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Conservatively Speaking

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.

Wisconsin Department of Justice Opens Registration for Annual Seminars on Open Meetings and Public Records Laws

The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) is providing three hour seminars about open meeting and public record laws.  The seminars are scheduled:

October 4, 2012
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Carroll University
Campus Center

Room 214
100 North East Avenue

Waukesha
, WI

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2011 Wisconsin Insurance Report Available Online

The 2011 Wisconsin Insurance Report from the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) is available at the following link:  http://oci.wi.gov/ann_rpt/bus_2011/anrpttoc.htm

Natural Resources Board September Agenda Available

The Natural Resources Board posted the September 25 and 26, 2012, meeting agenda. Members of the public may pre-register to testify by 4:00 PM September 21, 2012. To register to testify contact Laurie Ross at (608)267-7420 or via email at laurie.ross@wisconsin.gov. Written comments may be emailed to the Natural Resources Board at DNRNRBcomments@wisconsin.gov

Wisconsin's 2011-12 Fiscal Year General Fund Tax Collection Exceeds Expectations

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) released preliminary 2011-12 fiscal year General Fund Tax Collection data.  Tax collection for 2011-12 totaled $13.5 billion, an increase of 4.7% from the 2010-11 fiscal year.  Here is a link to the LFB paper:

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/publications/Miscellaneous/Documents/2012_09_05_Vos,Taylor%20General%20Fund%20Tax%20Collections.pdf

Wisconsin Department of Transportation Zoo Interchange Newsletter Available

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a Fall 2012 Edition of the Zoo Interchange Newsletter.  The newsletter contains updates about the Zoo Interchange and information about Public Informational Meetings.  Information meetings are scheduled September 19 and 20, 2012, 4:00 PM-7:00 PM, at State Fair Park, Tommy Thompson Youth Building, 640 South 84th Street, West Allis.

GAB Approves Cell Phone Residency Against Staff Advice

At its August 28 meeting, the Government Accountability Board did something it almost never does: it voted unanimously against a recommendation from its own staff.

You may assume such unusual action would be a result of a pressing concern or great urgency; however that is not the case.

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Department of Natural Resources Issues 2012 Fall Hunting and Trapping Forecast

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 2012 Fall Hunting and Trapping Forecast, includes information about the best time to see Wisconsin’s fall foliage and about ATV/UTV law changes:  http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/documents/forecast.pdf

 

Public meeting for I-43/WIS 164 Interchange Scheduled for September 12, 2012

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) scheduled a public information meeting about the reconstruction of I-43 and Wisconsin State Highway 164 (State Highway 164) interchange on September 12, 2012, from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Town of Vernon Fire Department, W233 S7475 Woodland Lane, Big Bend. 

This meeting is about the final element of the project including the decision to include new traffic signals or construct roundabouts at the I-43 and State Highway 164 interchange.  Construction is scheduled for 2016.

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Flags Lowered to Half-Staff on Tuesday September 11, 2012

Governor Walker has issued Executive Order 82 ordering flags at Wisconsin National Guard armories, air bases and other facilities across the state will fly at half-staff Tuesday (Sept. 11) as a mark of respect to honor the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the members of the armed forces defending our freedom overseas.

EXECUTIVE ORDER # 82 reads:

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Government Accountability Board Hosting Speakers Series about Election and Voting Laws

The Government Accountability Board (GAB) is providing a speaker series titled, Voting 101:  Back to Basics.  In addition to the speaker series, the GAB is launching a web portal, an elections mobile application, using social media and various print materials to provide information to the general public. 

The GAB asks legislators for names and contact information of groups interested in hosting a GAB Speakers Bureau Event.  The GAB is requesting an audience of at least 30 participants be guaranteed to schedule a speaker.    If a speaker is unavailable, or a group has less than 30 participants the GAB will offer the option of a webinar presentation or a pre-recorded presentation.  If your group is interested in hosting a GAB Speakers Bureau Event please send me an email at:  sen.lazich@legis.wisconsin.gov

Tour Jones Island Water Reclamation facility on September 22, 2012

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) is offering free hour long tours of Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility located at 700 East Jones Street, Milwaukee, September 22, 2012 from 10:30 AM until the last tour leaves at 4:00 PM.  Free tickets for the tour must be picked up at Milwaukee City Hall starting at 9:00 AM September 22, 2012.

