August 24, 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
Law Enforcement Roundtable

On Monday, I had the opportunity to join Attorney General Brad Schimel at a Law Enforcement Roundtable in Keshena at the Sheriff's office.  AG Schimel and local leaders had a wide-ranging discussion about issues facing law enforcement, in particular, the drug scourge.  Tribal law enforcement says synthetic marijuana spiked in 2013 and like many other locales meth and heroin are the drugs of choice currently.  

One of the terrible by-products of the drug problem is out-of-home child placements.  Across the state, out-of-home placements have sky-rocketed.  Also, a speaker revealed some drug rings connections to international terrorist organizations like Hamas.  Truly sobering.  Attorney General Schimel also shared three additional positions the Governor and the legislature authorized to prosecute drug crimes are currently being filled.  Rep. Mursau and I thank the attorney general for making Menominee County a stop in his work around the state.
Wisconsin Attorney General addressing the group in Keshena
Traveling Around the Northwoods

This week I joined some of my fellow legislators at a forum with the Wausau Chamber of Commerce.  Our forum was preceded by a presentation by Rebecca Deschane of WEDC.  Rebecca gave an update on workforce development and recruitment issues.  In the Q and A portionof the legislative forum we received many workforce questions including how is state government incentivizing those able-bodied individuals who choose not to work to enter the workforce.  It made for robust discussion.  Thank you to Dr. Lori Weyers and her team at NTC and the Wausau Chamber of Commerce for hosting the forum.

Rep. Mursau and I met with District Administrators of the Gillett and Crivitz school districts about teacher recruitment.   Superintendents Patrick Mans, Crivitz and Todd Carlson, Gillett gave us some creative ideas to help them fill teaching positions that are hard to fill.  Thank you Mr. Mans and Mr. Carlson for thinking outside-the-box.

Thank you to the Shawano County Board for including me on your agenda Wednesday.  I fielded numerous questions including issues like dark stores, UW-Extension funding and transportation issues.  Lots of good questions in a wide-ranging 45 minute discussion.

An assisted living center, The Bay, held its grand opening in Antigo Wednesday next to the Eastview facility.  The staff at The Bay gave me a complete tour capped off with hors d'oeuvres catered by Sue at Fifth Avenue.  Thank you for the invitation!

Picture from the open house at The Bay
(Credit: Portraits By Tiffany)
Coolest Thing in Wisconsin

For the third year in a row, Johnson Financial Group is teaming up with Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) to determine the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin.

Since 2012, Governor Scott Walker has designated October as Manufacturing Month in Wisconsin. The idea has been to celebrate our state's largest and most important economic sector. 

In order to draw more attention to Wisconsin's manufacturing prowess, WMC initiated a contest two years ago allowing people to vote on what is the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin.

As you already know, the choices are endless because we make and process a lot of very cool things right here in Wisconsin! 

Click here to nominate something cool from the 12th Senate District!
Wisconsin Wins Lawsuit

A federal judge in Texas ordered the U.S. government to pay back Wisconsin and five other states nearly $840 million in Obamacare fees on state Medicaid programs. In a lawsuit brought by Texas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Wisconsin, and Nebraska, U.S District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had unlawfully required the six states to foot the bill for health care providers, paying a fee that Obamacare clearly exempted them from. 

The six states, led by Texas, filed suit in 2015 claiming that Affordable Care Act (ACA) gave no clear notice to states that the fees would be required to continue federal funding for the Medicaid and Child Health Insurance Program. The ACA requires everyone to purchase health insurance but in order to limit profits to health care providers, known as managed care organizations (MCOs), the law levied a health insurance provider fee. Instead of MCO’s paying the fee, CMS was forcing the states to pay the fee.

Thanks to Judge O’Connor’s ruling, the IRS will have to pay $839,324,730 to the six states. Wisconsin is currently in line to receive $88,938,850. The federal government has 30 days to appeal so the settlement and structure could change drastically. Stay tuned on this one. 

Survey Results

This weeks survey results are from the question asking if there were a shortfall in the transportation fund, how should the legislature address the issue.

As you can see, over half of the respondents believe that DOT should finish enumerated projects before beginning new ones or reform the agency to increase efficiencies and cost savings. Thirteen percent believe we should increase the gas tax. Twelve percent thought we should develop toll roads. The rest of the responses received less than ten percent each. 

District 12 Events
Start Date Upcoming Event Location
August 24-26 Florence County Fair Florence
August 25-26 Footstock Barefoot Water Ski Tournament Crandon
August 25 Chalk It Up Sidewalk Art Contest Merrill
August 25 Ride the River Bike Ride Merrill
August 25 Pigout for the Pavilion Merrill
August 25 Dan & Connie's Fishing Classic Phelps
August 28 Blood Drive Hazelhurst
August 31 Camp Manito-wish YMCA 100th Anniverary Boulder Junction
Aug 31 - Sept 1 World Championship Off-Road Races Crandon
Aug 31 - Sept 3 Suring Labor Day Celebrations Suring
September 1 Corn Roast & ATV/UTV Parade Townsend
September 1 Chamber of Commerce Picnic Three Lakes
September 1 Lumberjack Steam Train Fall Festival Laona
September 2 Swen Musky Tournament Phelps
September 2 Sno Skeeters Summer Fest Manitowish Waters
September 3 Merrill Lion's Car Show, Parade & Celebration Merrill
September 7-9 Forest County Fair Crandon
September 7-9 World Championship Musky Classic Boulder Junction
September 8 SepTimber Ride Eagle River
September 8 Lena Dairyfest Lena
September 8 Colorama Arts & Crafts Fair Boulder Junction
September 8 Wolfman Triathlon White Lake
September 14 MASH Blood Drive Tomahawk
September 14-15 "The Nerd" - Denim & Dessert Readers' Theater Presque Isle
September 14-15 Veterans Fall Ride Tomahawk
October 6-7 Northwoods Art Tour
October 6 Lena Taste of Fall Lena
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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