Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Ninety-Ninth Regular Session
The Assembly met in the Assembly Chamber located in the State Capitol.
Speaker Sheridan in the chair.
Representative Nelson asked unanimous consent for a quorum call. Granted.
A quorum was present.
Speaker Sheridan announced the arrival of the members of the Wisconsin State Senate.
The houses went into joint convention.
The Color Guard posted the colors.
The prayer was offered by Clayton Winnesheik, Tribal Chief of the Ho-Chunk Nation.
Carlie Quade, Seventh Grade Honor Student and Junior Princess of the Sokaogon Chippewa Community, led the membership in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.
Senate President Risser presiding.
Senator Risser recognized the presence of Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton, State Treasurer Dawn Marie Sass, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers.
The roll was taken.
The result follows:
Present - Representatives Ballweg, Barca, Benedict, Berceau, Bernard Schaber, Bies, Black, Brooks, Clark, Colon, Cullen, Danou, Davis, Dexter, Fields, J. Fitzgerald, Friske, Garthwaite, Gottlieb, Grigsby, Gunderson, Gundrum, Hebl, Hilgenberg, Hintz, Hixson, Honadel, Hraychuck, Hubler, Huebsch, Jorgensen, Kaufert, Kerkman, Kessler, Kestell, Kleefisch, Knodl, Kramer, Krusick, LeMahieu, Lothian, Mason, Meyer, Milroy, Molepske Jr., Montgomery, Mursau, Murtha, Nass, Nelson, Nerison, Newcomer, Nygren, A. Ott, J. Ott, Parisi, Pasch, Petersen, Petrowski, Pocan, Pope-Roberts, Pridemore, Radcliffe, Rhoades, Richards, Ripp, Roth, Roys, Schneider, Seidel, Sherman, Shilling, Sinicki, Smith, Soletski, Spanbauer, Staskunas, Steinbrink, Stone, Strachota, Tauchen, Toles, Townsend, Turner, Van Akkeren, Van Roy, Vos, Vruwink, Vukmir, M. Williams, Wood, Young, Zepnick, Ziegelbauer, Zigmunt, Zipperer and Speaker Sheridan - 97.
Absent with leave - Representatives Suder and A. Williams - 2.
Vacancies - None.
Speaker Sheridan introduced Lewis Taylor, Chairman of the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin, who addressed the members from the rostrum.
"Boozhoo and good morning, Speaker Sheridan, Senate President Risser, Senate Majority Leader Decker, members of the Assembly, members of the Senate, Constitutional Officers, Cabinet Secretaries, Chief Justice Abrahamson and Justices of the Supreme Court, and all other honored guests. Greetings to all of you.
It is a tradition on occasions like this to take a moment to recognize all our tribal elders that are present with us today, and also those that are with us in spirit. We have been taught from an early age to respect, listen, and learn from our elders. They are teachers. They have lived, survived and overcome hardships throughout their lives here on earth. They have witnessed many hardships that our country has endured and overcome to make this the great country that we all share. This is why we as Anishinabe, Ho-Chunk, Potawatomi, Oneida, Mohican and Menominee-the First People-always honor our elders.
Next, we take a moment to honor all the veterans that are present today, to recognize the courage and sacrifice of all our tribal veterans, and indeed all the veterans that are present today, as well as those that accompany us in spirit.
It gives me great pleasure to introduce and acknowledge the tribes and tribal leaders from all 11 tribes in this great state of Wisconsin.
Leaders, please stand and be recognized as I call your name.
My name is Lewis Taylor. I am the Tribal Chairman of the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin.
Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians: Michael Wiggins, Jr., Chairman, and delegation
Forest County Potawatomi Community: Jeff Crawford, Attorney General, and Delegation
Ho-Chunk Nation: President Wilfrid Cleveland, and Delegation
Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin: Louis Taylor, Chairman, and Delegation
Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians: Vice-President Dee Mayo, and Delegation
Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin: Laurie Boivin, Chairwoman, and Delegation
Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin: Richard Hill, Chairman, and Delegation
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians: Rose Soulier, Chairwoman, and Delegation
Sokaogon Chippewa Community: Garland McGeshick, Vice Chairman, and Delegation
Stockbridge-Munsee Community: President Kimberly Vele, and Delegation
This is the sixth occasion that we as tribes come before you to present this State of the Tribes Address. It grew out of recognition on both sides that that there are common interests between the State and the Tribes.
As legislators and government leaders, we are all given the task of representing our constituents and creating policy and programs that serve our communities.
As tribes, we come to Madison at this time each year, and we look forward to meeting you both in this presentation and individually, leader to leader, to review progress and plan for the future.
Tribes have come a long way in the past 20 years. Between our government operations and our enterprises, many of the tribes are the largest employer in their counties.
Our governments and enterprise payrolls contribute millions to the local economies and employ more than 10 thousand citizens.
The tribes collect and remit millions in taxes and contribute more millions to local schools and charitable organizations. We also contribute our time and services and help to enhance fire protection, rescue, and ambulance services.
We realize that services cannot just stop at the reservation boundaries. One of the reasons that we are here today is that we, as leaders, have to continue to find new ways of cooperating and planning for better livers for all of our people.
With the Speaker's permission, I'd like the written version of today's presentation entered into the record. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Those of you who know me, also know that I prefer to get right down to the heart of things. If you were to ask tribal staff, some of them would even say that I often stray a little from their plans.
The written transcript I've provided goes into great detail on many of the issues that are critical to the tribes. What I'd like to do is highlight some of those issues that I believe you should hear about directly.
Since last year, things have not gotten better with our economies, not on the reservations, not in the state, or nationally.
Because of our remote locations, I believe that the tribes are being hit extra hard economically. Whatever we can do to create new jobs, attract investments, and bring more federal funds to Wisconsin is fine by me. We have too many unemployed. Health care access and costs continue to rise
I don't have to remind you of what you are hearing every day. By working together, I believe that we can begin to solve some of these problems.
Some of the work that we have been doing together has solved problems. Earlier this year, the Governor signed into law the Indian Child Welfare Act. If you know our history, you know that this was not only a long time coming, but the most significant piece of legislation in support of Indian families in many generations in Wisconsin. To Senator Jauch and all of the many people who worked on this project, you have our sincerest thanks. This bill passed unanimously in both the Senate and the Assembly. That was good to see.
We also view the passage and enactment of the Great Lakes Water Compact legislation as a great step forward. Now we are hoping that there will be some attention to the issue of sovereignty and the issue of inter-tribal tax immunity and tax agreements between the Tribes and State.
Law-enforcement is another issue where work needs to be done. Currently, there is some confusion about how specifically tribal law enforcement may work with their state counterparts. The issue is called mutual aid.
A new bill, AB 737, deals directly with this issue, and I urge you to consider it a priority for this session. It, too, deserves your unanimous support.