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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.

New Berlin and Muskego-Norway Students Show Significant Gains and High Scores on Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam

The Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam (WKCE) reading and mathematics test is for grades 3, 5, 6, and 7, while grades 4, 8, and 10 students test reading, mathematics, science, language arts, writing, and social studies. 

New Berlin students’ mathematics, reading, science, language arts and writing scores improved from 2013.  Students in the Muskego-Norway School district saw a significant score increase in all five subject areas.  Congratulations to Muskego and New Berlin School District students and teachers!

Click here to read more about the significant increases by New Berlin and Muskego-Norway School District students. 

Click here to see WKCE test results for all Wisconsin School Districts 2013-14 and past years.

Nine Tax Maps in Honor of Tax Day

In recognition of Tax Day, the GovBeat blog at The Washington Post compiled nine fascinating maps about taxation in the United States.  The blog post includes Wisconsin rankings compared to other states about tax growth, state-local tax burden, property taxes, and excise (alcohol and tobacco) taxes.  Most of the maps include data up to the year 2011 and do not include the $2 billion in tax relief provided by Governor Walker and the Republican legislature since that year.  The maps provide some context about Wisconsin’s tax climate during recent years and comparisons to other states.

2014 Conservation Congress Results

Monday, April 14, 2014, at 7:00 PM over 7,000 Wisconsin residents in all 72 counties participated with Conservation Congress.  The yearly Conservation Congress provides a non-binding vote and voicing opinions about Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Board rule changes and advisory questions. 

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Governor Walker Signs State Senator Mary Lazich Bills into Law

Wednesday April 16, 2014, Governor Walker signed into law three bills I authored.  Each bill will ease government regulations while protecting Wisconsinites.  I was pleased to author the bills and work with Wisconsin State Senate and State Assembly colleagues to ensure the best possible bills presented to Governor Walker for his signature into law 

SB 553 was brought to my attention by scout leaders concerned about the burdensome restrictions placed on medication administration at camps.  Existing law permitted only a narrowly defined qualified health services staff to administer medications.  During longer outings, the extra trips to the health services staff proved problematic.  SB 553 gives the option of allowing health services staff to designate an individual, approved by the health services staff, to administer medications during longer camping trips.  In many settings, local scout leaders are more familiar with the minors than the camp health services staff.  Giving the option to health services staff to designate a scout leader to administer medications makes the camping experience more meaningful while guaranteeing medication is handled and administered properly. 

AB 695 removes unnecessary and duplicate state regulations and permits motor vehicle air conditioner repair centers to compete to provide service to the public, while remaining subject to federal regulations.  AB 695 requires persons servicing a motor vehicle air conditioner containing ozone-depleting refrigerants to be properly trained and certified as specified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  AB 695 eliminates the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s (DATCP’s) duty to promulgate rules establishing qualifications for persons using equipment for removing or recycling ozone-depleting refrigerants (ODRs) from motor vehicle air conditioners.  The bill also eliminates the requirement for DATCP to issue annual certifications.  Instead, AB 695 prohibits a person from servicing a motor vehicle air conditioner containing an ODR unless the person is properly trained and certified by the EPA.  AB 695 eliminates the financial burden on small business while maintaining EPA protections.

AB 707 creates the option of issuing a restraining order involving substantial risks of homicide or sexual assault for up to ten years.  Under current law, a permanent restraining order has a maximum duration of four years.  The courts need greater flexibility in addressing troublesome situations giving rise to restraining orders, and victims deserve greater protection.  There is a wide array of behavior causing restraining orders.  In extreme instances restraining orders should last longer than four years.  AB 707 gives courts direction and permission to treat serious situations with lengthier restraining orders of up to ten years.

The Governor signed 55 bills on Wednesday.

Monday the Governor signed Assembly Bill 768 into law, allowing Marquette University to form a campus police department.
 

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Wisconsin District II Court of Appeals Issues Open Records Ruling

The Wisconsin District II Court of Appeals ruled this week a legislator cannot exclude private information included in a constituent’s communication while fulfilling an open records request. The case, The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy, Inc. v. State Senator John Erpenbach could be appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  Click here to read the Court of Appeals ruling.

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