Sunday, January 31, 2010

Winterizing Your Pet

[After experiencing some rather pleasant days by Wisconsin winter standards, it seems we're now back in the deep freeze (though we've certainly known worse at times). It's cold for our pets too, despite their having fur coats. Here are some tips from the Amreican Humane Association on how to keep your four-legged friends warm and safe during these cold winter months. The Oshkosh Police Department has also emailed us the city ordinances as they apply to animal welfare when keeping an animal outdoors. We're passing the information along to you in hopes that you will find it useful and think about your pet and its needs, specially when the temperatures dip.]

When the temperature (and the snow) begins to fall, you'll find that your pet needs a little extra care from you. Here are some points to remember this winter.

Cats and dogs need protection from wet and cold, whether they get it inside your house or inside their own. Cats are best kept inside when it gets cold, as are most small and short-haired dogs. An outdoor dog needs a dry, elevated dog house with clean, dry bedding and a flap over the opening to keep drafts out. Or consider adding a dog door to the garage with a soft cushion in the warmest corner.

A bowl of frozen water can't help a thirsty pet. Frozen water is not adequate to keep your animal from dehydrating. Check outdoor water bowls often when it's below freezing, and break the ice or refill with water as necessary.

Outdoor dogs need more calories in the winter to produce body heat, so increase the amount you feed your pet. On the other hand, indoor dogs and cats may get less exercise in the cold months, and will need fewer calories to avoid weight gain.

Chemicals used to melt snow on sidewalks can irritate pets' paws, so you may need to wipe them with a wet cloth after an outing. Dogs outside in the snow may need the ice between their paw pads removed.

Antifreeze tastes good to pets, but it is a deadly poison. The most likely source of the poison is radiator drainage spots in your garage, which should be flushed with water immediately.

A cat may crawl up under your car seeking shelter and warmth near the engine. It may get caught in the fan and seriously injured when the engine starts. Open the hood of your car or slap it noisily with your hand before starting the engine on cold days to startle any animal sleeping there.

- Provided by the American Humane Association

Oshkosh City Ordinance as it pertains to pets kept outdoors, plus a few others that may bear reminding:


(A) Every owner or person responsible shall provide animals with a sufficient supply of good/wholesome food and potable water to maintain health.

(B) No person shall confine and/or allow animals to remain outside during adverse weather conditions constituting a health hazard to such animal.

(1) Sufficient shade by natural or artificial source shall be provided to protect the animal from direct sunlight.

(2) Natural or artificial shelter appropriate to the local climatic conditions shall be provided as necessary.

(C) Every owner and/or person in charge or control of any animal which is kept outdoors, or in an unheated enclosure, shall provide such animal with shelter and bedding as prescribed in this section as a minimum.

(1) The housing facilities shall be structurally sound, moisture proof and maintained in good repair.

(2) Enclosures shall be constructed and maintained to provide sufficient space to allow each animal adequate freedom of movement and the retention of body heat.

(3) A solid floor raised at least 2" off the ground.

(4) An entrance covered by a self-closing swinging covering, or an L-shaped entrance to prevent the wind from blowing directly into the house.

(5) A sufficient quantity of suitable clean bedding material, to provide insulation and protection against the cold and dampness and promote the retention of body heat.

(6) During the months of May through September, inclusive, paragraphs 5 and 6 above may be suspended.

(D) Every owner that houses or confines an animal in a pen or enclosure shall keep and maintain such pen or enclosure in a clean, sanitary and odor free condition.

(E) No person may abandon or neglect any animal.

(F) No person shall kick, beat, cruelly ill treat, torment, overload, overwork, or otherwise abuse any animal.

(G) No person may cause or allow an animal to be placed or confined in a motor vehicle under such conditions or for such a period of time, without adequate ventilation, as to endanger the health or well being of such animal due to temperature, humidity, lack of food or drink, or such other conditions as may be reasonably expected to cause suffering, disability or death.

(H) No person may intentionally instigate, promote, aid or abet as a principal, agent or employee, or participate in the earnings from, or intentionally maintain or allow any place to be used for a cockfight, dog fight, bullfight or other fight between the same or different kinds of animals or between an animal and a person (951.08).

(I) No theatrical exhibit or act shall be held in which animals are forced or encouraged to perform through the use of chemical, electrical or mechanical devises. (951.07)

(J) The performance of any act prohibited by this section, or the non-performance of any act required by it, shall be deemed cruelty to animals and subject to the provisions of sections 951.15 and 951.16 Wis. Stats. adopted herein. Impoundment of animals under this section shall be as prescribed in section 6-18 of this municipal code.

What Are the Cyber Trends for 2010?

What Are the Cyber Trends for 2010?

• Malware, worms, and Trojan horses: These will continue to spread by email, instant messaging, malicious websites, and infected non-malicious websites. Some websites will automatically download the malware without the user’s knowledge or intervention. This is known as a “drive-by download.” Other methods will require the users to click on a link or button.

• Botnets and zombies: These threats will continue to proliferate as the attack techniques evolve and become available to a broader audience, with less technical knowledge required to launch successful attacks. Botnets designed to steal data are improving their encryption capabilities and thus becoming more difficult to detect.

• Scareware – fake/rogue security software: There are millions of different versions of malware, with hundreds more being created and used every day. This type of scam can be particularly profitable for cyber criminals -- as many users believe the pop-up warnings telling them their system is infected and are lured into downloading and paying for the special software to “protect” their system.

• Attacks on client-side software - With users keeping their operating systems patched, client-side software vulnerabilities are now an increasingly popular means of attacking systems. Client-side software includes things like Internet browsers, media players, PDF readers, etc. This software will continue to have vulnerabilities and subsequently be targeted by various malwares.

• Ransom attacks occur when a user or company is hit by malware that encrypts their hard drives or they are hit with a Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDOS) attack. The cyber criminals then notify the user or company that if they pay a small fee, the DDOS attack will stop or the hard drive will be unencrypted. This type of attack has existed for a number of years and is now it is gaining in popularity.

• Social Network Attacks: Social network attacks will be one of the major sources of attacks in 2010 because of the volume of users and the amount of personal information that is posted. Users’ inherent trust in their online friends is what makes these networks a prime target. For example, users may be prompted to follow a link on someone's page, which could bring users to a malicious website.

• Cloud Computing: Cloud computing is a growing trend due to its considerable cost savings opportunities for organizations. Cloud computing refers to a type of computing that relies on sharing computing resources rather than maintaining and supporting local servers. The growing use of cloud computing will make it a prime target for attack.

• Web Applications: There continues to be a large number of websites and online applications developed with inadequate security controls. These security gaps can lead to the compromise of the site and potentially to the site’s visitors.

• Budget cuts will be a problem for security personnel and a boon to cyber criminals. With less money to update software, hire personnel and implement security controls enterprises will be trying to do more with less. By not having up-to-date software, appropriate security controls or enough personnel to secure and monitor the networks, organizations will be more vulnerable.

What Can I Do?

The following are helpful tips to assist in minimizing risk:

• Properly configure and patch operating systems, browsers, and other software programs.

• Use and regularly update firewalls, anti-virus, and anti-spyware programs.

• Be cautious about all communications; think before you click. Use common sense when communicating with users you DO and DO NOT know.

• Do not open email or related attachments from un-trusted sources.

Friday, January 29, 2010

State Assembly Passes Carbon Monoxide Detector Bill

Madison - The Wisconsin State Assembly yesterday passed Senate Bill 415 with a bipartisan vote of 67 to 29. Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) was the lead sponsor for the Carbon Monoxide Detector Bill which requires carbon monoxide detectors to be placed in buildings containing one or two dwelling units. Earlier today this legislation passed the Senate. The next step will be for this bill to go to Governor Doyle to be signed into law.

“I co-authored this legislation with Senator Hansen after it was brought to my attention that there is a gap in our law requiring carbon monoxide detectors in residences in Wisconsin”, said Rep. Hintz. “Every year over 2,000 deaths and more than 40,000 injuries are caused by carbon monoxide in the United States alone, and we in Wisconsin are particularly susceptible given our cold climate”.

Last session, the Legislature passed legislation which required carbon monoxide alarms in all multi-family homes, hotels, bed and breakfast establishments, or any public building that is used for sleeping or lodging purposes. However, 72% of all non-fire carbon monoxide incidents reported to Fire Departments in 2005 occurred in one-or-two family dwellings. This bill expands current law to require CO alarms in all one- and two-family homes and parallels requirements for smoke alarms for ease of installation.

“Passage of this bill will result in prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning and deaths in our State, said Rep. Hintz. “I thank my colleagues for their support of this lifesaving measure.”

Carbon monoxide is known as the “silent killer” since the gas it undetectable by the human senses. At high concentrations in surrounding atmosphere, carbon monoxide can be fatal within minutes. This is illustrated by recent tragic deaths of a family of three in Quebec on December 30th. The family died in their sleep and the cause of death was determined to be carbon monoxide that had built up due to improper ventilation of an emergency generator used during a power outage. The home did not have a carbon monoxide detector.

Currently, twenty-four states already have laws requiring CO alarms in residential properties. This bill is strongly supported by many groups and organizations across the state including:
· Safe Kids Wisconsin
· the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin
· the Wisconsin Builders Association
· the Wisconsin State Fire Chief's Association
· Wisconsin Realtors Association

This legislation would take effect on February 1, 2011.

