October 20, 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

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Small Business, and Tourism met this week to vote and affirm a handful of bills for referral to the Senate Floor:
  • 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.
For more information about the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Small Business, and Tourism, please click here

On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Insurance, Housing, and Trade and the Assembly Committee on Housing and Real Estate held a joint public hearing. Two of the bills that the committee heard testimony on were co-authored by myself and Representative Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake):
  • SB387: Relating to limiting the authority of local governments to regulate development on substandard lots and require the merging of lots; requiring a political subdivision to issue a conditional use permit under certain circumstances; standards for granting certain zoning variances; local ordinances related to repair, rebuilding, and maintenance of certain nonconforming structures; shoreland zoning of, and the removal of material from the bed of, certain small, private ponds; inverse condemnation proceedings; and the right to display the flag of the United States.
  • SB388: Relating to review by the Department of Safety and Professional Services of the state electrical wiring code applicable to one-family and two-family dwellings; the legal description required for recording an easement for the construction, operation, or maintenance of sewer lines or facilities; expanding the use of tax incremental financing for workforce housing development and allowing a reduction in the amount of certain impact fees; effect of changes in requirements for development-related permits or authorizations on persons who apply for the permits or authorizations; exempting certain vehicles delivering propane from class B highway weight limitations and certain special or seasonal weight limitations; elimination of the forestation state property tax; reviews of and reports on bills and proposed administrative rules that affect housing; general permits to place riprap on the bed of a navigable water; and making an appropriation
SB387 and SB388 are a part of a package of property rights bills called the Homeowners' Bill of Rights. I believe that this legislation is essential because for far too long Wisconsin has taken a back seat in protecting the rights of private property owners. It is time for us in the legislature to step up to the plate and protect the rights of property owners.
I had the opportunity to testify on behalf of SB387 and SB388 with my coauthor Representative Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake).
On Wednesday, the Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy held on a public hearing on AB498/SB398, relating to qualified new business venture eligibility. This legislation will increase the cap on total investment dollars to be eligible as a qualified new business venture (QNBV). The QNBV title acts similar to the Good Housekeeping "Seal of Approval" for start-up companies. I believe that this legislation will renew our state's commitment to growing Wisconsin-based emerging companies. I am a co-author of this legislation with Representative Mike Kuglitsch (R-New Berlin).
Representative Mike Kuglitsch (R-New Berlin) and I had the opportunity to testify on AB498.
Budget Surplus

The Department of Administration (DOA) and Governor Walker issued the state's annual fiscal report on Monday. The annual fiscal report is a statutorily required report that is produced by DOA to report actual financial data for the fiscal year compared to the state budget. You can locate the report here.

This year's report shows that the state of Wisconsin ended fiscal year 2017 with a surplus of $579 million. The is the second highest closing balance since 2000. I believe it is important to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars and I am glad to see that the reforms we have put in place continue to promote fiscal responsibility and accountable government.
United Steel Workers

The United Steel Workers Union held their annual lobby day at the Capitol this week. I had the chance to sit down and meet with a group of constituents from Tomahawk. 

We had a great conversation about maintaining jobs in Wisconsin and ways the government can help build and develop our workforce. Additionally, we chatted about some upcoming legislation regarding changes to workmen's compensation rules in our state. 

I want to thank everyone for making the drive down to Madison to meet!
I had the opportunity to meet with my constituents in the Capitol on the Steel Workers' Lobby Day.
Dave Ziolkowski
The Wisconsin County Forest Association recently held their annual meeting in Weston. During their meeting, the association recognized their past president, Dave Ziolkowski, for his retirement.

Dave is the former Forest County Forest Administrator and President of the Wisconsin County Forest Association. Dave has dedicated 31 years of service to our forests and he has always been an incredible resource in our communities. 

I wish Dave the best of luck in his retirement and thank him for his many years of service to our state.
North Central Highway Commissioners

This morning I attended the annual legislative breakfast hosted by the North Central Region Highway Commissioners. This meeting brings together area legislators, County Highway Commissioners, and other stake holders to provide updates on transportation issues. 

It was a highly productive meeting. We discussed the 2017-19 biennial budget and the impact that the increased funding for roads and bridges will have on our counties. I would like to thank the Wisconsin Counties Association for the kind words regarding the increase in General Transportation Aids for local municipalities. I believe that it is important to ensure our communities have funding available for local road projects and I gladly worked with my colleagues on the Joint Finance Committee to ensure that we uphold that commitment. 
Congressman Duffy Listening Sessions

Congressman Sean Duffy (R-WI) held a handful of in-district listening sessions this week. I had the opportunity to moderate three of them located in the 12th Senate District: Eagle River, Crandon, and Florence. 

It was exciting to have dynamic conversations about issues that our federal legislators are working on. I had the chance to hear input from locals about the Affordable Care Act and its impact in our communities. Additionally, I heard great conversations about our roads, our foster care system, the delisting of the gray wolf and the J1 Visa program. 

This was an excellent opportunity to learn more and hear from constituents of my district as well. There is always significant interplay between state and federal government. I appreciate that Congressman Duffy wants to return control back to the states. 
Left: Representative Sean Duffy held a listening session at the Eagle Waters Resort in Eagle River.
Right: The listening session held in Florence was hosted by the Florence County Wild Rivers Center.
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 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 Hallow-Fest Eagle River
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
November 25 Avenue of Lights Lighting Oconto Falls
November 25 Breakfast with Santa Land O'Lakes
December 2 Christmas Parade Merrill
December 2 Village of Lights Lena
December 2 Lion's Club Kids Christmas Party Three Lakes
December 2 Holiday Home Tour Manitowish Waters
December 3 Christmas In Florence Florence
December 6 Chili Cook-Off Antigo
December 21 Sno-Eagles Guided Snowmobile Rides Eagle River
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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