Dear Friends,

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and fellow police officers of Matthew Rittner. The 17-year veteran of the Milwaukee Police Department was shot and killed this week. Matthew served two tours in Iraq as a Marine and leaves behind a wife and a young child. He is the third Milwaukee Police Officer killed in the line of duty in less than a year.

We are very blessed to have brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect us. They deserve our respect and our support. My condolences go out to Matthew's wife during this difficult time.

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!
Real Middle-Class Tax Cut Passes Budget Committee
On Thursday, I voted in favor of our fully-funded and common-sense middle-class tax cut plan. I'm very excited that we are delivering a real, middle-class tax cut for Wisconsin families.

The tax burden in our state is at a 50-year low. Republicans have lowered the tax burden for seven straight years and delivered more than $8 billion in tax relief. Today marks another important step in our goal of making our state the best place in the nation to live, work, raise a family, and retire.

The middle-class tax cut will provide $340 million per year in additional tax relief targeted to individuals making $100,000 or less and families making $150,000 or less. The average Wisconsin family would see roughly a 10 percent tax cut, which equates to about $300. By increasing the standard deduction, 75% of the tax cut benefits go to filers with incomes between $30,000 and $100,000. The proposal is paid for with the surplus created by careful budgeting by Republicans.

After criticizing the GOP middle-class tax cut as unsustainable, the Democrats introduced a tax plan that leaves nearly $400 million unfunded. Their plan also hikes taxes $518 million on small business manufacturers and companies. More than 6,000 filers will have an unpleasant surprise in the Democrats' plan - their taxes will actually go up!

At a time when we have a $2.4 billion budget surplus, raising taxes is the last thing we should do. Due to our conservative fiscal reforms, we have more than enough money to fund our priorities without raising taxes on manufacturers and job-creators across Wisconsin.

The Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit directly impacts companies in every corner of Wisconsin. In fact, 87 percent of claimants are small businesses and many of those industries serve Wisconsin farmers. Democrats are proposing a half-billion dollar tax increase that will have dramatic impacts on manufacturers and the thousands of family-supporting jobs they create.

Our plan is already a compromise. With a $2.4 billion surplus, Republicans would prefer to deliver an even larger tax cut. Governor Evers campaigned on a 10% cut for middle-class taxpayers. That's what our version does, and it's paid for without raising taxes. I hope the Governor will start working with Republicans, because right now he's sending a bad message to job-creators.
Senator Darling Meets with Governor Evers
This week, I had a chance to sit down with Governor Evers and talk about where we can find areas of agreement to move Wisconsin forward.

We talked about my legislative priorities this session and asked for his support for many of the bills I am authoring. I am confident we will find bi-partisan solutions for the issues facing our great state.
YMCA Recognizes Senator Darling
I would like to thank the Wisconsin Alliance of YMCAs for presenting me with their Y Champion award this week.
Only 54% of K-12 Funding Makes it into Classroom
In case you missed it, a recent study by the MacIver Institute revealed out of the $6 billion spent on K-12 public schools in Wisconsin, only 54% is making it into the classroom.

According to the report, districts are spending an average of $13,182 per pupil. However, only $7,122 is spent on instruction. Most of that money goes to teacher salaries and compensation. The next highest spending is operations, support staff, and administration.

In the last budget, we made the largest investment ever in real dollars for K-12 education. I think taxpayers will be surprised on how their money is being spent. More funding needs to go to the classroom, and it's something I will look into during the budget process.

Click on the picture above to read more about how your tax money is being spent.
School Choice Window Opens
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is now accepting applications to our state's landmark and successful School Choice program. Click on the picture above to apply!
Around the 8th...
I had a fantastic time at the Germantown Community Scholarship Fund Silent Auction and Raffle on Thursday evening. They raised a lot of money for students and teachers. 

Last year, they raised more than $135,000 for 93 scholarships!