Governor Doyle Announces $823 Million for Passenger Rail in Wisconsin, Will Create Thousands of Jobs

[The following is a press release received from Gov. Doyle's office we thought might have some interest for readers.]

MILWAUKEE – Governor Jim Doyle and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced Wisconsin is receiving $823 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to build high-speed passenger rail service, creating thousands of jobs.

“Through high-speed rail, President Obama is making a major investment in the future of Wisconsin ’s economy,” Governor Doyle said. “This is a major project that will create thousands of jobs in Wisconsin and invest in our long-term growth, connecting the major centers of commerce in Wisconsin and the Midwest . With the Obama Administration’s support, Wisconsin is poised to be the nation’s leader in high speed rail manufacturing. This was a national competition and the results clearly demonstrate that we put forth a very strong application.”

Wisconsin is receiving $810 million to build high-speed passenger rail service between Milwaukee and Madison , including construction of track, passenger stations, signaling and other infrastructure improvements. Wisconsin is also receiving $12 million to install crossovers between Chicago and Milwaukee to improve service on this highly-popular route. The project is estimated to create thousands of jobs in Wisconsin in fields like construction, engineering, design and supply firms.

In addition to Wisconsin ’s funding, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has received $1 million to make final determinations on a route between Wisconsin and the Twin Cities . The study is the next step toward connecting Chicago , Milwaukee and Madison with the Twin Cities.

Construction of the Milwaukee-Madison line is scheduled to begin by the end of 2010, and should be completed by January 2013. Wisconsin will also purchase two additional state-of-the-art train sets – for four total new sets – that will be assembled and maintained in Wisconsin . In addition, the state will invest in eight new energy-efficient locomotives that will be built in the United States – hopefully in Wisconsin .

In July, Governor Doyle signed an agreement with the Spanish train manufacturer Talgo to put two Talgo train sets into service in Wisconsin and to establish new assembly and maintenance facilities in the state. The rail car assembly plant will support the delivery of Talgo trains throughout the country.

Over the next 10 years, high-speed passenger rail in Wisconsin will eliminate 7.8 million car trips, save 27.6 million gallons of fuel, eliminate nearly 270,000 tons of carbon emissions, and create more livable communities with less congestion.

Governor Doyle and Secretary Donovan were joined by Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett for the announcement at the Intermodal Station in Milwaukee . The Governor thanked them for their support, and recognized Congressman Dave Obey and Senator Herb Kohl for their efforts to help Wisconsin win 100 percent of its passenger rail funding request.

For more information on the project please visit:

Wisconsin State Assembly Honors Oshkosh's Own - Bill Van Lieshout Receives Hometown Hero Award

Madison - The Wisconsin State Assembly presented Bill Van Lieshout with the Hometown Hero Award.

Bill was accompanied by his wife, Sandy, daughter Margie, and numerous family and friends. Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) nominated Bill for this award and presented it to him after he introduced him before the State Assembly. Mr. Van Lieshout then addressed the Assembly about his career, the importance of education, and how fortunate he felt to be raised in Wisconsin .

Recipients of this award are individuals who make a significant impact in their communities and in the lives of those around them.

“I am proud to present the Hometown Hero award to Bill Van Lieshout:, said Rep. Hintz. “Bill’s lifetime of teaching and coaching in our community is worthy of this recognition. Bill is a modest man, but he deserves this recognition. It was a pleasure to meet his family and friends and see first-hand what a wonderful role-model he is”.

Bill Van Lieshout’s passion for education, athletics and coaching has positively influenced countless youth of Oshkosh . He has worked for the Oshkosh Area School District for over 31 years and instilled our youth his strong work ethic and a selfless nature. Bill has had a remarkable career receiving numerous athletic and teaching achievements. But what he has given to his community as a leader is what makes Bill stand out as a Hometown Hero.

The footage of the presentation and Bill Van Lieshout’s speech will be posted soon on

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Statement from Rep. Hintz on Governor Jim Doyle's State of the State Address

“Governor Doyle’s State of the State address rightly focused on the challenges of these tough economic times. He highlighted the important investments we have made on the state level to assist those who have lost their jobs, preserve existing jobs, and create new jobs to build the Wisconsin economy for future generations. While every state has been hit hard during this far-reaching global economic crisis, Wisconsin has fared better than many states due to our focus and creativity on economic development. I look forward to working with my colleagues the remainder of this session as we build tools that will enable us to bring new jobs to Wisconsin. By broadening the incentives we have already created, we will strengthen Wisconsin and give businesses the opportunity to expand their current workforce.

Many of the Governor’s new proposals on clean energy and health insurance are intriguing, but I remain concerned about the long term impact on our budget beyond the Governor’s time in office.”

In State of the State Address, Governor Doyle Outlines Plans to Build Economy, Create Jobs

MADISON – In his eighth State of the State Address, Governor Jim Doyle outlined proposals to build the economy, create jobs and provide property tax relief for homeowners, while protecting key priorities like education and health care and helping those hardest hit by the struggling national economy.

“I stand before you tonight at a difficult time in America ’s history,” Governor Doyle said. “We have been hit hard by an economic crisis – the depths of which we have not seen since the Great Depression. I have a year left as Governor, and I want to be very clear about what my top priority will be. I will do everything I can to help our businesses create jobs and give our workers the opportunities to get those jobs. Nothing is more important.”

2009 Business Success Stories

The Governor thanked Speaker Sheridan, Majority Leader Decker and all the legislators who passed his most recent budget that created some of the strongest economic development tools in the nation. Wisconsin now has powerful new tax credits to help manufacturers create and retain jobs, new tools to help investors create start-ups, and new incentives to spur research and development. Wisconsin now ranks 30 in business taxes, one of the best business tax environments in the nation.

As a result of these tax credits, numerous companies expanded or moved operations from other states to Wisconsin in 2009, including Republic Airways in Milwaukee, Oshkosh Corp., ULINE and ACCO Brands Corp. in Pleasant Prairie, Herman Miller in Sheboygan, Enzymatic Therapy in Green Bay, A&E Incorporated in Racine, Actuant Corp. in Menomonee Falls, and Integrated Genomics and Exact Sciences in Madison. Eight biotech companies relocated to Wisconsin from Minnesota , Massachusetts , Colorado , and Florida .

Governor Doyle Outlines Job Creation Efforts

“Our country will emerge from this recession and when that happens, Wisconsin is positioned for the future,” Governor Doyle said. “We are helping our bedrock industries like agriculture and manufacturing. But we must also seize the opportunity to grow a strong new part of our economy in clean energy.”

During his State of the State Address, Governor Doyle unveiled the Wisconsin Green to Gold Fund, a $100 million revolving loan fund for manufacturers to reduce their energy costs, improve their bottom line and create jobs. The Governor will also invest $1.75 million through the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership to help small and mid-sized manufacturers use sustainable practices to give them a competitive edge.

Governor Doyle called on the Legislature to pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act, building on state successes to develop a clean energy economy. The bill will strengthen the state’s renewable portfolio standards to generate 25 percent of our energy from renewable sources by 2025. And it will reduce energy consumption by 2 percent by 2015 by improving efficiency for businesses and homes. The plan would create 15,000 jobs in Wisconsin .

Several Wisconsin companies that are creating clean energy jobs were recognized, including Tower Tech, Nature Tech, Energy Performance Specialists, The Crave Brothers, Virent, Johnson Controls, Orion Energy, Kohler, Cardinal Glass, Waukesha Electric, ZBB Energy, Helios USA, Renewegy, and Wind Capital Group.

“We were one of the first states to enact renewable portfolio standards,” Governor Doyle said. “As a result, we’ve seen a rapid expansion in renewable energy production and real growth in clean energy jobs. Let’s not let partisanship get in the way of passing this bill and making Wisconsin a leader in the clean energy economy.”

Governor Doyle also called on the Legislature to pass the Wisconsin CORE Jobs Act to provide millions in tax credits for angel and venture capital investments, and called for the passage of the Southeast Regional Transit Authority (RTA) bill. Last week, the Governor joined CEOs from southeast Wisconsin ’s biggest companies to highlight the importance of an RTA for businesses.

To create jobs in the state’s agriculture industry, Governor Doyle called on the Legislature to extend the expired dairy modernization tax credit to help hard-pressed dairy farmers position their businesses for future growth. He also called for a Food Processing Modernization Tax Credit to allow companies to invest in new technologies, find savings, expand their operations and create jobs.

Governor Doyle Calls for Passage of BadgerCare Basic to Help Struggling Families

Under Governor Doyle’s leadership, Wisconsin has also emerged as a national leader in health care, despite difficult national economic times. Through the Governor’s BadgerCare Plus program, every child in Wisconsin has health coverage. In 2009, Governor Doyle created the BadgerCare Core program for adults who work in low-income jobs but don’t have children, but the program had to be capped to stay within budget. Last week, Governor Doyle unveiled BadgerCare Basic, a self-funded program providing basic care for those on the Core waiting list.

“If I have to choose between making sure people can see a doctor and get the medication they need – at no cost to taxpayers -- or worrying whether the insurance companies might be upset … to me, that’s an easy choice,” Governor Doyle said. “I’m standing with the people of Wisconsin who desperately need health care.”

