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Harsdorf Appointed to Senate Committees

State Senator Sheila Harsdorf announces her committee assignments for the upcoming 2013-14 legislative session.

MADISON — State Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) has been reappointed to the State Legislature’s budget-writing committee as part of committee appointments recently announced by State Senate leadership.  The committee assignments were made as the Legislature prepares for the upcoming two-year legislative session that begins in January.

“I look forward to continuing our state’s progress from last session in returning fiscal responsibility to state government and encouraging job growth and economic development,” said Harsdorf.  “I am pleased to be reappointed to the finance committee and to provide a voice for western Wisconsin as the state budget is considered.”

Senator Harsdorf will also continue to lead on higher education issues through her appointment as chair of the Senate Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges.  The 10th Senate District includes UW-River Falls and UW-Stout, as well as campuses for both the Wisconsin Indianhead and Chippewa Valley Technical Colleges.

“One of the top concerns raised by small businesses and job creators in our area is a need for skilled workers,” stated Harsdorf.  “As chair of the Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges, I look forward to ongoing input from employers on preparing our state’s workforce, as well as facilitating discussion on the affordability and accessibility of our colleges and universities.”

Harsdorf was also appointed to serve on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Small Business, and Tourism and the Senate Committee on Energy, Consumer Protection, and Government Reform.

“Small businesses, agriculture, and tourism are vital economic drivers in our region,” Harsdorf continued.  “Given the need to focus on policies that encourage job growth, I am pleased with these committee assignments that will enable me to bring attention to the economy in our rural areas and smaller communities.” 

Harsdorf was also tapped to co-chair the Joint Committee on Information Policy and Technology and serves as the State Senate’s commissioner for the Midwestern Higher Education Compact. 

