March 8, 2019
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)
  • Elections, Ethics, and Rural Issues (Vice-Chair)
  • Local Government, Small Business, Tourism and Workforce Development
  • Joint Survey Committee on Tax Exemptions
Preston Cole Confirmation Hearing

The State Senate is responsible for confirming Governor Evers' cabinet secretaries. These are the people picked to lead every state agency. For the last few months, Wisconsin state senators, including myself, have been taking time to meet and interview the nominees.

The confirmation process is very similar to how legislation is passed. Every nominee is referred to a senate standing committee. The committee must hold a public hearing where senators are given the opportunity to ask questions and then the committee has the opportunity to hold a vote. Once the committee has voted, the entire senate body can take up the appointee for consideration and either approve or deny the nomination.

As Chair of the Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining, and Forestry, I held a public hearing this week on the confirmation of Preston Cole - the Governor's pick to head the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The committee members from both sides of the aisle had a lot of questions for Mr. Cole on a wide variety of issues.

I take the confirmation process seriously as the DNR has the potential to impact the lives of the people of Wisconsin in a number of different ways. I believe the committee did a good job of asking pertinent questions of the secretary-designee. There are some pending questions Mr. Cole promised he'd respond to, and we look forward to hearing back.
A quick video on Secretary appointments
New Wolf Delisting News
Earlier this week, there were reports the Secretary of the Interior was considering action to remove the endangered species protections from the gray wolf in the lower 48 states. This is great news for Wisconsin!

I've been a long time proponent of returning wolf management to the states. I believe that the endangered species designation has allowed the wolf population to become stable, but now the federal government should give states the authority to manage. Wisconsin has a proven track record of successful wolf management and we do not need to be taking orders from bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.

The wolf population is estimated to be over 900 wolves - well exceeding the state's population goals.

My statement is below.
Visitor from the District

This week, John Piotrowski from PCA in Tomahawk stopped by my office to discuss issues facing the paper industry. We had a wonderful conversation and I am glad John was able to make the trip down to Madison!
Senator Tiffany and John Piotrowski
Tax and Fee Increases In State Budget
Governor Evers introduced his budget last week. Just a few days before the election, then candidate Evers told voters, "I'm planning to raise no taxes."

In total, the budget that Governor Evers' introduced would raise taxes and fees by more than $1 billion!

Here are some examples: 
  • Raising the gas tax by 8 cents and indexing the gas tax
  • Limiting tax credits for manufacturing companies
  • Increasing long-term capital gains taxes for some people
  • Creating a 71 percent excise tax on vaping products
  • Raising taxes on live game birds and clay pigeons
  • Raising taxes on the sale of farm-raised deer
  • Increasing vehicle title fees
  • Increasing hybrid vehicle fee
  • Increasing heavy truck registration fee
We are still awaiting the non-partisan analysis prepared by the legislative Fiscal Bureau, but by our count, this budget raises property taxes by the largest amount in eight years. Property taxes on a median valued home will go up by approximately $150 or two percent.

This week, Politifact gave Governor Evers a full flop on his no new taxes statement.
Gary Hartl
Last week, I reported on the condition of Gary Hartl - a radio host in the Antigo area. I am saddened to report that Gary passed away this week. It was always a pleasure to do interviews with Gary. He was a terrific radio personality, but more importantly Gary was a wonderful human being. My prayers go out to Gary's family and he will be sorely missed. 
CDAC Meetings
The DNR is encouraging the public to attend their County Deer Advisory Council March meeting and provide comments to the council. Local DNR staff will be on hand to present information and answer questions. Following the March meetings, there will also be a meeting in mid-April to review public feedback before making final recommendations on the antlerless quotas as well as permit and season structure.

Here is the link to the DNR page to find when and where your County Deer Advisory Council meeting will take place. 
Close Call!
The other day, Lonnie Scott from WJMT in Merrill went out to clear snow from a satellite receiver at the station. Lonnie took a tumble into a snowbank and got stuck. He hollered and waved a broom hoping someone would come to his rescue.

Luckily for Lonnie, after an hour and a half stuck in four degree weather, a 13-year-old walking to class found him. The student was able to call 911 and get Lonnie out of the snowbank.

This Monday, the Merrill police honored the student with a Citizen's Public Service Award! Congratulations to the student on this award - very well deserved.

I am very happy that Lonnie is okay. This is a great reminder to be very careful when going outside on cold winter days. Be mindful of ice and drifting snow. I hope you feel better, Lonnie!
District 12 Events
Start Date Upcoming Event Location
March 9 Post 44 Gunless Poultry Shoot Townsend
March 16 OF Fire Department Spaghetti Dinner Oconto Falls
March 16 Taste of Tomahawk Tomahawk
March 16 Pickerel-Pearson St. Patrick's Day Parade Pickerel
March 20 Artrageous Minocqua
March 21-24 On Golden Pond Wabeno
March 30 5th Annual Red Arrow Club dinner play Lakewood
April 6 Phelps Maple Syrup Fest Phelps
April 6 Only Fools Run At Midnight 5K Minocqua
April 6 Spring is in the Air Craft Show Tomahawk
April 20 Hops and Vines Beer and Wine Tasting Rhinelander
April 26 Veterans Benefits Expo Rhinelander
April 26-28 Central Wisconsin Concertina Festival Merrill
April 28 St. Germain Fire Department Fish Fry St. Germain
May 4 Colors of Cancer 5K Crandon
Contact Me:
Mail: Senator Tom Tiffany, PO Box 7882, Madison, WI, 53707
Phone: (608) 266-2509  Fax: (608) 282-3552
Copyright © 2019 Office of State Senator Tom Tiffany, All rights reserved.

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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.