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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.

Flood health and safety tips

News you can use

Wisconsin Emergency Management of the Department of Military Affairs has issued a news release containing flood health and safety tips.

It says, “Whether you are repairing your home, helping someone with theirs or helping as part of your job, you will need to protect yourself against the hazards you may encounter.”

Read the news release here.

Now it’s the banana


You can add bananas to the list of foods that are seeing a sharp increase in price thanks to the rising cost of fuel.

Like the corn tortilla in Mexico, the banana is an important part of the daily diet in Britain.

There seems to be a consensus that ethanol has been a major factor in the rising cost of food that has led to food crisis conditions in many parts of the world.

It is encouraging to see the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel write that ethanol mandates should be reconsidered.

FEMA scam alert in Wisconsin

News you can use

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is reporting scam artists are going door-to-door in flood ravaged Iowa, claiming to offer speedy assistance on claims and repairs..

The scammers are also surfacing in Wisconsin.

The Janesville Gazette is reporting that the Rock County Sheriff’s Office is aware of a scam in Racine County where individuals posing as FEMA agents were knocking on doors. The fake agents claim they’re assessing damages for the homeowners and a charge will be issued for their services.

That’s a scam because FEMA doesn’t charge for assessment services.

Residents are asked to call 9-1-1 immediately if they suspect anyone posing as a FEMA agent. Homeowners are also advised not to pay anyone claiming to be a FEMA representative for any services.

Here’s more from FEMA.

Snowbirds take note


Many Wisconsinites spend a great portion of each year living in Florida, attracted by good weather and a favorable tax climate.

These snowbirds need to be aware that they might be targeted for tax increases.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

“Florida voters in January amended the state's constitution to further limit property taxes. The state has long protected "homesteaders," or Floridians who live in their houses for more than six months of the year, by limiting the increase in the assessed value of their homes to 3% annually. In January, voters built on those limits. Over time, the difference between the assessed value and the market value of homesteaders' properties becomes substantial; the new measure ensures that homesteaders who move to a new home won't lose the tax benefits they've built up in their old home.

Such changes are already putting the squeeze on Florida school jurisdictions, which may tap "snowbirds" -- retirees who live in the state only part of the year -- to make up lost revenues. Those out-of-state property owners aren't eligible for most of Florida's property-tax protections.

Mr. Calabro (Dominic M. Calabro, president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch) is most critical of a Florida proposal on the ballot this November that would further roll back property taxes and increase state sales taxes to do so. With no state income tax, Florida relies on its 6% sales tax to a larger degree than any state save two -- Washington and Tennessee.”

The Wall Street Journal reports Florida is one of several states looking to curb property taxes.

Read the entire article.

Congratulations Brian Herr!

Eagle Scouts

Brian Herr’s Eagle Scout ceremony was held on Saturday, June 14, 2008.

My office prepared a state citation that was presented to Brian Herr at the special ceremony. It reads:

Whereas, Brian Herr is a member of the Boy Scouts of America Troop 159, and through dedication and commitment, attained the rank of Eagle Scout; and

Whereas, Brian Herr’s Eagle Scout project included refurbishing the state and cleaning out brush at the Ottawa Lake State Park Amphitheater; and

Whereas, Brian Herr earned 30 merit badges and served his troop in the leadership positions of Assistant Patrol Leader and Patrol Leader; and

Whereas, Brian Herr is a 2008 graduate of Muskego High School was a member of the Honor Roll, Tennis team, and Jazz band; and 

Whereas, Brian Herr was a nominated as a People to People Ambassador for the State of Wisconsin and to attend the National Young Leaders State Conference where he was named a National Young Leaders Conference National Scholar; and

Whereas, Brian Herr started his own landscaping business servicing the Little Muskego Lake/Wind Lake areas; and

Whereas, Brian Herr has enlisted in the United States Marine Corp and has been accepted into the Construction Management/Engineering program at the University of Wisconsin Platteville; now

Therefore, the members of the Wisconsin State Senate on the motion of Senator Mary Lazich, commend Brian Herr for outstanding dedication and service to scouting.  Brian Herr is further commended for successfully completing the requirements necessary to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest honorable rank awarded by the Boy Scouts of America.

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