September 21, 2018
Wisconsin's 12th Senate District contains communities in Florence, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Oneida, Shawano, and Vilas Counties.

Committee Assignments:
  • Joint Committee on Finance
  • Sporting Heritage, Mining, and Forestry Committee (Chair)
  • Agriculture, Small Business, and Tourism Committee (Vice-Chair)
  • Revenue, Financial Institutions, and Rural Issues Committee
  • Joint Survey Committee on Tax Exemptions
Productive Monday

On Monday, I started out the day meeting with Arbor Vitae-Woodruff administrator, Jocelyn Smith, to discuss school safety.   After the events of the last year, school safety is the #1 issue for most schools.  Jocelyn shared their experience at AV-W including additional mental health needs in our schools.  This year, the Legislature and Governor Walker allocated an additional $100 million for school safety to schools across the state.  While it is unfortunate greater security measures are needed at our schools, it is good to see school districts are using the additional funding to keep our students safe.
Jocelyn Smith and Senator Tiffany
Next, I met with Jackie Baldwin of Wisconsin Family Ties.  Jackie advocates for the disabled. Having authored the Competitive Integrated Employment legislation with Rep. Edming this session, it has highlighted for me the needs of people with disabilities.  More importantly, it has shown the potential individuals have to be productive members of society.  Thank you to Jackie and Wisconsin Family Ties for the work you do!

After, I met with a group to discuss a proposal for a new bike trail, the River Trail, connecting Eagle River to St. Germain along the Hwy 70 corridor by the Wisconsin River.  Recently, Eagle River and the towns of Cloverland and St. Germain formed the Great Headwaters Trail (GHT) Commission to advance the project.  While still in the conceptual phase, it is an interesting proposal.  I am pleased to see that GHT is working with other users like the Sno Eagles snowmobile club on portions of the trail.  

A big thank you to the North-South Twin Lake District, Conover and Phelps, for the tour of South Twin.  Joe and Marcia Fritzsche hosted a tour of South Twin Lake to see the infestation of Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM).  It is one of the worst infestations of EWM that I have seen up north. My office will be working with the DNR to try to prevent any further delays treating EWM on South and North Twin Lakes.  In the current budget, I authored an additional $500,000 for control of Aquatic Invasive Species.  It is important we get the additional dollars working to control AIS.
Senator Tiffany and Joe Fritzsche reviewing documents concerning South Twin Lake
My final stop Monday night was at the Florence County Towns Unit meeting.  Many counties host a regular meeting of local towns officials to discuss issues important to them.  Thank you to county unit chair, Fred Erwin, for allowing me to share a legislative update.  For many small towns the most important part of their budget is roads.  I was pleased to report this budget allocated the largest increase in local road aids in a decade.  In addition, we are on track to remove all local bridge postings with the DOT's new local bridge program and an additional $38 million of funding.  

Wisconsin's growing economy is great for all of us including funding the public services that are so important to our quality of life.
Senator Tiffany addressing Florence County Towns Meeting
Photo credit: Ben Niehaus
Study Committees Meet Once Again

On Tuesday, both the Legislative Study Committee on Direct Primary Care and the Study Committee on the Identification and Management of Dyslexia met.

In the Dyslexia Study Committee we had presentations from Dr. Colleen Pennell, Assistant Professor of literacy and elementary reading from Carroll University, Kathy Champeau, legislative chair, Wisconsin State Reading Association, and Debra Zarling, literacy coordinator, Oshkosh area school district.

You can view the committee proceedings here.

In the DPC committee, we heard testimony from patients who currently use DPC as a health care option. After, we heard testimony from Steven Hook, Vice President of Business Development, Paladina Health. Paladina Health is a company that helps businesses and individuals utilize DPC.

We will have at least one more meeting in the Dyslexia Study Committee, but we are pretty much wrapped up in the DPC study committee. Final committee reports will be available in the near future.
Joint Legislative Council Study Committee on Direct Primary Care
New Federal Law Puts Credit Freeze Fees on Ice

Good news for anyone looking to lock down their credit to protect their identities: starting today, a new federal law makes all credit freezes free and extends fraud alerts from 90 days to one year.

“A freeze on your credit account is one of the strongest tools we have to protect against financial identity theft,” said Michelle Reinen, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). “We hope all Wisconsin consumers consider taking the time to lock down their accounts.”

