Dear Friends,

There's new proof of Wisconsin's comeback. Data from 2017, released by the U.S. Census Bureau, shows income is up and poverty is down in our state.

The U.S. Census Supplemental Poverty Measure shows Wisconsin has the fourth lowest poverty rate in the nation. That is a sign of a strong state economy. In fact, Wisconsin is on a record streak. For seven straight months, our unemployment rate is below three percent! More people working is leading to higher incomes for Wisconsin families.

The median household income in Wisconsin was $59,305 in 2017, up $2,494 from 2016. Wisconsin also had the 17th fastest real median income growth rate in the nation. Our rate was one of the fastest in the Midwest, beating Minnesota by three spots.

Not only are Wisconsin households earning more money, they are saving money on their electrical bills. According to WalletHub, Wisconsin is one of the cheapest states in the nation for energy costs.

Wisconsin is the best state in the nation to live, work, raise a family, and retire. It's great seeing more and more proof that our state made a remarkable recovery from the dire days of 2010. Scroll down for a chart that shows just how far we've come since 2010.

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!

Alberta
Study Committee Looks to Save Taxpayers Money
This week, the Legislative Study Committee on Direct Primary Care, which I chair, held our last meeting. Direct Primary Care allows doctors to work separately from a health system. Patients pay a monthly fee and receive primary care from these doctors.

And it's already happening in Wisconsin. Our committee heard from patients, doctors, and many other experts on this topic. We found Direct Primary Care can lead to lower costs and better outcomes for patients.

We are recommending that the State of Wisconsin explore the idea of adding Direct Primary Care as an option for state employees. It's my hope this will lead to more savings for taxpayers!

You can read more about our study committee here.
Record Low Unemployment in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is one of the great manufacturing states in the nation. And right now, we're booming!

According to the Department of Revenue, 2017 was the best year for manufacturing in Wisconsin in more than two decades!
Area Companies Advance
Speaking of manufacturing, our district makes some of the coolest things in Wisconsin. And you can help put our companies over the top.

It's down to the Sweet 16 in the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce contest of the Coolest Things made in our state. Seven Marine LLC, Generac Power Systems, and GE Healthcare are still in the running.

By clicking on the picture above, you can help decide what is the coolest thing made in Wisconsin!
Help Available for Victims of Severe Weather
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be in Wisconsin next week to assess damage from the recent floods and storms

If you have storm or flood damage, please call 2-1-1 as soon as possible. Resources are listed below that are available to help people affected by our recent severe weather.

State agencies offering assistance:
  • Grants to assist with short-term and emergency housing needs are disbursed through a local agent. For more information call (608) 267-5200.
  • Emergency Assistance payments to eligible low-income parents who have at least one child in the house and are facing an emergency due to natural disaster, to learn more about the program, including eligibility and where to apply, visit here.
  • Funding for assisting eligible, low to moderate income homeowners for housing rehabilitation, business assistance, and repair local infrastructure - (608) 266-7531 
  • Farmers should contact their local FSA Office to report damaged crops. FSA will also direct farmers to 211 and or the Local/County Emergency Management (EM) Office to report losses not tracked by the FSA. Visit USDA.org for local FSA office information.
  • Dealing with flooding
  • Cleaning up storm debris
  • Assistance in determining if food can be salvaged - (608) 224-4665 or food complaint emergency response line (608) 224-4714.
  • Complaints of transient home improvement workers and scams can be reported to Contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection at (800) 422-7128 or datcphotline@wisconsin.gov
  • Motorists are advised to check 511wi.gov before traveling
  • Assistance for filing insurance claims can call Office of the Commissioner of Insurance at (800) 236-8517 or ocicomplaints@wisconsin.gov.  
  • To make a request for volunteer assistance, call 2-1-1 and they will confidentially share your information with volunteers that may become available in your area. 
  • Those with additional needs or outstanding questions should call 2-1-1 and they will be directed to the appropriate resource.
2010-2018 Wisconsin's Amazing Turnaround
Wisconsin Proud!
  • Wisconsin's unemployment rate remained below 3% for seven consecutive months.
  • Wisconsin added 21,300 manufacturing jobs from July 2017 to July 2018. That ranks us second in the nation, just behind Texas which added 21,400 in the same time period.
  • Business Insider ranked Wisconsin's economy as the 10th best in the nation.
  • Fifty of Wisconsin's 72 counties met or broke their all-time low unemployment rates in May.
  • CNBC ranks Wisconsin as the 17th best state in the nation for business.
  • All 12 of the state's metro areas and all our 32 largest cities have seen a year-over-year drop in unemployment. 
  • The number of people employed in Wisconsin is at an all-time high of 3,090,200, and the unemployment rate is at all-time low at 2.8% for May.
  • Construction wages in Wisconsin are up 7.5% from 2016-2017.
  • Wisconsin ranks 7th in manufacturing job creation from 2016-17, and wages are up 15% since 2010.
Around the 8th...
On Thursday, I attended the Ozaukee Economic Development Business of the Year Awards and Economic Forecast Breakfast with Senator Duey Stroebel and Representative Jim Ott. It was a fantastic event!
My grandson, Liam, and I had a great time at the Thiensville Fire Department’s Public Safety Day last Saturday!
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 program and applications are due by November 21st. You can read more about the program here.