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May 18, 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
Lionsgate School and STAR Academy

Later this year, The Lakeland Area Consortium of Schools will be opening a new school called the Lakeland STAR Academy/School. The STAR Academy will provide a unique learning environment with a personalized approach to teaching that will have an emphasis on teaching students with autism spectrum disorders.

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit a similar school, the Lionsgate Academy, in the Twin Cities. Due to Lionsgate's success over the past decade educating children on the autism spectrum, the STAR Academy has chosen to follow their successful educational model. The Lakeland STAR Academy will be for students in grades 9-12 and the Lakeland STAR School will be established to work with students in grades 7-8. The STAR Academy/School is located in a building on the Lakeland Campus of the Nicolet Area Technical College which is next to Lakeland Union High School.

I am hopeful that the STAR Academy will be able to replicate the results achieved by Lionsgate.  A big thank you to Governor Walker for taking time out of his busy schedule to join the tour at Lionsgate and ask insightful questions of the leadership at the school.  It is exciting to see innovation in education.
I enjoyed meeting with some of the students at the Lionsgate Academy and had the opportunity to watch them work on some of their art projects too.
Child Tax Credit and Sales Tax Holiday
 
Starting this week, eligible Wisconsinites can claim their $100-per-child tax rebate. In order to qualify to receive the rebate, you must have a dependent child under the age of 18 (as of December 31, 2017) that is a citizen of the United States. You must also be a Wisconsin resident to qualify. If you meet these qualifications, you can file a claim for your $100-per-child tax rebate online here.

Wisconsin families can file their claims from now until July 2, 2018. You have the option to receive your tax rebate via check (in the mail) or direct deposit. Checks and deposits will be delivered before September 1, 2018 in time for the new school year to begin. As of 1pm on Wednesday, 157,000 families have signed up to receive their tax rebate.

This past year, the state had a larger than expected budget surplus which has allowed us to invest more dollars into many of our budget priorities such as expanding sparsity aid for our K-12 schools, stabilizing our health care market and easing the financial burden placed on hardworking families. 

Along with the Child Tax Rebate, all Wisconsinites will have the opportunity to take advantage of the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday that will take place across Wisconsin from August 1-5. This means that the state sales tax will not be charged for those days on school supplies where each item is $75 or less, clothing where each item is $75 or less, computer supplies where each item is $250 or less, and computers where each item is $750 or less.

As the summer continues, I will make sure to provide reminders for both the Child Tax Credit and the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday. 
Eligible Wisconsinites can apply for their Child Tax Rebate now through July 2, 2018.
Northland Pines School District
 
Last fall, the Northland Pines School District began using a solar panel system to power their schools. On Monday, the school district hosted a public ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the use of the new system. 

Starting last November, 1,000 solar panels were placed at the Eagle River Elementary School and the Northland Pines Middle and High Schools. Since then, the school district estimates that they have saved more than $15,000 in energy costs. The system will generate around 430,000 kilowatt-hours in a year which covers about 22% of the schools' energy usage.

Having the panels onsite will also allow the students at the schools to learn about the technology and even work with the panels. Thanks to a third-party investor, the school district has no upfront costs for their solar panel system.

You can learn more about the project here.
I was joined at the ribbon cutting ceremony by Mark Hansen, Director of Sustainable Services for Hoffman Corporation, who coordinated the solar installation project, and Northland Pines School District Administrator Dr. Mike Richie.
Opioid Prescriptions Decline

The Controlled Substances Board released a report this week on progress made by the Wisconsin Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) with regards to a reduction in opioid prescriptions dispensed over the last year. According to the report, over the past year, total opioid prescriptions in Wisconsin are down 10%.

In the first quarter of 2018, there were 910,616 opioid prescriptions dispensed in Wisconsin. In total, 100,286 fewer prescriptions have been issued. I am pleased to see that Wisconsin prescribers are putting the needs of their patients first by making educated prescribing decisions that will minimize the use of opioids to only cases where they are fully necessary. 

In addition to noting the 10% decrease in opioid prescriptions, the PDMP report also noted:
  • A 6% decrease in the total number of monitored prescriptions dispensed or 140,601 fewer prescriptions.
  • A 6% decrease in benzodiazepine prescriptions dispensed or 29,468 fewer prescriptions.
  • A 23% decrease in the total number of data-driven concerning patient history alerts generated.
  • A 27% decrease in doctor shopping alerts.
This is all good news and I believe that the work the legislature has completed with regards to the HOPE agenda will continue this trend. There is still work to be done but I am glad that we are on the right track. You can find the full report here and more information and the PDMP here.
NTC Promise Program
 
The Northcentral Technical College (NTC) Foundation received a $5,000 donation from AT&T to support the NTC Promise. I attended the check presentation event this past Monday at the NTC Antigo Campus.

The NTC Promise provides up to four semesters of tuition-free attendance for qualified students in the NTC district who meet ongoing requirements.  In addition, participants receive individual guidance and support from a dedicated advisor as they navigate the eligibility requirements of their College program.

This contribution will help support the 2018-2020 NTC promise student cohort. AT&T has committed to investing in the futures of students across the Northwoods and since 2008, they have donated over $400 million to programs in all 50 states that will help millions of students gain access to quality education and job training.

Over 83% of NTC students received financial assistance. The Promise program works to serve those students who demonstrate the greatest financial need in order to address financial gaps between financial aid, scholarship support and the cost of college.

Thank you  AT&T for committing to help students across the country (including those right here in the 12th Senate District) gain access to a quality education and job training resources.
Northcentral Technical College received a $5,000 AT&T contribution to support the NTC Promise program.  Pictured (L-R): State Senator Tom Tiffany; Justin Willis, Director of the NTC Promise; Dr. Vicki Jeppesen of the NTC Foundation; Robyn Gruner of AT&T; and Dr. Jeannie Worden, Executive Vice President of NTC.
District 12 Events
Start Date Upcoming Event Location
May 18-20 Amoterra's Spring Wellness Fair Townsend
May 18-20 Spring Walleye Tournament Presque Isle
May 19 Fishing with the Stars St. Germain
May 19 Minocqua Home, Lifestyle and Recreation Show Minocqua
May 19 White Deer Triathalon Boulder Junction
May 25 Holiday Flea Market Antigo
May 25-27 Town Garage Sale Boulder Junction
May 26 Summer Launch Land O'Lakes
May 26 Red, White and Music Festival Crivitz
May 26-27 Main Street Memories Car Show Tomahawk
May 27 McCaslin Lioness Faire Lakewood
May 28 Memorial Day Parade Antigo
June 1-3 Fishing Has No Boundaries Eagle River
June 2 June Bloom Arts and Crafts Festival Minocqua
June 8-10 Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo Merrill
June 9 Art Fair on the Courthouse Lawn Rhinelander
June 9 Florence Historical Society Museum Open House Florence
June 9 UpNorth Beerfest Eagle River
June 10 Oconto County Breakfast on the Farm Suring
June 16 Kickball Tournament Lena
June 23 Ride with Leinie Land O'Lakes
June 24 Shawano County Brunch on the Farm Cecil
Contact Me:
Mail: Senator Tom Tiffany, PO Box 7882, Madison, WI, 53707
Phone: (608) 266-2509  Fax: (608) 282-3552
Email: sen.tiffany@legis.wisconsin.gov
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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