Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Senator Lazich's Weekly Insight

Rita Wood, Karen Vogel, Mihai Carlton, and Rose Paulus during Milwaukee Area Technical College lobby day

Tax Relief on the Fast Track
Wednesday, Republican Joint Finance Committee members reinforced our commitment to provide tax relief to Wisconsin’s families, seniors, farmers, and job creators while securing the state’s fiscal future.

We are taking the state surplus and reducing property taxes by over $400 million, lowering income taxes by nearly $100 million, and reducing the withholding for state income taxes by $322.6 million. Wisconsin, under the leadership of Governor Walker and State Legislature Republicans can and will do better than keeping your tax money in the hands of Madison bureaucrats.

Gone are the days of irresponsible and reckless budgeting, resulting in billion dollar deficits, leaving taxpayers footing the bill. Our continued disciplined fiscal management puts Wisconsin’s fiscal house in order, providing a stable economic environment for growth and close to two billion dollars in tax relief this session alone.

Thank you to Governor Walker for leading the way, and thank you to my colleagues in the Wisconsin State Senate and Wisconsin State Assembly for making this happen.

Click here, to visit my website and view our improving tax climate.

Common Core Update
Some constituents express deep concern about Wisconsin state academic standards, and the process used to adopt the standards. I agree, we need to create Wisconsin-based model academic standards, and replace the federal standards adopted by State Superintendent Tony Evers during 2010. I am a sponsor of Senate Bill 619 (SB 619). The bill provides a clear path for developing standards and provides for citizen participation.

SB 619 creates a Model Academic Standards Board. The Model Academic Standards Board members will be 15 appointments from the Governor, DPI Superintendent, and Legislative Leaders.  Appointments to the board include teachers, parents, principals, a superintendent, a school board member, and a teaching professor. Under SB 619, the Model Academic Standards Board will appoint subject specific subcommittees charged with developing Math, English, Science, and Social Studies standards.  Before approval of the standards by the Model Academic Standards Board a public hearing must be held.

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Secretary gets 30 days to review and revise the standards and hold another public hearing. The DPI Secretary then must submit the standards to the Legislature through the Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR).  JCRAR would then have 30 days to review the rules and hold a public hearing. The committee would have the power to approve or object to the standards. If JCRAR objects, legislation implementing the Board’s standards would be introduced and be referred to the respective committees within the two houses of the Legislature.

The State Senate this Week
The State Senate took action on forty bills during Tuesday’s floor session, including several bills I both authored or sponsored. Click here, to view actions taken during Tuesday’s Senate floor session.

The State Senate is scheduled to be on the floor of the State Senate March 4, 2014, for special session to take action on Governor Walker’s tax cut proposal. The 2013-14 legislative session ends April 3, 2014.

Click here to view the Schedule of Committee Hearings.

Google Invests $40 Million in Wisconsin Educational Software Company
Renaissance Learning confirms Google Capitol is a minority partner after investing $40 million into the educational technology provider.

Renaissance Learning, located in Wisconsin Rapid, provides one-third of U.S. schools with cloud-based educational, assessment, teaching and learning tools for gradesK-12. Read the full story, here.

DOT Preparing for Zoo Interchange Reconstruction
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is continuing to upgrade main detour routes ahead of highway ramp closures for the Zoo Interchange Reconstruction.

Ramps carrying westbound drivers on interstate 94 to I-894 will shut down March 2015 through late 2017, sending commuters onto Greenfield Ave, National Ave, and Miller Park Way.

The DOT is upgrading 24 intersections to accommodate the influx of commuters during the two year reconstruction process. Get the full story, click here.

Milwaukee Residents Among Highest Taxed
Milwaukee ranked in USA Today’s Top 10 cities with the highest tax rates. A federal report released by the Office of Revenue Analysis of the Government of the District of Columbia, reviews estimated property, sales, auto, and income tax for incomes during 2012 in each states largest city.

According to the report a Milwaukee family earning $25,000 had a tax burden of $3,245, the 26th highest in the nation. A Milwaukee family earning $150,000 had a tax burden around $26,000, the second highest in the nation. Property taxes represent the majority of Milwaukee resident’s tax burden.

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