Dear Friends,

According to a report from the non-partisan Wisconsin Policy Forum, the tax burden has declined in our state every year since 2011. That also happens to be how long Republicans have controlled the Legislature. We've already cut taxes by more than $8 billion including $457 million in tax relief for middle-class families in the last state budget.

Wisconsin's economy remains strong and people are earning more. The report also states: " Total personal income, which includes wages and salaries, investment income, and government benefits, rose 5.1% to $299.93 billion in calendar year 2018." That's great news for Wisconsin's working families.

The company's owner, Jim Merlo, said “I need to get out of Illinois. I’m in a triangle of taxation death here.” That's just what he's doing and bringing 61 jobs with him. Welcome to Wisconsin!

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!
HOPE Agenda Bills Heard
Wisconsin continues to lead in fighting opioid addiction. On Wednesday, two bills part of the Heroin, Opiate, Prevention, and Education (HOPE) Agenda, which I authored, received public hearings in committees in both the Senate and Assembly.

I co-authored Senate Bill 591 with State Representative John Nygren of Marinette to help create a stable work environment for people going through addiction treatment. Under the bill, state employees can't be penalized for undergoing addiction treatment. The bill also requires the Department of Health Services to create a list of eligible housing for people recovering from addiction.

Stable employment and housing are crucial to the success of someone struggling with addiction. By becoming a recovery friendly workplace and establishing a recovery housing registry, we can open opportunities to people recovering from addiction and help them create a stable, healthy life for themselves.

Another bill part of the HOPE Agenda will help save lives. Representative Mark Born of Beaver Dam and I authored Senate Bill 594, which will help make sure jailers have access and training to deliver the life-saving drug, Narcan. County jailers often find themselves dealing with people with addictions. However, not all county jails are equipped with 24-hour medical staffing. Training county jailers to administer Narcan will save lives.

Both bills are now available for a vote in committees.
Making Sure Kids Get Mental Health Care
This week, the Assembly Committee on Mental Health unanimously approved a bill I authored with Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke of Kaukauna to help make sure kids get the mental health care they need. It is crucial that our schools be an option to deliver mental health services to youth.

According to a 2018 report from the Office of Children's Mental Health, 24% of Wisconsin teens have been diagnosed with a mental illness. The same report shows our state is lacking in providing access to the care they need. 

Assembly Bill 644 will allow the Medical College of Wisconsin to create a school-based mental health consultation pilot program. The pilot would be run by the Medical College of Wisconsin and funded with $175,000 annually from the Department of Health Services. School personnel will be educated on how to manage mental health concerns in the classroom, where to refer complex cases, and will also provide educational training seminars. 

The bill is now available for a vote in front of the full State Assembly.
Turning Wisconsin into the "Silicon Valley of Water"
Water is the fastest growing sector of the world's economy. It's expected to have an impact of $800 billion every year by 2035.

Wisconsin is already one of the world leaders in freshwater science. Last year, the University of Wisconsin System announced the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin. The goal of the collaborative is to include all 13 campuses in the system and is designed to turn Wisconsin into the "Silicon Valley of Water." This week, I introduced bipartisan legislation with State Representative Todd Novak of Dodgeville to help our state continue to lead in water science.

The bill is included in the recommendations of the bipartisan Speaker's Task Force on Water Quality. The task force held 14 hearings throughout Wisconsin and heard from hundreds of citizens. One issue that kept coming up was investing in water research. Right now we are hoping to add even more support for our bill.

It's my hope this legislation will make Wisconsin a world leader in water research and solutions that lead to safe drinking water.
Wisconsin is Still Winning!
Did you know?
Blue Books Available
Around the 8th...
On Tuesday, I had the honor of meeting high school students at Whitefish Bay High School about government, my job, and the future of our great state.

I'd like to thank Social Studies Teacher Pam Routhier and her class for inviting me. I had a great time!
I-43 Reconstruction Meetings
In the state budget, we put rebuilding I-43 North-South corridor from Glendale to Grafton back on track. This important road project is critical to safety and commerce in our area. 

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will be holding informational meetings about the project and you are invited. Experts from the DOT will be available to answer your questions at two upcoming open house events:

  • January 21, 2020, from 4-7 p.m. at Mequon City Hall located at 11333 N. Cedarburg Road, Mequon, WI 53092

  • January 22, 2020, from 4-7 p.m. at Nicolet High School located at 6701 N. Nicolet Road, Glendale, WI 53217

Click on the picture for more information.
Click the picture above for more information.