Assembly Speaker Vos creates three bipartisan task forces to issue recommendations for law changes

MADISON — Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has created three bipartisan task forces to issue recommendations for law changes in the coming months.

The groups announced Tuesday, August 4th will study Alzheimer's and dementia, urban education and youth workforce readiness.

The Republican-led committees will begin their work this summer with the goal of completing it by the end of next year.

Vos's office says the Alzheimer's task force will look at ways to reduce the cost of long-term care, as well as promote community-based resources.

The urban school group will look at ways to improve education, including studying teacher recruitment and retention.

And the youth workforce group will look at ways to encourage young people to pursue careers in the trades, manufacturing industry and technical fields.

“The goal of each bipartisan task force is to explore possible solutions and recommend legislation to the full Assembly,” said Speaker Vos. “I’m pleased that we’ll have bipartisan collaboration on matters that impact our families, our workforce and the future of our state.”

Each task force has an Assembly Republican chair and an Assembly Democratic vice chair.  Vos has asked the chairs to tap into the knowledge of community experts and those affected in the individual issue areas.  The committees will begin this summer with the hope to complete work before the end of session.

“These are important issues to our state that our Assembly members and the public would like addressed,” said Speaker Vos.  “The task forces will travel around Wisconsin obtaining input and innovative ideas in order to compile recommendations.”

Speaker’s Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, roughly 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, with two-thirds of those being women. It’s reportedly the 6th leading cause of death in our country and the only one in the top ten that can’t be prevented, slowed or cured.  With the increasing population of older adults and increasing cost of care, this task force will determine ways to ensure future quality of care while bending the cost curve of long-term care downward.  The task force members also will look to improve and promote community-based resources and raise awareness, as well as address legal issues and determine possible state participation in treatment and research.

Members of Speaker’s Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Rep. Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah), Chair
Rep. Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton), Vice Chair
Rep. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls)
Rep. John Jagler (R-Watertown)
Rep. Terry Katsma (R-Oostburg)
Rep. Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville)
Rep. Mary Czaja (R-Irma)
Rep. Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc)
Rep. Beth Meyers (D-Bayfield)
Rep. Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee)
Minority Appointment

Speaker’s Task Force on Urban Education 

Wisconsin’s urban school districts have unique challenges and opportunities to meet the needs of their students. The goal of the task force is to provide tangible solutions to help improve educational outcomes. Task force members will study teacher recruitment and retention, discuss best practices to address truancy, below-average academic performance and low graduation rates, and explore ways to improve access to technology in high poverty urban areas.

Member of Speaker’s Task Force on Urban Education

Rep. Jessie Rodriguez (R-Franklin), Chair
Rep. Sondy Pope (D-Cross Plains), Vice Chair
Rep. Mike Kuglitsch (R-New Berlin)
Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac)
Rep. Thomas Weatherston (R-Caledonia)
Rep. Mary Czaja (R-Irma)
Rep. Scott Allen (R-Waukesha)
Rep. Dave Heaton (R-Wausau)
Rep. John Macco (R-Ledgeview)
Rep. Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee)
Rep. Jill Billings (D-LaCrosse)
Rep. Eric Genrich (D-Green Bay)
Rep. David Bowen (D-Milwaukee)

Speaker’s Task Force on Youth Workforce Readiness

Wisconsin is one of the top states for manufacturing in the country.  Despite our efforts to bridge the skills gap in the past few years, there are manufacturing positions that remain unfilled. The task force will come up with new strategies to encourage Wisconsin youth to pursue careers in the trades, manufacturing industry and technical fields.  Members will explore ways to improve collaboration between schools, technical colleges and local employers; increase awareness of apprenticeships and internships in these fields; and examine future industry needs and challenges facing our state.

Members of Speaker’s Task Force on Youth Workforce Readiness

Rep. Bob Kulp (R-Stratford), Chair
Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), Vice Chair
Rep. Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan)
Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton)
Rep. Andre Jacque (R-DePere)
Rep. Warren Petryk (R-Eleva)
Rep. John Spiros (R-Marshfield)
Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander)
Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine)
Rep. Mandela Barnes (D-Milwaukee)
Rep. Mark Spreitzer (D-Beloit)