same, floundering at 22 percent.

Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute thinks the anger of Americans about the prospect of government health care goes beyond the sticker shock. Brooks makes the argument that the public is concerned about the danger to three areas: individual choice, personal accountability, and rewards for ambition.

Citizens worry at the thought that the choices they now enjoy may someday be gone and transferred to government bureaucrats. Brooks writes choices would be restricted in all phases of care:

“What kind of health insurance citizens can buy, what kind of doctors they can see, what kind of procedures their doctors will perform, what kind of drugs they can take, and what treatment options they may have.”

Many Americans covet the concept of personal responsibility, however the way government health care is designed, Brooks asserts people will balk at purchasing insurance until they need to do so.

Finally, Brooks worries that minus the incentive for medical professionals to earn money because of a series of government rules and regulations, critical medical discoveries of the future may not be achieved.

You can read Brooks’ column in the Wall Street Journal here. 

State Senate calendar for Thursday, November 5, 2009

News you can use



Here is the calendar for the state Senate floor session scheduled for Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 11:00 a.m.:

First Order.                  Call of Roll.

Second Order.              Chief clerk's entries.

Third Order.                 Introduction, first reading and reference of proposals.

Fourth Order.               Report of committees.

Fifth Order.                  Petitions and communications.

Sixth Order.                 Referrals and receipt of committee reports concerning proposed administrative rules.

Seventh Order.             Advice and consent of the Senate

QUESTION:            Shall the appointment be confirmed?

Allen, Okie, of Eau Claire, as a member of the Hearing and Speech Examining Board, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2013. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Health, Health Insurance, Privacy, Property Tax Relief, and Revenue, Ayes 7, Noes 0)

Berceau, Terese, of Madison, as a member of the Council on Domestic Abuse, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2010. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Judiciary, Corrections, Insurance, Campaign Finance Reform, and Housing, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Davis, Danae, of Milwaukee, as a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, to serve for the term ending May 1, 2011. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Agriculture and Higher Education, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Drew, John, of Milwaukee, as a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, to serve for the term ending May 1, 2014. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Agriculture and Higher Education, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Dueholm, Robert, of Luck, as a member of the Real Estate Board, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2013. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Judiciary, Corrections, Insurance, Campaign Finance Reform, and Housing, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Falbo, Michael, of Franklin, as a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, to serve for the term ending May 1, 2015. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Agriculture and Higher Education, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Fisher, Thomas, of Wausau, as a member of the Hearing and Speech Examining Board, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2012. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Health, Health Insurance, Privacy, Property Tax Relief, and Revenue, Ayes 7, Noes 0)

Gasperetti, Thomas
, of Milwaukee, as a member of the Examining Board of Architects, Landscape Architects, Professional Engineers, Designers and Land Surveyors, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2013. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Economic Development, Ayes 7, Noes 0)

Grignon, John, of New Berlin, as a member of the Dentistry Examining Board, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2013. (Report confirmation, Ayes 7, Noes 0 recommended by committee on Health, Health Insurance, Privacy, Property Tax Relief, and Revenue)

Hanna, Mark, of Sheboygan, as a member of the Wisconsin Aerospace Authority, to serve for the term ending June 30, 2012. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Economic Development, Ayes 7, Noes 0)

Henzl, Robert, of Racine, as a member of the Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District Board, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2011 (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Economic Development, Ayes 7, Noes 0)

Holley, Bill, of Middleton, as a member of the Prison Industries Board, to serve for the term ending May 1, 2012. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Judiciary, Corrections, Insurance, Campaign Finance Reform, and Housing, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Korabic, Edward, of Milwaukee, as a member of the Hearing and Speech Examining Board, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2013. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Health, Health Insurance, Privacy, Property Tax Relief, and Revenue, Ayes 7, Noes 0)

