Senator Kapenga's E-Update
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BASE Act Heads to Governor's Desk

On Tuesday, the state Senate passed the Budgetary Accountability for State Expenditures (BASE) Act by a 19-13 vote. Senate Bill 407 will require state agencies to include in their biennial budget requests plans to reduce their spending by five percent and to maintain current spending levels for all state operations, with a few exceptions.

Since 1991, the Wisconsin state budget has nearly tripled from $26.6 billion to $73 billion for the 2015-17 budget. Not only has our overall budget grown over that period of time, but it has done so at over three times the rate of inflation.

Yesterday, the Assembly approved the BASE Act by a 61-33 vote as part of its final scheduled day of the legislative session.

In addition to the BASE Act being passed by the Senate, two other bills that I authored were passed by the Assembly on Tuesday. Assembly Bill 533, which brings penalties for unemployment insurance (UI) fraud in line with penalties for theft, passed by a voice vote. And Assembly Bill 602, which adds Christian Schools International to the list of accrediting agencies for statewide school choice programs, passed by a 63-35 vote.

The Assembly convened for its last scheduled floor session yesterday, and the Senate is scheduled to convene once more on Tuesday, March 15, to finish our work for the legislative session. I will highlight several of the bills that were passed by the Assembly yesterday in next week's e-update.

Senate Scholar in Madison

This week, Bailey Rasmussen of Waukesha South is participating in the Senate Scholar Program, a selective, intensive program at the Capitol. I enjoyed having the opportunity to meet Bailey on Tuesday, and I am glad she is learning more about the legislative process in Wisconsin.

Bailey's experience features two forms of instruction. First, she was introduced to the many facets of the legislative process, meeting with legislative support agencies, legislative staff, the governor's staff, a supreme court justice, the media, lobbyists, and UW-Madison faculty. Next, Bailey put her knowledge into action. When the Senate was on the floor, she and the other scholars staffed the session under the direction of the staff of the Senate Sergeant at Arms. Finally, today, the Senate Scholar committee heard a bill that the students drafted.

I was impressed by Bailey's dedication in applying for the competitive program and her hard work this week has been exemplary. I wish Bailey all the best as she completes high school and pursues her future goals.

Commemorating a Life of Service

On Saturday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in Texas after nearly thirty years on the highest court in the nation. This week, I signed on as a cosponsor of Assembly Joint Resolution 113, commemorating his life and service. Below is a segment of the resolution:

"Whereas, Scalia, a defender of the United States Constitution, became the first Italian-American to be confirmed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, with a 98-0 vote; and

"Whereas, Justice Scalia championed the now-widespread judicial philosophy of "originalism," wherein the meaning of a constitutional provision is set at the moment of ratification by the people; Justice Scalia educated and persuaded a generation of legal thinkers on originalism; and

"Whereas, Justice Scalia forever impacted the law of the United States of America by eloquently explaining his philosophy in countless judicial opinions . . .; now, therefore, be it

"Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring, That the members of the Wisconsin legislature commend the ardent and remarkable service Justice Antonin Scalia gave to our country through his fundamental belief in the rule of law and for preserving the lasting consistency of our Constitution."

Wisconsin Technical College System Showcase

I had a great time meeting Kim Houk and Kelly Ratliff at the Wisconsin Technical College System Showcase on Tuesday!

Upcoming Town Hall Meetings

Please join me for one of my town hall meetings in March, April, or May. During these meetings, I will be available to answer questions and hear from you about important issues at the state and local levels.

As always, if you are unable to attend these office hours, and you have any comments or questions, please email me at or give me a call at (608) 266-9174.

Today in History

1807 - Former vice president Aaron Burr is arrested in Alabama on suspicions that he is scheming to establish an independent republic.
1847 - The first rescuers reach the Donner Party, a band of California-bound settlers stranded by snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
1878 - Thomas Edison receives a patent for the phonograph.
1942 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs an executive order authorizing the internment of Japanese-Americans.
1945 - U.S. Marines begin a horrific struggle for the Pacific island of Iwo Jima.
Connect with Chris

(608) 266-9174
(800) 863-8883

33rd Senate District
15 South
State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53708
Local Events
Delafield Town Hall
Wednesday, March 2
7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Delafield Public Library

Congressman Sensenbrenner's
Town Hall

Saturday, March 5
9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Hartland Village Hall

Lake Country Community Fest
Saturday, March 12
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kettle Moraine High School

Delafield Community Egg Hunt
Saturday, March 26
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Town of Delafield Sports

Waukesha Town Hall
Wednesday, April 13
7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Waukesha Town Hall

Ottawa Town Hall
Wednesday, May 4
7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Town of Ottawa Town Hall
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