State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
At my town hall meetings January 26, 2012, there were questions about Silica Sand Mining also known as Frac Sand Mining. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released a report this week about Frac Sand Mining including information about the mining process, environmental implications, and government regulations. Here is a link to the report: http://dnr.wi.gov/org/aw/wm/mining/nonmetallic/
Governor Scott Walker’s weekly radio address is about turning Wisconsin around. The full transcript of the address is below. To listen to the address, click here.
Hi, this is Scott Walker.
Nearly $33 million in Wisconsin FoodShare benefits were spent in other states during fiscal year 2010-11, according to an audit released today by the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau, including purchases in all 50 states and three U.S. territories.
There may be reasons for FoodShare benefits used in another state. In some cases, the nearest grocery store may be in another state. Purchases at the U.S. Virgin Islands, Texas, Guam, New York, and California raise fraud red flags. For much of Jim Doyle’s time as governor, there was little effort to unearth fraud or overpayments within the FoodShare program. During fiscal year 2006-07 the state Department of Health Services recovered just $1,920 in FoodShare overpayments. In fiscal year 2010-11, the number jumped to more than $400,000. Clearly, there is fraud in the system and it can be corrected.
The 2012-13 Wisconsin Public School Open Enrollment application period begins today and continues through April 30, 2012. Wisconsin's Open Enrollment Program allows parents to apply for their child to attend school at any Wisconsin school district. The application must be approved by the child's home school district and the district the parent is applying.
The open enrollment application period is extended this year. Thanks to 2011 Wisconsin Act 114 the open enrollment period is expanded from three weeks to 12 weeks. Here is link to the Department of Public Instructions website with access to an application and information about Wisconsin's open enrollment program: http://dpi.wi.gov/sms/psctoc.html
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation issued information on projects scheduled for Interstate 43 in Waukesha County. Here is the press release
Project set to begin on I-43 in Waukesha County
Committee on Transportation and Elections
The committee will hold a public hearing on the following items at the time specified below:
United States Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. scheduled an open public forum Saturday February 11, 2012, 9:00 AM until 11:00 AM at New Berlin City Hall. Congressman Sensenbrenner plans to answer questions and comments from residents of Wisconsin's Fifth Congressional District 9:00 AM until 10:00 AM. The second hour of the forum is for one-on-one discussion with constituents for any problems they might be having with a federal agency.
The Senate Committee on Transportation and Elections February 9, 2012, meeting included Senate Bill 397 (SB 397). I authored SB 397 at the request of the Department of Transportation (DOT). The bill proposes using non-color photos on state-issued driver licenses. A representative of the DOT testified about various changes under consideration for the next generation of ID cards. Future security measures may include licenses with multiple images of the driver on the card, raised text, advanced holograms, and non-color transparent photos. Testimony included an explanation that non-color identification cards are more difficult to counterfeit and provide more distinguishing photo features. Virginia has implemented a new driver license.
The Natural Resources Board Agenda & Meeting Materials for the February 21, and 22, 2012, meeting are posted on theDepartment of Natural Resources website.
Dr. John Taylor,
Dr. John Taylor,
Yesterday, the Senate approved three crucial election reform measures. As the lead author of the bills, I am pleased to see each move a step closer toward enactment.
The first to be approved was Senate Bill (SB) 381. I drafted this legislation at the request of the Government Accountability Board. The bill adjusts the statutory timeline for canvassing election returns to accommodate the new process for provisional and absentee ballots under voter ID. SB 381 was approved with a voice vote without opposition.
Despite political games from the left, the Senate approved important wetlands permit modifications early Wednesday morning. Senate Bill (SB) 368 places a greater emphasis on wetland mitigation, in concert with standards currently used by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The bill is backed by a broad coalition of supporters, including the Wisconsin Towns Association, United Sportsmen of Wisconsin, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
A procedural objection to the bill delayed final passage for one day, so the Senate reconvened shortly after midnight to vote on the measure. SB 368 was approved with a party line vote, 17-16.
Governor Walker's weekly radio address is about the Read, Set, Build initiative. The full text of the address is below.
This week I announced the “Ready, Set, Build!” initiative to identify certified sites for business development in Wisconsin. For years, the lack of certified sites has been a competitive weakness in growing jobs in our state. Now with “Ready, Set Build!” job creators can come to Wisconsin with the ability to grow right away.
