Disaster Relief Bills Update

On Tuesday, a bill I authored which cuts the double taxation on emergency crews' service during a state of emergency was heard in the Assembly Committee on Energy and Utilities. AB 583 came about as a result of the storms that caused significant damage across our district last summer.

Under current law, electric cooperatives and telecommunications utilities see a double taxation on emergency crews’ service. The sending utility pays a sales and use tax for the time the crews spend making sure communities get back on their feet as quickly as possible, but so does the receiving utility. The costs of these taxes are passed directly on to the consumer.

I am extremely proud of the actions taken by Barron Electric Cooperative and all of the electrical and telecommunications utility workers who labored night and day to restore power and communications in the region.

I want to thank Barron Electric Cooperative General Manager Dallas Sloan for coming down to testify on the bill. 

Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 was Law Enforcement Appreciation Day as well as the Chiefs of Police Lobby Day at the Capitol. Thank you to all of our law enforcement officers and Police Chiefs Ambrozaitis, Wilson, Roux, Strohbusch and Lynch from the Chetek, Shell Lake, Rice Lake, Clear Lake, and Cameron police departments who came down to visit me in Madison. It was great speaking with you!

kNOw Meth

Yesterday, the Northwoods Coalition, Marshfield Clinic Health System, and Alliance for Wisconsin Youth held the Northwoods Coalition kNOw Meth Kickoff in Eau Claire. At the summit the coalition lauched a kNOw Meth public awareness campaign with Attorney General Schimel committing $50,000 to assist the campaign with investigative training for local law enforcement. A set of recommendations were laid out for local, regional, and state efforts in combatting this epidemic. I'm proud to say that we had two local law enforcement officials on the informative panel at the event. Pictured below are Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald and Shell Lake Police Chief Dave Wilson who spoke at the summit.

Meth continues to be a devastating problem for our local counties. Although the state has helped on numerous fronts, I will soon be rolling out legislation in order to support local solutions to this epidemic.

Free Fishing Weekend

Wisconsin's winter Free Fishing Weekend is set for January 20-21. Residents and visitors to Wisconsin can fish all weekend without the need to purchase a fishing license. There are also a number of free fishing clinics scheduled around the state:

  • Glen Loch, Chippewa Falls: Saturday, January 20, 12:00pm to 3:00pm
  • Maple Lake Public Beach, Three Lakes: Saturday, January 20 10:00am to 3:00pm
  • Perch Lake County Park, Rhinelander: Saturday, January 20, 1:00pm to 3:00pm
  • Rainbow Lake within Straight Lake State Park, Luck: Saturday, January 20, 12:00pm to 3:00pm

Fire Chief of the Year Award Nominees 

The Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs' Association is seeking nominees for the career fire chief award and the volunteer fire chief award. 

  • A volunteer fire chief is defined as one who earns his or her principal livelihood by some means other than serving as a fire chief, even if the position of chief carries some compensation.
  • A career fire chief is one who earns is or her principal livelihood as a fire chief.
  • In each category the status of the fire department as a whole – paid, volunteer, or combination – is not considered.
  • Individuals who are eligible for nomination and selection as Fire Chief of the Year are limited to active chiefs of departments. Previous Fire Chief of the Year winners are not eligible.
  • Selection criteria will emphasize leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity, service to the public and contributions to the fire service as a whole.
  • All of a nominee’s fire service activities and accomplishments will be considered, but, because this is the Fire Chief of the Year Award, special emphasis will be placed on the previous three year period. A nominee’s command role at a major emergency incident, while relevant, will not be enough to place that individual into contention for the award.
  • Organizations are responsible for notifying its candidate to ensure that he/she is willing to participate in the selection process for both the WSFCA and the IAFC Chief of the Year Awards.

Nomination Format

Nominations may be sent electronically to the WSFCA at info@wsfca.com.

Four steps to prepare the official entry form:

  1. Complete the official nomination form. Remember this is a career achievement award, not one specific incident.
  2. Include a cover letter on your organization’s letterhead describing in less than 1,000 words the nominee’s major accomplishments and why the candidate is being nominated.
  3. Include a high-resolution digital photo of the nominee.
  4. Current resume or CV detailing the candidate’s involvement in the fire service. Limit of three other documents supporting the candidate’s nomination, such as copies of awards, newspaper articles, or letters from appropriate elected or appointed officials (items will not be returned).

No politicking is permitted:

The nomination form and supporting documents comprise the entire documentation for a candidate’s nomination. Neither the nominee nor anyone representing him or her is to contact the WSFCA staff, directors, or any members of the nomination/selection committee after the nomination has been made and before the final selection has been made. Any violations of this will subject the nominee to disqualification.

The WSFCA is not responsible for submissions received past the deadline due to shipping or electronic errors. Nomination Deadline: April 1st, 2018.

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