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Chadwick December 10, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Yep, more money means better results. Umm, wait we have increased our spending for the last three decades and the results haven't improved. Dang it I guess just throwing money at a problem doesn't always fix it.
Nellie December 10, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Actually where I live the revenue has gone down steadily every year for 30+ years and we are learning to do more with less thanks to dedicated teachers and administrators.
Captain Midnight December 10, 2012 at 07:41 PM
@Mainstreet...the SEIU (a union representing people (human beings) is quite different from ALEC (a lobbying organization representing corporations). Oh wait, I forgot "Corporations are people, my friend"; as stated by losing presidential candidate Willard "Mitt" Romoney. Neither Harsdorf or Knudson ever speak openly and proudly about their involvement with ALEC. I wonder why? Shouldn't they be telling their constituents what they "learned" at the closed ALEC events? Or saying, I'm introducing this excellent bill to make it more difficult for people to vote which I picked up at the recent secret ALEC conference.
Carbon Bigfuut December 10, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Once again, a bunch of BS accusations with nothing to back them up.
Captain Midnight December 10, 2012 at 08:22 PM
@Carbon Bigfuut... here is a link showing that both Knudson and Harsdorf or connected with ALEC. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Wisconsin_ALEC_Politicians Now, if you would be so kind as to post a statement or two from either Harsdorf or Knudson (or both) where they openly talk about their ALEC experiences. If ALEC is such a fine organization why do the TEAPublicans not brag about what they learn from ALEC? Why don't they say, "I'm introducing a great bill that I got from my recent ALEC conference (which was paid for by Altria and Monsanto) which will be introduced simultaneously in 15 other state legilatures"? Are they ashamed of their involvement in ALEC?
Carbon Bigfuut December 11, 2012 at 01:06 AM
My 10-minute trip through sourcewatch and CMD's website showed me that they are very left-wing. The ALEC member information is very thin, except to show that "so and so is a member of ALEC". I didn't see any proof that ALEC is a bad thing. So what if legislators have a focus group to work together on legislation? I don't see anything wrong with that.
Captain Midnight December 11, 2012 at 02:31 AM
@Carbon Bigfuut...ALEC is not a "focus group". It has a paid staff of at least 30 people. Some of the funders of ALEC are The Bradley Foundation, the Castle Rock Foundation (Coors), Alleghany Foundation (Scaife family), and other similar foundations. Corporate members on the Board are companies such as Kraft, Exxon Mobil, Altria, Coca Cola, Johnson & Johnson, and GlaxoSmithKline. Corporate members that provide nearly 98% of ALEC's operating expenses are AT&T, Altria, Diageo, Energy Future Holdings, State Farm Insurance, UPS, Wallmart, IBM, Koch Industries, Peabody Energy, Pfizer, PhRMA, Reynolds American, Monsanto, and Bayer. There are many more similar corporate sponsors. The purpose of ALEC is to provide corporations with an organizat to draft model bills that favor the interests of those corporations. These bills are then handed to state legislators such as Sheila Harsdorf and Dean Knudson to bring back home and introduce into the Legislature. So CB, do you not question this highly secretive (no press allowed at conferencess) organization being able to write our laws? Is that not what Harsdorf and Knudson were elected and paid to do? Does it not bother you that 3M and other corporations pay people to write laws that "rubber stamp" legislators push through the legislature with little or no discussion or input from the citizens of Wisconsin? Again, why do Knudson and Harsdorf not tout their membership in ALEC?
yomammy December 11, 2012 at 01:01 PM
the union is in existence for itself...
Chadwick December 13, 2012 at 07:25 PM
In 1970 America spent about $228 billion in today's dollars on public schools. In 2007 that figure was $583 billion Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2035999,00.html#ixzz2ExgcMG7n
Captain Midnight December 14, 2012 at 02:44 AM
@Chadwick... ever hear of inflation? Ever hear of population growth? $228,000,000,000 in 1970 is equal to $1,359,285,460,000,000 in 2012, so $583,000,000,000 is equal to a 67% reduction in our investment in education. Information available at Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm The population of the US in 1970 was 203,392,031,000 and in December of 2012 is 315,000,000,000, which is a 55% increase. Going a little further with a 55% population increase the amount in 2012 to be equal to the investments in education in 1970 should be $2,106,892,000,000 So, given these two pieces of data, your statement is unfounded and incorrect. Do the math.
Renee December 14, 2012 at 04:35 AM
Carbon Bigfuut, Please point out the accusations you speak of, then please refute whatever they are. Unless there are no accusations, therefore, no BS.
Chadwick December 14, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Ummm, do you ever comprehend anything you read? It's in TODAY'S DOLLARS. You also stated the population of the US which doesn't relate at all to the number of students. Nice arguement; I can see why you are a liberal.
Captain Midnight December 14, 2012 at 07:54 PM
@Chadwick... are you so factually impaired to not be able to understand that when the population of the US increases by 55% that the number of children doesn't increase also?
Chadwick December 14, 2012 at 08:00 PM
I hate to tell you this, and it's a shame that I have to, but no a population increase wouldn't necessarily directly correlate to an increase in school children. While it is probable, it is not all a foregone conclusion. Once again; not surprised your a liberal. The fact that you didn't take the time to find out what the number of school children was shows your kind of lazy too. You also didn't apologize for your lack of reading comprehension on your first comment.
Micheal Foley December 14, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Yo. Let's keep the personal attacks off this forum.
Captain Midnight December 18, 2012 at 03:28 AM
@Chadwick... I apologize for missing "in current dollars" in your post. My calculations were incorrect because of that. However there are approximately 9,000 more public K - 12 schools than there were in 1970 and many millions more students. Those two items alone would tell lus that we would have to be spending more per pupil than was spent in 1970. The cost of technology: smart boards, computers, tablets, etc. were not present in 1970 either. BTW, the word is "you're" and not "your" if you are going to be a stickler.