To simplify the process of establishing these protections, each of the three major credit bureaus – TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian – were required to create a webpage for requesting fraud alerts and credit freezes. Those pages are available now:
The law will provide a number of services including:
  • Free account freezes: Placing a credit freeze with the major credit bureaus restricts most access to your credit file, locking out identity thieves who may try to open new accounts in your name. You will receive a PIN number when you place the freeze and it will remain in place until you lift it. Before this new law was signed, freezing an account with a credit bureau required fees that varied by state, plus an additional fee to unfreeze an account.
  • Free account freezes for minors: The new law will also allow parents and legal guardians nationwide to freeze the credit file for a child under age 16. Prior to the new federal law, Wisconsin had a law to allow guardians to create and immediately freeze a credit report for minors.
  • Extended fraud alerts: For consumers who want to protect their credit histories without completely locking down the account, a fraud alert is a special message on a credit file that states the consumer is or may be a potential identity theft victim. It requires businesses to take extra steps to verify the identity of an applicant before issuing lines of credit or service. Fraud alerts will be extended to a year (from 90 days) and remain free to place.
  • Credit monitoring for military members: Within one year, the credit reporting agencies must offer free electronic credit monitoring to all active duty military members.
To learn more about fraud alerts and credit freezes, read DATCP’s Credit Report Security Freeze fact sheet.
Financial Literacy Is Key To Financial Preparedness

Gov. Scott Walker has proclaimed the month of September as Preparedness Month and the fourth week of September  is designated as “Saving for an Emergency Week.” The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions’ (DFI) Office of Financial Literacy can help anyone looking for ways to save. “Personal financial literacy is an important life skill that can substantially improve the quality of life for people of all ages,” according to DFI Secretary Jay Risch. “Financial education gives people the tools they need to achieve their dreams, to expand their opportunities, and to attain financial security for themselves and their families.”

Why is personal financial literacy important? “Many people live paycheck to paycheck,” Dave Mancl, Director of the Office of Financial Literacy, responded, adding, “More than half do not have a ‘rainy day’ fund equal to three months of their income, and 60% of state residents did not comparison shop for credit cards.”

In 2010, just 25% of Wisconsin high schools required a course in personal finance in order to graduate. In 2016, that number had risen to 64% thanks in part to DFI awarding more than $833,000 in grants to K-12 schools for new and innovative personal finance programs. Today, based on DFI’s most recent survey, more than 70% of high schools now have such a requirement. With the signing of Assembly Bill 280, all Wisconsin school districts are required to incorporate the teaching of this life-long skill into their curricula.

Every year, DFI’s Office of Financial Literacy:
  • Works with dozens of communities across the state to promote Money Smart Week Wisconsin, through which thousands of citizens receive personal financial training;
  • Works with the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy to elevate financial literacy and capability for youth and adults; and
  • Coordinates the Finance and Investment Challenge Bowl, in which dozens of high school teams compete at locations across the state.
For more information about financial literacy, visit ( or call (608) 261-4504.
Update on CWD Rule

 On Tuesday, State Senator Steve Nass, the chair of the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR), sent out a notice that the committee would be holding a public hearing on the emergency CWD rules. 

 The Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules must review proposed rules and may object to the promulgation of rules as part of the legislative oversight of the rule-making process. It also may suspend rules that have been promulgated, suspend or extend the effective period of emergency rules, and order an agency to put policies in rule form.

The joint committee may suspend a rule that was previously promulgated after holding a public hearing. Within 30 days following the suspension, the joint committee must introduce bills concurrently in both houses to repeal the suspended rule. If either bill is enacted, the rule is repealed and the agency may not promulgate it again unless authorized by a subsequent legislative action. If both bills fail to pass, the rule remains in effect and may not be suspended again.

The hearing will be held October 1st at 10:00 AM.

Survey Results

This week's survey results are from the question asking if moving the DNR's state forestry HQ to Rhinelander from Madison will be beneficial. Here are the results:

District 12 Events
Start Date Upcoming Event Location
September 21 - 22 STEM Fest NTC - Wausau
September 22 Annual Fall Festival Laona
September 22 Harvest Hoedown Rhinelander
September 22 Fish and Lure Rally Presque Isle
September 22 Pine River Fire Department Pig Roast Merrill
September 29 Beef-A-Rama Minocqua
September 29 Chili Blast Merrill
September 29 Crivitz Fall Harvest Fest Craft Show Crivitz
September 29 Apple Fest Niagara
September 29 Tows for Joy Charity Ride Lakewood
October 5-7 Annual Midwest Musky Classic Phelps
October 6-7 Northwoods Art Tour
October 6-7 Cranberry Fest Eagle River
October 6 Lena Taste of Fall Lena
October 6 Cran-A-Rama Manitowish Waters
October 6 Lincoln Lager Barleyfest Merrill
October 6 Oktoberfest Antigo
October 10 3rd Annual Wellness Walk at the Rat River Trail Blackwell
October 13 ZOO BOO at Wildwood Wildlife Park Minocqua
October 13 Harvest Fest Boulder Junction
October 20 LDF Lions "Food for Kidz" Minocqua
Contact Me:
Mail: Senator Tom Tiffany, PO Box 7882, Madison, WI, 53707
Phone: (608) 266-2509  Fax: (608) 282-3552
As always, if you have any events for our calendar, comments or thoughts regarding the subjects of this newsletter, please feel free to contact me.
Copyright © 2018 Office of State Senator Tom Tiffany, All rights reserved.

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