Moore, Michele
, of West Salem, as a member of the Funeral Directors Examining Board, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2013. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Health, Health Insurance, Privacy, Property Tax Relief, and Revenue, Ayes 7, Noes 0)

Morales, Joe
, of Racine, as a member of the Public Defender Board, to serve for the term ending May 1, 2012. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Judiciary, Corrections, Insurance, Campaign Finance Reform, and Housing, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Musser, Gene, of Madison, as a member of the Medical Examining Board, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2013. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Health, Health Insurance, Privacy, Property Tax Relief, and Revenue, Ayes 7, Noes 0)

Nuernberg, Christine, of Mequon, as a member of the Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District Board, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2011. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Economic Development, Ayes 7, Noes 0)

Opgenorth, Kevin, of Platteville, as a member of the Board of Regents, to serve for the term ending May 1, 2010. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Agriculture and Higher Education, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Pierce, Dennis, of Kenosha, as a member of the Real Estate Board, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2013. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Judiciary, Corrections, Insurance, Campaign Finance Reform, and Housing, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Pruitt, Chuck, of Milwaukee, as a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, to serve for the term ending May 1, 2016. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Agriculture and Higher Education, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Walsh, David, of Madison, as a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, to serve for the term ending May 1, 2015. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Agriculture and Higher Education, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Wingad, Aaron, of Eau Claire, as a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, to serve for the term ending May 1, 2011. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Agriculture and Higher Education, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Womack, Betty
, of Milwaukee, as a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, to serve for the term ending May 1, 2014. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Agriculture and Higher Education, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Workinger, Marilyn, of Marshfield, as a member of the Hearing and Speech Examining Board, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2011. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Health, Health Insurance, Privacy, Property Tax Relief, and Revenue, Ayes 7, Noes 0)

Xiong, Mai
, of Schofield, as a member of the Public Defender Board, to serve for the term ending May 1, 2012. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Judiciary, Corrections, Insurance, Campaign Finance Reform, and Housing, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Zellmer, Peter, of Appleton, as a member of the Hearing and Speech Examining Board, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2013. (Report confirmation recommended by committee on Health, Health Insurance, Privacy, Property Tax Relief, and Revenue, Ayes 7, Noes 0)

Eighth Order.              
Messages from the Assembly.


QUESTION:            Shall the amendment be concurred in?

Senate Bill 241. Relating to: modifying the definition of all-terrain vehicle. (FE)  By Senators Holperin, Taylor, Vinehout, Harsdorf, A. Lasee, and Grothman; cosponsored by Representatives Hraychuck, Brooks, Roys, Townsend, Jorgensen, Radcliffe, Suder, Petrowski, Hubler, Gunderson, Tauchen, Murtha, Ballweg, Ripp, and Spanbauer. Assembly Amendment 1 pending

Ninth Order.                 Special Orders.

Tenth Order.                 Consideration of motions, resolutions, and joint resolutions not requiring a third reading.

QUESTION:            Shall the joint resolution be adopted?

Senate Joint Resolution 54. Relating to: commending Mary and Ted Kellner on the occasion of their receiving the Warren P. Knowles Humanitarian Award. 

QUESTION:            Shall the joint resolution be concurred in?

Assembly Joint Resolution 77. Relating to: Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. 

Assembly Joint Resolution 85. Relating to: recognizing the work of Wisconsin's coroners and medical examiners. 

Assembly Joint Resolution 88. Relating to: the life and public service of Jay W. Johnson. 

Assembly Joint Resolution 89
. Relating to: declaring October as Co-op Month.  By Representatives Nerison and Vruwink.

Assembly Joint Resolution 90. Relating to: the life and public service of Rev. P. Harvey Stower. 

Assembly Joint Resolution 91. Relating to: declaring October to be Adopt a Shelter Pet Month.

Eleventh Order.            Second reading and amendments of senate joint resolutions and senate bills.

QUESTION:            Shall the bill be ordered to a third reading?

