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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.

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.

Wisconsin Election Administration Ranked Third in the Country

The Pew Center on the States a global research and public policy organization, rates Wisconsin’s election administration third best in the country.  Wisconsin’s ranking was fourth place during the 2010 ranking.  Click here to see the Pew Center on the States report about Wisconsin’s election administration.

Wisconsin Earns A- Grade for State Spending Transparency Website

The United States Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) Education Fund along with the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group (WISPIRG) Foundation  issued a fifth annual evaluation of state transparency websites.  The report titled, Following the Money 2014 issued Wisconsin an A- grade.  The report recognizes OpenBook Wisconsin, the state’s new transparency website.  The OpenBook Wisconsin website includes operating expenditure data for state agencies, the legislature, the courts, and the University of Wisconsin System.  

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Federal Reserve Bank Details Recovery from the Great Recession

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta released an annual report detailing the country’s great recession recovery.  The interactive report is highly visual with a mix of graphics, charts, and texts detailing the labor market and status of the recovery.  The Federal Reserve reports although unemployment decreased nationwide, recoveries are getting longer and longer.  The report explains people are dropping out of the labor market; however some is attributed to age and retirement.   

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