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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.

Senator Lazich's Weekly Insight

The Senate This Week
The Wisconsin State Senate convened on the floor Tuesday, September 17, 2013.  Senate action Tuesday included: 

·        Senate Bill 40 (SB 40), allowing law enforcement to search the residence of a person under probation, parole, or extended supervision, with reasonable suspicion the person is about to commit a crime, has committed a crime, or is in violation of their probation or release.    

·        Senate Bill 10 (SB 10), modifying registration requirements and regulations by the Department of Transportation for historic military vehicles, and Kei class vehicles.  

·        Senate Bill 150 (SB 150), allowing local governments to issue citations for marijuana possession.

·        Senate Bill 179 (SB 179), provisions about landlord tenant relationships and agreements. 

·        Senate Bill 224 (SB 224), changes to the state Civil Service System.

·        Assembly Bill 8 (AB 8), restricts local governments from imposing specified distance requirements for hunting with a bow and arrow or crossbow.

·        Assembly Bill 11 (AB 11), requires notification about registered sex offenders on school property.

·        Assembly Bill 30 (AB 30), modifies and expands requirements for transporting game across state lines or tribal land.  

·        Assembly Bill 194 (AB 194), grants authority to hunt certain animals with a crossbow, and establishes a crossbow season.

·        Assembly Bill 200 (AB 200), modifies the Lemon Law about repair, replacement, and refund under a motor vehicle warranty. 

You may view my votes, click here

The Grades Are In
You already know your student’s success during the 2012-2013 school year, now you can see your school district performance.   DPI released preliminary report cards for Wisconsin’s schools and districts.  424 public school districts and 2,111 public schools, including 21 independent charter schools, were evaluated on four key areas: student achievement in reading and mathematics on statewide assessments; student growth in reading and mathematics; closing the gaps in assessed areas; and postsecondary readiness for college or career.

Below are overall scores and ratings, based on a scale of 100.  To view a full detail report about each school’s performance click on the links.

Mukwonago Area School DistrictExceeds Expectations 80.8

Waterford Graded School District: Exceeds Expectations 79.6

Whitnall School District: Exceeds Expectations 78.1

Franklin Public School District: Exceeds Expectations 77.3

New Berlin School District: Exceeds Expectations 77.1

Greendale School District: Exceeds Expectations 76.0

Muskego-Norway School District:  Exceeds Expectations 75.3

West Allis-West Milwaukee School District: Meets Expectations 71.1

Waukesha School District: Meets Expectations 69.9

Greenfield School District: Meets Expectations 68.4 

Warning:  Health Reform Fraud
Consumer protection authorities are warning individuals about an influx of internet and telephone fraud in association with the Affordable Care Act.  Criminals are contacting consumers demanding personal financial information citing health care reform as the reason requiring sensitive information.  Authorities are warning consumers to be on the lookout for these scammers or “sham navigators.” 

In Wisconsin navigators are required to be licensed and certified individuals.  To find out more about licensed agents and navigators participating in the exchange review Navigator FAQs for Insurance Agents.

Read the full article here.

Eliminating 200 Milwaukee Blighted Properties
To reduce crime and improve City of Milwaukee neighborhoods, Governor Walker announced a $2 million dollar, Strategic Blight Elimination Program. 

The program will be funded and administered by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI).  The City of Milwaukee will provide a list of blighted residential, commercial, or mixed-use properties.  Each demolition will be awarded a maximum of $10,000.  DFI is expecting to remove at least 200 blighted properties within the City of Milwaukee.  The abandoned properties house crime and reduce property values. 

I applaud the Governor Walker and Mayor Barrett for working together to bring positive economic impact to the City of Milwaukee.

Wisconsin’s Walleye Initiative Under Way
The two-year $13 million Wisconsin Walleye Initiative started this week.  Fully stocked state trucks started stocking four to seven inch walleye in lakes across the state. 

