Dear Friends,

Once again, Wisconsin is being recognized as one of the best states in the nation.  This week, Politico magazine ranked us among the top ten best states.  It's yet another sign of how far we've come as a state.  

Back in 2010, unemployment was over nine percent, and businesses were fleeing.  Now, in 2018 our employment rate is a mere three percent, and businesses are relocating to Wisconsin and expanding. 

To help remind you about our remarkable turnaround, I'm excited to tell you that we are adding a new feature to the E-Update.   Every week, I will share some of the great news that you might have missed or wasn't covered in the media.  Our Friday Facts section will contain important statistics and information about Wisconsin's economy, job growth, and other facts that highlight how our state keeps making these top ten lists.  

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

On, Wisconsin!

Darling Bill Revives I-94 East-West Project
Like you, I am frustrated that rebuilding and widening I-94 between the Zoo and Marquette interchanges was stopped.  It's an issue I hear about all the time.  I'm happy to report we are working on a solution to put the project back on track.  

On Thursday, I joined State Representative Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) and several economic leaders representing the state's business community to announce a bill that will give the Wisconsin Department of Transportation the flexibility to advance the I-94 East-West project.

During the State of the Union Address, President Trump announced a plan to invest $1.5 trillion for infrastructure in the U.S.  Our bill would allow the East-West Corridor project to move forward if we receive a boost in federal funding.

Wisconsin depends on the Southeast portion of our state for commerce, tourism, and jobs.  In 2015, $23 billion in freight was transported through the East-West corridor of I-94.  But the road isn't just for trucks. All of us have loved ones who travel on that road, often twice a day. Completing the East-West corridor will make Wisconsin safer, more competitive, and will grow our economy.
We've seen a development boom during and after the Lakefront Gateway and Hoan Bridge Projects.   Not long after the Drexel Interchange project in Oak Creek, IKEA chose that area for a new store.   I expect similar results when the East-West Corridor  is completed.   We can't afford to kick the can down the road and not finish these projects.

Right now, Representative Sanfelippo and I are seeking co-sponsors of our bill.  It's our hope it will have a public hearing and a vote soon. 
Update on Important Legislation
Senator Darling testifies with State Representative  Amy Loudenbeck of Clinton in favor of their bill to help children receive mental health treatment.

It's an exciting time in the State Capitol.  The legislative session is coming to a close.  That means many bills are quickly moving through committees in hopes we can get them to Governor Walker's desk before the end of session.

I want to give you a quick summary of some bills I am working on and their progress this week.
  • Senate Bill 344 will protect child victims of sex trafficking from prosecution for prostitution. The bill had a public hearing this week in the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.
  • Assembly Bill 848 will help make sure kids can get mental health treatment when their parents or guardians can't be found.  The bill had a public hearing in the Assembly Mental Health Committee this week.
  • Senate Bill 653 removes unnecessary licensing barriers for foster families. This bill had a public hearing this week.
  • Senate Bill 652 opens up avenues for adoption of foster youth by reforming laws dealing with the termination of parental rights. This bill had a public hearing in the Senate this week.
  • Assembly Bill 871 provides incentives to hospitals for reducing emergency department visits, which reduces costs to our state's Medicaid expenditures immensely.  The Assembly Health Committee unanimously approved this bill.
  • Assembly Bill 781 makes sure children in foster care are able to access dental care. The Assembly Health Committee unanimously approved this bill.
  • Senate Bill 615 will help stop the revolving door of prison by creating a Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE) for ex-offenders who are not likely to pose a risk to public safety.  The bill was unanimously approved in the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee and is now ready for a vote in the full Senate.
  • Senate Bill 626  Creates a process where an ex-offender may obtain an occupational license and a chance at a career. The bill was unanimously approved in the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee and is now ready for a vote in the full Senate.
I believe these bills will make a real difference, and I hope we can get them to Governor Walker in the next couple weeks.
Wear Red Day

Heart disease is the number one killer of women.  About every 80 seconds a woman dies from cardiovascular disease in the U.S., but we can change that. Eighty percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes.

February is American Heart Month and we celebrated a little early in your State Capitol this week.  Because this issue is so important, I have introduced a resolution declaring February as American Heart Month.

Raising awareness saves lives.  The American Heart Association created the Go Red for Women movement to motivate women to learn their family medical history, meet with health care providers to discuss risk, and most importantly, share valuable information about heart disease and stroke.

One of the most important steps you can take is to talk to your doctor about your numbers. Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Blood Sugar, and BMI (Body Mass Index) are crucial to heart health.  Check out the video below to learn more!

Senator Darling Lauds Appointment of Anna Wildeman

Recently, Anna Wildeman was appointed  as the Director of the Department of Justice's Environmental Protection Unit. She  first started at DOJ in 2016 and has extensive experience as an environmental attorney in Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.  Despite her excellent resume, Anna is facing partisan attacks.

I applaud Attorney General Brad Schimel for appointing Anna Wildeman to lead the Environmental Protection Unit. It's fantastic to see a woman of Anna's ability and character be selected for such an important position. Th e people of Wisconsin are getting a highly-skilled and experienced attorney to represent them.  

I'm disappointed to see the unfair partisan attacks on her.  Anna Wildeman will do an outstanding job leading the Environmental Protection Unit.  I  am confident Wisconsin will be well represented by Anna.
Wisconsin Proud!

Around the 8th...

I had the honor of meeting with Joe Haas from Sussex this week as part of Wear Red Day.  Joe is the Board Chair of the American Heart Association of Milwaukee. 

I was glad to join State Representative Dan  Knodl  at the Germantown Community Scholarship Fund Auction and Silent Raffle on Thursday night.

It was great to meet so many fantastic physicians from our area this week.  These doctors made the trip to Madison to keep me up to date on issues that are important to them.  

I also had a great meeting this week with leaders in the Commercial Real Estate Industry with Senate President Roger Roth.
Senator Alberta Darling | | 1-800-863-1113|
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