Dear Friends,

This week, two very important bills I sponsored had public hearings. The first one will help survivors of sexual assault keep track of their test kit and help prevent another backlog. The second will make sure our schools improve the way they teach the most fundamental thing a child needs to learn: reading. You can read more about those bills below.

Wisconsin is the most beautiful state in the nation and during fall, it really shines. Plan your weekend trip with the Fall Color Report below. And since it's fall, Halloween is right around the corner. You can find trick or treat hours below too.

Finally, good luck to our Milwaukee Brewers as they take on the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series! Go, Brewers!

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

On, Wisconsin!
Assembly Committee Hears Sexual Assault Kit Tracking Bill
On Tuesday, the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety heard a bill I am authoring which will create the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Tracking System. I believe it's time the state ensures that sexual assault survivors have access to information about their sexual assault kits.

Assembly Bill 87 and its companion Senate Bill 94 empower survivors of sexual assault as their case goes through the legal system. I’ve worked with members of both houses and both parties to ensure that the Wisconsin statutes protect victims and prevent another backlog of cases.

The bill will create 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. The bill also enables victims to track the location and status of their kit.

In March, the Wisconsin State Senate unanimously approved this important bill.
Reading Readiness
If kids don't learn how to read by the end of third grade, they are likely to fall behind in all of their other subjects and say poor readers for the rest of their lives. On Wednesday, I chaired the Senate Education Committee as we heard an important bill to make sure kids become early and proficient readers.

I co-authored Senate Bill 454 with Senator Kathy Bernier of Chippewa Falls which will screen schoolchildren on their reading abilities earlier and more often, notify parents of any issues, and creates a clear direction to get kids back on track to succeed. This is one of the most important bills we've heard in the Education Committee and many people traveled to the Capitol to express their support.

In our state, 64% of fourth-graders are not proficient in reading. Sadly, our state ranks dead-last in reading achievement among black students. Hispanic students dropped from 1st in the nation to 28th while white students fell from 6th to 27th. This can't continue.

Our bill is based on successful models in other states, including Mississippi which saw their reading levels increase dramatically after passing similar legislation. If kids can't read, their prospects in life are dim. We can't let that happen any longer. It's my hope this bill will change the way reading is taught in our schools and make it a priority. Spotting reading problems sooner dramatically increases the chance that a child will succeed in school and in life.
Road Construction Updates
Do you know a remarkable young person who is interested in government? The Senate Scholar Program is a week-long program, where students get to see first-hand how the State Senate operates.

Only 33 students are picked for the 2022 program and applications are due by November 1st. You can read more about the program by clicking here.
Request a Blue Book
The new Wisconsin Blue Books will soon be here!

The Blue Book is an invaluable resource about our state's history, demographics, and data.

If you would like a copy, please click on the picture and fill out the form. We will mail one out to you at no cost.

We expect the Blue Books to arrive in a couple weeks. My office will ship them out as soon as possible.
Please Donate Blood, Plasma
One way you can help is by donating blood. If you have recovered from COVID-19, please especially consider donating your plasma.

You can find out where to donate here and here.
COVID-19 Vaccine, Testing Information
Around the 8th...