Helping Our Local Governments

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Paying special attention to the needs of local  governments, Kathleen has been  able to secure funds for vital services, change funding formulas, and reduce the burden of local  property tax payers. Because of her work:

county nursing homes are receiving increased reimbursements,

the Trempealeau County Health Center got increased funding,

$ 300,000 in a special appropriation

counties will not be charged as much by the state for their youth and elderly residents who require treatment in state mental health centers,

counties, rather than the state, will have the authority to decide whether their residents should be treated in a state  mental health center or in county based alternative programs.

By changing the formula for distributing utility tax dollars, Kathleen was able to increase funds flowing to the City of Alma.

$ 172,875 additional dollars in 2010

She was also able to secure the funds necessary for making the Trempealeau County District Attorney a full  time position.

$ 53,000 a year to pay the additional costs.

Along with other area legislators Kathleen was successful in keeping open all the existing Department of Motor Vehicle Centers, making it easier for rural residents to take drivers’ tests, get licenses, and title their vehicles.

The La Crosse Tribune recognized her successful efforts on behalf of local governments. “Sometimes legislators’ good work gets lost behind the headlines … Debate on big issues is an important part of the legislative process.  But equally important is the accumulation of small victories toward  making local government more effective …  It wasn’t  glamorous.  It wasn’t high profile. … But it was the kind of legislation that we will be needing more and more of as local government, school boards and counties find that collaboration is the only way to efficiently deliver services in a tighter and tighter budget environment.”  La Crosse Tribune, April 28, 2010.

As co-chair of the Joint Committee on Audit she was instrumental in getting $12 million rebated to local governments from previous excessive payments of  property insurance premiums. This new money came at a critical time as local governments were struggling to balance difficult budgets. A total of $650,000 was returned to local governments in the 31st Senate District. Among those receiving larger sums were:

Eau Claire Area School District          $          105,615

City of Eau Claire                                            44,206

Eau Claire County                                           41,329

Trempealeau County                                      46,175

Monroe County                                               36,018

Pierce County                                                 27,299

City of Tomah                                                 16,294

City of Sparta                                                 16,157

City of Black River Falls                                   15,261

City of Altoona                                                10,329

City of Arcadia                                                10,551

City of Augusta                                                6,948

City of Medford                                              14,573

City of Whitehall                                              7,656

City of Galesville                                              4,098

City of Independence                                      4,886

City of Fountain City                                        3,331

Village of Trempealeau                                    4,763

Village of Strum                                               3,387

Cochrane-Fountain City School District          18,922

Tomah Area School District                            15,328

Mondovi School District                                  15,190

Black River Falls School District                      14,330

GET School District                                        18,433

Eleva-Strum School District                             8,104

Alma School District                                        7,390

Melrose-Mindoro School District                      7,623

Glenwood City School District                         9,182

Plum City School District                                 5,352

Kathleen led the successful effort to protect the job security of Wisconsin’s volunteer fire fighters and EMTs”, who provide essential services to people in emergencies. Brad Liggett, President of the Wisconsin Fire Chiefs’ Association, and Richard Meeker, President of the Wisconsin EMS Association, lauded Kathleen for her work.

“Senate Bill 308 will protect and promote public safety and emergency service volunteerism. On behalf of Wisconsin’s Fire Chiefs, we applaud Senator Vinehout’s leadership on this job protection issue.”

“Wisconsin EMS commends Senator Vinehout’s dedication on this important issue. This legislation represents a balanced approach to protecting the jobs of our volunteers, while creating a process that serves the employer.”

Voters for Vinehout

P.O. Box 1274
Eau Claire, WI 54702