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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.

State Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony December 2, 2011

Governor Scott Walker and First Lady Tonette Walker, The Adjutant General of Wisconsin, Major General Donald Dunbar, and Veterans Affairs Secretary John Scocos will be hosting the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Friday, December 2, 2011, 8:15 AM on the first floor of the State Capitol rotunda at Madison.  This year's Capitol Christmas tree will salute Wisconsin's 163 years of veterans, service members, and their families.

New Berlin Christmas Parade Saturday, December 3, 2011, 3:00 PM

The New Berlin Christmas Parade is Saturday, December 3, 2011, at 3:00 PM. The parade route begins at Moorland Road and National Avenue, proceeding west on National Avenue to Casper Drive.

NOTE:  There is a rumor that after the parade, Santa Claus will give Christmas stockings filled with candy to all the good little boys and girls near the fire station on Casper Drive!

Governor's Weekly Radio Address

Governor Walker’s weekly radio address is about finding ways to encourage educator effectiveness. The full text of the address is below. To listen to the address, click here.

 

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Toll-Free Public Assistance Fraud and Abuse Hotline Announced

The state Office of the Inspector General (OIG), an office within the Department of Health Services (DHS), released a new public assistance fraud hotline. Suspected public assistance fraud may be reported to the Office of the Inspector General Fraud Hotline toll free at 1-877-865-3432.

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Facebook Fears from the City of Muskego Police Department

It is important to be careful about giving away personal information on the internet. Muskego Police Lieutenant David Constantineau explains safety concerns in his Muskego Police Department Neighborhood Watch newsletter.

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Job Center of Wisconsin Goes Social

The Department of Workforce Development has implemented enhancements to the employment website www.jobcenterofwisconsin.com. The website has Twitter and Facebook feeds on its homepage.  Job-seekers may also access the service at www.facebook.com/jobcenterofwisconsin and www.twitter.com/JobCenterWI.

The Job Center of Wisconsin has more than 30,000 job listings.  Job-seekers may browse these jobs and upload resumes to the site for consideration by interested employers.

Governor's Weekly Radio Address

Governor Scott Walker’s weekly radio address is about World War II veterans and the Honor Flight program. The full text of the address is below. To listen to the address, click here.

 

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Bipartisanship Is Not Dead

According to Senator Scott Fitzgerald’s office, 54 of 60 bills signed into law this year, a total of 90 percent, earned bipartisan support.

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Hearing Set For Mining Jobs Bill At State Fair Park

The Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economy, and Small Business scheduled a hearing about proposed mining legislation.  The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 10:00 AM at State Fair Park's Tommy G. Thompson Youth Center.

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Home Sales Up For Fifth Straight Month

A sign the economy is improving, metro Milwaukee home sales increased for the fifth consecutive month. November home sales increased 24.3 percent from November 2010.

Hiring Survey Best Since 2008

Things are looking better for job seekers in Wisconsin.  The most recent Manpower, Inc. survey of employers reveals a net employment outlook of eight percent for Wisconsin employers.  The net employment outlook is the difference between employers looking to hire new staff and those expecting staff reductions. 

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Press Release: Lazich Coercive Abortion Bill Receives Committee Hearing

December 13, 2011

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Governor's Weekly Radio Address

Governor Scott Walker’s weekly radio address is about efforts to gain a federal waiver for the state's SeniorCare program. The full text of the address is below. To listen to the address, click here.

The full text of the address is below.


 

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Apply For Senate Scholar Program

High school juniors and seniors may apply for the Senate Scholar Program, through the Wisconsin State Senate. Senate Scholars spend a week learning about and participating in Wisconsin’s legislative process.

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Ice Fishing Information for Wisconsin

Wisconsin's lakes will soon be frozen. That means ice fishing is just around the corner. The Wisconsin DNR has an informational website to help you stay safe and have a fun ice fishing season.

Holiday Greetings from Wisconsin Emergency Management

Wisconsin Emergency Management wishes everyone a happy holiday season and urges Wisconsin residents to "Resolve to be Ready in 2012" in a new video on the Ready Wisconsin YouTube channel.  The video is available by clicking here.

Holiday Travelers Wonder - How Accurate are Airport Luggage Scales?

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) provides information about the accuracy of airport luggage scales.  With so many people traveling via air this holiday season and airlines charging for heavy bags, the accuracy of airport luggage scales is important.  Here is information from DATCP about airport luggage scales:
 
 Airline passengers pay to check their luggage, and the cost goes up substantially if the bags are overweight.  This holiday travel season, Wisconsin travelers can be confident that the state’s airline baggage scales measure up. 

Wisconsin weights and measures inspectors and city sealers inspected each of the 60 luggage scales in the state’s commercial airports and found an accuracy rate of 98.3 percent.  All scales that were not working properly have been repaired. 

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Medical Assistance Program Audit Released

The Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) released an audit about the Medical Assistance Program managed by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. 

During January 2011 1.2 million people in Wisconsin were receiving Medical Assistance and 41.6 percent of the recipients were children.  The audit reveals Medical Assistance expenditures increased from $5.0 billion during Fiscal Year (FY) 2006-07 to $7.5 billion during FY 2010-11, due to growth in the number of recipients. Since 2006-07 FY 8,975 investigations of Medical Assistance fraud were investigated by Wisconsin's counties and tribes. 

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Department of Revenue's Revamped Property Tax Website

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) website includesproperty tax section.  This new section has useful information about property tax bills, assessment, equalization, property tax credits and other topics.