Senate Bill 40. Relating to: public financing of campaigns for the office of justice of the supreme court, making appropriations, and providing penalties. (FE)  (Report adoption of Senate Amendment 1, Ayes 15, Noes 0, adoption of Senate Amendment 2, Ayes 15, Noes 0, adoption of Senate Amendment 3, Ayes 15, Noes 0, adoption of Senate Amendment 4, Ayes 15, Noes 0, passage as amended recommended by joint committee on Finance, Ayes 11, Noes 4) Senate Amendments 1, 2, 3 and 4 pending

Senate Bill 66. Relating to: operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant and providing a penalty. (FE)  Senate Amendments 1 and 2 to Senate Substitute Amendment 1, Senate Substitute Amendment 1, and Senate Substitute Amendment 2 pending

Senate Bill 183. Relating to: the provision of support services information to employees who are affected by a business closing or mass layoff and providing a penalty. (FE)   (Report passage recommended by committee on Labor, Elections and Urban Affairs, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Senate Bill 184
. Relating to: licenses and limited X-ray machine operator permits to engage in the practice of radiography, creating a radiography examining board, granting rule-making authority, and requiring the exercise of rule-making authority. (FE)   (Report passage recommended by joint committee on Finance, Ayes 15, Noes 1)

Senate Bill 204. Relating to: prohibiting discrimination in housing because of domestic abuse victim status and providing a penalty. (FE)   (Report adoption of Senate Amendment 1, Ayes 5, Noes 0, passage as amended recommended by committee on Judiciary, Corrections, Insurance, Campaign Finance Reform, and Housing, Ayes 5, Noes 0) Senate Amendment 1 pending

Senate Bill 208. Relating to: regulation of persons who sell dogs or operate animal shelters or animal control facilities, granting rule-making authority, making an appropriation, and providing a penalty. (FE)   (Report adoption of Senate Amendment 1 to Senate Substitute Amendment 1, Ayes 16, Noes 0, adoption of Senate Substitute Amendment 1, Ayes 16, Noes 0, passage as amended recommended by joint committee on Finance, Ayes 16, Noes 0) Senate Amendment 1 to Senate Substitute Amendment 1 and Senate Substitute Amendment 1 pending

Senate Bill 223. Relating to: composition of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.  (Report passage recommended by committee on Agriculture and Higher Education, Ayes 4, Noes 1) Senate Amendment 1 pending

Senate Bill 236. Relating to: electronic filing of campaign finance reports. (Report passage recommended by committee on Ethics Reform and Government Operations, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Senate Bill 244. Relating to: specific information signs on certain portions of STH 21. (FE)   (Report adoption of Senate Amendment 2, Ayes 7, Noes 0, passage as amended recommended by committee on Transportation, Tourism, Forestry, and Natural Resources, Ayes 7, Noes 0) Senate Amendment 2 pending

Senate Bill 259. Relating to: the homestead exemption and increases in the value of the exemption for various property that is exempt from execution. (FE)   (Report adoption of Senate Amendment 2, Ayes 5, Noes 0, adoption of Senate Amendment 3, Ayes 5, Noes 0, passage as amended recommended by committee on Judiciary, Corrections, Insurance, Campaign Finance Reform, and Housing, Ayes 4, Noes 1) Senate Amendments 2 and 3 pending

Senate Bill 290. Relating to: changes in the regulation of boxing contests, regulating mixed martial arts fighting contests, granting rule-making authority, making an appropriation, and providing a penalty. (FE)  (Report adoption of Senate Substitute Amendment 3, Ayes 5, Noes 0, passage as amended recommended by committee on Labor, Elections and Urban Affairs, Ayes 5, Noes 0) Senate Substitute Amendment 3 pending