Governor Doyle Calls for Property Tax Relief for Homeowners

Governor Doyle called on the Legislature to begin the process of amending the uniformity clause in the state Constitution to focus property tax relief on homeowners. Wisconsin is one of only a handful of states that is prevented from directing property tax relief solely to homeowners.

Since taking office, Governor Doyle has improved Wisconsin ’s tax ranking dramatically, moving the state from the 4th highest taxed state to 15th today. When considering taxes and fees, Wisconsin ’s ranking improves to 24th. The state’s tax ranking has fallen for six consecutive years – unprecedented in state history.

Governor Doyle Protects Education, Calls for MPS Reform

Under Governor Doyle’s leadership, the state has improved access to four year old kindergarten, reduced class sizes, increased school breakfast, provided students the opportunity go to college through the Wisconsin Covenant, nearly tripled financial aid and adopted the highest standards to better assess student achievement.

The state has made large investments in Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), directing more than $5.2 billion to the district under Governor Doyle. The state and federal governments now fund 80 percent of the MPS budget. Yet test scores show Milwaukee consistently ranks at the bottom of urban districts in the country.

“It is becoming harder and harder for the people who are fighting to defend the status quo,” Governor Doyle. “We need a superintendent appointed by the mayor who will have a clear mission of reform and the ability to drive real change, day after day, month after month, year after year. Only this Legislature can make this change. If you do not act now, you will be picking up the pieces of a broken school system within a few years and failing children who desperately need your help.”

Text of Governor Doyle's 2010 State of the State Address

Text of Governor Doyle’s 2010 State of the State Address

Speaker Sheridan, Speaker Pro Tem Staskunas, President Risser, Majority Leader Decker, Minority Leaders Fitzgerald and Fitzgerald, Constitutional Officers, Supreme Court Justices, tribal leaders, members of the Cabinet, distinguished guests, members of the Legislature, and fellow citizens of Wisconsin.

I stand before you tonight at a difficult time in America ’s history. We have been hit hard by an economic crisis – the depths of which we have not seen since the Great Depression.

Our nation’s unemployment rate has soared to over 10 percent. While Wisconsin ’s rate is one and a half points lower – it is still far too high.

Far too many remain unemployed. Far too many are making do with a paycheck that doesn’t go as far as it used to. And far too many are living with the fear that they might lose their jobs and their health care.

Let us never forget that an unemployment rate is not just a statistic. These are people who did nothing wrong. They didn’t deal derivatives, manipulate Wall Street, hyper inflate the real estate market or get bonuses from big investment banks. They are our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers, our neighbors and friends.

Above all else, we have to look out for these people. In Wisconsin , I’m proud we haven’t turned our backs on them.

We’re making sure they have unemployment insurance and training to get a new start in life.

And although demand is at an all-time high, we’re making sure they have health care and food assistance.

We’ve been able to do this – and protect our most important priorities like education and health care – because we’ve made the deepest cuts in state spending in history. Everyone has felt the effects. We have cut state agencies by 10 percent or more. We have furloughed state workers and eliminated pay raises. We have held 3,400 state jobs vacant – 10 percent of the state workforce.

I will have to make another round of difficult cuts. But we will make these cuts as we have made them before – protecting education, health care, and public safety, and protecting the middle class against tax increases.

While we help our citizens get through this difficult time and back to work, we must also make sure – that as the national economy comes back – Wisconsin is poised to grow and expand.

I have a year left as Governor, and I want to be very clear about what my top priority will be. I will do everything I can to help our businesses create jobs and give our workers the opportunities to get those jobs. Nothing is more important.

Yes, as we look at the state of our state, we are most certainly facing tough challenges. But our people have shown a resolve that is even tougher. THIS is Wisconsin .

I am proud to be Governor of a state where people are making tough decisions in these hard times, yet still looking out for one another.


The story of Mercury Marine is a great example.

One of our flagship Wisconsin companies, Mercury Marine has provided good paying jobs to hardworking families for 70 years. With our nation’s economic downturn, Mercury was facing the need to consolidate.

Mercury management made a commitment to Wisconsin . Union workers approved painful concessions. Community leaders put together a local incentive package. I called for – and you quickly passed – new tax credits for companies like Mercury that retain jobs, allowing the state to offer a strong incentive package. I want to thank Speaker Mike Sheridan, who understood the urgency of taking immediate action.

I know how tense these negotiations were. I was working with Mercury executives, union leaders and local officials around the clock.

In the end, Mercury decided to stay in Wisconsin – keeping thousands of jobs here and bringing hundreds of jobs from out of state. It shows what we can do – even in times like these – when we focus and work together toward a common goal.

Tonight, we’re joined by people who deserve a lot of credit … Mercury CEO Mark Schwabero, Machinists General Vice President Rich Michalski, Local Union President Mark Zillges, and Fond du Lac County Executive Allen Buechel.

I also want to acknowledge the efforts of Senator Randy Hopper. I was on the phone with him and others many times a day. While some – for political reasons – seemed to want Mercury Marine to leave, Senator Hopper put partisanship aside and quietly did everything he could to keep Mercury in Wisconsin .

As companies like Mercury Marine will tell you – Wisconsin is definitely open for business.

I want to thank Speaker Sheridan, Majority Leader Decker and all the legislators who passed this budget. As a result of your work, Wisconsin now has some of the strongest economic development tools in the country. We’re spurring research and development through new incentives. We’re giving investors new tools to create start-ups. And we’re using powerful new tax credits to help manufacturers create and retain jobs.

As a result of our work, Wisconsin now ranks 30th in business taxes – well below the national average.

With the help of these incentives, over the last year, many other companies have moved their operations from other states to Wisconsin .

When Republic Airways bought Midwest Airlines, people in Wisconsin were concerned. But with our tax incentives, we were able to help Republic establish a major airline hub in Milwaukee , retaining 800 jobs and bringing in 800 more from Colorado and New Mexico . As Republic Airways CEO Bryan Bedford said, “This was a jobs contest between Milwaukee , Indianapolis and Denver … Taxes matter."

Among others, we helped ACCO Brands Corporation, the Herman Miller Company, Enzymatic Therapy, Actuant Corporation, and A&E Incorporated all move operations here from other states – adding hundreds of jobs.

We helped ULINE bring its headquarters – and over 1,000 new jobs – from Illinois to Pleasant Prairie.

In just the last three months, we saw 8 biotech companies relocate here … from Minnesota , Massachusetts , Colorado and Florida … because we’ve created a world class bioscience environment and opportunities for entrepreneurs to raise more capital.

One of the biggest Fox Valley employers -- Oshkosh Corporation -- won a major defense contract with the help of our tax credits. They could create or retain 2,000 manufacturing jobs to supply our soldiers with safe, innovative vehicles.

And we’ve brought a Spanish train manufacturer here to build high speed trains. With the Obama Administration’s support, Wisconsin is poised to be the nation’s leader in high speed rail manufacturing.

But despite these successes, there is more we need to do to position Wisconsin ’s economy for the future.

Let’s pass the Wisconsin CORE Jobs Act, authored by Senators Lassa and Kreitlow. This proposal builds on my Accelerate Wisconsin plan by providing millions more in tax credits for angel and venture capital investments. It also strengthens successful programs for manufacturing, research and development, and worker training.

Let’s also pass legislation to create a Regional Transit Authority in southeast Wisconsin . I want to thank the legislators from southeast Wisconsin , led by Senator Lehman and Representative Barca, who worked on this proposal with my Administration.

Make no mistake, this is a jobs bill.

Last week, I stood with CEOs of some of Wisconsin’s largest employers -- Tim Sullivan of Bucyrus, Ed Zore of Northwestern Mutual, Fisk Johnson of SC Johnson, Bob Mariano of Roundy’s, and Scott VanderSanden of AT&T Wisconsin.

They said a regional transit authority is critical for the future of their companies. Tim Sullivan said it best – “This is not a want; this is an absolute need for the community.”

These CEOs represent hundreds of companies that employ thousands of people in southeast Wisconsin who all say this has to be done. Let’s listen to them and pass this bill.

Let’s also extend the expired dairy modernization tax credit to help our hard-pressed dairy farmers invest in their operations. With milk prices rebounding from record lows, these tax credits will help farmers position their businesses for future growth as the economy turns around.

In addition, we can help our agriculture industry create jobs by enacting a Food Processing Modernization Tax Credit – a strategy that has worked in other industries. This tax credit will allow companies to invest in new technologies, find savings, expand their operations, and create jobs.

Our country will emerge from this recession and when that happens, Wisconsin is positioned for the future. We are helping our bedrock industries like agriculture and manufacturing.

But we must also seize the opportunity to grow a strong new part of our economy in clean energy.


Wisconsin has no natural gas … no coal … and no oil. Every year, we send $16 billion out of our state to power our homes and businesses and fuel our cars. Building a clean energy economy is an enormous opportunity to capture those dollars.

Clean energy technology and high-end manufacturing are Wisconsin ’s future. We have the research capacity – and we have the forests, fields and farms to be the leader in the clean energy economy.

Four years ago, we became one of the first states to enact renewable portfolio standards. These standards require a portion of our energy to be produced from renewable sources.

