October 13, 2017
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
Committee Update

Two of the committees that I sit on met this week at the Capitol. On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Small Business, and Tourism held a pubic hearing and executive session on a handful of bills. The committee voted and affirmed the following bills during the executive session:
  • SB224: Relating to establishing a veteran farmer assistance and outreach program and creating a veteran farmer logotype. 
  • SB311: Relating to the closing hours for retail sales by wineries.
Following the executive session, the committee heard public testimony on the following bills:
  • SB409: Relating to taste samples of fermented apple or pear cider provided by a winery.
  • SB307: Relating to placement of cigarettes, nicotine products, or tobacco products by retailers and providing a penalty.
  • SB284: Relating to creative economy development initiative grants and making an appropriation. 
  • SB177: Relating to drainage districts and regulating the removal of material from certain drainage ditches.
  • SB119: Relating to growing and processing industrial hemp, granting rule-making authority, and making an appropriation.
The Senate Committee on Revenue, Financial Institutions, and Rural Issues met on Wednesday to also hear public testimony and vote on legislation. During the public hearing the committee had the opportunity to hear testimony on the following bill:
  • SB138: Relating to creating a refundable individual income tax credit for the parent of a stillbirth.
Following the public hearing, the committee met in an executive session. The Committee voted and affirmed the following bills:
  • SB75: Relating to creating a corporate income and franchise tax credit for amounts contributed by an employer into an employee's college savings account. 
  • SB291: Relating to property tax assessments regarding leased property.
  • SB292: Relating to property tax assessments based on comparable sales and market segments.
  • SB306: Relating to a sales and use tax exemption for sales to a state veterans organization.
For more information about the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Small Business, and Tourism, please click here. More information for the Senate Committee on Revenue, Financial Institutions, and Rural Issues can be found here.
I had the opportunity to testify on behalf of SB395/AB499 with my coauthor Representative Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield).
This morning, I had the opportunity to testify at a public hearing held by the Assembly Committee on Labor on SB395/AB499, relating to the regulation of nonferrous mining. I want to thank Committee Chairman Bob Kulp (R-Stratford) for holding a public hearing on this bill. I believe that SB395/AB499 provides the necessary framework to safely mine in our state while maintaining our strict environmental standards.

Yesterday, Governor Walker and the Public Service Commission announced the beginning of the second round of Broadband Expansion Grants. These grants will help provide municipalities and providers access to state funding to expand broadband service in underserved areas. A total of $7.5 million is available during this grant cycle to be awarded. Applications are being accepted now through January 25, 2018. You can find more information about the grant program, its qualifications, and the application here.

Broadband Expansion Grants have been awarded to many communities across the 12th Senate District. Since the creation of the grant program in the 2013-15 biennial budget, I have advocated for its expansion because I believe that improved access to broadband internet is a necessity for our communities to continue to grow. 
The Manitowish Waters Pilot Event was attended by many residents from the surrounding communities as well. 
As broadband service becomes increasingly more available throughout our communities, it is important to realize that bringing the technology to the communities is not enough to ensure its supported use. We need to ensure that all people in our communities understand how to utilize the technology that is now available. With the technology and the knowledge to use it, communities can ensure that they are maximizing its potential.

I have had the unique opportunity to work with a board of individuals that is bridging the knowledge gap on technology for our aging communities. The UW-Extension Broadband and E-Commerce Education Center has created a board of leaders in the fields of economic development, telecommunications, and aging to address that gap. 

The Connecting Aging Communities Board was established with the goal of creating a "high tech, high touch" approach to teaching aging adults how to utilize technology in their daily lives. The board along with community leaders in two pilot communities, Manitowish Waters and Park Falls, have organized a series of classes, activities, and events surrounding technology use for personal, financial, economic, and health purposes. 

On Monday, I had the opportunity to attend the Pilot Event held at the Manitowish Waters Community Center. The event was well attended by members from across the surrounding communities as well. I am glad to see that people of all ages are receiving access to technology education. I look forward to seeing the continued success of the Connecting Aging Communities Pilot Programs.