Senate Bill 292. Relating to: the exemption of State Historical Society books from state printing requirements. (FE)  (Report passage recommended by committee on Ethics Reform and Government Operations, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Senate Bill 331. Relating to: prohibiting a person who has been convicted or adjudicated delinquent for committing certain serious crimes or who is the subject of a pending criminal charge or delinquency petition for committing a serious crime from being licensed, certified, or contracted with to provide child care, from being employed or contracted as a caregiver of a child care provider, or from being permitted to reside at a premises where child care is provided and making an appropriation. (FE)   (Report adoption of Senate Amendment 1 to Senate Amendment 3, Ayes 15, Noes 0, adoption of Senate Amendment 3, Ayes 15, Noes 0, passage as amended recommended by joint committee on Finance, Ayes 15, Noes 0) Senate Amendment 1 to Senate Amendment 3, and Senate Amendment 3 pending

Senate Bill 346. Relating to: required judicial findings and orders when a child is placed outside the home, termination of parental rights warnings, mandatory child abuse or neglect reporters, the confidentiality of social services records, changing from day care to child care the term used to describe care and supervision for children for less than 24 hours a day, and renumbering the definition of neglect. (Report passage recommended by committee on Children and Families and Workforce Development, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Senate Bill 349. Relating to: the employment of minors 12 years of age or older by nonprofit organizations in and around the homes of elderly persons and persons with disabilities to perform snow shoveling, lawn mowing, leaf raking, and other similar work usual to those homes. (FE)   (Report adoption of Senate Amendment 1, Ayes 5, Noes 0, passage as amended recommended by committee on Labor, Elections and Urban Affairs, Ayes 5, Noes 0)    Senate Amendment 1 pending

Senate Bill 370. Relating to: grants for improving academic achievement. (Report passage recommended by committee on Education, Ayes 7, Noes 0)

Senate Bill 371. Relating to: authorizing the Department of Public Instruction, the University of Wisconsin System, the Technical College System, and the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities to study each other's education programs, requiring a written agreement concerning such studies, and requiring the establishment of a longitudinal data system of student data. (FE)   (Report adoption of Senate Amendment 1, Ayes 7, Noes 0, passage as amended recommended by committee on Education, Ayes 6, Noes 1) Senate Amendment 1 pending

Senate Bill 372. Relating to: using the results of standardized examinations to evaluate teachers and requiring the development of a teacher evaluation plan to be a mandatory subject of collective bargaining. (FE)  (Report passage recommended by committee on Education, Ayes 6, Noes 1)

Senate Bill 373. Relating to: establishing or contracting for the establishment of a charter school.   (Report passage recommended by committee on Education, Ayes 6, Noes 1)

Twelfth Order.             
Second reading and amendments of assembly joint resolutions and assembly bills.


QUESTION:            Shall the bill be ordered to a third reading?

Assembly Bill 138. Relating to: the appointment and term of service of the secretary of natural resources and vacancies on the Natural Resources Board.   (Report adoption of Senate Amendment 1, Ayes 7, Noes 0, concurrence as amended recommended by committee on Transportation, Tourism, Forestry, and Natural Resources, Ayes 5, Noes 2) Senate Amendment 1 pending

Assembly Bill 164. Relating to: notice of intent to remove a child from the home of a relative and review of decisions or orders involving the placement and care of a child placed in the home of a relative. (FE)  (Report concurrence recommended by committee on Children and Families and Workforce Development, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Assembly Bill 209. Relating to: authorizing a county to provide assistance to a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to certain individuals. (FE)   (Report concurrence recommended by committee on Ethics Reform and Government Operations, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Assembly Bill 258. Relating to: the disposal of used automotive engine oil filters and oil absorbent materials and providing a penalty.   (Report concurrence recommended by committee on Environment, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Assembly Bill 292. Relating to: recording and filing documents with the register of deeds. (FE)   (Report concurrence recommended by committee on Ethics Reform and Government Operations, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Assembly Bill 297. Relating to: child abuse and neglect prevention grants. (FE)   (Report concurrence recommended by committee on Children and Families and Workforce Development, Ayes 5, Noes 0)

Thirteenth Order.          Third reading of joint resolutions and bills.