As a result, we’ve seen a rapid expansion in renewable energy production and real growth in clean energy jobs. We are one of the leading producers of ethanol in the country. And we have more than 300 companies and thousands of jobs in the wind industry.

Many businesses are already taking advantage of this opportunity as the world moves rapidly in this direction.

Tower Tech, a wind tower manufacturer in Manitowoc , didn’t even exist a few years ago. But today, due to renewable portfolio standards, they employ 170 highly skilled workers.

Nature Tech in Milwaukee is an example of a great new start-up that has developed a process to make energy efficient insulation from old newspapers. It’s safer because it doesn’t burn, and it takes one-tenth the energy to produce compared to standard insulation.

Energy Performance Specialists in McFarland is a new company specializing in energy efficient lighting. They were so successful in reducing energy consumption at a Madison state office building that MG&E thought the meter was broken.

The Crave Brothers Farm in Waterloo represents the future of modern agriculture. Through new technologies, they're using farm waste to generate enough power for 300 homes and finding innovative ways to produce the best cheese in the world while creating clean energy jobs.

We Energies and Domtar plan to build a power plant fueled by biomass from the paper mill in Rothschild, turning wood waste into electricity and creating 550 jobs.

Companies like Virent are leading innovation in new fuels. Johnson Controls and Orion Energy have developed strong businesses based on energy efficiency. Companies like Wind Capital Group, Waukesha Electric, ZBB Energy, Helios USA , Cardinal Glass, Renewegy, and many others provide good jobs for people making solar panels, components for wind turbines and advanced battery products.

None of these Wisconsin companies would be producing these jobs without good government policy and renewable energy standards.

This is not some pie in the sky. Anyone who says there aren’t jobs in the clean energy economy had better open their eyes.

Let’s quickly pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act to create new jobs in Wisconsin .

This bill will strengthen our renewable portfolio standards to generate 25 percent of our energy from renewable sources by 2025. And we’ll reduce our energy consumption by 2 percent by 2015 by improving energy efficiency in our businesses and homes. I want to thank Senators Miller and Plale and Representatives Black and Soletski for working hard to develop this bill.

We will keep more of our energy dollars in our state. And we will create more than 15,000 clean energy jobs in Wisconsin … not just in these new fields, but in construction, manufacturing, and agriculture.

Let’s not let partisanship get in the way of passing this bill and making Wisconsin a leader in the clean energy economy.

But the opportunities don’t just lie with clean energy companies. Wisconsin is also home to many of the country’s largest and most innovative manufacturers who are finding major savings through energy efficiency. I have made it a priority to help these businesses expand these efforts.

For example, we are the only state directing 100 percent of our state energy funds from the Recovery Act – more than $55 million – to help our biggest manufacturers bring down their costs through energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Companies like Kohler, Quad Graphics, NewPage, Wausau Paper, Domtar and Thilmany Paper are already creating hundreds of jobs through these energy saving efforts.

But we can do more. Tonight, I am announcing the establishment of the Wisconsin Green to Gold Fund. By streamlining existing state resources, we are creating a new $100 million revolving loan fund for manufacturers to reduce their energy costs.

We will also help small and mid-sized manufacturers move into the clean energy economy. We will invest $1.75 million through the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership … to help these smaller manufacturers use sustainable practices to save money and gain a competitive edge.


For the last seven years, we’ve protected another key priority.

Even in this tough economy – even with a big health care debate raging in Washington – we have found practical ways to help hardworking people get basic health care.

We have the 2nd highest percentage of people covered in the nation, and we are ranked 1st in health care quality.

Four years ago, I stood before you with a bold proposal to make Wisconsin America’s health care leader by providing health care access to 98 percent of our citizens. I am proud that we have made it happen.

BadgerCare Plus is proof of our success. Today we are covering every child in Wisconsin . And through our BadgerCare Core Plan, we are providing health care for adults who work in low-income jobs but don’t have children.

We knew our Core Plan was badly needed. We enrolled 64,000 people in the first few months, but the program had to be capped to stay within our budget.

We are joined tonight by Tony and Pamela Camera. Last year, Tony, who was recently diagnosed with diabetes, lost his IT job and Pamela lost her job in the home health care industry. Along with their jobs, they lost their health care. Only because of the Core plan was Tony able to receive the treatment he needed to avoid serious health problems.

I have good news to report. Today, Pamela has a new job, and they’ve moved off BadgerCare Core. Both deeply appreciate the help, but they are happy to be opening a spot for someone else on the waiting list.

22,000 people are on that waiting list. Many have health conditions that will just get worse without treatment. And a serious medical condition could send them into bankruptcy.

So we are moving forward with BadgerCare Basic – a new, entirely self funded plan for those on the Core waiting list. It will cost $130 a month – paid for entirely by the people who enroll. It is a basic plan. But at least people can visit a doctor, get the medications they need, and go to the hospital if necessary. And it won’t cost taxpayers a dime.

Last week, I met Mary Tree of Sparta . For 37 years, she had a job with health insurance. She lost her job a year ago, and now she's working part-time. She’s about to turn 59, she’s on three medications, she’s six years away from Medicare, and her COBRA is about to run out. She has nowhere to go.

But with BadgerCare Basic, Mary can see a doctor and get her medication.

Look, I know that without a job – or even with a low-paying job -- $130 a month isn't easy. But it is something.

It’s hard for me to imagine how someone could oppose this. But some apparently are worried the insurance companies might be upset.

Well, if I have to choose between making sure people can see a doctor and get the medication they need – at no cost to taxpayers – or worrying whether the insurance companies might be upset … to me, that’s an easy choice. I’m standing with the people of Wisconsin who desperately need health care.


In the last seven years, we’ve protected our priorities – while also protecting the middle class from tax increases.

Look, I know the political games that get played with this issue. But I’m not running for office again, so let me just lay out the facts.

Eight years ago, I made a campaign pledge to get us out of the top 10 highest taxed states in the nation. People scoffed, because when I became Governor, we were ranked 4th in the country in state and local taxes. And we had not been out of the Top 10 in 22 years.

But year after year, we worked hard to hold the line. And I’ve lived up to my pledge. Today we rank 15th. And when you look at what we pay in both taxes and fees, we rank 24th. Our tax ranking has improved for six consecutive years – unprecedented in state history.

Today, Wisconsin 's state and local tax rankings are their lowest in nearly 50 years.

Even the Republican leaning Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance has had to grudgingly acknowledge our progress.

We’ve also held the line on property taxes. I’ve signed the tightest property tax limits in state history.

But I know we can do more. I understand working families need further relief. We all want to provide more property tax relief to homeowners.

But every year, whenever we’ve tried to focus property tax relief on homeowners, we’ve run into language in our Constitution that prevents this. We are one of only a handful of states that can’t directly help homeowners.

So tonight, I am calling on the Legislature to begin the process of amending our Constitution … so we can direct property tax relief to where people need it the most – on their homes.


All of the investments we are making in our economy … from agriculture to manufacturing to clean energy … must be built on a strong educational system.

As I have said to you many times before, education must be our top priority.

I’ve told you stories about how prior generations protected education – even in the midst of the Great Depression. I grew up in a family where the University of Wisconsin was revered second in importance only to the Catholic Church … and then only by a very small margin.

Many times I’ve said -- we can’t tell a second grader, come back when the economy recovers, we’ll give you an education then. And we can’t tell high school students who have earned their way into our great university system – I’m sorry, there’s not a place for you, come back in a few years.

I’m happy to say we have protected our schools in tough times – just like generations before us.

We haven’t made drastic cuts in education, laid off thousands of teachers, shut down kindergarten or had double digit increases in tuition – like many other states.

Instead – even in these tough times – we have invested in 4 year old kindergarten, small class sizes, and school breakfast.

We are giving more students the opportunity to go to college. Over 50,000 students have joined the Wisconsin Covenant, and we now have $25 million a year to help Covenant Scholars pay for college.

We have nearly tripled financial aid for University of Wisconsin students since I took office. And I’m proud to say that even in these tough times, we are educating more students in our university system today than at any time in our history.

But there is more to do to help our kids compete for the jobs of the future.

We are setting high standards and requiring accountability. Parents want to know that there are real standards and they want to see how their kids compare to students around the world. And parents want someone to be accountable for seeing that their kids are getting a good education.

With our Race to the Top application, we are seizing President Obama’s challenge to take our already great schools to the next level.

Let me say a word about the Milwaukee Public Schools. We had better face the cold, hard reality about MPS – we simply cannot continue to allow one group of our kids to be held back.

I believe in the Milwaukee Public Schools. I’m often in those schools. My wife is there weekly. I have fought for and delivered for the Milwaukee Public Schools since taking office.

But the McKinsey report demonstrates that the Milwaukee Public Schools as currently operated cannot be sustained financially, and not because you as a Legislature have not provided them the funding.

The state and federal government fund 80 percent of the Milwaukee Public Schools’ budget. In my seven years as Governor, we have directed more than $5.2 billion to the Milwaukee Public Schools.

Even more important, the Milwaukee Public Schools as currently operated cannot be sustained educationally. Despite our huge state investment, test scores show Milwaukee consistently ranks at the bottom of urban districts in the country.

It is becoming harder and harder for the people who are fighting to defend the status quo.

