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June 1, 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
DNR Free Fun Weekend
 
DNR Free Fun Weekend begins tomorrow! During this weekend there will be free entry to state parks and forests, free fishing, free access to DNR trails and free ATV/UTV riding on public trails that are open for their use. These outdoor activities are open to Wisconsin residents and visitors alike. 

Starting tomorrow, if you want to fish on any of Wisconsin's 15,000 lakes or 40,000 miles of rivers, you will not need a permit. This includes inland trout and Great Lakes trout and salmon fishing. If you do not have any fishing gear, there are more than 50 sites around the state that you can rent gear at for free. To find the location nearest you, please click here. All other fishing rules such as bag and size limits remain in effect.


Wisconsinites and visitors choosing to enjoy our state parks and trails this weekend will note that parking fees on all DNR-owned properties will be waived in addition to trail pass fees. It is important to remember that cooperatively-run state trails may NOT waive their fees. ATV/UTV owners can ride for free on the state trail system as well. Your machine does not have to be registered in Wisconsin. Nonresident owners are also able to enjoy the free ride. 

You can find more information about Free Fun Weekend including maps and family-friendly plan ideas here.
Jump! Start Graduation
 
Last Friday, I was invited to attend a graduation ceremony for the Nicolet College Jump! Start Program. This program provides an innovative approach to inclusive post-secondary education for adult learners with intellectual disabilities. Students in the Jump! Start program are provided with individualized goal setting, increased employability and independent living skills, and access to college course work.

Students will also receive work experience and practicum options, networking opportunities and career counseling. These useful tools will help many individuals with disabilities gain the employment opportunities that they wish to pursue. The program is created in a partnership among Nicolet College, the Northland Pines, Rhinelander, and Crandon School Districts, Headwaters, Inc. and the Human Service Center. 

I was pleased to attend the program's annual graduation ceremony last week. I was invited by Ashley Mathy, a constituent from Lake Tomahawk. Thank you for the invitation and congratulations to all the graduates!
I was joined by the nine graduates from Jump! Start after their graduation ceremony for a brief reception.
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.
Local Bridge Assistance
 
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) administers the Local Bridge Improvement Assistance Program for the state. This program helps rehabilitate and replace the most seriously deficient existing bridges on Wisconsin's local highway systems. The DOT Bureau of Structures created a recommended bridge priority ranking and optimal work schedule for each structure eligible for the 2017-2022 program cycle.

Counties, cities, villages and towns are eligible for rehabilitation funding on bridges with sufficiency ratings of 80 or less, and replacement funding on bridges with sufficiency ratings less than 50. This year, program cost savings due to the elimination of management consultant contracts to deliver the local program, the implementation of a replace-in-kind funding policy, and streamlining of DOT oversight tasks has allowed for the funding of additional bridge projects in the 2017-2022 program cycle.

I am pleased to announce that a handful of the projects are located within the 12th Senate District:
  • Langlade County - County Highway U - State Highway 55 (Wolf River Bridge) - Design and Construction
  • Menominee County - State Highway 47 - State Highway 55 (West Branch Wolf River) - Construction
  • Shawano County - County Highway U - State Highway 47 (Red River Bridge) - Design and Construction
  • Shawano County - State Highway 22 - County Highway H (Shawano Creek Bridge) - Design and Construction
  • Vilas County - County Highway S - U.S. Highway 45 (Wisconsin River Bridge) - Design and Construction
Recently, the DOT has placed weight restrictions on 184 bridges, but recommended lifting restrictions on almost 350 bridges. For more information about the Local Bridge Assistance Program, please click here. You can find a full listing of approved bridge projects here.
Turtle Crossings
 
Turtle nesting season has begun for many of Wisconsin's turtle species. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking citizens to submit their turtle sightings, with an emphasis on road crossing spots, to the DNR's Wisconsin Turtle Conservation Program. Citizen reporting is one of the most useful tools the DNR can use to help identify problem road crossings throughout the state.

Since 2012, more than 1,300 citizens have reported over 3,000 turtle sightings which includes more than 1,300 road crossing hotspots. Of those hotspots, the DNR has identified 38 locations across the state where turtles were being run over by cars at high rates. From May through July, female turtles cross roads to find suitable nesting areas upland where there is sand, gravel and/or loose soil.

Turtles getting run over by cars is considered to be a leading cause of decline in turtle numbers in Wisconsin. Through citizen reporting, the DNR has been able to identify areas where these incidents occur so that they can work with local officials to address ways to mitigate deaths in these areas.

If you wish to report a turtle crossing or any sort of sighting, you can do so online using this form
This turtle crossing hotspot map is compiled using the most recent data provided by the DNR.
District 12 Events
Start Date Upcoming Event Location
June 1-3 Fishing Has No Boundaries Eagle River
June 2 June Bloom Arts and Crafts Festival Minocqua
June 8-9 MC Rock Fest Gleason
June 8-10 Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo Merrill
June 9 Walk in the Woods Art Fest St. Germain
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 9-10 Strawberry Moon Pow-wow Mole Lake Crandon
June 9-17 Country Music Festival Porterfield
June 10 Langlade County Breakfast on the Farm Bryant
June 10 Lincoln County Dairy Breakfast Merrill
June 10 Oconto County Breakfast on the Farm Suring
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 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
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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