In this update:
- Evers Administration Updates
- Pre-Session Updates
- Fundraising Opportunities
Evers Administration Updates
Evers appoints Payne as DNR Secretary
Gov. Tony Evers (D-Plymouth) announced his appointment of Adam N. Payne to serve as secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) effective Jan. 3, 2023. The appointment fills the vacancy created by former Secretary Preston D. Cole’s retirement. “Adam has deep Wisconsin roots and understands that our vast and valuable resources—from our waterways to our farmlands—are core to who we are as a people and a state,” said Gov. Evers. “He is an outdoorsman, a conservationist, and has been a strong, successful leader for Sheboygan County. I know he will bring that same dedication and spirit of service to this role as secretary.”
“It is an honor to accept Gov. Evers’ appointment to serve as Secretary of the DNR,” said Payne. “I have always had a passion for protecting and enhancing our natural resources and am an avid outdoorsman. I look forward to working with a strong and diverse team of DNR staff, the Board and its many partners and stakeholders to problem-solve, protect, and enhance our natural resources for people today and for generations to come.”
Payne currently serves as the county administrator for Sheboygan County, a position he has held for more than two decades. Prior to serving as county administrator, Payne was the executive director of the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association and served for five years at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection from 1990 to 1995, including as the director of the Farmland Preservation Program.
DVA Secretary Kolar to Retire
Governor Tony Evers (D-Plymouth) announced Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) Secretary Mary Kolar will retire from state service on Jan. 2, 2023. “Mary has been with us since Day One and has always been a fierce advocate for Wisconsin’s more than 300,000 veterans,” said Gov. Evers. “As a veteran herself, we have valued Mary’s insights and expertise to bolster supports and services to our nation’s heroes and their families, especially in her work as co-chair of our Blue Ribbon Commission on Veteran Opportunity. I wish Mary and her family well and want to share my sincere thanks for her decades of service to our state and country.”
“I thank Gov. Evers and the phenomenal team he assembled to work on behalf of the people of Wisconsin during extraordinary times,” said Secretary Kolar. “Since 2019, the Department of Veterans Affairs has strengthened partnerships, grown outreach, improved benefits and services, and laid a better foundation for the future of Wisconsin veterans and their families. It has been the honor of a lifetime to lead this department, staffed entirely by people dedicated to making life better for those who have served. My appreciation goes to them and to Gov. Evers for his ongoing support and leadership.”
Secretary Kolar was appointed by Gov. Evers in 2019 and was was among the first cabinet appointments made by the governor. Prior to serving as secretary, Secretary Kolar represented downtown Madison on the Dane County Board of Supervisors from 2013 to 2019, working with the Dane County Veterans Service Office, and served on many community-based organizations, including as vice president of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation’s Board of Directors. She joined the United States Navy in 1980, serving on active duty for 28 years and retiring as a captain (O-6).
Evers, WHEDA announce emergency, low-income grants
Gov. Tony Evers (D-Plymouth), along with Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) CEO and Executive Director Elmer Moore Jr., announced today that 54 organizations will receive $2 million in grants from the WHEDA Foundation to provide emergency shelter, transitional residences, and extremely low-income housing. This year, the Foundation’s annual Housing Grant Program is funded by $1 million from WHEDA reserves and an additional $1 million that was provided by Gov. Evers using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.
“Ensuring individuals have safe housing is essential to the health, wellness, and success of our kids and families, workers, and communities,” said Gov. Evers. “Everywhere we go, we hear about the need for reliable, affordable housing, and WHEDA and our state’s nonprofit housing partners have been critical to advancing this important work, especially for Wisconsinites who might need additional support. I was proud to provide additional support for these grants so we can continue to work together to create housing opportunities that help families and communities thrive.”
Organizations receiving the grants include nonprofit agencies, local governments, and Tribal authorities serving low-income or disadvantaged populations, including individuals experiencing homelessness, runaways, youth in out-of-home placement, individuals struggling with substance use disorder, people in need of protective services, aging and older residents, and people living with HIV, among others.
A complete list of the 2022 grant award recipients and their projects is available here.
Neubauer announces committee assignments for Assembly Democrats
Assembly Minority Leader Greta Neubauer (D-Racine) announced committee assignments for Assembly Democrats this week. Committee assignments for all members of the Legislature have now been finalized. Click the links below to view the corresponding committee assignments.
A list of all upcoming fundraiser opportunities can be found by clicking the button below. For any questions or more information, please do not hesitate to contact your Michael Best Strategies contact.