Fourteenth Order.         Motions may be offered.

Fifteenth Order.            Announcements, adjournment honors, and remarks under special privilege.

Sixteenth Order.           Adjournment.

Video can help pier owners understand latest rules

News you can use


One of the more contentious and confusing issues in state government in the past five years has been pier regulation.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), under a state law that went into effect during 2008, “most existing piers meet the size standards and their owners won’t have to do anything. Owners of piers that are larger than the standards have until April 1, 2011, to determine if they qualify to be grandfathered in, and to complete the registration process. A very small number of owners of extremely large existing piers will need to go through the individual permit and review process, but the normal fee permit will be waived.”

The DNR has a special video pier owners can view on the DNR’s pier page to help lakefront property owners understand the latest regulations.

Legislative Republicans want to repeal budget provisions causing insurance hikes

State budget


Last week I released a column discussing the impact of the 2009-11 state budget on auto insurance rates.

My Republican colleagues and I are taking action to repeal changes made in the budget that are now causing auto insurance rates to increase.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on legislation that I have co-sponsored.


Here is a news release issued by Senate Republican leader Scott Fitzgerald.

I-94 NORTH-SOUTH update: November 9-November 15

News you can use


Here is an update from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) for the I-94 NORTH-SOUTH freeway project:

Construction update November 9 –November 15:
I-94 North-South Freeway Project update for Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties

All closures are weather-dependent and subject to change.
New long-term closures are BOLD.

MILWAUKEE COUNTY

  

Read more

Congratulations again to Muskego High School!

Good news from Senate District 28



First the Muskego High School boys won the state soccer title. 


Over the weekend, the Muskego High School girls won the state volleyball title. 

Congratulations once again to Muskego High School for another championship!

On final session day of 2009, Democrat priorities are misplaced

Legislation


While thousands of demonstrators marched and rallied in Washington D.C. last Thursday to voice concern about the economy and the huge growth of government, the state Senate took up dozens of bills, none of which addressed the critical need for job creation in Wisconsin.

Thursday was the final scheduled day for the Legislature to be in session during 2009.

The state Senate approved changes to clean up the controversial child welfare program, Wisconsin Shares. However, Democrats killed a series of amendments that I co-sponsored that would have created even stronger safeguards against fraud. The amendments included allowing counties to terminate Shares Benefits to a recipient if they are suspected of fraud and the case has been turned over to the DA, prohibiting a parent that works in a day care facility from receiving a child care subsidy, prohibiting a parent who is a child care provider unless they have been granted a waiver by DCF or licensing municipality from receiving a child care subsidy, and requiring a prospective provider to be fingerprinted by local law enforcement and that fingerprint must be run through a database to determine that the prospective provider has never been convicted of the prohibitions on child care licenses.

Education legislation supported by WEAC was approved that merely sets the state up to receive federal Race to the Top funding. The legislation doesn’t allow a school district to fire or discipline a bad teacher and actually makes the use of student test data in evaluating teachers a mandatory subject of collective bargaining.

On behalf of a school superintendent, I authored amendments that would have allowed school boards to establish and run charter schools and would have allowed a teacher evaluation to a be “a factor” in determining if a teacher is to be suspended or terminated. Both education reform amendments were killed by Senate Democrats.

Drunk driving legislation was approved unanimously that differs slightly from an Assembly version approved earlier this fall. The Legislature could work in the next few weeks to work out differences and vote on a measure before the end of the year. Unclear is the extra costs the legislation could mean for municipalities due to additional court proceedings, prosecutions, and prison and jail incarcerations. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates the annual cost to the state could be in the millions of dollars.

Taxpayer funding of state Supreme Court races was approved that I voted against. The Senate also approved changing the way the DNR Secretary is chosen. I voted against the legislation.