Over the coming weeks DNR will stock 300,000 to 400,000 large walleye, targeting efforts to increase Wisconsin’s walleye population.  During the past, DNR was only able to stock 60,000 to 70,000 small walleye , or small fingerlings, that were only  one to two inches.  Small Fingerlings were cheaper to produce; however, have a slimmer chance of survival.

To learn more about the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative, click here.

60 of Wisconsin Bridges Marked Dangerous
The Department of Transportation (DOT) marked 60 of State’s bridges as dangerous.  Bridges in dangerous categories are prone to failure and are deteriorating.  DOT reports commuters should only worry about bridges deemed unsafe, labeled with weight limits or bridge closure.  Ten of the bridges on the list have been repaired, 18 are on list to be prepared, and three are closed.  DOT does not have plans for the remaining 27 bridges, due to their “small spans in rural areas.”  Read article here.

Municipalities More Proactive on Road Repairs
According to the Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance, some the largest City and Villages increased street expenditures by 3.8 percent, resulting in $116 per person for road funds.  Police protection in these communities was increased 2.6 percent, resulting in $228 per person for police protection.  According to the report, municipalities four basic or largest costs include streets, police, government administration, and fire-ambulance services.  According to WISTAX, Wisconsin municipalities spent on average “$563 per capita on these four basic program areas,” resulting in a 2.5 percent increase from 2010.  

For a comparison on your municipalities operations per capita spending  Click here to view release and data.

Keeping Up With Transportation Costs
Infrastructure across the country is quickly falling apart, and D.C. is offering little suggestions and funding to address the growing problem.  The only solution currently on the table is lifting the tolling ban on states, allowing states the flexibility to use tolls as a way to fund crumbling infrastructure and demand.  Read the full blog, posted by Governing.com.

 

Three Local Schools Recognized For Commitment to Low-Income Students
Three schools in the 28 Senate District have earned a 2013-2014 Wisconsin Title I School of Recognition Award.  Academy of Accelerated Learning, Alcott Elementary School, and Whitman Elementary School are recognized as schools receiving Title I funding and successfully educating a high number of students from low-income families.  The schools will be presented with a commemorative plaque and $500 for school-related purposes.

I applaud the administration and staff of the Academy of Accelerated Learning for earning a commemorative flag in recognition of performance as a five-year consecutive award winner. 

 

ETF Disputes Underfunded Claims
Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) disputes the claim made by State Budget Solutions, that Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) is only 57 percent funded.  ETF rebuts the claim:

The report reached this conclusion by measuring future WRS pension obligations using a rate of return pegged to the yield on 15-year U.S. Treasury bonds, which at the time was about 3.225%. The report did not analyze the specifics of the WRS. It simply applied this rate to the WRS, resulting in a substantially overstated unfunded liability. Using such a low rate of return is not appropriate for the WRS, which, by appropriate measures, is better than 99% funded on a smoothed valuation basis and approximately 103% on a fair value basis as of December 31, 2012.

To view ETF’s review of the State Budget Solution Report, click here.

Congratulations Margaret Farrow
Margaret Farrow, Wisconsin’s first women Lieutenant Governor, is named the winner of the Margret Thatcher Award.  Rightwisconsin.com could not have selected a better embodiment of a  Wisconsin Iron Lady.  Margaret continues to be a strong pillar of the conservative party.  She is a tenacious and compassionate leader, admired and cherished by many.

Once again congratulations to Margaret Farrow, a trailblazer for conservative women across Wisconsin and the country.

To read more about Margaret and the Margaret Thatcher Award, click here.

Interesting Reads:
New Accountability Measures for Wisconsin's Public Assistant Programs.  Read full article here.

Rent-A-Teacher   Read full article here.
Representative Nass’s letter to Wisconsin State Journal Editorial Board.

Helping Small Business Investing In Employee’s Health Click here, to read the full article.

Bill Allows Competitive Long Gun Market For Hunters  Senate Bill 285, allows Wisconsin residents to purchase long guns from licensed dealers in the United States.   Read full article here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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