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.

Muskego Water Bugs savor success in China

I congratulate the Muskego Water Bugs for their successful trip to China this fall where the multi-talented group participated in the 2008 Sino-American Water Ski Competition. The Water Bugs represented the United States against two of the very best professional Chinese water ski show teams.

The Muskego Water Bugs left for China on September 26 and returned on October 6. The Muskego water skiers believed the most important element of their trip was the chance to build U.S./China relations through the avenue of entertainment.

Family oriented, the Muskego Water Bugs feature parents and children performing on the shores of beautiful Little Muskego Lake at Idle Isle. This was definitely their most successful season, as the group celebrated its 50th anniversary, culminating in their trip to China.

The Water Bugs performed four times in two days. At the first site of competition, Dongguan, the group came just a few points shy of victory, but captured the best male skier, Terry Roslawski, and the most original act awards. The second site of the competition took place outside Shanghai in a city called Wuxi, and this time the Water Bugs won the team award along with the best male skier, Jeremy Armstrong.

You can read more about the Muskego Water Bugs and their trip to China and see video here. 

Again, congratulations to the Muskego Water Bugs for their successful journey to China. Thank you for sharing your gifted talents with the world and for bringing immense pride and joy to our great state! 

BREAKING NEWS: State budget in massive deficit

Governor Doyle will announce this afternoon that the state budget deficit is worse than expected. The deficit is $5.4 billion. More details later.

UPDATE from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

UPDATE: Help send movies to our soldiers

News you can use

Two weeks ago, I blogged about a great program run out of New Berlin that helps send movie kits to our soldiers. OPERATION Take a Soldier to the Movies needs your help. 

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran a nice feature article about the program in Sunday’s edition. You can read the article here.

Hunters will be asked for deer heads

News you can use

State wildlife biologists will be in 17 northern counties collecting deer heads during this year’s deer hunt. Officials are hoping to collect as many as 500 to test Wisconsin deer for chronic wasting disease.

Here’s how the program will work. Biologists will ask successful hunters for a tissue sample or possibly the entire deer head to be tested. The DNR is specifically looking for samples from Polk, Barron, Washburn, Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland, Iron, Rusk, Taylor, Sawyer, Price, Lincoln, Langlade, Oneida, Vilas, Forest, and Florence counties.

Here is more information from the Department of Natural Resources.

The New Economy: Wisconsin needs to catch up

Business, Taxes

Whenever a new economic report surfaces about Wisconsin, the news usually isn’t very good, whether it be about taxes, our business climate, per-capita income, or Tax Freedom Day. I have blogged extensively about these reports and the latest also shows some critical shortcomings.

The “2008 State New Economy Index” has been released  by the nonpartisan groups, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

According to,  The groups used 29 indicators to rank each state on how well its economy is structured to compete regionally, as well as globally. States at the top of the list tend to have a high concentration of workers in ‘knowledge jobs’ that require at least a two-year college degree, are at the forefront of the information technology and Internet revolutions and have institutions and residents that embrace the digital economy.”

When it comes to the New Economy, Wisconsin ranks number 33 among the states. The report defines the New Economy as, “
a global, entrepreneurial, and
knowledge-based economy in which the keys to success lie in the extent to which knowledge, technology, and innovation are embedded in products and services.”

More specifically, the New Ecomony is:

Knowledge-dependent.  Knowledge workers have become the largest
occupational category.

Global. More goods and services are being traded and exported.

Entrepreneurial. Most, if not all of the job growth in America is derived from companies that are less than five years old.

Rooted in information technologies. IT’s are every where, the most important technology engineering our economy, a key component in almost every sector.

Driven by innovation. Competition is heavily based on the ability to create and adopt new products and business models. As the report states, “Innovative capacity (derived through universities, Research & Development investments, scientists and engineers, and entrepreneurial drive) is increasingly what drives competitive success in the New Economy.”

The Midwest has failed to catch on to the New Economy with the exception of some our neighbors: Illinois (rank number 16), Michigan (rank number 17), and Minnesota (rank number 14).

Why is the
2008 State New Economy Index” important?  The report says, “How closely do high scores correlate with economic growth? States that score higher appear to create jobs at a slightly faster rate than lower-ranking states. Higher New Economy scores were positively correlated with higher growth in state per-capita incomes between 2002 and 2006….states that embrace the New Economy can expect to sustain greater per-capita income growth for the foreseeable future.”

Solutions?  We must keep our best and brightest here in Wisconsin 
and we must dramatically improve our business climate. 

Here is the complete “2008 State New Economy Index.”

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