Dear Friends,

With the growing problems in Milwaukee's Water Street area, I remain committed to supporting our police. Despite a growing crime problem, Milwaukee cut its police force by 120 officers in their last budget. That's unacceptable. This week, the Legislature approved Senate Bill 119, which I co-authored, that will defund communities that defund the police. Communities who cut their police force will see a drop in state revenue. I'm proud to support legislation that will create consequences for cities that leave their citizens unprotected. The governor should support our police and this legislation that protects them.

Also this week, the legislature sent two of my election reform bills to the governor. You can read more about them and why the governor should sign them below.

Everyone in Wisconsin 12 and older is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. If you are eligible and are having trouble finding the COVID-19 vaccine in your area, the State of Wisconsin now has a map of vaccine providers. The website not only helps link people to the vaccine but also provides information on how the state is distributing doses. The state also has a COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Hotline. The hotline is offering personal assistance for vaccine-related questions. The toll-free number is 1-844-684-1064.

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!
Election Reforms Head to Governor
Two common-sense election reforms, I authored are now headed to the governor’s desk. On Tuesday, the Wisconsin State Assembly approved measures that will increase transparency in the election process and make sure voters are alerted if there is a mistake on their ballot.

The first bill ensures only voters can correct their own ballot and for the first time, every voter in the state will now be able to make sure their ballot is accepted. If there is a problem, voters will then have a chance to correct that error and make sure their vote is counted.

In her dissent in Trump v. Evers, 2020 WI 91, Chief Justice Roggensack raised serious issues regarding ballot curing in our state. She noted that guidance issued by the Wisconsin Elections Commission directed clerks to write in missing address information. However, the statutes do not permit that and, instead, mandate that when ballots are counted, any ballots with missing witness addresses must be discarded. Without clear laws, everyone's absentee ballot is in jeopardy of not counting on election day.

For too long, we have relied on guidance and not the law when it comes to curing ballots. Fixing problems on a ballot is a good thing. Who fixes those mistakes is also important. Until the vote is counted, the ballot should belong to the voter, not the clerk or an outside group.

The Assembly also approved another bill I authored that will protect the rights of the public and election workers while increasing transparency in the process. Senate Bill 210 makes sure election observers are allowed uniform and nondiscriminatory access to all stages of the election process, including the certification of election technologies, early voting, absentee voting, voter appeals, vote tabulation, and recounts. It also includes protections for poll workers so it will be easier for communities to find people to help on Election Day. Senator Darling also urges the governor to sign this important reform.

When the rules are clear for everyone, our election process will be much smoother. These are common-sense, straightforward bills. They do not limit anyone's ability to vote. I urge the governor to sign both bills.
Bill to Close DNA Loophole Signed into Law
This week, a bill I authored to close a loophole and may help get more dangerous criminals off our streets, was signed into law.

Under current law, any person found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor in Wisconsin is required to provide a DNA specimen to the state crime laboratory. My bill adds out-of-state offenders to the DNA requirements, therefore treating out-of-state offenders the same as in-state offenders.

Through an interstate compact, corrections departments across the country supervise
people in their respective states for out-of-state crimes. Currently in Wisconsin, the
DOC supervises approximately 1,779 people who have been convicted of an out-of-state
crime, and review approximately 1,300 transfer requests annually.

The new law will bring statutory uniformity to both in-state and out-of-state offenders’ DNA submission requirements, save the DOC resources and enhance public safety.
COVID-19 Vaccine, Testing Information
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.
Emergency Room Visits with COVID Symptoms
Around the 8th...