KATHLEEN VINEHOUT
PEOPLE FIRST

Looking Forward to the Challenges of 2016

“I spent all day trying to get an ID for my mother,” Joe from Union Township told me. His mother, age 84, recently gave up her driver’s license because of a vision problem. She’d moved into an apartment in Eau Claire.

By changing her address and surrendering her drivers’ license, Joe’s mom was without the necessary current “government ID” she needed to legally vote in 2016.

Happy New Year! And welcome to Wisconsin, a state that now has some of the strictest voter identification laws in the nation.
Read more

Looking Back on 2015

Happy Holidays! While Santa is making a list of who is naughty and nice, I spent time making a list of what folks cared about enough to call or write.

I am always impressed by how many people take the time to become engaged in their government. “Democracy” is truly a verb for the 7,007 individual people who communicated with me in 2015. Many offered their opinion not once but several times. My office recorded a total of 15,811 contacts with citizens.

This year was a budget year. It was also the year the Governor ran for President. Both had an influence on the amount and type of communication I received.
Read more

Seniors React: Don’t Take My Home Phone Away!

“I was furious,” said Cindy from Chippewa Falls. “I wouldn’t have stayed on the phone this long with this dinky cell phone.” She just found out state law allowed phone companies to dump their landline customers.

Cindy waited 40 minutes on her “dinky cell phone” to join a telephone town hall meeting with 7,373 other seniors.

AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) hosted the town hall. I was the guest senator. We joined forces to promote my “Home Phone” bill – Senate Bill 240. The bill would return state law to pre-2011 language and protect phone customers from losing landlines.
Read more

What to Do About Those Pesky Unwanted Calls

“I’ve been getting a lot of calls from blocked and private numbers,” Pat from rural Hixton told me. “We called the phone company and asked them to stop those calls, but I’m not sure what else we can do”. Pat told me many of the calls asked her to change her credit cards to a “better deal”. 

Pat couldn’t remember the last time she signed up for Wisconsin’s No Call List. “It was a while ago,” she said.

The No Call List protects people from unwanted calls and texts. Frequently these calls come from telemarketing companies. Sometimes the calls are scammers trying to collect personal information to take advantage of the unwary.
Read more