If you live in the Manitowish Waters area and are interested in becoming active with the Pilot Community or wish to learn more, you can contact Elizabeth Gerin. She is the Manitowish Waters Community Development Director. You can contact her via email at or phone at 715-543-8400.

For more information about the Connecting Aging Communities Board, please click here.
Wilderness Veterans Flame

This weekend, the Winegar American Legion Post 480 and the Widnerness Veterans Memorial Flame Foundation will be hosting a dedication ceremony in Presque Isle for the new Wilderness Veterans Flame Memorial.

The memorial and ceremony will be located at the American Legion Post 480 in Presque Isle at 11:00 am. The Post can be located 1/4 mile west on County Highway W, just off of County Highway B.

I want to thank both organizations for planning this event and I look forward to attending it!

For more information about the memorial, please click here.

Senate Scholar Program

Annually, the Wisconsin State Senate offers a unique educational experience to high school juniors and seniors called the Senate Scholar Program. The program lasts for a full week and includes three educational components: classroom instruction, roundtable discussion, and a lab practicum opportunity. 

The week begins in a classroom setting.  Experts teach Scholars about constituent relations, research and development of legislation, and bill drafting.  Scholars engage in roundtable discussions with legislative support agency directors and staff, media, and lobbyists throughout the week resulting in further insight into all facets of the legislative process. 

Scholars then put their knowledge into action.  Scholars staff the Senate floor during an actual legislative session and witness the Senate debate on legislation.  Scholars will also draft their own bills and amendments, form their own mock committee, and elect committee leadership.

Following educational opportunities during the day, there will be more moderated fun activities for the group. All Senate Scholars will be staying at the Madison Concourse Hotel, directly across from the Capitol Building. Program facilitators will stay at the hotel and be available 24 hours a day for the Scholars. 

This is an exciting opportunity for high school seniors and juniors to engage in the legislative process prior to entering college. I always look forward to having the opportunity to meet Senate Scholars from the 12th Senate District.

Applications must be received by November 22, 2017. For more information, including a copy of the application and the address to mail it in to, please click here.
2017-18 Blue Books
The 2017-18 Wisconsin Blue Books recently arrived. If you would like to request a copy of the 2017-18 Wisconsin Blue Book, please reply to this email with your full mailing address. My office will be processing the requests over the next couple weeks prior to shipping them across the 12th Senate District. 

You can view previous versions of the Wisconsin Blue Book online by clicking here.
District 12 Events
Start Date Upcoming Event Location
October 14 10th Annual ATV/UTV Make-A-Wish Ride Antigo
October 14 Harvest Festival Boulder Junction
October 14 Hibernator 100 Bike Race Laona
October 14 Wildwood Wildlife Park's Zoo Boo Halloween Party Minocqua
October 14 Pumpkin Fest Three Lakes
October 14 11th Annual Oktoberfest Antigo
October 21 Fish and Lure Ralley Presque Isle
October 21 KAMO Youth Pheasant Hunt Florence
October 28 Zombie Crawl Land O Lakes
October 28 St. John's TRUNK or Treat Gillett
October 28 Spooktacular Halloween Presque Isle
October 28 Halloween Carnival Phelps
October 28 Lac du Flambeau Lions Club Food for Kidz Minocqua
November 4-5 Dirty Dog Dryland Derby Pearson
November 5 32nd Annual Holiday Craft Bazaar Suring
November 11 Christmas Bazaar St. Germain
November 11 Christmas Fest Sayner
November 17 Venison Feed Tomahawk
November 18 Hunters Lunch and Bake Sale Athelstane
November 24 Santa Comes to Town Land O' Lakes
November 25 Christmas Comes to Minocqua Minocqua
December 2 Christmas Parade Merrill
December 2 Holiday Home Tour Manitowish Waters
December 3 Christmas In Florence Florence
December 6 Chili Cook-Off Antigo
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 © 2017 Office of State Senator Tom Tiffany, All rights reserved.

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