Wisconsin Expands Biofuel Fueling Stations

November 4th, 2015

Wisconsin Ag Connection

The Public Service Commission announced that Wisconsin is the recipient of a $3.7 million grant from the USDA to significantly expand and support the installation of ethanol blending equipment at retail gas stations throughout the state.

The move is part of a collaborative effort between the PSC, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board, Wisconsin BioFuels Association, American-Lung Association of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Clean Cities, Jetz Convenience Stores, Kwik Trip, Inc. and Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association.

Partners hope to install a minimum of 100 new ethanol blending sites on or near the major fleets and travel corridors throughout the state. They also want to launch a comprehensive marketing and outreach program in conjunction with the deployment of stations under this project.

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State Budget Excludes Virtual Schools From District Report Cards

August 2nd, 2015

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A little-known provision slipped into the budget signed by Gov. Scott Walker would keep low-performing virtual charter schools from dragging down the report cards of districts that host them.

The new law excludes the achievement scores of virtual charter schools from districts’ annual state report cards if more than half the students enrolled in the virtual school reside outside the district.

Proponents say virtual charters should be treated differently because they’re serving many children not living in the district, who often have not been successful in other school settings and are coming to a virtual charter as a last resort — often bringing low achievement scores with them.

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Governor Walkers Signs Bill That Broadens Use Of Epinephrine Injectors For Allergic Reactions

July 1st, 2015


MADISON – Governor Scott Walker on Wednesday, July 1st signed into law a measure that broadens use of epinephrine auto-injectors by trained individuals statewide, devices once only approved for emergency use in Wisconsin by doctors or in schools by nurses during allergic reactions.

The small, pen-like devices deliver an instant shot of adrenaline to quickly open breathing airways severely constricted during allergic reactions to food, insect stings, latex or medications.

Wisconsin’s new law allows auto-injectors to be used beyond schools and at summer camps, colleges, daycare facilities, youth sports leagues, amusement parks, restaurants, businesses and sports arenas.

“We are so happy and grateful that the State of Wisconsin now has this law. With more than 3 million people nationwide having a latex allergy, and when you combine that with the growing number of food allergies people are experiencing – reportedly one out of every 13 children – plus, the other allergies that can turn deadly, you realize how critically important it is to have this kind of accessibility to epinephrine auto-injectors,” said Sue Lockwood, executive director of the American Latex Allergy Association. “State Rep. James Edming of Glen Flora helped identify this important public health issue and generated bipartisan support to protect thousands of residents from life-threatening allergic reactions. Having these devices nearby, along with trained individuals to administer them, will provide critical life-saving protection until emergency responders can arrive.”

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Wisconsin Land Surveying Bill Signed Into Law

April 30th, 2014

Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office

On April 23, 2014, Governor Walker signed Wisconsin Assembly Bill 506 into law as 2013 Wisconsin Act 358, relating to: professional land surveyors; the practice of professional land surveying; surveying land abutting navigable waters; various changes regarding platting, surveying, and certified survey maps; and granting rule-making authority. The law became effective on April 25, 2014.

Wisconsin’s land surveying community has been advocating for an update to various statutory definitions of land surveying practice for several years now partially prompted by the need to reflect changing technology in the discipline. Wisconsin is not alone as several other states have also passed laws updating land surveying practices and/or licensure requirements in recent years (see links below article.) A key item in the legislation is a change to the definition of professional land surveyor in Wisconsin from requiring a certificate of registration to a license requirement obtained from the Professional Land Surveyor Section of the Examining Board of Architects, Landscape Architects, Professional Engineers, Designers and Professional Land Surveyors. Certain exemptions to the previous registration requirement are also removed tightening the requirement for licensure to practice land surveying in the state.

Additional items addressed in the bill include clarification and update of specific requirements for the recording and filing of official survey documents with regard to relocation of U.S. Public Land Survey System monuments; surveying of land abutting navigable waters; plats of survey for cemeteries; and survey plats of a lake or stream shore that include reference to an ordinary high water mark (OHWM).

One notable update is the ability of a professional surveyor to submit survey documents, plats and certified survey maps to a register of deeds on any media accepted by a particular register of deeds’ office, paving the way for eventual digital submission of survey filings.

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Supply Is Down, Price Up For Corn For Ethanol Plants

July 31st, 2012

Country Today

The Wisconsin ethanol industry has grown exponentially over the past decade, pumping out more than 500 million gallons of the fuel for the first time in 2011.

But some of that production could soon be in jeopardy as the state’s nine ethanol plants brace for higher corn prices and the possibility that they won’t be able to get enough corn this fall and winter to keep their facilities running at full capacity.

Bob Welch of The Welch Group, a spokesman for the Wisconsin ethanol industry, said he has talked to officials at several in-state ethanol plants, and “they’re all concerned.”

“Everyone is trying to figure out what next week will bring,” he said. “Is the price of corn going to come down? It’s a real balancing act for ethanol plants. They’re all in the same boat.

“I think just as you’re going to see some culling of livestock, you’re going to see some culling of ethanol plants. It’s just bound to happen.”

Welch said he hopes it is a short-term problem and that ethanol plants can weather the storm.