We have great teachers and principals in Milwaukee . And we have bright students who come to school eager to learn. But what we don’t have is clear, consistent, accountable leadership focused on reform.

We need a superintendent appointed by the mayor who will have a clear mission of reform and the ability to drive real change … day after day, month after month, year after year.

Look, I understand change is hard.

I want to thank Senators Taylor, Plale, Carpenter and Sullivan and Representatives Colon, Fields, Richards and Staskunas for their courageous willingness to challenge the status quo and look out for the kids in Milwaukee Public Schools.

Only this Legislature can make this change. If you do not act now, you will be picking up the pieces of a broken school system within a few years and failing children who desperately need your help.

If we put partisanship aside … if we don’t play political games… and most importantly, if we act in the best interests of the children, not the adults … we can take a historic step to bring strong leadership and reform to the Milwaukee Public Schools.


As difficult as times have been, there are so many people who inspire us … and remind us why Wisconsin is such a great place.

I am so proud of all the countless organizations and individuals across our state who have stepped up in this bad economy to meet the needs of struggling families.

Here’s just one example. The Feeding America food bank in Milwaukee distributes more than 12 million pounds of food each year to 235,000 Wisconsin families. This year, demand increased by 22 percent.

We are joined tonight by three individuals who represent thousands across the state who run food banks … who give generous donations … and who deliver the food to people on the streets.

Please join me in welcoming and thanking … Feeding America President Bonnie Bellehumeur, Maureen Crowley of the Benidt Foundation, and Reverend Michael Champion, who runs a food pantry out of his church – a storefront on Fond du Lac Avenue in Milwaukee .

And of course, I couldn’t talk about Wisconsin pride without talking about the Green Bay Packers. While we all wish they were still playing right now, it’s an honor to have Packer and Badger great Mark Tauscher with us tonight.

When Mark injured his knee last season, many predicted it would be the end of his Packer career. But like Vince Lombardi once said ... it's not whether you get knocked down. It's whether you get up.

Like Wisconsin , Mark has worked hard to come back – and we are glad he did to cut down on those sacks. He’s also showing what it really means to be a Packer … because he’s not only making a big difference on the field, but in his community as well.

Mark is dedicated to literacy. He visits schools throughout the state to promote reading, and he has started his own foundation to improve literacy in Wisconsin .

On behalf of the people of Wisconsin , Mark, let me say thank you for your extraordinary play on the field and extraordinary service to our community.

But nobody is a greater source of pride to all of us than our brave men and women in uniform who courageously serve our country … especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Last year, Wisconsin lost 8 soldiers … 2 during the terrible tragedy at Fort Hood and 6 on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan . We are honored to be joined tonight by the family of Captain Russell Seager of Mount Pleasant , who was killed that tragic day at Fort Hood , and the family of Sgt. Nikolas Mueller of Little Chute, who was killed in action in Afghanistan .

Tonight, we want to honor the sacrifice of these Wisconsin heroes … and all those who have given their lives for our country. We owe them a debt of gratitude we can never repay.

We also want to honor those who are still serving our country … and those who have just come home.

Last year, we had the largest operational deployment of our Guard since World War II - more than 4,000 Wisconsin soldiers and airmen. They have performed dangerous missions with bravery -- and while 3,200 of them came home this month, many still serve.

None of my duties as Governor brings me more pride than being Commander-in-Chief of our Wisconsin National Guard. Over the course of our history, and especially since the September 11 attacks, our National Guard has been asked to make enormous sacrifices. Each time, they have responded with the same professionalism and courage that makes our state and our country so proud.

Please join me in thanking the leadership of our National Guard – Adjutant General Don Dunbar and Brigadier General Mark Anderson – and four of those brave men and women who have served with honor and distinction and who have just come home:

· From the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team – Command Sgt. Major Ed Hansen and Lt. Col. Leah Moore
· From the 91st Sapper Engineer Company – Lt. Dylan Abler
· And from the 115th Fighter Wing – Lt. Col. Erik Peterson

I want to thank them – and all the men and women of our Guard and all our armed services – for going above and beyond the call of any citizen. On behalf of everyone in Wisconsin , I am proud to welcome you home as our newest veterans.

And I’m incredibly proud that I’m Governor of a state that doesn’t just say “thank you, goodbye” to our veterans, but provides them with the most comprehensive veterans’ benefits of any state in the nation – including a ticket to college … tuition free.

On Memorial Day nearly four years ago, I was proud to sign a bill that ensures our veterans have the chance to get an education -- tuition-free -- at one of Wisconsin ’s great universities or technical colleges. Nearly 7,700 enrolled just last school year alone.

Let me introduce two veterans who’ve taken advantage of this opportunity. Jason Matthys is an Army National Guard veteran who returned from Iraq in 2004. He’s used the Wisconsin GI Bill to earn a Bachelor’s in Secondary Math Education. And while teaching high school in Livingston , he’s working on his master’s in school counseling.

David Jeske is a Marine who has served three tours of duty in Iraq . He is currently in his sophomore year at UW-Eau Claire, and is pursuing a degree in finance and a minor in economics. He’s involved in several student veterans’ organizations and is the President of the University Veterans Club.

Jason and David, we thank you for your service and for continuing to make our state proud.

Yes, times have been tough. But this difficult time has made us focus on our most basic …our most important priorities.

When they write the history of this time, let them say we met our generation’s challenge.

We helped those in trouble …we made health care available to our citizens … we educated our kids … we invested in our businesses and workers … we seized the new opportunities presented … and we moved boldly into the future.

Thank you all.

On Wisconsin.

Snow removal enforcement in Oshkosh to be stepped up

[Because there are still many property owners in Oshkosh not shoveling their sidewalks, according to this information from the city manager and Oshkosh Police Department, enforcement of the city code as it relates to shoveling will be stepped up.]

Date: January 22, 2010

To: Mayor & City Council
From: Mark A. Rohloff, City Manager

SNOW REMOVAL ENFORCEMENT TO BE RAMPED UP: I met with Public Works staff this week to discuss the effectiveness of our snow and ice removal enforcement since the adoption of the new snow removal ordinance last year. While the code has clarified who is responsible for snow removal (i.e., property owners), we are still encountering problems in which property owners are moving snow into the right-of-way or onto other people's properties. We are also experiencing property owners who are not regularly removing snow and ice from their sidewalks. While we are encouraged by some overall improvement, we still believe that additional enforcement is needed to more effectively remove snow and ice from sidewalks. Based upon the complaints that we have received from other residents, as well as discussions with Public Works staff, the Police Department, and the City Attorney, I am directing staff to go to the next step in the enforcement of these codes by issuing citations. While I know that we will receive complaints from people who feel we are over zealous in our enforcement, I believe that the feedback we have received makes it appropriate to step up our enforcement to be fair to all. As a result, Public Works staff will identify properties that are pushing snow off of their properties. Those property owners will be issued citations immediately. As for sidewalk snow and ice removal, we will continue to primarily enforce on a complaint basis. After we are aware of a sidewalk complaint, we will remove the nuisance, charge the property owner, and issue a citation. Our belief is that we may see a one time increase in court cases, but as the community becomes more aware of our enforcement, we believe that people will begin to comply and the tickets will subside. Our goal throughout this is not to issue tickets; rather, our goal is to insure that property owners are following the law in clearing the sidewalks to make it a safer environment for everyone. If you have any questions regarding the enforcement of this code, please contact me.

[The following is just a copy of what has been sent out by the Oshkosh Police Department previously regarding snow removal.]

Please be aware of our city ordinance regarding snow removal on sidewalks and at crosswalks within 24 hours after the snow stops. The homeowner is responsible so please make sure your area is cleaned off for pedestrians to use. It is also against the ordinance to plow, shovel or snow blow snow into the street.

If you wish to file a complaint about a sidewalk not being cleared after the 24 hour time period is up, you may call the Engineering Department at City Hall (920-236-5065). You will need the exact street address where the violation is at when calling.

[Here is a copy of the city ordinance regarding snow shoveling.]

(1) Sidewalks
Every owner of real property within the City shall within twenty-four (24) hours following cessation of a snowfall or other precipitation, remove all snow and ice from the sidewalk located adjacent to the premises; provided that, when ice is so formed on any sidewalk so that it cannot be removed, the person owning such premises shall keep the sidewalk sprinkled with a material to accelerate melting or prevent slipping. Every person who owns property abutting sidewalks on two intersecting streets shall remove all snow and ice from the sidewalks bordering the crosswalk, including the curb ramp. Additional snow events will not extend the snow removal deadline. Prior snowfalls are required to be removed by the original deadline.

(2) Deposit On Streets and Near Fire Hydrants Prohibited.

(A) No person shall throw, or put, or cause to be thrown or put, any snow or ice onto any fire hydrant, or cause to be blocked or covered or interfere with the use of fire hydrants.

(B) No owner of real property within the City shall remove or cause or allow to be removed any snow or ice from private property including but not limited to driveway, parking lot, parking area, business property, or other area onto any public right-of-way or public property. No owner of real property within the City shall remove or cause or allow to be removed any snow or ice from a sidewalk or driveway apron onto any alley or street.

(C) Snow removed from public sidewalks shall not be stored in any manner which will unreasonably obstruct or limit vehicular or pedestrian vision, movement, or access.

