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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.

Chief Executive Magazine Ranks Wisconsin 14th Best State for Business

Chief Executive Magazine released a 10th Annual survey of over 500 CEOs about the best and worst states for businessWisconsin is named the 14th best state for business during 2014.  Wisconsin ranked 41 during 2009 and 2010, 24 during 2011, 20 during 2012, and 17 during 2013.  Congratulations on a remarkable improvement from 41 to 14, during four years increasing 27 places from 41 to position 14.

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Joint Finance Committee Meet

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) met Tuesday May 6, 2014, for a quarterly 13.10 meeting.  The meeting was about requests from state agencies. 

JFC approved a plan to address accumulation of tuition and other funds at the UW system.  A year ago, approximately $650 million in tuition and other fees were discovered within the University of Wisconsin.  The 2013-2015 state budget required the board of regents to develop a tuition transparency and accountability plan.  The plan, as approved by JFC, requires UW institutions to provide an explanation of funds in excess of 12% of annual expenditures.

JFC also approved $27.4 million in transportation funds for maintenance due to harsh winter conditions, funds for regional opiate treatment centers, and funds for comprehensive community services for early mental health treatment statewide implementation.

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John Doe and Political Speech Court Action

Last was an active week in federal court for the John Doe probe, with advocates for First Amendment Free Speech achieving a victory.  Judge Randa issued a decision ordering a stop to the John Doe investigation.  The investigation included armed nighttime raids of politically active citizen’s homes.  Judge Randa determined the laws are in violation of the First Amendment Freedom of Speech and are unconstitutional.  Judge Randa writes “[M]aximizing First Amendment freedom is a better way to deal with political corruption than allowing the seemingly corruptible to do so.  As other histories tell us, attempts to purify the public square lead to places like the Guillotine and the Gulag.” 

Wednesday, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed Judge Randa’s preliminary injunction.  Thursday, Judge Randa issued an order determining that the pending appeal is frivolous and reinstated the injunction.  Despite the victory for free speech proponents, the litigation is likely to continue to work its way through the courts.  I highly recommend reading Judge Randa’s decision

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Senate Committee on Elections and Urban Affairs Public Hearing May 13, 2014

The Senate Committee on Elections and Urban Affairs has a public hearing scheduled May 13, 2014, 10:00 AM room 201 SE, State Capitol. The committee will hear public testimony about proposed Government Accountability Board Clearinghouse Rule (CR) 10-130 about election observers at a polling place or other location votes are cast, counted, canvassed, or recounted.  Click here to view CR 10-130.  

Wisconsin Government Website Facelift

The website for state agencies, boards and commissions, has a redesign making the site more user friendly for the sites more than 2.9 million visitors each year.  Department of Administration (DOA) explains the includes:

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