Dear Friends,

I am happy to report that Republicans are once again delivering the highest actual dollar for K-12 funding ever. Our budget invests an additional $500 million in K-12, bringing the state’s total investment to $12.3 billion! Despite what you may have heard, K-12 education will be the largest general purpose revenue appropriation in the entire budget.

Unlike the governor’s unrealistic campaign document, our education plan is sustainable. Our school districts asked for a reliable and predictable funding plan., and Republicans listened and delivered. Under our plan, schools will see a significant bump in revenue, but are protected if there is a downturn in the economy.

Governor Evers loaded his budget with one-time funding. That’s what Democrats did the last time they were in power. They didn't plan for a downturn in the economy, and when it did the state faced a $3 billion structural deficit from overspending. We dug out of the hole created by the Democrats and now are delivering record funding.

Our plan puts more money directly into the classroom. Just like school districts asked for, we are providing an extra $404 in per pupil funding over the next two years.

Special Education will get a nearly $100 million boost - which will be a 30% reimbursement of the cost by the second year of the budget. Back when Tony Evers was “non-partisan,” he asked for that level of reimbursement in his last few budgets requests.

To make sure kids get the care they need, our budget doubles funding for mental health programs in our schools. We also help out rural school districts with increases in sparsity aid, high-cost transportation aid, and grants to help recruit teachers to rural areas.

Republicans are continuing to trust parents to make the right decisions on which school is right for them. We are reversing the governor's decision to freeze choice and charter schools. I believe every child deserves access to a quality education no matter where they live.

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.wi.gov .

On, Wisconsin!
Moody's: Wisconsin Among States Best Able to Handle Recession
One of the big three credit rating services is giving Wisconsin high marks for our budgeting. This week, Moody's rated Wisconsin as one of the states best able to handle a recession. In fact, their ratings had our state with the 11th highest amount of reserves on hand. That's also the best in the Midwest. Meanwhile, Illinois is ranked as one of the least prepared for a downturn.

It wasn't easy getting our state back in fiscal shape, but it was worth it. Back when Democrats were in charge, we were headed down the same path Illinois finds itself on. Republicans rolled up our sleeves and helped turn our state around.

Our responsible budgeting has led to surpluses and record amounts in our Rainy Day Fund. That's important because Moody's also stated high Medicaid spending, high fixed costs for debt, and pensions can hurt a state's ability to weather a recession.

Unfortunately, Governor Evers' budget does just that. It relies on much higher Medicaid spending and increases our debt by putting $2.5 billion on the state's credit cards. His irresponsible budgeting could put our state at risk if a downturn hits.
Republicans Back Plan to Hire More Prison Guards
Thanks to our booming economy and better than expected revenues, Republicans are making major investments in safety and security. On Tuesday, the Joint Committee on Finance invested $35 million to address the shortages in correction officers and our prisons. 

Unlike Governor Evers, our plan boosts pay for workers at every institution in the state starting January 1, 2020. The Governor and Democrats wanted to push the pay hikes off for another year. Under our plan, starting wages for new hires will begin at $19 an hour. We also provide bonuses for longtime service at DOC. This makes correction jobs competitive with facilities throughout the Midwest and with other jobs available in our state. 

The Committee also expanded programs to provide job training and reduce recidivism. Our investments will help attract and retain more correctional officers and give inmates a chance to get hired after they serve their time.
Wisconsin Led in Giving Women the Right to Vote
Did you know Wisconsin was the first state to ratify the 19th amendment to the Constitution which gave women the right to vote?

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of that historic occasion, the Wisconsin Historical Society is hosting an event on June 10th in Madison. Click on the picture above to see all the events planned for that day and learn more about this historic event.

I'm happy to say that I am one of the sponsors of a reception in your State Capitol. I hope to see you there!
Bucks in 7!!
Around the 8th...
Brown Deer Elementary visited the State Capitol on Wednesday.
Riverside Elementary in Menomonee Falls visited the State Capitol this week.
Calvary Baptist School in Menomonee Falls toured the State Capitol recently.