(D) If the owner of such premises shall fail to remove such snow and ice or to sprinkle a sidewalk as required, or if the owner deposits or causes to be deposited or allows snow or ice to be deposited upon any public right-of-way or public property contrary to these provisions, such actions shall be considered a nuisance. Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be subject to a forfeiture of not less than twenty dollars ($20) nor more than fifty dollars ($50) for a first offense and not less than thirty dollars ($30) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100) for any subsequent offense. Each day any violation of this ordinance continues shall constitute a separate offense.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Public meeting scheduled January 27 to discuss replacement of Oshkosh overpasses

[The following is a press release from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and we are pleased to publish it on their behalf.]

Construction starts in spring on Witzel Avenue and County K overpasses

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Northeast Region in Green Bay is holding a public information meeting on the replacement of the Witzel Avenue and County K (20th Avenue) bridges over US 41 in Winnebago County. The meeting is scheduled Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at the US 41 Winnebago County Field Office, 2905 Universal Street (west of Prime Outlets at the WIS 44 interchange). A business outreach session will be held from noon to 2 p.m. and a general public session will be from 5 to 7 p.m.

20th Avenue overpass construction scheduled to start in late February 2010 and end in June 2010. Witzel Avenue overpass construction scheduled to start in March 2010 and end in September 2010.

The 20th Avenue overpass has the following design features:
  • Two travel lanes in each direction, widened outside lanes for bicycles and sidewalk on the north side.
  • Construction along 20th Avenue extends about 500 feet west of US 41 and 400 feet east of US 41.
  • Retaining walls on both sides of 20th Avenue west of US 41 and on the north side of 20th Avenue east of US 41.
The Witzel Avenue overpass has the following design features:
  • Two travel lanes in each direction, widened outside lanes for bicycles and sidewalk on both sides.
  • Roundabouts at the Washburn and Koeller frontage road intersections with Witzel.
  • Construction along Witzel extends about 800 feet east and west of US 41.
  • Retaining wall in the southwest corner of the Witzel/Washburn roundabout.
The Washburn and Koeller frontage roads at Witzel will be closed to through traffic during construction. Access for businesses, local traffic and emergency services will be maintained through the construction zone.

Two travel lanes in each direction will be maintained on US 41 during daytime hours. Traffic may be reduced to one lane in each direction during nighttime hours (9 p.m. to 5 a.m.) for construction of the overpasses. In addition, US 41 may be closed for up to three nights at each overpass to allow for removal of the existing bridges. Traffic would be detoured to Washburn and Koeller during this time.

The public is encouraged to attend to give input and ask questions about the project. Construction displays and schedule information will be available.

If you are unable to attend the meeting or would like more information, contact project manager Tom Buchholz at (920) 492-0142 or e-mail The public meeting facility is wheelchair accessible. People who are deaf or hard of hearing and require an interpreter may call Tom Buchholz via the Wisconsin Telecommunication Relay System (dial 711). To allow time for arranging assistance, please call no later than three working days prior to the meeting.

For more information, contact:
Kris Schuller, US 41 Project Communication Manager
(920) 492-4109,

Friday, January 22, 2010

Governor Doyle Announces Five-Star Child Care Quality Rating System

MILWAUKEE – Governor Jim Doyle announced today details on a new five-star quality rating and improvement system for child care in Wisconsin . The program, YoungStar, will help improve the quality of child care, link provider quality to payments from the Wisconsin Shares program, and help guide parents in choosing a provider.

“Today, we are taking another major step forward to improve child care in Wisconsin, link quality to state payments and give working parents peace of mind that their kids are at a quality child care center,” Governor Doyle said. “Research shows that high-quality child care is one of the best ways to prepare kids for success in school. I’ve proposed a quality rating system three times and am proud that my most recent budget allows us to get this program in place.”

YoungStar sets a five-star rating system for child care providers based on education, learning environment, business practices and the health and well being of children. Through this rating system, the state will address several key issues in Wisconsin ’s child care system. YoungStar will:

Improve the overall quality of child care;
Create a clear, understandable tool for parents to choose quality child care;
Create incentives for providers to improve services, particularly for low-income children;
Link the quality of child care providers to Wisconsin Shares payments; and
Help prevent fraud in the Wisconsin Shares system.

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) will also create a website using the new five-star rating system to help parents see how providers score and why. The tool will be a helpful guide for parents choosing a child care provider.

Payments through the $400 million Wisconsin Shares program will be linked to a provider’s quality with the best providers receiving the most funding. This creates an incentive for providers to improve. Training, technical assistance and micro-grants will be available to help providers improve and ensure every parent and every child has access to quality care.

DCF will submit the final plan for YoungStar to the Joint Finance Committee in the coming weeks. Governor Doyle has proposed a quality rating and improvement system in three different budgets.

Since taking office, Governor Doyle has made improving early childhood a top priority. The Governor created DCF to improve child care in Wisconsin , and prevent the fraud and abuse that have been prevalent in the Wisconsin Shares program since it was created in mid-1990s. Wisconsin has also ensured every child has access to health care, doubled the number of parents with access to four-year-old kindergarten, expanded school breakfast programs, strengthened the foster care system, and invested nearly $40 million to better ensure the safety of children receiving care from the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare.

Rep. Hintz to Hold Office Hours on January 29th

OSHKOSH– Representative Gordon Hintz will be holding office hours at the Oshkosh Senior Center to discuss issues important to Oshkosh residents. The event is open to the public and those with questions regarding state issues are encouraged to attend.

Anyone with questions or comments is encouraged to contact the office of Representative Hintz toll-free at
888-534-0054 or via e-mail at

Who: Representative Gordon Hintz
What: Senior Center-Office Hours
When: Friday, January 29th 9:00am-11:00am
Where: Oshkosh Area Senior Center – 200 North Campbell Road, Oshkosh

H1N1 Immunization Clinics Scheduled

(Oshkosh, WI.) The city of Oshkosh Health Services Division is holding three upcoming H1N1 immunization clinics.

The first clinic is by APPOINTMENT ONLY on Saturday, January 23, 2010 at City Hall in room 206. Please call the Health Services Division at (920) 236-5030 to schedule an appointment.

The second clinic is on Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at the Oshkosh Community Food Pantry, 2551 Jackson Street from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This is a walk-in clinic. Appointments are not needed.

The third clinic is Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at the Salvation Army, 417 Algoma Blvd. from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. This is a walk-in clinic. Appointments are not needed.

The H1N1 vaccine is available to everyone and the vaccinations are free of charge. The nasal mist and injectable vaccine are both available.

For more information, please call the Health Services Division at (920) 236-5030.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Check out what’s new at Friends of the Library Used Book Sale

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it on behalf of the Oshkosh Public Library.]

Jan. 21, 2010 – Finding a good book at a bargain price is even more satisfying when the proceeds help to support reading and learning in the Oshkosh community. That’s what will happen when you shop the Friends of the Library Used Book Sale, Jan. 26, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., in the lower level of the Oshkosh Public Library.

First-time shoppers are surprised at the selection and even book sale “regulars” manage to find new treasures at each event. Browse through a large collection of mysteries and other fiction, biographies and paperbacks, children’s and young adult selections.

Beyond books, there are DVDs, music CDs and audio books. Adventuresome souls can try their luck with a bargain book bag – a bag full of assorted titles for only $1.

In the interest of going green, the Friends ask that shoppers bring a reusable bag to carry their purchases. Canvas tote bags also are available for purchase at the Friends Store at the library.

Mark your calendars for more 2010 sales: March 30; May 25; July 27; Sept. 28 and Nov. 30.

The Friends of the Oshkosh Public Library provide support for the library through volunteer service, fundraising, and advocacy. Proceeds from the book sales are used to support summer reading programs, Baby Book Bags for babies born in Oshkosh, events and other initiatives of the Oshkosh Public Library throughout the year.

The book sale is organized by Friends volunteers, who sort materials, get them ready for sale and staff the sales. For additional information about the book sale or to join the Friends of the Library, contact Dana Stolley, Coordinator of Volunteers, at 236-5206.

Governor Doyle Unveils BadgerCare Plus Basic

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it for our readers, especially if they have an insurance coverage need or know of someone who does.]

MADISON - Governor Jim Doyle unveiled a new self-funded health care plan today for adults without dependent children who are on the state health care waiting list. BadgerCare Plus Basic will provide enrollees with limited access to physicians, hospital services, generic prescriptions and catastrophic coverage, and will be paid for entirely through a monthly premium of $130. The Basic plan is not designed to be a long term health coverage plan, but instead will be a bridge plan to keep individuals healthy while they wait for space in the BadgerCare Plus Core Plan.

"With BadgerCare Plus, we've made Wisconsin America's health care leader," Governor Doyle said. "Because of BadgerCare, we've been able to help people get through this very difficult period without facing serious health consequences or financial ruin. Badger Care Basic will provide access to care for those waiting for a spot in the Core Plan, so they can get care when they are sick and don't go bankrupt in the process."

More than 64,000 individuals have enrolled in the state's BadgerCare Plus Core Plan, which suspended new enrollments in mid-October due to budget limits. Since that time, more than 20,000 individuals are on a waitlist for the program. The BadgerCare Plus Core Plan provides standard health benefits for low income adults without dependent children.