“This industry adds a billion dollars to our economy in Wisconsin each year,” he said. “It’s an important industry. We just have to batten down the hatches and look for the rain clouds.”

Ethanol plants could shut down for a few months and reopen when profit margins improve, Welch said.

“Very few plants have shut down and not reopened,” he said. “Once that infrastructure is there it is likely to be used again.”

To read the rest of Jim Massey’s report please click here.

Walker Introduces Wind Siting Protections

January 17th, 2011

Madison – January 15, 2010

The bill, praised by some as a strong defense of property rights, would erect the biggest hurdle to wind farm development in the nation, industry leaders said Friday.

Follow the link to Thomas Content’s report.


Restricting Felons From Hunting

June 23rd, 2010

Madison – March 25,2010

State Representative Jeff Smith (D-Eau Claire) proposes legislation to provide penalties to felons who hunt illegally. Follow the link to Bob Hague’s report.


Hunters Applaud Governor For Signing Youth Mentored Hunting Bill

August 13th, 2009

Madison – Today Wisconsin Hunters and young people got a big win as Governor Doyle signed the “Youth Mentored Hunting” Bill. This new law creates a new mentored hunting program for apprentices as young as 10 years old. The bill was authored by Senator Jim Holperin and Representatives Ann Hraychuck and Scott Gunderson, together with dozens of co-sponsors.

Pictured: Governor Doyle, Legislative Leaders, Hunting Leaders and Youth Hunters.

“The Hunters Rights Coalition was formed around this issue. We know that if hunters stick together we can accomplish a lot for the future of our sport. We are thrilled to see this important proposal advance,” said Carl Schoettel, Vice President of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association.

“Wisconsin has become the 28th state to pass a law reducing barriers to hunting since 2004,” said Rob Sexton, Vice-President of US Sportsmen’s Alliance. “It’s great to see Wisconsin providing more hunting opportunities.”

“Over 280,000 new hunters have been added across the country by initiatives like this,” said Greg Kazmierski, Chairman of the Dairyland Committee for Wisconsin’s Safari Club International. “This proposal creates a safe way for youth or adults to experience hunting with a mentor before going through the necessary training to be able to hunt on their own.”

The bill does NOT lower the hunting age for hunting without adult supervision, nor does it change the requirement for hunter safety education. The bill also makes legal the common practice of children under 12 being able to target practice with their parents.

Dean Hamilton, President of the State Chapter of NWTF said, “We have made passage of a mentored hunting bill our top priority because we know that our future as hunters is dependent on getting these kids out into the woods before they get hooked on video games or TV.”

The Wisconsin Hunters Rights Coalition was originally formed in 2005 to bring together sporting groups that were committed to preserving our hunting heritage.

For more information contact our representative: Bob Welch

Shield Law Introduced In Wisconsin

July 14th, 2009

July 14, 2009

By Bob Welch

The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association is supporting a new initiative to pass a reporter shield law here in Wisconsin. Working with the Freedom of Information Council and the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, we have been in talks with some key legislators for about a year. A new bill has now been introduced by Senator Pat Kreitlow (D-Chippewa Falls) and Representative Joe Parisi (D- Madison). The bill is known as SB 235, the “Reporter Shield Law”.

Currently, Wisconsin reporters are protected only because of case law that relies upon a right in the Wisconsin constitution. In the Knops case from the 1970’s the Supreme Court ruled that reporters have the right to keep sources confidential unless there is no other way to discover the identity of the culprits. This was a pretty weak decision, but then in the 1995 case of Kurzynski v. Spaeth this protection was strengthened, adding that both the Wisconsin constitution and the First Amendment protected reporters.

For many years, news organizations had decided to leave well enough alone, but now it seems like the time is right to put this right to protect sources into the statutes. With 37 states having already done it, and with a major push on in Washington to pass a Federal version, WBA believes that we might be successful with an effort in Wisconsin as well.

SB 235 provides not only the same protection as currently we receive under case law, but provides absolute protection from compelled disclosure of the identity of a confidential source, no matter how important the case and despite having exhausted alternate sources for the information.

Under this proposal, only non-confidential news, information, or sources could be subpoenaed and then only if several criteria are met. In the pending criminal investigation or civil case, the news, information, or identity of source would have to be highly relevant, necessary, not obtainable from any alternative source, and there would need to be an overriding public interest in the disclosure.

Again, if the source or information are confidential, there would be no opportunity
whatsoever for a subpoena to be issued. So far, we have heard of no opposition, but the bill is just starting the process. Look for hearings this fall.

(This article can also be found at the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association website: http://www.wi-broadcasters.org/wba/index.php/main-news/ [+].)

The Welch Group, along with Discover Mediaworks produces TV clip for WCGA

March 4th, 2009

Spot highlights the positives of corn production in the State of Wisconsin

This video highlights the versatile products that are created with Wisconsin corn such as ethanol, food, feed products and more.

Wisconsin corn growers use modern farm techniques that protect the land and environment, and the technology is always advancing.

The processes used in today’s corn industry create a rich variety of products without affecting the cost of food, a common misconception in today’s news.

The 30 second ad will be featured on the syndicated show “Discover Wisconsin”.