Those were some of the items scheduled on the final day of the session for the year by Democrats that control the state Senate. The Senate failed to address any legislation relating to the state economy, the state business climate, job creation, job retention, taxes, or spending, clearly the most important issues confronting our state.

Governor Doyle reportedly may call the Legislature into special session to consider the proposed mayoral takeover of Milwaukee Public Schools, a concept that appears to have little support anywhere in Wisconsin. The priorities of the governor and legislative Democrats that control the senate and Assembly are out of whack.

The shocking Pelosi health bill by the numbers


Speaker Nancy Pelosi's is touting her new version of government health care as being less costly. Not so according to the Heritage Foundation that reports:

“The Congressional Budget Office released its preliminary score of the bill and while some in the media have been reporting its net cost of $894 billion, the total cost of health reform legislation is more like $1.5 trillion. So, Speaker Pelosi is essentially right back where she started—with a huge two thousand page plan that carries a hefty price tag.”

 

Read more

Where state and local governments spend their money

Taxes


A new report by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation in Washington D.C. highlights state and local government spending priorities.Spending is broken down into ten specific categories:

Wisconsin
spent 23.80 percent during FY 2007 on K-12 education. The national average was 23.90 percent.

Wisconsin spent 18.20 percent during FY 2007 on public welfare.  The national average was 16.80 percent.

Wisconsin spent 12.00 percent during FY 2007 on higher education. The national average was 9.10 percent.

Wisconsin spent 8.90 percent during FY 2007 on public safety.  The national average was 9.10 percent.

Wisconsin spent 8.60 percent during FY 2007 on transportation. The national average was 7.60 percent.


Wisconsin spent 7.10 percent during FY 2007 on environment/housing.  The national average was 7.70 percent.

Wisconsin spent 6.70 percent during FY 2007 on hospitals & health. The national average was 8.40 percent.

Wisconsin spent 4.40 percent during FY 2007 on debt interest. The national average was 4.10 percent.

Wisconsin spent 4.30 percent during FY 2007 on government administration.  The national average was 5.30 percent.

Wisconsin spent 6.10 percent during FY 2007 on other costs.  The national average was 7.90 percent.

Read more

A key issue could derail current government health care plan

Government health care


After narrowly getting through the House during a vote on Saturday night, the government health care plan could be in serious trouble in the U.S. Senate.

Opponents of federal government health care have voiced deep concern about the potential for federal subsidies to be used to fund abortions. Some Senators are pushing for tough restrictions in the legislation to radically reform America’s health care system, and that could ruin plans to have government health care passed by the end of 2009.

The House bill approved over the weekend prohibits government health care from covering abortions, with the exceptions of rape, incest, or life of the mother, essentially current federal law. Health plans that receive federal funding could not provide abortion coverage, but could sell separate plans to cover abortion.

The Associated Press (AP) reports that Senate Democrats need the votes of about a half-dozen abortion opponents in their caucus.

They (Senate Democrats) face a grueling debate against Republicans who are unified in their opposition to a sweeping remake of the health care system. It's unclear how the abortion opponents would line up; the pressure on them will intensify once the legislation is on the floor,” the AP reports.

There are plenty of reasons to oppose government health care. It would be just if the most serious concern, federal funding of abortions, was the issue that killed the legislation.

Read the AP article here. 

FIRE SAFETY/DIALING 9-1-1 FOR KIDS

Seconds count during an emergency.  Everyone needs to use 9-1-1 properly to get quick help during a fire, medical emergency or a crime.

This is especially true for children.  They can, and must be taught how to correctly use the 9-1-1 system to save a life.

Read more

Community Center Mtg. - Mon., Nov. 16th

Community Center

The Ad Hoc Committee for the NEW Greenfield Community Center will meet again this Monday, November 16th Room 204 in Greenfield City Hall beginning at 7:00pm.  An update will be given on fundraising opportunities, facility usage policies, and a presentation on use of the building from a third-party group.  The public is invited to attend and have an opportunity to speak during the citizen commentary portion of the meeting.

