Dear Friends,

Wisconsin's record low unemployment streak is continuing. We are now at an unprecedented nine-straight months of below 3% unemployment. Our state added 32,000 jobs - including 22,000 manufacturing jobs from October 2017 to October 2018. In fact, 2018's annual unemployment average is shaping up to be the lowest in two generations. That's great news!

There's even more good news for our economy. After experts revised the data, Wisconsin's economy grew at rate of 4.1% in the first quarter of the year. That's the best in the Midwest.

As we enter a new legislative session with a new governor, my priority will be to protect taxpayers and continue to grow our economy. We can't afford to go back.

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!
UpFront with Mike Gousha
Today, I taped a segment for UpFront with Mike Gousha. We talked about a potential deal to save jobs at Kimberly-Clark and what lies ahead for the Legislature.

Check your local listings for broadcast time and channel.
Darling Named Political Leader of the Year
On Wednesday, I was honored to be presented with the very first Wisconsin Way Political Leader of the Year award.

I want to thank WISN radio for this award and thank Dan O’Donnell for hosting the event. And a special thank you to Governor Scott Walker, Tonette, Matt, and Alex for attending.
Public Hearing on Kimberly-Clark Legislation
This week, the Joint Committee on Finance held a public hearing on an important bill authored by State Senator Roger Roth of Appleton. The bill would save hundreds of family-supporting jobs at Kimberly-Clark's plant in Neenah. Without bipartisan support, we may lose those jobs to Arkansas.

More than 25 people made their views heard at the hearing. The often emotional testimony highlighted how important Kimberly-Clark is to their area and the state. The company started in Neenah almost 150 years ago and is the Fox Valley’s largest manufacturer.

The bill would provide state tax credits for 15 years, as long as the company continues to keep the jobs here. Wisconsin made similar investments to keep other long-time companies like Mercury Marine, Oshkosh Corporation, and Plexus.

If the bill is approved, the state will have a huge return on investment. Kimberly-Clark has a $547.5 million annual impact just in their community. Many other companies provide goods and services to the plant which also adds to our economy.

It's my hope that this week's public hearing answered many questions about the proposed bill. The next step could be a vote in the State Senate.
Congratulations to Senator LeMahieu
I'm excited to welcome the newest member of the Joint Committee of Finance, State Senator Devin LeMahieu of Oostburg.

Senator LeMahieu is replacing Leah Vukmir on the committee. She will be missed, but Devin will be another great voice for taxpayers.

In fact, we have a great team on the budget committee. Senator Luther Olsen of Ripon will serve as Vice Chair. Senators Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst, Howard Marklein of Spring Green, and Duey Stroebel of Saukville are back on the committee as well next session.

Senators Jon Erpenbach of Middleton and LaTonya Johnson of Milwaukee will serve on the committee for the Democrats.
Budget Hawk
You never know who you will run into in our beautiful State Capitol.

This week, a beautiful Red-tailed Hawk perched outside a window in my office. The bird stayed for quite awhile before flying off to perch in one of the trees on the Capitol grounds.
Decorate the Capitol Christmas Tree!
Every year, Wisconsin school children make wonderful ornaments for the State Capitol Christmas tree. It's a great tradition.

This year's theme is "America's Dairyland." The deadline for teachers and students to submit ornaments is November 24th. Click on the picture above for more information.
Wisconsin and U.S. Unemployment Rates
This graph from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development shows how dramatically our state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell since 2010.

We are outpacing the U.S. rate and have a streak of nine-straight months where the rate was at or below 3%.
Get the Facts
  • Wisconsin ranks second in the nation and best in the Midwest for manufacturing jobs created over the past year.
  • Wisconsin ranks number one in the Midwest for Health Care Access and Patient Safety.
  • Wisconsin's unemployment rate remained at 3% or below for nine consecutive months.
  • Over the last three months, Wisconsin added more manufacturing jobs than any other state.
  • 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.
Around the 8th...
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.
I joined Representative Jim Ott's wife Carol, and Representatives Janel Brandtjen and Dan Knodl for the Suburban Republican Women’s Club Round Robin Tables with Legislators. We had a great discussion about the elections and the future.

Thanks for inviting me!
The Thiensville Police Department is collecting new, unwrapped toys for the Kids 2 Kids toy drive. Drop off your gift at their headquarters, 250 Elm Street, Thiensville, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

The drive goes from November 19th until December 14th.