For a monthly premium of $130, plus reasonable co-pays, a BadgerCare Plus Basic member will have access to catastrophic coverage plus:

* Up to 10 physician visits each year;
* Limited hospitalization;
* Coverage for first inpatient hospital stay and five outpatient hospital visits;
* Subsequent stays after $7,500 deductible;
* Up to five emergency room visits each year;
* Some generic medications; and
* Badger Rx Gold discount drug membership.

"This will not be a Cadillac health plan," Governor Doyle said. "In fact, it will be just what the name suggests - it will be basic. But basic coverage can be the difference between a treatable condition and a trip to the emergency room. And basic coverage can be the difference between having protection while you try and get your feet back on the ground and going bankrupt trying to pay for medical care."

To be eligible for coverage, individuals must have incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, have no dependent children, and be included on the waiting list for the BadgerCare Plus Core Plan. To find out more about the Core Plan or to apply for the waitlist, please visit: www.badgercareplus.org

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Governor Doyle Announces $31 Million for Low-Income Heating Assistance

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it for our readers.]

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today announced the release to Wisconsin of over $31 million in federal funds for the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). These funds are in addition to $97 million the state received in October to help low-income families pay their utility bills.

“No family should have to choose between buying groceries and paying their heating bill,” Governor Doyle said. “ Wisconsin has been hit hard this winter with snow and cold weather and these additional funds are going to help families across this state with their heating bills and other utilities.”

The funds released will be used for the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP), which provides financial assistance to low-income residents who may struggle to pay utility bills this winter. WHEAP is part of the state’s comprehensive Home Energy Plus program, which provides assistance with emergency energy needs, emergency furnace repairs, conservation service and assistance weatherizing low-income households.

Due to recent changes in program eligibility, many more households across the state may be eligible for heating assistance this winter. Effective with the beginning of the 2009-2010 heating season, the income eligibility limit for WHEAP and Weatherization has increased from 150 percent of the federal poverty level to 60 percent of the State’s Median Income. Current projections are for a nearly 40 percent increase in the number of households receiving energy assistance. The state anticipates nearly 256,000 Wisconsin families will receive energy assistance to pay a portion of their fuel costs this heating season.

Payments under these programs depend upon household size, income level, and home energy costs. A family of four, with an annual income of $45,067 or less, may be eligible for energy assistance.

To receive more information about how to apply for the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program or to see if you qualify, call the Home Energy Plus hotline at 866-432-8947, or visit

Governor Doyle Announces Energy Efficiency Efforts Save State More than $268 Million a Year

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it for our readers.]

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today announced that Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative, has helped Wisconsin residents and businesses save more than $268 million in annual energy costs. The program is just one of the many efforts Governor Doyle has led to help Wisconsin residents and businesses save money through improved energy efficiency.

“The Focus on Energy Program has worked very hard with Wisconsin residents and businesses to lower energy costs and reduce their environmental impact,” Governor Doyle said. “We all know the cheapest way to lower carbon emissions is through energy conservation and Wisconsin ’s efforts have resulted in significant savings for our residents and businesses.”

Governor Doyle recently launched the Clean Energy Jobs Act, a landmark legislative package to accelerate the state’s clean energy economy and create jobs. The package calls for updating renewable portfolio standards to generate 25 percent of Wisconsin ’s fuel from renewable sources by 2025 and sets a realistic goal of a 2 percent annual reduction in energy consumption by 2015. A comprehensive economic assessment of the package found that it would directly create at least 15,000 green jobs in Wisconsin by 2025.

Since taking office, Governor Doyle has advanced an aggressive agenda to position Wisconsin as a leader in a growing green economy. Wisconsin has adopted renewable portfolio standards, invested in green job creation, led the advancement of research in cellulosic ethanol and biomass, and made great strides to increase energy efficiency in homes, businesses and government buildings.

Focus on Energy builds on the Governor’s energy efficiency and clean energy efforts through energy-saving programs for homes and businesses. The Focus on Energy program has helped businesses from all sectors and sizes install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. As a result, businesses have reduced energy consumption by more than 1.2 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) and more than 76 million therms, resulting in annual energy costs savings of over $172 million a year.

In addition, residential programs have resulted in more than $84 million in annual energy cost savings since 2001. The program makes purchasing energy efficiency products easier by providing Cash-Back Rewards on things like qualified water heaters, heating and cooling systems and lighting and other products. The program also provides professional advice to residents wanting to build energy efficient homes or assess the efficiency of their existing homes.

The total energy savings are equivalent to:
· The amount of electricity consumed annually by approximately 197,000 average Wisconsin homes.
· The amount of natural gas consumed annually by about 100,000 average Wisconsin homes.
· Almost 4.4 billion pounds of carbon dioxide.
· The amount of electricity produced by burning 9,794 rail car loads of coal.
· The same energy value as 5.5 million barrels of oil.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Records Suggest WPRI-UW Poll Materials Deliberately Removed References to Statewide Opposition to Private School Vouchers

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it on behalf of One Wisconsin Now.]

Madison -- A University of Wisconsin polling project downplayed opposition to private school vouchers after a conservative think tank paying for the polling raised political concerns, documents obtained by One Wisconsin Now show.

The poll is an on-going project between the state's leading conservative think tank, the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison's political science department. The concerns were raised by WPRI President George Lightbourn, a former Republican state official, to project director and UW-Madison professor Ken Goldstein. Financial documents show UW is receiving $17,977 by WPRI for the project to cover a portion of Goldstein's salary.

The results of the poll, conducted in September 2009, showed statewide opposition to private school vouchers by a margin of 46.6 percent to 42.4 percent. The subsequent press releases from the UW and WPRI only used figures from Milwaukee County, where a majority supported vouchers.

The emails and documents, which One Wisconsin Now received under the state's open records law and are quoted below, show that political calculations were front and center with the project, most notably:

• A powerpoint slide depicting the 46.6-42.4 percent statewide opposition to private school vouchers was deleted and instead a slide emphasizing support in Milwaukee for vouchers was used as the final slide in the presentation;

• References to statewide opposition in the poll to private school vouchers were specifically avoided in the press release, despite research materials produced by UW's Goldstein originally having references to the statewide data;

• Press releases on the UW and WPRI websites included only the more favorable Milwaukee voucher poll results and a quote from Lightbourn reinforcing WPRI's education agenda.

"Many were immediately alarmed by the announcement of this financial venture between our University of Wisconsin and the state's leading right wing think tank," said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. "Sadly, it appears our worst fears were confirmed, and so we are calling on University of Wisconsin faculty, staff, students and alumni to demand the Board of Regents end this project."

The edited powerpoint is available at WPRI's website, as is the press release. Another version of the release which includes the voucher-friendly material is available at the UW-Madison political science department website. A copy of the original deleted slide depicting the overall statewide opposition to private school vouchers is available at:

According to emails from October 2, 2009, the day before the first release of the materials on the poll, Lightbourn attempts to get Goldstein to include materials in the poll top lines that would deliberately downplay the statewide voucher question. Top lines are a list of each question asked and the overall responses to each question in a poll:

"Yes, but I don't want the top line going out without it and was hoping we could incorporate this with the question. Otherwise, someone with ill intentions could use our release inappropriately."

Goldstein responds 17 minutes later to Lightbourn, expressing apparent concern about this variation on standard operating procedure for the release of polling information:

"i understand, but i think it looks strange to put in the regional breakdown in the toplines just on that one question. we have the comparisons in the powerpoints... you can make the regional document i sent a little prettier and post as a seperate (sic) thing, but i think the toplines should be the toplines for the state."

Lightbourn responds shortly after with blunt political concerns:

"I'm not concerned about journalists. I'm concerned about the Scott (sic) Ross types who would enjoy being able to portray WPRI's own data as showing lack of support for choice. I know it's a pain in the ass but I've been burned a couple of times and I don't need to be the one holding the gas can."

On October 5, 2009, the day after the altered powerpoint and release without the statewide results was sent out by both WPRI and the UW, Lightbourn thanks Goldstein:

"Thanks for the added info. over the weekend. It helped immensely with my correspondence with my board and other consumers of WPRI material."

"This is a lesson about the credibility and the trustworthiness of materials produced by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute," said Ross. "If polling results don't fit its pro-voucher agenda, then those polling results are erased from the final analysis. Most unfortunately, the UW is now tied directly to this manipulation to serve the political agenda of WPRI."

According to a memorandum of understanding on the project signed October 1, 2009, by the WPRI and the UW, a portion of Goldstein's salary is being paid by WPRI, while the UW is providing an "experienced graduate student" funded by the UW to support the program. Goldstein additionally heads the Wisconsin Advertising Project, also located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's political science department.

One Wisconsin Now has hundreds of pages of additional documents about the project that are currently under review, Ross said.

# # #
One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

Deadline Extended for Long Range Finance Committee Applications

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it on behalf of City Hall.]

(Oshkosh, WI.) The city of Oshkosh has extended the deadline for accepting citizen applications for the newly created Long Range Finance Committee. The new deadline for applications is February 26, 2010.

The purpose of the Long Range Finance Committee is to advise the Oshkosh Common Council on policy issues related to the city’s finances including areas such as policy development, communications, and the impact of state legislation and policy decisions of the Common Council.

