Dear Friends,

One of Wisconsin's success stories is our fully funded pension system.  We are one of the few states in the nation in that position.  This week, we received more good news about our state pensions.   The non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau issued a report that shows our net pension liability was cut in half from the year before.  That's great news for our state.

Also this week, data from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction shows that for the second year in a row children in the choice program are out performing their peers in public schools.  These statistics help shatter the myth that children from low-income homes can't learn.

I helped create the school choice program because I believe every child deserves a chance at a quality education.  While test scores don't guarantee success as an adult, it's a good indicator that we are on the right track.     

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 608-266-5830.   

On Wisconsin!

Wisconsin Certified Bill Approved in Committee

When I travel outside of Wisconsin, people often ask me how our state rebounded like it did.  They are amazed at how far we've come since the days of high unemployment and businesses fleeing.  Our reputation means something.   The strong reputation of Wisconsin's workers and businesses can give consumers in our state more confidence in who they choose to hire. 
This week, the Senate Committee on Public Benefits, Licensing and State-Federal Relations approved a bill that I am authoring with  State Senator Chris Kapenga, and State Representative Rob Hutton.  The bill will give consumers confidence when they see "Wisconsin Certified."   It creates a self-certification registry for professions not regulated by the state.  This is a free-market way to let consumers know who is a reputable provider of services.
The label 'state certified' will be a mark of quality for Wisconsin's businesses and trade workers. Consumers will know which professionals have earned that rating and which ones haven't.
Wisconsin currently regulates 166 professions.  Over-regulation of some professions creates an unnecessary burden to employment for many low-income people and entrepreneurs. Self-certification will create a middle ground between licensure and completely unregulated professions. This middle ground will increase safety and ensure consumer protection with minimal state involvement.
The Wisconsin certified label will be offered through the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS).  DSPS will enforce the standard and impose fines for lying about accreditation or falsely claiming the title of state certified.

Now that the bill was approved by the committee, it is available for scheduling in the full State Senate.
Governor Walker Endorses Sunset Clause Bill

This week, Governor Scott Walker announced his Small Business Agenda.  A key component of his plan is the Sunset Clause bill I authored with State Representative Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna).

Under the Sunset Clause bill, every seven years entire chapters of code will be up for review. One year before it expires, the code can be renewed by going through the rule making process. By allowing another review, the public and lawmakers - not bureaucrats - will decide if the rule is still necessary.

Our state currently has 1,967 chapters and 12,182 pages of red tape. I believe the bill will bring transparency to the rule making process. Outdated rules won't go away on their own. Some rules have been on the books for decades even when they aren't needed anymore. It's time to give our administrative rules a full review.

The bill is now available for a vote in the Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform.

Around the 8th...

University School of Milwaukee visited the State Capitol this week. 

Senator Alberta Darling | | 1-800-863-1113|
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