Meeting Agenda
Read the meeting minutes from October

Parks/Rec Dept. Closed For Furloughs

P&R Office

The Greenfield Parks & Recreation Department will be CLOSED Wednesday, November 25th-Monday, November 30th due to City furlough days (11/25 & 11/30), and the Thanksgiving holiday for the remaining days.  Normal business hours will resume on Tuesday, December 1st.  Enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday weekend!

Shopping Advise

The holidays are coming up so I thought it was a good time to re-issue some previous blogs.

Keep Your Purse!

By Sergeant Peter Regenfelder
Friday, Nov 23 2007, 02:30 PM

The holiday season is coming up and the purse snatchers are already hard at work. This is a group of people I would really like to see unemployed! They are ruthless and mean! With your help, we can minimize the damage they do.

If possible ladies, leave your purse at home. If it’s not with you it cannot be taken from you. When you leave the house take what you need with you and put it in your pockets. A driver’s license, credit card, cash, keys and cell phone will fit in pants or jacket pockets.

If you feel the need to carry a purse, minimize the valuables in it. Don’t carry large sums of cash and take only the credit cards you need. When thieves steal purses they are looking for these two items. Cash can be saved and spent at leisure but credit cards get used quickly and for large purchases. This creates a financial nightmare for the victim. Leave jewelry and other valuables at home. Do not rely on your shoulder strap to keep your purse near you. Use a purse with a short handle and keep your purse in your hand.

Be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to who is near you and who is taking a particular interest in you and your purse. If someone is making you uncomfortable and seems too interested in what you are doing, move away from them and keep your purse close. If this persists, tell a security guard or police officer. When driving home, pay attention to vehicles behind you as well as in front of you. There are thieves that will follow a victim home and steal from them when they get into their garage. If you feel you are being followed call the police or drive to your local police station. If you are not sure where that is, drive to a gas station and use a phone there. Gas stations usually have video surveillance and usually have a teller paying attention to the pumps.

If you plan your shopping adventure and only take what you need, you will minimize the chances of becoming a victim of a purse snatching.

Shop til you Drop Safely

By Sergeant Peter Regenfelder
Saturday, Dec 2 2006, 09:20 AM
The holiday season is upon us! Tis the season to go shopping! I would like to offer a few shopping tips in order to make the shopping season more enjoyable.

1) Clean out your trunk before leaving for your shopping experience. This will give you space to put your holiday goodies where they cannot be observed from the exterior of the vehicle.

2) If possible, only take the credit card you will use and a driver's license with you. These items can be placed in your pocket so you do not have to bring your purse with you. Purses are targets for thieves. If possible, leave them at home.

3) Preplan your shopping. Know where you are going. There are a lot of drivers on the road this time of year that are browsing while they drive and not paying enough attention to the road. If you know where you are going, you can concentrate on driving.

4) If you will be shopping until it gets dark, try and park where there are street lights or parking lights so that you will be in a lighted area when you return to your car.

5) If you are going to leave valuables in the car, keep them out of sight. Put them in the trunk or out of view under the seat.

6) While you shop, if you had to take your purse with you, keep it with you. Do not leave it in the cart while you select items from the shelf or try on clothing. It may not be there when it is time to check out.

7) When returning to your car with your holiday cheer, have your keys in your hand so you can access your vehicle quickly without searching for your keys. Also, do not leave your newly purchased gems unattended while you get the kids situated, start the car, unlock the driver's door, etc. It does not take long before those items could be gone.

8) Return home for some holiday nog and a foot massage from your significant other!

If you do become a victim of theft during your shopping experience, have emergency credit card phone numbers available so that you can cancel your account before the criminals have a chance to use it and call the police .

I hope these hints are helpful and make your holiday shopping experience more cheerful!
 

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