For more information on this citizen committee, please contact the City Manager’s office at (920) 236-5000. To apply for this committee, please visit the city website,, and click on the Board/Commission Information tab.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Common Council and Circuit Court Judge Candidate Forums Scheduled for January 21st

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it.]

(Oshkosh, WI.) The League of Women Voters of the Oshkosh Area and Oshkosh Community Media Services (OCMS) will present two candidate forums on Thursday, January 21st. The candidate debate for Winnebago County Circuit Court Judge Branch V is scheduled from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. The candidate debate for the Oshkosh Common Council is scheduled from 7:35 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

All debates will be carried live on OCMS CitiCable 10, live on WOCT 101.9 FM, and video streamed live on the internet at Replay times for the debates will be posted on

The candidate forums are open to the public and will be held at City Hall in room 404.

If you would like more information please contact OCMS Communications Coordinator Dean Leisgang at (920) 236-5065.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Governor Doyle Announces Wisconsin to Receive $331,000 in USDA School Food Service Grants

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it.]

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided over $331,000 in grants to help Wisconsin schools operating a National School Lunch Program (NSLP) replace outdated food service equipment with new, energy efficient appliances. The new funding is a one-time fiscal year 2010 appropriation to state educational agencies.

“These grants will help ensure safe and nutritious food options for the students of Wisconsin,” Governor Doyle said. “I want to thank Secretary Vilsack for making well-balanced meals and healthy snacks for our children a top priority.”

Governor Doyle believes that a good, healthy lunch is essential for kids to grow and learn. Last June, the Governor announced that $1.3 million in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds would be made available for Wisconsin schools and residential child care institutions to purchase equipment to improve food service operations. As part of his Healthy Kids initiatives, the Governor has also expanded the school breakfast program.

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service will award a total of $25 million in grants nationwide to school food authorities that participate in the NSLP and that did not receive a Recovery Act grant for NSLP equipment assistance in fiscal year 2009. Additionally, priority will be given to schools where 50 percent or more of the students are eligible for free or reduced price meals under the NSLP.

The National School Lunch Program operates in more than 101,000 public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions nationwide. It provides school children of all economic backgrounds with a well-balanced, healthy meal designed to meet American Dietary Guidelines.

Governor Doyle Announces Recovery Act Created or Retained 44,000 Jobs in Wisconsin

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it.]

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today announced that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has created or retained 44,000 jobs in the state, according to the White House Council of Economic Advisors. The Wisconsin Office of Recovery and Reinvestment today filed a comprehensive report with the federal government detailing Recovery money spent through the state of Wisconsin, and what effect these dollars are having in Wisconsin communities.

“Communities throughout Wisconsin are benefiting from the Recovery Act that continues to create good jobs and make investments in our quality of life,” Governor Doyle said. “Today’s report shows the ongoing, positive effect of the Recovery Act and demonstrates Wisconsin’s commitment to ensuring the funds are spent wisely through accountability and transparency.”

The State of Wisconsin oversaw nearly $982 million in ARRA expenditures since the program’s inception. Over the last three months, ARRA funding is responsible for saving or creating 8,964 full-time jobs, including 6,500 essential public service jobs such as teachers, police officers and firefighters.

According to the Council of Economic Advisors, over the last nine months, 44,000 total jobs have been created or retained in the state. Additionally, the reports filed today highlight that more than 150,000 meals were served to 14,000 seniors, over 1,900 families received homelessness assistance, and over 240 families are having lead paint removed from their homes.

The Recovery Act has extensive accountability and transparency requirements to ensure that this unprecedented amount of federal money is being spent wisely to create jobs while investing in worthwhile initiatives. Under the act, quarterly reports are required that will list the use of the funds in Wisconsin, measure the number of jobs created or retained, and ensure that the funds were used correctly.

Preliminary Section 1512 Quarterly Report Details:

Funding – 1512 Reports

January 2010

# of Awards: 599

$ Awarded to WI: $2.16 bil.

Funds Expended: $981.96 mil.

Funds Received: $997.01 mil.

# of Subawards: 3,643

Subaward Amount: $1.34 bil

Subaward Expended: $748.19 mil.

# of Vendors: 2,392

Vendor Payments: $226.08 mil.

Job Creation/Retention

# of Direct Jobs (FTE-Quarter): 8,964

WH WI Jobs (9mos): 44,000

WH WI Jobs (Life): 70,000

The report reflects state spending through December 31, 2009 and is presented in a user-friendly format on the Wisconsin Office of Recovery and Reinvestment website at

Governor Doyle, State Superintendent Evers Announce State Race to the Top Application

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it.]

MADISON, MILWAUKEE – Governor Jim Doyle announced today that Wisconsin will file its application for the Race to the Top program with the federal government this afternoon or early tomorrow morning, ahead of the January 19th deadline. More than 97 percent – or 431 school districts and charter schools – have joined President Obama and the State of Wisconsin in this unique opportunity to improve education in this state.

“Our application is about two things – setting high demands and requiring accountability,” Governor Doyle said. “Through our Race to the Top application, we will set strong new standards for education in Wisconsin and build on our ongoing successful efforts to ensure everyone gets a good education.”

The application sets, and strives to meet, several specific goals for education in Wisconsin:

• Cut the achievement gap in half by 2013;
• Make Wisconsin one of the top five states in student achievement growth;
• Ensure 100 percent of our children are proficient in math and reading;
• Reduce the number of high school dropouts by 50 percent by 2013;
• Double high school graduation growth rates for Native American, African American and Hispanic students; and
• Increase the annual growth in college entrances by 40 percent

To meet these tangible goals, the state plans to address key educational needs – good reading skills, good math skills, and strong student achievement – and hold people accountable for the results.

The application builds on Governor Doyle’s work to improve education over the past seven years and seriously address the achievement gap in Wisconsin schools. Wisconsin’s application is unique because it has a strategic focus on addressing three key areas of education, based on consultations with local, regional and national education experts: 1) early childhood development, 2) easing the transition between middle school and high school, and 3) developing good teachers and principals.

“Our state’s school districts overwhelmingly stepped forward for Wisconsin’s application for Race to the Top,” said State Superintendent Evers. “The funding we hope to receive will allow us to transform education for the benefit of our students to ensure every child is a graduate ready for the workforce or further education.”

The Governor made it clear that despite having a strong application, unless a system of mayoral governance in Milwaukee is adopted, Wisconsin stands little chance of getting Race to the Top funds. Milwaukee alone would receive nearly $68 million.

“The President of the United States, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, and the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Education all came to Wisconsin and they all said the same thing. The issue isn’t the quality of our plan. The issue is whether the plan can be executed,” Governor Doyle said. “Anybody looking at the current governance and history of governance in Milwaukee Public Schools – and its current ability to drive change – would never conclude that Milwaukee could make these changes. The federal government wants to make sure they are directing money to states that can accomplish their goals. It’s the same reason I support mayoral governance in Milwaukee.”

Today, MPS receives 13 percent of all state aid to local school districts. In this fiscal year, Milwaukee received about $800 million in state funds for education, a $44 million increase since Governor Doyle took office. Governor Doyle has taken numerous steps to improve MPS, including:

• Protected MPS and all state schools against a Republican-led State Legislature’s attempt to slash education funding by $400 million;
• Vetoed nearly $37 million in Republican proposed cuts to MPS in 2003;
• Helped put more than 50,000 students, many from Milwaukee, on the path to college through the Wisconsin Covenant;
• Increased funding to reduce class sizes by $250 per pupil. In this fiscal year alone, MPS received $32 million out of a statewide total of $111 million – more than 28 percent of all state funding;
• Increased the school breakfast and lunch programs;
• Provided $30 million for a special MPS math grant for improving student achievement;
• Added a poverty factor to the school-aid formula, resulting in an estimated increase of $9.8 million in funding for MPS each year;
• Approved $13 million in funds to assist with the school choice program – lowering the MPS levy by $13 million;
• Provided $53.5 million in special education funding;
• Provided an additional $1.8 million for high needs special education funding; and
• First Lady Jessica Doyle, a former teacher and strong education advocate, has visited a MPS school or sometimes several MPS schools nearly every week for the past seven years.

In the past two budgets, the Governor has also asked Superintendent Andrekopoulos his top priorities for new funding in Milwaukee schools. Governor Doyle followed by making significant investments in each area – math and school nurses – allocating an additional $10 million per year for math programs through a new MPS achievement grant program and exempting salary and benefits for school nurses from revenue limits.

“Just like President Obama, just like Education Secretary Duncan, the state has a critical interest in making sure that these funds are being spent in a manner that ensures we are achieving the results we want and helping kids get a good education,” Governor Doyle said. “The State of Wisconsin has devoted a tremendous amount of resources to the success of MPS and despite this, we aren’t seeing the results we should and the current system continues to fail our students.”

“Because state lawmakers haven’t fixed the serious need to reform Milwaukee Public Schools, because we haven’t created a clear line of accountability and the authority to bring change in Milwaukee – every other school district in the state is likely going to miss out on this important opportunity to improve education in Wisconsin,” Governor Doyle said. “Green Bay, Superior, Platteville, Madison, Kenosha, Beloit, big districts and rural districts alike – will likely miss out on Race to the Top funds because of a lack of reform in Milwaukee.”

Wisconsin’s final application and district funding allotments will be available at as soon as the application is filed with the federal government.