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Senator Kapenga's E-Update
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Final Day of Session

This week, we wrapped up our final session day for the year. The Senate passed nearly 80 bills in one day, and also blocked some legislation from advancing. It is an interesting time because legislators realize it is the last chance to get a piece of legislation through until next session. Sometimes that is good…and sometimes it isn’t.
 
Many of these final bills I consider good legislation. We fixed some technical issues with previous bills, reduced burdensome regulations put in place by previous legislatures and administrations, and passed common-sense reforms related to college affordability. There were also a few bills that passed that I voted against. 
Generally, these were bills that I felt unnecessarily increased the size and scope of government.
 
Now that summer is kicking in, my office will shifting our focus to the agenda for next session. The overall goal is always to limit government to its fundamental responsibilities of providing an equal and fair playing field in commerce and community, ensuring safe neighborhoods, educating our children in excellence, and protecting the liberty and freedom of the individual. If we do this properly, history has proven that the prosperity of our society will be maximized and the dependency on government will be minimized.
 
I will start by looking at ways to revamp to our current welfare delivery system. It is fraught with inefficiency, overlap, and abuse. The system also has built up incentives that encourage people to remain dependent on government instead of on one’s God-given talents. As I have said before, it traps people in poverty and robs them of purpose. Government welfare programs are a major driver behind Wisconsin being the fifth highest taxed state, as well as having one of the highest poverty city’s in the nation.
 
No matter what our political persuasion, we all want the best for the people of Wisconsin. It is going to take a lot of heavy lifting and leadership, but we if we work together we can bring about progress for all.

Lastly, with the legislative session coming to a close, I will be sending out my weekly e-update on a biweekly basis moving forward. I will continue to keep you updated with activities in both the Capitol and around the district.
 
I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the year, and please continue to keep our state and national leaders in your prayers as we move into the fall election cycle.
Inspector General Saves Taxpayers Millions
In October 2011, the Department of Health Services Office of the Inspector General was created to track and combat fraud, waste, and abuse in state government. Two weeks ago, the inspector general's most recent report was released, and the findings showed good news for taxpayers.

The Office of the Inspector General is responsible for detecting fraud in DHS's programs including Medicaid, FoodShare, and BadgerCare. Under the direction of recently retired Inspector General Alan White, they did just that. The following are just a few of the highlights from the report:

- There was a dramatic increase in fraud cost avoidance from $14.6 million in 2012 to $26 million in 2015
- Accountability improved significantly as suspensions for program violations grew from 200 in 2012 to more than 1,300 in 2015
- Nearly 80 percent of Medicaid overpayments were recovered by the state
- Nearly $90 million was collected through drug settlements

The Office of the Inspector General has taken a number of additional steps to prevent fraud waste and abuse in Wisconsin. These include a fraud reporting hotline and a web-based portal to report fraud. Citizens have responded by reporting more than 13,000 cases of potential program abuses.


This is a great example of the accountability that we are bringing to Wisconsin's public assistance programs. Certainly, there is still a great deal of work to do, but the inspector general's report shows that progress is being made.
Senate Scholar This Week
This week, Jacob Cavaiani of Kettle Moraine High School is participating in the Senate Scholar Program, a selective, intensive program at the Capitol. I enjoyed having the opportunity to meet Jacob on Tuesday, and I am glad he is learning more about the legislative process in Wisconsin.

Jacob's experience features two forms of instruction. First, he 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. On Tuesday, Jacob put what he learned into action. When the Senate was on the floor, he and the other scholars staffed the session under the direction of the staff of the Senate Sergeant at Arms. Finally, the Senate Scholar committee will hear a bill that the students drafted.

In reviewing Jacob's application to the program and meeting him on Tuesday, I was impressed by his dedication and his hard work. I wish Jacob all the best as he completes high school and pursues his future goals.

Last Call to Take My Survey

As mentioned during the past few weeks, I am currently conducting a spring survey. Based on your responses, my office will be working on your priorities over the summer months to prepare for next session. If you already completed the survey, additional responses will be omitted from the final results. If you have not, please take a few minutes to let me know what you think. Please note that this week will be the last that the survey is open so that my staff and I can begin analyzing the results.
Take My Spring Survey

Upcoming Town Hall Meetings

Please join me for one of my town hall meetings in 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 Sen.Kapenga@legis.wi.gov or give me a call at (608) 266-9174.

Today in History

 
1766 - After months of protests by American colonists, Britain repeals the Stamp Act.
1818 - Congress approves pensions for Revolutionary War vets ($20 per month for officers, $8 per month for soldiers).
1834 - The first railroad tunnel in the United States opens for business, the Staple Bend Tunnel in western Pennsylvania.
1837 - Grover Cleveland, the only U.S. president to serve two nonconcurrent terms, is born in Caldwell, New Jersey.
1925 - The Tri-State Tornado, the deadliest tornado in U.S. history, kills some seven hundred people in Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.
Connect with Chris
SenatorKapenga.com

(608) 266-9174
(800) 863-8883

33rd Senate District
15 South
State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53708
Local Events
Delafield Community Egg Hunt
Saturday, March 26
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Town of Delafield Sports
Commons

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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