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April 20, 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
Broadband Expansion Grants Announced
 
The most recent round of Broadband Expansion Grant recipients were announced late last week. I am pleased to share that six projects within the 12th Senate District were awarded grant money from the Public Service Commission:
  •  ChoiceTel, LLC ($150,226) - This project proposes to build a fiber route between Eagle River and St. Germain, connecting the elementary school in St. Germain to the main campus of the Northland Pines School District.  The route will also connect 235 homes and businesses located between Highway G and St. Germain.
  • Oneida County Economic Development Corporation ($100,000) - This project will deploy a fixed wireless service on 6 towers in unserved and underserved areas of Oneida County (locations to be determined by OCEDC).
  • CCI Systems ($210,733) - This project will deploy a TV White Space system to 10 locations in Marinette County.  A tower will be placed in the Town of Dunbar.
  • CCI Systems ($98,000) - This project will build cable service to homes adjacent to Trump Lake, in Forest County north of Wabeno, and deploy a TV White Space system from 2 antenna locations in Wabeno.
  • SonicNet, Inc. ($51,913) - This project will build and equip four towers to provide fixed wireless service in the vicinity of Plum Lake in Vilas County.
  • Wittenberg Telephone Company ($390,011) - This project proposes to build a 20-mile fiber route in Langlade County along Highway 55 from Hollister to Pickerel. This project will connect a fiber to a Cellcom mobile wireless tower at the Pickerel end of the route, as well as 427 homes and businesses along the route.
These six projects represent a total state investment of $1,000,883! I am pleased that the PSC has approved these projects and I look forward to hearing from the residents of these communities about the improved access and speed of their internet.
I asked the PSC to develop two maps of the internet speeds throughout the 12th Senate District. The first map shows the earliest available internet speed data from when I entered office in 2010 to the Commission's most recent available data in 2016. It is clear that the over the six-year period, the entire 12th Senate District has seen both coverage and internet speeds increase. I have included those maps below. You will note that the map key on the right does not include the white spaces on the maps. Those areas represent places with no internet coverage.
For those who have applied for grants and not received awards, do not be discouraged. The 2017-19 biennial budget increased total broadband investments by $35 million and created a permanent Broadband Expansion Grant program. As such, the application for the next round of grants is now open. The deadline for the upcoming round of broadband expansion grants to be submitted to the PSC is July 16, 2018. You can find more information about the Broadband Expansion Grant program here.
Joint Committee on Finance
 
The Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) convened for the final time during the 2017-18 legislative session for a 13.10 hearing. A 13.10 is a request by a department or agency for the authority to expend an appropriation outside of the previously approved authority by the legislature. During Wednesday's 13.10 hearing, we heard eleven requests:
  • Department of Transportation: Requested to enter into a reciprocal motor vehicle registration exemption agreement with the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin.
  • Department of Administration: Requested approval of the sale of state-owned land located at Appleton Lock #3 in Appleton.
  • Department of Administration: Requested approval of the sale of state-owned land located at the intersection of Gaynor Avenue and the Riverview Expressway in Wisconsin Rapids.
  • Department of Corrections: Requested a one-time transfer of $7,100,000 in fiscal year 2017-18, including $5,300,000 from its corrections contracts and agreements appropriation and $1,800,000 from its services for drunken driving offenders to its general program operations appropriation to maintain health services at the department's adult correctional institutions.
  • Department of Natural Resources: Requested approval of a $655,053 Knowles-Nelson Stewardship grant to the City of West Bend for a riverwalk rehabilitation project along the east bank of the Milwaukee River. Due to an objection from a Committee member, this request was before the Committee.
  • Department of Natural Resources: Requested a one-time supplement of $2,200,000 from the conservation fund in fiscal year 2017-18 from the Committee's appropriation to the department's parks development – conservation fund to support infrastructure improvements at Wisconsin state parks.
  • Department of Natural Resources: Requested approval to obligate $7.0 million in Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program bonding authority for infrastructure improvements at the Kettle Moraine Springs State Fish Hatchery.
  • Department of Military Affairs: Requested the transfer of 1.0 FTE position and 2018-19 from the Department of Transportation's public safety radio management to the Department of Military Affairs' interoperable communications system. The department also requested the deletion of 0.2 FTE  from the department's federal aid, state operations appropriation and the creation of 1.0 FTE position. The positions and funding are for the ongoing maintenance of a statewide public safety interoperable communications system. The department further requested a supplement of $464,000 in each of fiscal years 2017-18 and 2018-19 from the Committee's appropriation to the department's general program operations appropriation to purchase software and other IT equipment or services for a statewide public safety interoperable communications system.
  • Department of Military Affairs: Requested the deletion of 1.0 FTE position. The department also requested a supplement of $80,200 and the creation of 1.0 FTE permanent position in fiscal year 2018-19 to administer the state's 1033 federal excess military property program.
  • Department of Administration: Requested approval of spending plans from the Departments of Administration; Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; Corrections; Health Services; and Justice to address unsupported overdrafts for fiscal year 2016-17. Due to an objection from a Committee member, this request was before the Committee.
  • University of Wisconsin System: Requested approval of its outcomes-based funding formula, used to distribute funding among institutions based on performance metrics, as detailed in the system's February 15, 2018, letter to the secretary of the Department of Administration and the cochairs of the Joint Committee on Finance.
For more information about the Joint Committee on Finance, please click here.
The 13.10 hearing was held on Wednesday, April 18th in Madison.
School Safety Contracts
 
