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June 15, 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
Investments in Local Bridges

The State of Wisconsin was recently awarded $160 million in federal infrastructure grant funds for the I-94 North-South project. This is the largest federal infrastructure grant that the State of Wisconsin has earned. Additionally, we received $67.4 million of federal funding beyond what was originally expected. Because of the additional money and supplemental highway funds, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has committed to funding more local bridge projects by investing an additional $30 million into the bridge assistance program. This past week, the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) voted to approve an additional $8.6 million in funding for that program on top of the $30 million requested by the DOT. This additional funding will allow all applicants for the 2018-22 cycle to receive grant money.

Last week, I shared some information regarding bridges in the 12th Senate District that received awards during the grant cycle. I am pleased to share that as a result of this additional increase, there will be another bridge project in the 12th Senate District that will receive a grant award:
  • Lincoln County - County Highway 0 to State Highway 86 - Spirit River Bridge
These projects are for critical bridges across all parts of the state needed to move goods and services. I appreciate the work that the DOT is continuing to do to lower the number of posted bridges across our state and I was pleased to work with my colleagues on JFC to fully fund this assistance program.

JFC met to convene in 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. In addition to hearing the DOT request for reappropriating funding following the increase in federal funding, the committee heard the following 13.10 request:
  • Department of Administration: Requested the Committee's approval of updated summaries and schedules prepared by the Department of Administration and Legislative Fiscal Bureau, which include the fiscal effect of all legislation enacted by the 2017 Legislature.
For more information about the Joint Committee on Finance, please click here.
This map shows all 183 bridge projects that were approved for the 2018-22 grant cycle of the local bridge assistance program.
Map courtesy of Wisconsin DOT
Elizabeth Washebek Building Dedication
 
I was in the town of Brazeau last week to attend a building dedication for the town's Fire Department and Ambulance Service. After seven years of planning and construction, the building was completed earlier in June. The building was named in the honor of a long-time member of the Brazeau Ambulance Service who lost her life in the line of duty: Elizabeth Washebek.

Elizabeth was in an ambulance tending to a patient when the ambulance collided with a truck near Stiles Junction. As a result of the accident, Elizabeth lost her life and six others were injured. She was a dedicated member of the Ambulance Service for years and her loss was felt by the entire community.

The dedication ceremony was attended by many. Town Chairman, Ryan Wendt, was the master of ceremonies. The Brazeau Fire Chief and Ambulance Service President also gave remarks highlighting Washebek's service to the community. Elizabeth's daughter, Karen Washebek-Carlin spoke on behalf of the family. 

It is important to have people like Elizabeth in our communities, people who are willing to volunteer and help others in times of need. Thank you for the invitation to attend and speak at the event! 
I was joined by the Brazeau Town Chairman Ryan Wendt and Elizabeth's daughter, Karen Washebeck-Carlin, at the building dedication.
Child Tax Credit and Sales Tax Holiday
 
Now through July 2nd, 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
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. 

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.
Eagle River Ambulance
 
The Eagle River area will now have a new ambulance thanks to the help of the Auxiliary Partners of Ascension Eagle River. There are two ambulances at Ascension Eagle River that serve the city of Eagle River and the surrounding communities of Land O'Lakes, Conover, Phelps, St. Germain and Three Lakes.  Last year, when it became time to replace one of those ambulances, the Auxiliary Partners of Ascension stepped up to the plate and committed funding to donate a new ambulance to the hospital. 

Last April, the members of the Auxiliary Partners voted and approved a $125,000 donation. The Auxiliary raised the funds through their thrift store and the Life Direct home-alert program. Ascension agreed to match the Auxiliary's donation. The new ambulance was recently delivered and will be the first ambulance in Wisconsin to carry the Ascension brand name.

The older Eagle River ambulance was donated to the town of Russell, in Lincoln County, to help re-energize their first responder program. I'd like to thank the members of the Eagle River Auxiliary for their donation. This new ambulance will help Ascension continue to serve the people of the Eagle River area. 
Eagle Scouts in Minocqua
I was pleased to present three legislative citations this past weekend at an Eagle Scout Ceremony in Minocqua. Pictured above is Aidan Graf giving a speech about his Eagle Scout project and what it means to him to earn this rank. Behind him are two of his fellow troop members who also earned the rank of Eagle Scout: Cody Schneider and Charles Willms.

Congratulations Aidan, Cody and Charles! Thank you for inviting me to your ceremony.
Surveys

Recently, my office mailed a legislative newsletter and survey to the residents of the 12th Senate District. So far, we have received hundreds of completed surveys. My staff and I have enjoyed going through the surveys thus far. Thank you to those who have taken the time to complete them.

Many of the survey respondents have also requested Wisconsin road maps. We are currently processing those requests and will send the maps out as soon as we are done. If you have not sent your survey in yet, I encourage you to do so.  
District 12 Events
Start Date Upcoming Event Location
June 15-16 Solstice Festival Manitowish Waters
June 16 Kickball Tournament Lena
June 16 Props and Pistons Fly-In, Car Show and Radar Run Eagle River
June 16-17 Lion's Heritage Days and Mug Bog Race Gleason
June 17 Take a Kid Fishing Conover
June 23 Ride with Leinie Land O'Lakes
June 23 First Annual Summer Festival Laona
June 23 Quilt Show/Strawberry Social/Art Fair Florence
June 23-24 Presque Isle Days Presque Isle
June 24 Shawano County Brunch on the Farm Cecil
June 24 Taste of Conover Conover
June 29 Holiday Flea Market Antigo
June 29-30 Annual Lion's Community Picnic Niagara
June 30 Big House Legionnaire Mud Challenge Crandon
July 3 Art and Craft Show Tomahawk
July 6-8 Steam Up Days Wabeno
July 7 5th Annual Moonlight 5K/Walk Eagle River
July 7 Firework Celebration Elcho
July 10 Picnic in the Park Phelps
July 12-15 Hodag County Music Festival Rhinelander
July 13 Movie in the Park Merrill
July 14 Badwater Bass Tournament Florence
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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