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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 Senator Lazich's Weekly Insight

Take Your Legislator to Work Campaign
Thursday, I participated with Take Your Legislator to Work Campaign.   The campaign, sponsored by the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD), provides legislators the opportunity to visit constituents with disabilities workplaces.

I had the privilege of shadowing business owner Alexis Malloy, at Certa Pro Painters, Waukesha.  Alexis’ business, A.J. Special Services, provides over 200 hours per year clerical services to Certa Pro Painters, Waukesha.  Alexis began her business with Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), assistance, utilizing their Customized Self Employment Toolkit. 

Alexis’ small business is thriving, and it offers work experiences to others with Autism and Down syndrome interested in learning and providing clerical services.  It was fascinating participating with Alexis and her associates, Cherrie, Phillip, and Sarah, while performing their Certa Pro Painters employment duties.   

The excellent business owners at Certa Pro Waukesha, Chris Mehring and Steve Leeland, provide an outstanding work environment.  Christie McCowen oversees staff work and commented about the excellent work product A.J.Special Services provides to Certa Pro, Waukesha.

Ron Malloy is an amazing Dad and an amazing Executive Director at the Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin.  Ron explained the variety of services A.J.Special Services provides and the various places that Alexis and associates are employed.

Congratulations to Alexis and her growing women-owned business!

 

In the Classroom
Thank you Chris Schultz, fourth grade teacher at Maple Grove Elementary, Greenfield, for inviting me to meet students and discuss state government.  It was a wonderful experience speaking with students.  The children knew a lot about government and were very attentive.  Thank you to Chris Schultz for your excellent teaching skills!

 

Thank you Veterans!
Monday marked the 94th time the United States observed Veterans’ Day.  Veterans’ Day  reminds us to pause and remember the sacrifices made by our brave service men and women.  Thank you to all military personnel for defending freedom overseas and at home.

 

Improving Wisconsin Supreme Court Through Democracy
The Senate and Assembly took the first step toward amending the Wisconsin State Constitution this week.  Both houses approved joint resolutions allowing voters to determine whether Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices should select the Chief Justice.

The Wisconsin Constitution requires the Chief Justice is the person serving as the longest continuous member of the Supreme Court.  The proposed constitutional amendment would allow the seven Wisconsin Supreme Court justices to select the Chief Justice.  The chosen Chief Justice would serve a two-year term. 

Throughout Wisconsin history the constitutional amendment process was used to define the Supreme Court’s composition and organization.  Voters approved constitutional amendments increasing the number of Supreme Court justices from five to seven, increasing the term of office from five to ten years, permitting a justice to decline to serve as Chief Justice, and expanding the Chief Justice’s power to be the administrative head of the entire judicial system. 

A constitutional amendment requires both the Senate and Assembly to approve identical resolutions during two consecutive legislative sessions.  The proposed amendment is then submitted to Wisconsin voters via a public referendum.   If the referendum is approved by a majority of Wisconsin voters, the amendment becomes part of the Wisconsin Constitution. 


Other Bills Approved by the Senate:
The State Senate was on the floor Tuesday, November 12, 2013.  The Senate took up bills ranging from changing the number of mathematics and science credits required for a high school diploma to repealing various rules enacted by the Department of Financial Institutions.  Click here to view the complete Senate Calendar for Tuesday, November 12, 2013. 

The State Senate also met in Special Session Tuesday, approving the last bill of the October 2013 special session.  Click here to view Tuesday’s State Senate Special Session Calendar.   

Click here to read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about the State Senate’s actions November 12, 2013.


Applications Available for the 2014 Senate Scholar Program
The Senate Scholar Program is a week-long educational program offered by the Wisconsin State Senate for Wisconsin high school juniors and seniors.  Each Senate Scholar receives a hands-on, up-close view of the Legislature’s role within our democracy.  Senate Scholars gain experience in areas of policy development, constituent relations, and processing legislation by working with Senators, legislative staff, and University of Wisconsin faculty.

Applicants for the 2014 Senate Scholar Program may choose one of the three weeks to attend:  February 9, 2014 through February 14, 2014, February 16, 2014, through February 21, 2014 or March 9, 2014 through March 14, 2014.  Applications for the 2014 Senate Scholars program are due not later than January 3, 2014.  Applicants will be notified of acceptance January 17, 2014 or shortly after January 17, 2014. 
Applications and more information about the program are available at this link.


Interesting Reads
Governor Walker extends Medicaid deadline due to federal health exchange nightmare.
Do longer school days benefit students?
Coke announces it is investing $30 million into Milwaukee plant.

 

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