This week, Governor Walker announced a new tool for school administrators and public safety officials that provides access to equipment and service contracts related to school safety. The website was created in conjunction with the recent passage of Governor Walker's $100 million School Safety Plan.

The Department of Administration's State Bureau of Procurement has been directed to assist school districts by making available state contracts that provide safety and security supplies, equipment and services at competitively-bid prices and advantageous terms. The new website includes information about state contracts for many products including public safety communications equipment, surveillance cameras, metal detectors, access control devices and more. 

The Bureau of Procurement has begun initially reaching out to state vendors and they will continue to do so. As new contracts become available, the Department of Administration will update the website. There is a subscription service on the website so that you can sign up to receive updates when those contracts become available.
Turkey Season

The statewide spring turkey season began this week. There are new harvest authorization rules that are immediately in effect for this season:
  • Turkey hunters are no longer required to validate a turkey tag
  • Turkey hunters are no longer required to attach a tag to a turkey
  • It is no longer required to keep the turkey tag with the meat
Turkeys must be registered by 5 pm the day after the harvest. In order to register the turkey you will need your authorization number. There are no in-person registration stations available, but there are electronic resources available 24 hours a day:
  • Register online at GameReg
  • Register by phone by calling the Harvest Registration Hotline: 1-844-426-3734
In order to successfully register your turkey, you will need the following information:
  • Harvest authorization number (tag number)
  • Harvest date and time
  • Harvest location (county and turkey management zone)
  • Age (adult or juvenile) and sex (gobbler or hen)
For more information about the spring turkey hunting season, please click here.
Bringing the Government to the People
 
Over the next few months, I will be working to bring state agency secretaries to northern Wisconsin. The agency secretaries will join me for a listening session with my constituents.

I believe it is important for the people of Wisconsin to have open communication with their state government. They want to know that their concerns are being heard and local issues are taken seriously. It is often forgotten just how far away Madison is from our communities. That is why I am bringing the leaders of our state government to you.

To begin, the Department of Transportation Secretary, Dave Ross, will be joining us in Crivitz and Merrill on April 30th for listening sessions. I am also planning on bringing north the secretaries from the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Tourism, the Department of Veterans Affairs and others. Below I have included the information for the April 30th Listening Sessions:
  • Crivitz - Crivitz Village Hall - 800 Henriette Avenue, Crivitz - 9:00 am until 10:30 am
  • Merrill - Merrill City Hall (Council Chamber) - 1004 E. 1st Street, Merrill - 2:00 pm until 3:30 pm
I will provide more information about future listening sessions at a later date. 
District 12 Events
Start Date Upcoming Event Location
April 20-22 Central Wisconsin Concertina Festival Merrill
April 21 Hops and Vines Microbrew and Wine Tasting Rhinelander
April 21 Princess Ball Crivitz
April 24 Lion's Blood Drive Conover
April 28 Get Your K's On Run Minocqua
April 28 Merrill Historical Society History Hunt Merrill
April 29 Dorf Kapelle Dinner and Show Suring
May 5 Martinis in May St. Germain
May 5 Colors of Cancer 5K Crandon
May 5 Old Fashioned Plow Day Antigo
May 7 Lioness Spring Fashion Show Lakewood
May 11-12 14th Annual Northwoods Birding Festival Manitowish Waters
May 12 Bear 100 Bike Race Laona
May 12 Journey's Marathon Eagle River
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 Mincoqua
May 25 Holiday Flea Market Antigo
May 26 Summer Launch Land O'Lakes
May 26 Red, White and Music Festival Crivitz
May 26-27 Main Street Memories Car Show Tomahawk
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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