It doesn't happen often enough at the State Capitol, but it did last week. For at least one bill, on one day, the legislative process worked the way it is supposed to, the way that fourth-graders across the state are told it works when they study Wisconsin government. That's good news on multiple fronts. It means your elected representatives can work across the aisle. And it's good news because the bill that passed could help pave the way for the restoration of a once proud and bustling vacation hotspot in Northwestern Wisconsin.
It's easy to get discouraged when there's so much bad news on the front page of the newspaper, on your TV and on your friends' Facebook pages. I know people on all sides of the political spectrum are frustrated when they hear that the leaders of the Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly can't pass the state budget on time because they can't agree on a way to pay for our roads and bridges. Equally frustrating to many is the uncertainty caused by the United States Senate's inability to agree on the future of the nation's health care system.
Recently, I meet with members of the Northwoods Area Builder's Association. We talked about how we can work together to preserve and promote safe and affordable housing for the people of northwest Wisconsin. As builders, they understand that you can't build a strong building on a weak foundation. Cutting corners might provide a quick fix, but it hurts everyone in the long run. The same is true when it comes to preserving and promoting economic opportunities in northwest Wisconsin.
I recently got an interesting letter in my Madison office. Park Square Theatre in St. Paul, Minn., wrote to let us know that, thanks to funding from the State of Minnesota Arts Board, seven schools from our area had been able to take advantage of unique opportunities for their students to learn from the theater's cast members, directors and designers. And that got me thinking about what's going on in education in our two states and what that means for our children and for our communities as a whole.