Madison - Schools will be safer, families will see real tax relief, and more people will have opportunities to succeed. On Tuesday, the Senate wrapped up the 2018 session. Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) says the Senate passed many important reforms.
"I'm proud of the many bi-partisan bills we passed today," Darling said, "I've always tried to work on bills that solve real problems people in our state face. I believe this session, my colleagues and I were able to work together to tackle real issues and find solutions."
The Senate approved Governor Walker's school safety proposal. The Governor's plan gives $100 million in grants to districts for security improvements to school buildings, school resource officers, and training opportunities. Senator Darling says she is pleased how quickly the Legislature acted on the Governor's proposal.
Not only did the Senate invest in school safety, they added to the $8 billion in tax relief they've provided since 2011. The Senate approved a $100 per child tax rebate for parents. The Senate also voted to create a sales tax holiday in August. State sales tax would be waived on clothing items that cost less than $75, computers that cost less than $750, computer supplies that cost less than $250, and school supplies that cost less than $75. Senator Darling says it's important to return the extra money to where it came from - the taxpayers.
"Thanks to Republicans' careful budgeting and a growing economy, Wisconsin continues to see a surplus. But it's not our money, it's yours," Darling said, "We are sending a large portion back to the people of Wisconsin with a $100 per child tax rebate and creating a sales tax holiday in August."
In addition to those reforms, the Senate approved several bills authored by Senator Darling.
- Senate Bill 344 - The Senate approved this bi-partisan bill that protects minors who are victims of sex trafficking from prosecution.
- Assembly Bill 907 - The Senate unanimously approved this bill that is part of the HOPE agenda, and takes important steps to remove unnecessary obstacles for mental health professionals. We need more of them throughout our state- especially in rural areas
- Senate Bill 680 - The Senate approved legislation that will ensure the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts will continue to be a gathering place for those looking to enjoy culturally diverse experiences and reforms the Milwaukee Mental Health Board.
- Assembly Bill 809 - The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) helps people realize their dreams. The Senate approved Senator Darling's bill to help WHEDA make more dreams come true. Along with technical changes, it will help more first-time home buyers afford their down payment.
- Assembly Bill 829 - Jobs are a proven way to reduce recidivism. Many people with criminal records are ineligible for occupational licenses. This means family-supporting careers are off limits to them. Senator Darling's bill allows ex-offenders to get a review and a chance at a certificate to get employed.
- Assembly Bill 848 - The Senate approved this bill to help make sure kids can get mental health treatment when their parents or guardians can't be found.
- Assembly Bill 871 - This bill will help keep health care costs down and improve the health of Medicaid patients. By reducing emergency department visits, costs to our state's Medicaid expenditures will go down.
Senator Darling represents portions of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha Counties.