Each tour participant must wear long pants and closed toe shoes and be able to walk down five flights of stairs.  For more information about the tour visit www.doorsopenmilwaukee.org

Governor Walker Seeks Applicants for Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judicial Vacancy

Governor Scott Walker is seeking applicants for appointment to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court.  The new appointee will replace outgoing Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Thomas P. Donegan.  Judge Donegan will be retiring November 30, 2012.  

Applications may be submitted to:  judicialappointments@wisconsin.gov not later than 5:00 PM September 24, 2012.

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The United States Debt Rating Versus Wisconsin's Debt Rating

Moody's Corporation Update of the Outlook for the US Government Debt Rating explains budget negotiations during the 2013 Congressional session will determine the United States’ credit rating.  If negotiations fail, the United States Credit Rating could worsen.  If Congress sets forth specific policies that stabilize and slow the growth of the federal debt, the US Credit rating would remain the same. 

Here is a link a link to Moody’s Update of the Outlook for the US Government Debt Rating: http://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-issues-update-on-the-outlook-for-the-US-governments--PR_254944

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Governor Walker and US Senator Robert Morris Visit Ben Franklin Elementary School in Franklin

Today I attended the Governor Scott Walker and Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Robert Morris, born January 20, 1734 died May 8, 1806, visit to Ben Franklin Elementary School at Franklin, Wisconsin to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the United States Constitution.  U.S. Senator Robert Morris signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution and is one of the two original United States Senators representing Pennsylvania. 

Governor Walker and Senator Morris shared the stage explaining the history of the U. S. Constitution and activities of some of the founders.  The fourth grade class was attentive and participatory as Governor Walker and Senator Morris went back in time providing a vivid historical reminisce of facts surrounding the birth of the U.S. Constitution. 

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Governor Walker's Weekly Radio Address

Hi, this is Scott Walker.

This week, we marked the 11th anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks on our nation on September 11th, 2001.  When those who want to destroy our nation senselessly killed innocent citizens, we responded by banding together and moving forward.  Wisconsin stands with those who have selflessly served in the past, and those who are currently defending our freedoms abroad. 

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US flags to Fly at Half-Staff until Sunset September 16, 2012 for American Personnel Killed at our Diplomatic Facility in Libya

The United States flag is ordered displayed at half-staff until sunset Sunday September 16, 2012, in memory of John Christopher Stevens, United States Ambassador to Libya, and American personnel killed at our Libya diplomatic facility.

Consumer Alert About Personal Computer Scam

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) issued a Consumer Alert about a scam involving personal computers.  Some consumers are seeing their computer lock up and a screen appear about a fine owed for accessing illegal material on the internet.  This is a scam called Reveton ransomware.  Here is a link to more information about the scam.

Fiscal Responsibility Rewarded with State Revenue Growth

Wednesday, September 5, 2012, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) released updated revenue projections for the state’s general fund, and the news is good.

DOR reports collections for the 2011-12 fiscal year are $126.6 million above previous estimates.  According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, that is nearly one percent above projections and a 4.7 percent increase in revenue from the previous year.

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Dane County Judge Blocks Act 10

Last Friday, Dane County Judge Juan Colás struck down key portions of Act 10, also known as the budget repair bill.  With the decision, Judge Colás becomes yet another member of Dane County Circuit Court to strike an act from the duly-elected Legislature and Governor.

The challenge, brought by union representatives from Madison and Milwaukee, is expected to be appealed.  At issue is whether Act 10 violates the plaintiffs’ rights of free speech, association, and equal protection, whether it violates the Home Rule Amendment in the Wisconsin Constitution, and whether it is an unconstitutional impairment of contract.