Serving on one of the many Wisconsin boards, councils, or commissions is a great experience and a great way to lend your expertise to Wisconsin Government. Here is a link to a list of the boards, councils and commissions: http://22.214.171.124/Documents/BoardsAndCommissions.pdf . Here is a link to apply: http://126.96.36.199/Serve-Wisconsin/Boards-Commissions
The Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) released the 2011 Summary of the phone calls to the Fraud, Waste, and Mismanagement Hotline. During 2011, the line received 58 reports of Fraud, Waste, and Mismanagement. The 58 calls included 18 about allegations a person submitted false information to qualify for a state assistance program, 17 about Agency Mismanagement, 15 about general waste and inefficiency within a state program, five about state employee misconduct and three non-specific reports. Here is a link to the Legislative Audit Bureau's full report: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lab/reports/12-4full.pdf
The Fraud, Waste, and Mismanagement toll-free telephone number is 1-877-FRAUD-17. Reports of state fraud, waste and mismanagement may also be reported via a web-based form and via US mail. Here is a link to information about filing a complaint: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lab/hotline/
The Wisconsin Geological and History Survey provide information about mines and mineral deposits. http://wisconsingeologicalsurvey.org/pdfs/metallic_mineral_deposits.pdf
February 21, 2012, marks the first day Wisconsin voters are required to show a photo ID at the polls. For the last few months, including the first round of recall elections, Wisconsin has applied a soft implementation of voter ID.
First Order. Call of Roll.
Second Order. Chief clerk's entries.
Touring the state and talking to small business owners, one thing has become crystal clear to me: government regulations need to be science based, predictable and practical.
All too often I hear about how government is standing in the way of those who want to grow jobs in our state. This is why I just signed Executive Order 61, which will empower the Small Business Regulatory Review Board to determine the economic impact of rules on small business and increase the flexibility government must give employers.
Signing this Executive Order is another important step toward making our state an easier place to start up, expand, or relocate a small business. Giving small business owners a seat at the table when discussing state regulations will help get buy-in for rules and regulations from employers, assist state agencies promulgate rules that are realistic, and ultimately grow jobs in Wisconsin.
Specifically, the Executive Order I signed requires all state agencies to cooperate with the Small Business Regulatory Review Board in the rules review process. All agencies will cooperate with the Board to identify and weed out rules that hinder job creation and small business growth. And they will also work with the Board to recommend changes to the rules that will reduce the burden on job creators.
According to the National Federation of Independent Business, Wisconsin small businesses spend eighty percent more per worker than large employers to comply with government regulations. They say that 91 percent of small businesses said it was impossible to know about, comply with, and understand all of government’s regulations. Regulations are cited as one of the top three concerns for small business growth.
One great way to make sure that state regulations are science based, predictable and practical is to give small businesses a seat at the table when discussing the impact of new as well as existing rules and regulations. By partnering with Wisconsin’s small business owners, many of which are family owned, I am confident that we can continue to turn around Wisconsin’s economy and make it better for generations to come.
Team Hyperion, Saint Mary's Parish School, Hales Corners, earned first place at the National Future City Competition, at Arlington, Virginia, Tuesday February 21, 2012. Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth graders from around the county entered The Future City Competition to imagine, design, and build cities of the future.
Students worked as a team with an educator and engineer mentor to plan cities using software and research to develop solutions to an engineering problem. They built tabletop scale models, and presented ideas to judges.
E-update from the Desk of Governor Scott Walker
One of the most important duties I have serving as your Governor is to provide you directly with updates related to the operation of our state government. In an effort to improve communication, periodically I will be sending out an e-update to provide you with more information about what is going on in state government. I also frequently provide updates on Facebook (Governor Scott Walker) and on Twitter (@govwalker). Please feel free to share this update with your family, friends, and others who may be interested in state government operations.
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) scheduled meetings about deer management and deer hunting. According to the DNR, the March 2012, deer hunter forums will connect the public with a local biologist responsible for managing the deer herd. The meetings are intended to gather information about deer from hunters, and to provide information about deer management.
E-update from the Desk of Governor Scott Walker
Here is a link to a letter from the Government Accountability Board about the recall process:
The Franklin High School Wrestling Team qualified for the Wisconsin Team Wrestling State Tournament for the fifth consecutive year and eighth year overall. The Sabers will meet Wausau West at the quarterfinals of the state Team Wrestling Tournament, 7:00 PM, Friday, March 2, 2012, at the University of Wisconsin Fieldhouse, Madison.
The Government Accountability Board (GAB) filed a request with the Joint Finance Committee for $404,500 in additional funding also known as General Purpose Revenue (GPR) to help the agency to fund its current expenditures and debts for the 2012 statewide and State Senate recall petition count. The GAB estimates the total cost of processing 2012 recall petitions at $975,000. Here is a link to the Government Accountability Board's request: