Senator Kapenga's E-Update
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State of the State Address

On Tuesday, Governor Walker delivered his State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature. (Click here, or the photo above, for full coverage of the speech.) In his address, the governor highlighted several important facts showing that the state of Wisconsin is strong:

- Wisconsin's unemployment is at its lowest point since 2001
- Our labor force participation rate is higher than the national average
- More people in Wisconsin are working now than at any other time in the past 20 years
- UW System tuition has been frozen for four years, saving students and families nearly $6,000
- 8,334 people have been transferred from government dependence to true independence
- Waste, fraud, and abuse were eliminated in our welfare programs
- Property taxes and income taxes are lower than they were in 2010
- Unborn children were protected by banning abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy
- 5,000 with disabilities were assisted in reaching their employment goals, a 15-year high
- Wisconsin is continuing to invest in our current and future workforce

These are just a glimpse of what our state has accomplished. We look forward to more exciting news in the coming months.

In Session: Pro-Life Bills Passed

The Senate was in session this passed Wednesday, and we had a very full calendar. Several important bills were advanced by the Senate during the 8 1/2 hour session. To watch footage of the session, click here, or click the photo above. Here are the highlights:

Protecting Life and Human Decency
In my e-update last week, I wrote that I was working to get two important pro-life bills passed in the Senate. I am pleased to report that both bills passed the Senate. Taxpayer funds should not be used to subsidize abortions. Representative Andre Jacque (R-De Pere) and I strongly pushed for these bills since the beginning of the fall session. We are both committed to protecting society's most vulnerable. These bills will lessen the flow of state tax dollars to abortion providers, while ensuring that qualified health care providers are better able to serve low-income patients.

Assembly Bill 310 requires the Department of Health Services to apply for and distribute Title X grant funds to public entities; including state, county, and local health departments, and the Wisconsin Well Woman Program. The Senate approved this proposal by a vote of 19-14. It now heads to Governor Walker's desk to be signed into law. 

Senate Bill 238 requires that, when billing Medical Assistance, certain covered entities shall only bill the actual acquisition cost plus a reasonable dispensing fee. The Senate approved this proposal by a vote of 19-14. It is now available for scheduling in the Assembly.

Adult Sponsor Liability Reform

Senate Bill 408 places a cap on the liability an adult sponsor may be subjected to due to damages caused by a sponsored minor's negligent driving. The cap is placed at either $300,000 from any particular accident or the limits of any insurance coverage provided to the minor under the adult sponsor's applicable insurance policies, whichever is higher. The Senate approved this piece of legislation on a voice vote.

Civil Service Reform
Another important bill that was passed, Assembly Bill 373, reforms Wisconsin's civil service system. As a co-sponsor of this bill, I would like to inform you of some of the changes that will go into effect:

- Replaces flawed exam requirement with a resume-based system
- Centralizes the human resource functions of the state
- Places a high priority on job performance and allows for merit pay
- Defines "just cause" for clarity and consistency in regards to terminations
- Expedites the appeals process

This bill allows Wisconsin's civil service system to meet the needs of the modern job market. It maintains our state's tradition of strong civil service protections, while also fostering an environment that continues to attract the best and brightest public servants to work for the people of our state.

To view an entire list of the bills that passed the Senate on Wednesday, click here.

Lego Team Visits the Capitol

The Richmond School LEGO League team came to visit Madison in order to perform their presentation and take a tour of the Capitol. They have been busy since I visited their school a few months ago, and it was great to hear about all of the research and work that they have put into their endeavor. Their presentation was entertaining and it was especially fun to see their rendition of "I'm Just a Bill."

Town Hall Meeting Wednesday

Please join me for one of my town hall meetings in January, March, or April. 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

1797 - Abigail Adams writes to John, in Philadelphia, giving him news of home.
1939 - The uranium atom is split for the first time using a cyclotron at Columbia University in New York City.
1944 - In World War II, the Allies launch an offensive in central Italy with an amphibious landing at Anzio Beach.
1973 - The Supreme Court hands down a decision in Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion.
1997 - The Senate confirms Madeleine Albright as the nation's first female secretary of state.
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
Sussex Town Hall
Wednesday, January 27
7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Pauline Haass Public Library

Delafield Town Hall
Wednesday, March 2
7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Delafield Public Library

Waukesha Town Hall
Wednesday, April 13
7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Waukesha Town Hall
Copyright © 2015 Senator Chris Kapenga, All rights reserved.

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