Senator Darling to Retire


Madison – After 32 years of service to the citizens of Wisconsin, State Senator Alberta Darling announces she is retiring. Milwaukee Magazine once named Senator Darling one of the Most Influential People in Milwaukee. The magazine declared her as “arguably the most powerful woman in state government.” On Wednesday, Senator Alberta Darling released the following statement:


“I am honored the great people of the 8th Senate District have entrusted me to be their representative in Madison for so long. I worked hard each and every day to bring their ideas and values to the State Capitol.


As the longest-serving woman to co-chair the Joint Committee on Finance, I made sure each and every dollar was spent prudently knowing this money comes from the hardworking people of our state. Our state finances went from massive projected deficits to real surpluses. This was not by chance or accident. I followed the same principles my parents taught me and the same ones Wisconsin families follow every day.


I am proud to be one of the original authors of the first school choice program in the nation. I fought to make sure every child in the state has access to a quality education. It is my hope the Legislature continues to empower parents and improve outcomes for all. Anything less is a disservice to our children.


As great as the many legislative achievements have been, I am humbled by the many friends, colleagues, supporters, and constituents I have had the privilege of meeting during my time in the Legislature. In my time of service, I have worked with many impactful leaders of Wisconsin all with the same passion for making our state the best in the nation.


I am especially fortunate to have been surrounded by a supportive family and staff. I thank them for their patience and dedication to the state of Wisconsin.


Service comes with sacrifices. I look forward to staying active in the community and spending more time with my grandchildren, family, and friends. It is time for someone else to take up the mantle, build on these successes, and continue moving Wisconsin forward.


On, Wisconsin!”


Copy of Resignation Letter

Notable Accomplishments of Senator Darling


  • Senator Darling first began serving in the State Assembly in 1990. She has served in the State Senate since 1992.
  • Senator Darling authored more than 200 bills that became law.
  • No other woman served as co-chair of the budget-writing, Joint Committee on Finance longer.
  • Senator Darling is also tied for the most sessions (11) serving on the budget committee.
  • Milwaukee Magazine named Senator Darling one of the Most Influential People in Milwaukee. The magazine declared her as “arguably the most powerful woman in state government.”  


Fiscal Responsibility

  • Due to her careful budgeting and reforms, Senator Darling helped deliver more than $20 billion in tax relief since 2011.
  • State finances went from a multi-billion projected deficit to a multi-billion surplus under Senator Darling's leadership on the Joint Committee on Finance.
  • Wisconsin’s tax burden dropped more than any other state over the last 20 years.


Education Reform

  • Senator Darling was instrumental in the creation of the Milwaukee Parental School Choice Program, the Charter School program, and the College Savings Program.
  • Thanks to Senator Darling, every child in Wisconsin will learn about the Holocaust twice during their schooling at no charge to taxpayers.
  • Created a recovery school option for students dealing with addiction, operated by UW-Madison.
  •  Senator Darling authored legislation creating the successful EdVest program to help families save for college.
  • Senator Darling created a report card system so taxpayers and parents will know how their local schools and districts are performing.


Economic Development

  • Senator Darling was instrumental in keeping professional sports in Wisconsin by helping to finance stadiums for the Bucks, Brewers, and Packers and protected taxpayers in the process.
  • Created a Historic Tax Credit to build infrastructure, create jobs, and keep Wisconsin history alive.
  • Helped secure funding for the new, world-renown Milwaukee Public Museum building.
  • Worked to keep Milwaukee a convention destination by funding the Wisconsin Center Expansion.
  • Created the Badger Fund-to-Fund to help startups get off the ground and running.
  • Made Wisconsin a business-friendly state again.


Healthcare Reform

  • Senator Darling helped create the Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) program in Wisconsin. This program is an effective way to help people break their addiction.
  • Senator Darling helped create the Child Psychiatry Consultation Program, which was recently expanded statewide due to the program’s success. The program connects primary care providers with child psychiatrists so they can adequately treat the kids in their care.
  • Senator Darling fought to protect student-athletes by ensuring that parents were provided information about the risks of concussions and sudden cardiac arrest.
  • Senator Darling reformed Wisconsin’s step therapy protocols to make healthcare more efficient and ensure patients receive the medicine their doctors prescribe without additional hurdles.
  • Senator Darling passed legislation to make sure patients can afford the chemotherapy option their doctor recommends.
  • Senator Darling passed legislation to require facilities that perform mammograms to provide a breast density notification to women with the results of their mammograms. Dense breast tissue can make it harder to detect tumors in a mammogram and is itself a risk factor for breast cancer.
  • Senator Darling partnered with former State Representative John Nygren on the HOPE agenda to lead the battle against the opioid crisis in Wisconsin. The HOPE agenda included 30 bipartisan bills.


Public Safety

  • Senator Darling authored Wisconsin’s Sexual Predator and Community Notification Laws which paved the way for sexual predator legislation across the nation. 
  • Senator Darling authored a bill that created a database for health care professionals, law enforcement, state crime laboratory personnel, and prosecutors to update information on the location and status of a sexual assault kit and ensures that Wisconsin statutes protect victims and prevent another backlog of cases.



Senator Darling is the recipient of numerous awards for her service including:

  • Shining Star of Education Reform; Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Government Advocates Award; Greater Milwaukee Committee Leadership Award; Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Legislative Leadership Award; Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Working for Wisconsin; American Conservative Union Foundation Defender of Liberty AwardFriend of Grocers; Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups Tommy G. Thompson Award for Service; RightWisconsin Iron Lady Award, Margaret Thatcher AwardWisconsin Charter Champion Award; National MS Hall of Fame Inductee; American Cancer Society Legislative Champion; Fair Air Coalition Friend of Education; Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce Champion of Commerce; Wisconsin Head Start Directors Association Award of Excellence; National Association of Community Leadership Leadership Award; United Way Gwen Jackson Leadership Award; St. Francis Children’s Center Children Service Award.