Erik Severson

Update – April 8, 2011
28th Assembly District E-Update

Debt Refinancing Bill Passes

        Tuesday, I voted for Special Session Senate Bill 12 (SS-SB 12) which balances Wisconsin’s current budget without raising taxes or laying-off workers. SS-SB 12 passed the Assembly by a vote of 58-36 and was signed into law on Wednesday by Governor Walker. By refinancing our debts, the state is able to end this current fiscal year with a balanced budget. There is still a lot of work to be done in order to ensure fiscal solvency for Wisconsin, but at least we can put the right foot forward by starting this session with a balanced budget. The governor’s proposed budget is still going through the Joint Committee on Finance, and I am confident that we will end the process with a budget that cuts spending and reduces the size of government. We are getting Wisconsin’s fiscal house back in order and sending clear signals that Wisconsin is serious about creating a better climate for job creation.

Repeal of Early Release Program

        Earlier this week, I signed on as a co-sponsor to legislation that will repeal the controversial and short-sighted Early Release program. This program was a provision in Governor Doyle’s last budget. Not only is this the type of policy that does not belong in a budget bill, it is bad policy. The Early Release program allows convicted criminals to receive considerably reduced sentences for good behavior. There is no better term to describe this policy than a “Get Out of Jail Free Card.” The decisions to release these criminals back into our communities are made by government bureaucrats, not the hard-working dedicated judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers who protect our communities and uphold our judicial system. This sends the wrong message not only to would be offenders, but to our children as well, that there are little or no consequences for breaking the law. I refuse to sit by while the safety of our communities is threatened by criminals who are allowed to skirt their sentences.

Bear Bill Headed to Assembly Floor

Assembly Bill 24, which I introduced to the Assembly, passed through the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday. The bill continues to move forward with bi-partisan support, passing the Committee by a vote of 12-3. I am optimistic that this bill will pass the Assembly soon and then will head to the Senate for a vote. I am a proud supporter of our hunting and fishing communities, two activities that are a way of life for people here at home.

Supreme Court Race Update

Finally I would just like to provide a brief update on the Supreme Court race. As of Thursday morning it appeared there would almost certainly be a recount. According to unofficial results at the time Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg was ahead of Incumbent Supreme Court Justice David Prosser by approximately 200 votes. However late afternoon yesterday a clerical error was discovered in Waukesha county. The result is a lead for Justice Prosser of approximately 7,500 votes. Official tallies will be calculated and sent to the Government Accountability Board. This race has been touted by some as a referendum on the budget repair bill, which is encouraging considering that in the 28thAssembly district; Prosser came out ahead of Kloppenburg. At this point only time will tell how the recount effort plays out. For more information here is a link to a Journal Sentinel article from this morning concerning the clerical error.

        As the Joint Finance Committee continues to hold budget hearings here in Madison and around the state, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns you may have. You can reach me by phone toll-free 888-529-0028, you can email me at, or you can visit the website here: 
State Representative Erik Severson
State Capitol – Room 312 North – Post Office Box 8953 – Madison, Wisconsin 53708
Phone: (608) 267-2365
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