Dear Friends,

Everyone in Wisconsin 16 and older is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The City of Mequon and Midland Health are hosting a walk-in vaccination clinic at Mequon City Hall, 11333 N Cedarburg Rd, Mequon, WI 53092. First doses of the Moderna vaccine will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information, call Midland Health at 1-262-754-3130.

If you are eligible and 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.

Please continue to be careful and follow CDC guidelines. Continue to wear a mask when necessary, practice social distancing, wash your hands, and get vaccinated.

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

On, Wisconsin!
Senate Education to Research Federal Funding
On Thursday, I Co-chaired a joint meeting of the Senate and Assembly Education Committees to discuss the amount of federal funding our K-12 schools are receiving.

With all the federal funding coming for COVID-19 relief, it's important to get a handle on how much our districts can expect, eligible uses, and discussions on long-term goals. It's important that one-time federal money is not used for ongoing expenses. We saw this when Jim Doyle was Governor and left the state with a $3 billion structural deficit.

According to Michael Brinkman of the Institute for Reforming Government, only one-in-four districts in our state is fully in-person. Brinkman also reported that Wisconsin's public school enrollment dropped by more than 25,000 in just one year. It's very concerning that not much is known about what happened to those kids or if they are learning.

The lockdowns are having a devastating effect on children's mental health and academic success. Students are falling behind and those who are low-income, minorities, students with disabilities, and students learning English are suffering the most. We can't let our children's future be another victim of this pandemic.

Recently, the Center for Disease Control issued updated guidance for safely opening schools. Other states are proving students can return to the classroom safely, our state needs to follow suit.
Federal Funding for 8th District Schools
Protecting Poll Workers and Observers
On Thursday, the Senate Committee on Elections, Election Process Reform, and Ethics held a hearing on one of my election reform bills that I am working on with Representative Paul Tittl of Manitowoc.

I continue to have significant concerns about the way election observers were treated during the recount in November of 2020. Senate Bill 210 solidifies the rights of poll observers and protects the men and women who volunteer as election workers.

Under our bill, election observers must be 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. When the rules are clear for everyone, our election process will be much smoother.

We received some great feedback on our bill and I look forward to a vote on it soon.
Pathways to Employment
This week, the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety held a public hearing on a bipartisan bill I authored to help give people a second chance.

Our bill provides pathways to employment for individuals through criminal justice reform. Our goal is to help the many hardworking people who won’t have a chance at employment because of a minor mistake made years ago. Expungement reform will give them a chance to support themselves and their families while helping the needs of employers throughout our state.

Expungement refers to a process where a person can petition to have their record expunged (or sealed) of a non-violent, lower-level offense. An individual is only eligible for expungement if they meet certain criteria. Currently, a judge can only order that an individual is eligible for expungement at the time of sentencing and it is only available to individuals under the age of 25.

This bill would allow a judge to order that a record be expunged after a person completes his or her sentence, and removes the arbitrary age limit of 25. The legislation also ensures for employment purposes that an expunged record does not prohibit an individual from obtaining a professional license in Wisconsin.

It's not just Republican and Democrats in the Legislature coming together to support expungement reform. A recent poll f the non-partisan Badger Institute shows 72% of Wisconsin voters, including 77% of Republicans and 70% of Democrats support the reforms in our bill. With that level of support, I'm very excited about the future of this bill and the future of our workforce!
Closing the Achievement Gap
This week, I was honored to be part of a promotional video for an exciting program to help low-income kids be better prepared for school. The program grew out of legislation I authored last session to create a grant to fund early childhood education.

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) awarded that grant to Waterford Upstart. Innovative programs like Waterford Upstart will help us close the achievement gap and help provide a solid base for children to show up ready to learn when they reach kindergarten.

Recently, DPI released the State of Wisconsin report cards that showed over 60% of our students are not proficient in reading or math. Our kids are falling behind. The achievement gap in too many school districts is appalling.

Research consistently shows that making sure our youngest children arrive in kindergarten ready to learn is a tremendous indicator of future success. That's why I authored the law that funded Waterford Upstart to create an online early learning program to help children better transition into kindergarten at no cost to families.

Especially during these times, it’s important to have online learning options with proven methods that lead to future success. If you know of a family that could benefit by Waterford Upstart, click here.
Find a Vaccine
April is Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month
April is Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month. Every child deserves to grow up in a safe and nurturing home.

The Parenting Network serves more than 8,000 Milwaukee-area families each year. Find out more about how they support parents here.
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 Cases in Our Area
The table above contains data reported on April 7, 2021 from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on coronavirus cases in our area.
Emergency Room Visits with COVID Symptoms
COVID-19 Testing Available
Around the 8th...
The Wisconsin State Fair wants to hear from you.

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