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.
The nonpartisan research group, the Tax Foundation in Washington D.C. has released a study showing most states in America, including Wisconsin, tax businesses at a higher rate than any other country in the developed world.
Here is how the Tax Foundation came up with its findings. For each state, the Tax Foundation added the state’s corporate tax rate to the federal corporate tax rate. The results:
- 25 states, including Wisconsin have a combined corporate tax rate higher than top-ranked Japan.
- 35 states, including Wisconsin have a combined corporate tax rate higher than third-ranked Germany.
- 46 states, including Wisconsin have a combined corporate tax rate higher than fourth-ranked Canada.
- All 50 states have a combined corporate tax rate higher than fifth-ranked France.
Tuesday on the floor of the state Senate, I adjourned the Senate session in honor of Kara Walla of Hales Corners, winner of the state spelling bee, and the New Berlin Eisenhower boy’s basketball team that won the W.I.A.A. Division 2 state basketball championship.
You can watch the adjournment honors here.
Here is the calendar for the state Senate floor session today, March 13:
First Order. Call of Roll.
Second Order. Chief clerk's entries.
Third Order. Introduction, first reading and reference of proposals; reference of appointments.
Fourth Order. Report of committees.
Fifth Order. Petitions and communications.
Sixth Order. Advice and consent of the Senate.
QUESTION: Shall the appointment be confirmed?
Frank, Matt, of Middleton, as Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources, to serve for the term ending at the pleasure of the Governor.
Nelson, Elwyn, of Oshkosh, as a member of the Fox River Navigational System Authority, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2010.
Eighth Order. Messages from the Assembly.
Ninth Order. Special Orders.
Tenth Order. Consideration of motions, resolutions, and joint resolutions not requiring a third reading.
QUESTION: Shall the resolution be adopted?
Senate Resolution 28. Relating to: divestment of State of Wisconsin Investment Board investments in certain companies with ongoing business operations in Sudan.
Senate Resolution 29. Relating to: the life of David F. Schulz who passed away on Sunday, the 7th of October, 2007, after many years of government and academic service.
Senate Joint Resolution 105. Relating to: expressing support for the Milwaukee Center for Independence.
Eleventh Order. Second reading and amendments of senate joint resolutions and senate bills.
QUESTION: Shall the joint resolution be ordered to a third reading?
Senate Joint Resolution 80. Relating to: providing property tax relief to persons who have their principal dwelling in this state (first consideration). Senate Substitute Amendment 1 pending
QUESTION: Shall the bill be ordered to a third reading?
Senate Bill 215. Relating to: making June 19, Juneteenth Day, a legal holiday.
Senate Bill 232. Relating to: pharmacists, contraceptives, and the definition of abortion. Senate Amendments 1 and 2 pending
Senate Bill 374. Relating to: compulsory financial responsibility for the operation of motor vehicles, providing an exemption from emergency rule-making procedures, granting rule-making authority, and providing a penalty
Senate Bill 404. Relating to: making companies that hire illegal aliens ineligible for certain tax exemptions, governmental contracts, grants, and loans, granting rule-making authority, and providing penalties. Senate Amendment 1 pending
Senate Bill 500. Relating to: creating an agricultural education and workforce development council and making an appropriation.
Senate Bill 532. Relating to: motor vehicle operating privileges, seizures by courts or law enforcement officers of operator's licenses, and reinstatement of canceled identification cards.
Senate Bill 546. Relating to: drunken driving and creating a penalty.
Senate Bill 553. Relating to: notices concerning construction near or on lakes, streams, or wetlands that are given to applicants for building permits and other construction approvals, requiring the Department of Natural Resources to furnish informational brochures about wetlands laws, requiring the Department of Natural Resources to provide evaluations and statements about whether certain land contains wetlands, and making an appropriation. Senate Amendment 1 pending
Senate Bill 557. Relating to: state special education aid for the salaries of certain pupil services personnel and granting rule-authority.
Twelfth Order. Second reading and amendments of assembly joint resolutions and assembly bills.
QUESTION: Shall the bill be ordered to a third reading?
Assembly Bill 144. Relating to: escapes by persons on probation, parole, and extended supervision and providing penalties.
Assembly Bill 301. Relating to: holding periods for secondhand dealers and pawnbrokers and regulating occasional sellers of computer toys and games and audio and video recordings.
Assembly Bill 531. Relating to: the frequency of wage payments to volunteer fire fighters and emergency medical technicians.
Assembly Bill 605. Relating to: investment of assets in the state investment fund (suggested as remedial legislation by the Investment Board).
Assembly Bill 606. Relating to: Investment Board report dealing with investments in this state (suggested as remedial legislation by the Investment Board).
Assembly Bill 615. Relating to: service on foreign corporations (suggested as remedial legislation by the Office of the Secretary of State). A
Assembly Bill 617. Relating to: adding the definition of fiscal year to abandoned property reporting requirements law and assessment of a service charge after June 30 regarding abandoned property (suggested as remedial legislation by the Office of the State Treasurer).
Thirteenth Order. Third reading of joint resolutions and bills.
Fourteenth Order. Motions may be offered.
Fifteenth Order. Announcements, adjournment honors, and remarks under special privilege.
Sixteenth Order. Adjournment.
Senate Bill 476 is follow-up legislation to 2005 Wisconsin Act 448 that I authored that gives children awaiting adoption the right to be adopted into the family of an already adopted sibling. Children in foster care or awaiting adoption under the law now have the opportunity to grow up with a sibling rather than a stranger.
Currently, sibling visitation ceases upon termination of parental visitation. Senate Bill 476 is a logical step to take now that the state allows siblings to be adopted into the same family.
One of my constituents with much experience as a foster parent brought this problem to my attention. The constituent was disturbed that upon the appropriate termination of parent visitation, the children were not allowed to continue sibling visitation. Under Senate Bill 476, if it is in the best interest of the child/children, visitation is to be allowed.
The children must be of utmost importance and consideration during this sad and tragic event in their lives. Senate Bill 476 allows siblings to continue visitation and prevents children from experiencing further separation, disruption, and confusion.
Senate Bill 486 (SB 486) stipulates that beginning in the 2009−10 school year, each private school participating in the school choice program must ensure that all instructional staff in the private school hold a license or a permit to teach issued by the state Department of Public Instruction.
I had the opportunity to tour a choice school in Milwaukee. One of the instructors teaching physical education had a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He was more than qualified to be teaching physical education and his students thoroughly enjoyed his class.
Under SB 486 that was approved along party lines by the state Senate, this Tae Kwon Do black belt-holder would be prohibited from teaching in an area he’s very knowledgeable unless he goes through the hoops to get a DPI license. That would be unfair to the staff person and extremely sad for school children benefiting from this professional’s expertise.
Choice schools have a system in place to ensure quality teachers.
As part of an accreditation process required under a bill signed into law during the 2005 legislative session, 2005 Act 125, choice schools have a professional development plan. There are also training and education credits in the specific subject areas that a staff person teaches.
I also voted against Senate Bill 349 (SB 349). SB 349 is about record keeping.
Previous legislation, 2005 Act 125, addressed the issue. Under the law, choice schools must be accredited within three years by an approved agency. Each of the agencies has specific requirements that must be followed for keeping student records.
I voted against these bills because they are more efforts by Senate Democrats to impede the continued progress of choice schools by imposing unnecessary regulations.