After 7 statewide hearings and countless hours of testimony, the bills generated by the Speaker's Task Force on Adoption came the the Assembly floor this week. As they got ready to vote, we caught up with two members who have been especially integral to the process. Rep. Snyder, a member of the Task Force and the Chair of last session's Task Force on Foster Care, joins Rep. Dittrich, Chair of the Adoption Task Force, to talk about how she came to this issue and explore ways to make sure Wisconsin gets better at helping children find stable homes.
Today, the Speaker's Task Force on Water Quality released a major report on its findings, along with an innovative, bipartisan package of bills aimed at ensuring clean water for future generations. Majority Leader Jim Steineke sits down with the Chairman of the Task Force, Todd Novak, to talk about how this unprecedented effort came together and what comes next.
The Water Quality Task Force
Recommendations from all 14 hearings
The final Task Force report
Rep. Amy Loudenbeck leads the Assembly in bills passed so far this session. On this episode, she joins Speaker Vos to chat about where she gets bill ideas from, how technology is improving many facets of life in Wisconsin, and shed some light on Wisconsin's goat breeding community.
As we enter the Christmas holiday season, Speaker Vos sits down with Rep. Mark Born to talk about the importance of citizen engagement in the bill process, how Governor Evers ended up in Politifact, and how he went from "not quite Alex P. Keaton" to a legislator.
Wisconsin Health News on NW Regional mental health bed expansion
Winnebago Mental Health Institute overcrowding
The Assembly passed the directory data bill unanimously
Politifact: "We rate Evers' claim False"
With Thanksgiving coming up next week and the Christmas season upon us, Rep. Tittl joins Speaker Vos to talk about National Bible Week, the kerfuffle over the Capitol Christmas Tree, and the importance of religion today.
Days after Democrats refused to take up a bill that would have stiffened penalties for 5th and 6th OWI offenses, the bill's author Rep. Jim Ott sits down with Speaker Vos to talk about Wisconsin's drinking culture and how he approaches the issue of drunk driving in our state.
This week, Rep. John Nygren released the next set of HOPE Agenda bills -- another package of bills designed to continue the fight against opioid addiction in Wisconsin. This week, he joins Rep. Jon Plumer, Chair of the Committee on Substance Abuse and Prevention, to talk about the history of the opioid epidemic, what steps Wisconsin has taken already, and what the next package will do.
The Wall Street Journal's article highlighting heroin in Marinette
Dental care as a start to opioid addiction
A decline in opioid overdose deaths
PEW Trusts on opioids in Wisconsin
As the Assembly goes to the floor next week to vote on a package of bills aimed at curbing the suicide epidemic in Wisconsin, Rep. Ballweg joins Majority Leader Steineke to discuss what she's learned as Chair of the Speaker's Task Force on Suicide Prevention.
If you're struggling, please talk to someone!
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is (800) 273-8255
There are many local hotlines in Wisconsin - please check here for someone near you
Nevada's suicide prevention training dashboard
Details on the Gun Shop Project
As the campus left continues to use no-platforming as a tactic to shut down conservative speech on campus, Rep. Murphy joins Speaker Vos to talk about how Republicans are fighting to make sure everyone's voice is heard. They talk about the Wisconsin Idea, challenges to campus free speech, and where Wisconsin's Board of Regents are going.
Controversial college group wins right to be active at Wichita State University
A Violent Attack on Free Speech at Middlebury
The Fire: 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech in 2019
Fighting words: The campus free speech battle at UW often focuses on guest speakers - on Ben Shapiro's adventure in Madison
UW Board Of Regents To Vote On Proposed Punishments For Students Disrupting Free Speech
Student barred from handing out 'Jesus loves you' valentines wins case against Wisconsin college
Trump Signs Broad Executive Order
As Milwaukee declares Homelessness Awareness Week, Rep. Snyder joins Majority Leader Steineke to look back on Republican engagement on homelessness, lessons learned from other states, and how Wisconsin is moving forward with the first comprehensive plan to combat homelessness in decades.
This week's conversation takes a look at where energy technology has been, and where it's going - and how government policy can help get bureaucracy out of the way of the market forces that will make our future less focused on carbon-based energy.
Rep. Neylon has been focused on economic development and innovation in emerging technologies since he was elected in 2013. Recently, that has meant taking a look at where renewable technology is, and how the free market is encouraging renewable energy sources in unprecedented ways. That's a message that's being picked up more broadly with conservative policy folks, and a message that the Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum was founded to send. Scott Coenen, the WCEF's Executive Director, says the organization is in the business of "reminding our conservative friends and colleagues that sound, free market clean energy policies are well within the scope of our conservative principles."
Rep. Quinn helped start the Rural Wisconsin Initiative in 2016, to bring focus and attention to issues of rural development. Since then, rural legislators in Wisconsin have united to bridge the gap on issues of education, health care, workforce development, and internet access.
Dave Armstrong is Executive Director of the Barron County Economic Development Corporation. He has been deeply involved in the nuts and bolts of rural economic development.
Together, these two talk about the outlook for rural economies and the dynamism of what some still think of as places time has passed by. Small-town businesses across the state have a vitality that has provided a backbone for the entire state's economy, and they continue to innovate.
The discussion also hits on the links between housing and development, looking at early results from Barron County's in-progress housing study and the shift in need from development to workforce participation.
Before he came to the legislature, Rep. Kurtz was already looking into the new possibilities offered by hemp legalization. Meanwhile, Larry Konopacki was helping to draft the first set of legislation that would make growing industrial hemp legal in Wisconsin. Today they discuss the outlook for hemp, the shifting federal perspective, and settle once and for all the question of which state has the best farmers.
Fabrication labs sit at the intersection of STEM education, workforce development, and rural demographic challenges. Rep. Felzkowski talks with Merrill FabLab director Josh Zalewski about the development of the FabLab model and how they bring educators, students, and the community together in a collaborative learning environment.
The Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Medicaid Reform & Oversight talks with Ben Ippolito of the American Enterprise Institute. They discuss the true costs of "Medicare for All," & how states can take a more active role in reigning in costs and expanding access.