Governor's Weekly Radio Address

Governor Scott Walker’s weekly radio address is about the holiday season. The full text of the address is below. To listen to the address, click here.

The full text of the address is below.

Hi, this is Scott Walker.

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Governor Walker Appoints Jennifer R. Dorow to Serve on the Circuit Court of Waukesha County

Governor Walker appointed Jennifer Dorow to fill a Waukesha County Circuit Court vacancy.  Governor Walker's press release follows.

Governor Walker Appoints Jennifer R. Dorow to Serve on the Circuit Court of Waukesha County

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Wisconsin National Guard, Wisconsin Emergency Management, and NORAD All Helping Track Santa

The Wisconsin National Guard and Wisconsin Emergency Management will be tracking Santa's progress delivering presents to Wisconsin's children via Facebook and Twitter.  

A KC-135 Stratotanker will leave from Milwaukee to meet up with Santa over Lake Superior and provide carrots and water for the reindeer and power bars and hot cocoa for Santa Claus.

A squadron of F-16 fighter jets from Madison will escort Santa on his journey to Wisconsin.

Updates can be found at www.facebook.com/ReadyWisconsin and www.Twitter.com/ReadyWisconsin

To track Santa's flight all over the world go to Norad Tracks Santa at:  http://www.noradsanta.org

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all!

 

Self-funded UW Athletics a Boom for Economy

It is a good time to be a Wisconsin Badgers fan.  The Wisconsin football team won its second consecutive Big Ten Conference championship in a thrilling game against Michigan State earlier this month.  January 2, 2012, the tenth-ranked Badgers will play the Rose Bowl, one of the most prestigious college football bowl games in the country, for the second straight year and the fourth time since 1999.

The Wisconsin men’s cross country team recently won its fifth NCAA national championship with an unbelievable streak of 13 consecutive conference championships.

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January Means Tax Time Begins

If you have questions about individual tax returns and/or filing requirements, you may contact the Department of Revenue's (DOR's) Customer Service Bureau at (608) 266-2772 or e-mail income@revenue.wi.gov.

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Announces Major Antitrust Settlement

Today, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that seven television manufacturers have agreed to settle an antitrust suit brought by the Wisconsin Department of Justice involving allegations of price fixing. The terms of settlement would have the manufacturers pay more than $500 million to refund consumers and businesses in 25 states. Attorneys General from eight states coordinated in the effort.

Process Used By Justice Department to Block South Carolina Voter ID Does Not Apply to Wisconsin

Last week, the US Justice Department blocked implementation of South Carolina’s voter ID law. The claim that photo ID laws disenfranchise voters has been made before and is not entirely surprising. However, the department’s attack is fairly unique in that it utilizes Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The provision requires certain states to obtain preclearance from the US Attorney General or the US District Court for the District of Colombia for any modification to voting rules.

Importantly, this could not happen to Wisconsin’s voter ID law. Unlike South Carolina, Wisconsin is not a covered jurisdiction receiving Section 5 federal scrutiny. Therefore, our election laws do not have to be pre-cleared by the Justice Department. 

Free Rides Program for New Years Eve

It is hard to believe 2012 is just around the corner.  While everyone rings in the New Year in their own way, people should be hyper vigilant about driving.  Drunk driving is completely preventable, and using the Free Rides program is one option available to ensure people celebrating New Year’s Eve get home safely.  For the past 24 years the Free Rides programs provided rides New Year’s Eve at Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties.

This year the program will be offered Saturday, December 31, 2011, in partnership with Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS), Waukesha Metro Transit, Beer Capitol Distributing, Frank Beer Distributing and numerous community partners.  Program times and routes vary by city.

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Thoughts and Prayers for St. Alphonsus

St. Alphonsus of Greendale suffered a substantial fire early Christmas morning.  Luckily, no one was hurt, and by all reports the parish will bounce back.  Still, services, weddings, and funerals will be affected.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the members and staff.  For more information, click here.

Governor's Weekly Radio Address

Governor Walker's radio address this week is about protecting property taxpayers. The full text of the address is below. To listen to the address, click here.

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Changes Coming To Photo ID Delivery System

In response to heightened federal security regulations, the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will change the way drivers' licenses and identification cards are issued. The changes will begin taking effect early 2012.DMV patrons will receive a paper receipt that is valid until the card comes in the mail. Drivers' licenses and state photo IDs will now be printed in California and mailed to the person ID recipient. The ID receipt will be valid identification for driving, and is one of nine different forms of identification that can be used to vote.

Instead of walking away with a card in hand,

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Changes Coming For Milwaukee County Transit Bus Lines

Beginning January 1, 2012, Milwaukee County Transit is changing some bus routes. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has details about the coming changes.

Governors Place Bet On Rose Bowl

The Rose Bowl trophy is not the only thing up for grabs during Sunday's game between the University of Wisconsin and the University of Oregon. Governor Scott Walker and Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber placed a friendly wager on the outcome of the game.

If the Badgers win, Governor Kitzhaber owes Governor Walker a gift package of Oregon craft beer, Kettle Chips, Oregon Hazelnuts, and smoked king salmon. If Oregon wins, Governor Walker owes Governor Kitzhaber some Leinenkugels, cheese, Andes mints, and a bottle of Blushing Rose Wine from Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac.

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Have A Safe And Happy New Years!

Stay safe tonight ringing in the New Year.  Milwaukee County Transit and Waukesha Metro Transit are providing free rides tonight.  If you plan on having a few drinks, play it safe and take the bus instead of getting behind the wheel.

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