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2013-15 State Agency Budget Requests Available for Viewing

The 2013-15 Wisconsin State Budget process is beginning.  The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA), Budget Office website link provides you access to state agency budget requests for the 2013-2015 State Budget.  The Governor is provided agency requests to draft his version of the 2013-15 State Budget that will be presented to the state legislature during February 2013.  Here is a link to the state agency budget requests:  http://www.doa.state.wi.us/sublink.asp?linksubcat2id=785&linksubcatid=1484&linkcatid=909&linkid=156&locid=166

Governor Walker's Weekly Radio Address

Hi, this is Scott Walker.

As you may have heard, recently, a Dane County judge in Madison issued a ruling that struck down key provisions of the budget reforms enacted late last year. We are confident this ruling will be overturned because Act 10 is constitutional. This would not be the first time a Dane County judge's decision on Act 10 was held to be wrong by a higher court.

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Select Committee on Mining, Informational Meeting

The Senate Select Committee on Mining met Tuesday, September 18, 2012 and Thursday September 20, 2012, at the State Capitol. 

Tuesday the Committee heard testimony from three invited speakers.  The invited speakers included Dr. Tom Evans, Assistant Director, Wisconsin Geological Survey, Rebecca Graser, Wisconsin Program Manager, Army Corps of Engineers, and Ann Coakley Director of Bureau of Waste and Materials Management, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 

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Dane County Judge Act 10 Ruling Affects Credit Rating

The recent ruling by Dane County Judge Juan Colás that 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 is unconstitutional could have a negative effect on Wisconsin local government’s credit ratings.  A report released explains the recent court ruling could materially restrict local governments budget flexibility at a time budget challenges do not show signs of letting up.  Below is Governor Walker’s press release.

 

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Mining Still Legislative Priority

The past two years have been remarkable in many ways.  The Legislature and Governor balanced the budget, held the line on taxes, and signed into law countless bills about issues ranging from tort reform to voter photo ID.  However, there is one critical bill from last session still on the table.

The mining bill, originally introduced last winter, would reform Wisconsin’s archaic and burdensome ferrous mining regulations to attract mining operations to northern Wisconsin.  The economic benefits of an iron mine include thousands of quality jobs for some of our state’s poorest areas near Lake Superior, as well as new business for Milwaukee-area mining equipment manufacturers.  In all, the mine would bring over $1.5 billion in initial investment to the state.  The mine would function for decades.

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E-update From 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. I also frequently provide updates on Facebook (Governor Scott Walker) and Twitter (@govwalker).  Please feel free to share this update with your family, friends, and others who may be interested in state government operations.


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Attorney General Comments for Stay in Act 10 case

The Wisconsin Attorney General filed for a stay in response to the Dane County judges decision to overturn 2011 Act 10.  Here are the Attorney General’s comments:  http://www.doj.state.wi.us/absolutenm/templates/template_share.aspx?articleid=3035&zoneid=1

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development September Newsletter

Here is a link to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development September newsletter with information for workers and employers:  Click here to view the informational newsletter.

Recall elections cost taxpayers $13.5 million

Here is a link to the Government Accountability Board information about recall elections costing $13.5 million during 2012: http://gab.wi.gov/node/2569

DNR Asks for Sick Deer Reports

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is asking people to report sick deer:  http://dnr.wi.gov/news/BreakingNews_Lookup.asp?id=2509

Legislative Audit Bureau Releases Annual Division of Gaming Audit

The Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) released the annual financial audit and biennial performance evaluation of the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) Division of Gaming. The audit reveals the state’s revenue from gaming averaged about $52 million a year during the past three years.  During fiscal year 2011-12 gaming money was distributed as follows:

$2.3 million Division of Gaming expenditures

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Defeating Government Healthcare Nothing New for Wisconsin

Weeks have passed since the US Supreme Court ruled ObamaCare is constitutional.  Since then, many people are coming together to fight the unsustainable tax increase from the grassroots level.  Perhaps the nation should once again look to Wisconsin for the example, because we have been rallying against massive tax increases disguised as do-gooder free health care laws for years.

Early during 2007, Democrats in the Wisconsin Legislature advocated for a state version of government health care they called Healthy Wisconsin.  Senate Democrats attached the massive proposal to the biennial state budget bill, perhaps believing burying it would hide the enormity of the fiscal burden brought with it.

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