Chadwick December 18, 2012 at 04:26 AM
Well here are some more facts to show you that spending is definitely not the problem. http://rossieronline.usc.edu/u-s-education-versus-the-world-infographic/
Captain Midnight December 18, 2012 at 06:01 PM
@Chadwick... I am not implying that more spending is the answer, I was merely pointing out that due to growth and inflation what we spend today should be more than what we spent 40 years ago. The infographic that you referenced shows that Finland appears to be the world's leader in education, which has been publicized elsewhere. Do you think that the US is ready to take hints from how Finland does things? Teachers in Finland are paid on a scale similar to its physicians. How do you think that would fly in the US? I would wager that the percentage of total costs of education contains a much higher expenditure on gyms, sports teams, stadiums and athletic fields in the US. How would people react to cutting that back and putting the money into teachers' salaries?
Chadwick December 18, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Here is a great article on it: http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/82329/education-reform-Finland-US# I would be more than happy to pay teachers based on how they perform. Get rid of teachers unions and pay each one based on their ability and worth. No more tenure either.
Captain Midnight December 19, 2012 at 05:56 PM
@Chadwick... before you make that standard "knee-jerk" comments regarding teachers, unions and tenure you might want to learn more about the educational system in Finland. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/state_edwatch/2011/11/_my_conclusion_is_that.html And here is another one: http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/134546558.html Perhaps it is not the union itself, but the relationships that have been contaminated over the years. Re-thinking the role and purpose of teachers' unions would more likely be successful than "throwing the baby out with the bathwater". It would seem that the teachers union in Finland is part of what makes the system the best in the world at this time. Just sayin'. .
Chadwick December 19, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Your article pretty much makes the argument for me: "the teachers union in Finland is not linked to any political party" The teachers unions in the US aren't concerned about successful students but rather filling their own pockets.
Chadwick December 20, 2012 at 06:52 PM
@LamBo, thats a very intellectual response; where did you receive your education? How about the fact that unions are more concerned about wages then any sort of compensation based on results of any kind? Why do the libs on this site always have to change their names also? Tired of getting caught on your obvious bs statements and kindergarden level arguments?
Chadwick December 20, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Umm, I did actually answer your question. If you didn't take the time to read and grasp it then maybe you should take a reading comprehension course. It would probably help you make a cohesive argument if you actually read more than the Daily Kooks everyday too.
Chadwick December 20, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Every post has said teachers unions. I would rather eliminate the unions completely. If you haven't read about the union structure and what they own/do I suggest doing a quick search on bing to research the extravagant things they do and own. Each teacher should be compensated individually. I am happy to pay teachers more as long as we are getting something back in return. From the teachers I had in high school and college most fit into the 20/60/20 model just like everywhere. 20% of the teachers were excellent, 60% were average, and 20% should be fired or retrained.
Chadwick December 20, 2012 at 09:33 PM
I have already done the research and know it's true. I sure as hell don't care that you don't know it and don't want to. I have seen nothing from you that shows that you actually listen to a reasoned argument and will then change your mind. You believe what you want and facts and figures don't seem to change your perception at all. Corporations with thousands and thousands of employees manage to evaluate performance and pay on an individual basis. I'm sure our schools can do it too.
Mike Knox December 20, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Chadwick, I worked for years at a Fortune 500 company. Assessing individual performance and its impact on the company's annual goals was very difficult, especially for those in the engineering or customer service departments - sales performance and product line profitability was always pretty straight up. Not every role can or should be assessed by individual performance. I believe that team goals are often much more effective as a means of leading as well as assessing.
Chadwick December 20, 2012 at 11:08 PM
@Mike, That is true in some scenarios and in this situation I think there would be both individual and group goals and compensation but it would definitely be heavily individual performance that is going to make the difference in a childs life.
Mike Knox December 21, 2012 at 12:13 AM
James, very well said. Sometimes a team is quite large, not all stake holders have equal authority or accountability and the final product can be years in the making. This can hold true in many working situations. Performance objectives are important. However, assessing them is an inaccurate science. I recall being asked to provide feedback on co-workers. I was often aware of that persons relationship with the manager. It had an affect on how honest I was.
mainstreet December 21, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Worked for 30 years as an engineer in 3 different Fortune 500s. Performance reviews every year. Set goals and objectives for following year, identify individual weaknesses and strong points to work on and put down on paper a career path. Next year review. Not a big deal. The only people who think it can't be done or is impracticable are the people who can't stand on their own two feet and take responsibly for themselves.
mainstreet December 21, 2012 at 09:23 PM
JR. I would say a 7 or 8. The key is to make sure there are measurable goals set, otherwise they are a waste of time. I couldn't agree more that the evaluations are an ongoing process. We had mid-years actually so that you could readjust some goals if needed. If we didn't agree with the evaluation we could write that in it before we signed off as well - not that it got you anywhere but at least it was documented.

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