Dear Friends,

Congratulations to the University School of Milwaukee, Whitefish Bay, Homestead, Nicolet, Dominican, Hamilton, Grafton and Germantown High Schools for being ranked in the top 100 schools in Wisconsin.  The schools are ranked by Niche.com, and every school on the list received an A+ or an A from the website.  It's tremendous to see so many schools in our area are recognized for their excellence.

Speaking of rankings, Wisconsin is near the top in employment in the nation.  Our  unemployment rate is 3.0% and is the 8th lowest in the nation. Wisconsin's year-over-year and month-over-month drop in unemployment rate both rank 5th in the nation, We are also ranked 5th nationally in labor force participation rate at 68.9%. Wisconsin is clearly open for business!

As always, if you have any ideas on how to improve our great state, please do not hesitate to contact me by email at  Sen.Darling@legis.wi.gov or call me at 608-266-5830.   

On, Wisconsin!

Senator Darling Reacts to 2018 State of the State Address

Wisconsin is on a roll, and we can't stop now. Our surplus is growing, and our unemployment rate is dropping to a record low. That's why major employers like HARIBO and Foxconn are picking Wisconsin over other states. 

In his 2018 State of the State Address, Governor Walker talked about how far our state has come since he and Republicans took over. 
Just eight years ago, unemployment was more than 9%, companies were fleeing, and our finances were a mess.  What a difference eight years under Republican leadership makes.  And we're just getting started.
 
Our reforms have worked, and I'm excited to hear the Governor talk about what we can do next.  He laid out an ambitious agenda that will continue to improve our state.  I look forward to working with Governor Walker on the plans he outlined in his State of the State address.

You can see my response by clicking on the video above.
Darling Named Chair of Senate Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges
Will Remain Co-Chair of Joint Committee on Finance

This week, I enthusiastically accepted the chair of another committee. I'm happy to report I am the new chair of the Senate Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges.  I will also remain Co-Chair of the budget-writing Joint Committee on Finance.    
 
I'm excited about this opportunity.  It's a critical time for our colleges and universities. Our institutions of higher learning face new challenges and new opportunities in training students for jobs in the 21st century.
 
I'm taking over for Sheila Harsdorf, who left the State Senate to become the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.  She is the first female Secretary of DATCP in its history.  It is an honor to take over for my friend, Sheila Harsdorf.
 
Sheila was a tremendous advocate for our universities and technical colleges, as well as our students. I look forward to continuing her legacy.
School Choice Week

I'm proud to be one of the original authors of the bill that created School Choice in Wisconsin. I support choice because every child in Wisconsin deserves access to a quality education!

If you'd like to learn more about education options in Wisconsin, please visit here.
Gifted and Talented Savings Accounts Has Public Hearing
Thank you to these amazing kids from Lighthouse Christian School in Madison for testifying in favor of my bi-partisan bill that creates an education savings accounts program for low-income gifted and talented students. 

Recently, the 74, a non-partisan website that reports on education issues through the country did a story on my bill.  You can read more about it here.
Raising Awareness for PANS/PANDAS Disorders

I am so proud of these brave families who testified this week in the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection on a bill I'm authoring with State Representative Janel Brandtjen of Menomonee Falls. 

Our bill raises  awareness for PANS/PANDAS which are autoimmune disorders which often affect younger children. I'm happy to report our bill passed the Assembly last week. I'm excited to see the bill making progress in the State Senate as well.

You can read more about these syndromes from the National Institute of Mental Health.
Honoring the Orange Bowl Champs!
(Senator Darling and Senate Scholar Eric Doese congratulate the Wisconsin Badgers Football Team for their historic season. Eric is a junior at Sussex-Hamilton High School)

On Tuesday, the full Legislature approved my resolution honoring our Wisconsin Badgers for their great season and Orange Bowl win.  You can read the full resolution here

On, Wisconsin! 
Senate Scholar Eric Doese Completes Program

Congratulations to Senate Scholar Eric Doese who completed his week-long program at the State Capitol in Madison.  Eric is a junior at Sussex-Hamilton High School.

Students in the Senate Scholar program are introduced to the legislative process.  Eric spent time with my office and also met with support agencies, staff from Governor Walker's office, a Supreme Court Justice, members of the media, lobbyists, and UW faculty members.  

Senate Scholars also serve as pages during Senate floor sessions.  Finally, the scholars draft a bill and hold a hearing in a Senate Scholar committee.  Thank you for your service Eric and good luck on your studies!
Around the 8th...
On Thursday, I had the honor of attending the Menomonee Falls Chamber of Commerce annual awards.  It was a fantastic event celebrating some great people and great companies in our area.  

Here is a list of the winners:

Business of the Year:
Anchor Moving Systems

Captain of Industry:
Moore Construction Services

Larry Stewart Humanitarian:
Mr. Harvey Neu
CEO of Neu's Building Center

Volunteer of the Year:
Mr. Jerry Wick
President of Custom Data Too Mail

Community Improvement:
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market

Community Service:
Tri County YMCA

President's Award:
Mr. Kent Eliason
Sr. V.P. & Market Mgr., Town Bank

Senator Alberta Darling | Sen.Darling@legis.wi.gov | 1-800-863-1113| http://darling.senate.wisconsin.gov
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