Dear Friends,

I hope you are well. My heart breaks over the violence in Kenosha. I’m grateful Governor Evers finally accepted help from President Trump to protect the people of Kenosha. Hopefully the peace will hold and our state can heal. There will be an independent review of the shooting of Jacob Blake by both the State Department of Justice and the federal Justice Department.
 
While we wait for the investigation to conclude, I am working with State Senator Van Wanggaard of Racine on some reforms that can bring transparency, accountability, and improve community input in policing in our state. Van is a retired police officer, so this issue is personal to him.
 
Together, we hope to better prepare officers and restore trust in our communities. The vast majority of police officers are doing a great job, but it's clear more needs to be done.  You can read about our eight bill plan here.

I also support legislation from Senator Chris Kapenga of Delafield that will give parents more say in their child's education. Right now, many parents find themselves struggling to find education options for their children as schools go virtual and force a parent to stay home.
 
The bill will allow parents to use the open enrollment process if they believe their district's plan is not in their child's best interest. No matter where a child lives, they deserve a chance at a quality education. This bill will continue to empower parents and make sure kids have better educational outcomes.
 
In this week's E-Update, wages are on the rise in our area, women are celebrating 100 years with the right to vote, and updated COVID-19 information. Keep reading for more.

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.wisconsin.gov.

On, Wisconsin!
Celebrating 100 Years of Women Voting
One hundred years ago this week, women finally got the right to vote. On August 26, 1920 – eight days after it was ratified - the 19th Amendment to the Constitution took effect.
 
Back in June of 1920, Wisconsin became the first state to ratify the amendment. We just beat Illinois.
 
Our great state has produced many, many great women leaders like: Wisconsin First Lady Frances Fairchild, who helped save Peshtigo during that city’s famous fire in 1871.
 
Shorewood’s Dickey Chappelle who was the first woman war correspondent to parachute with American Troops and covered three wars; World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
 
And Milwaukee’s Golda Meir who became Israel’s first Prime Minister.
 
Wisconsin’s women leaders helped pave the way for me to become the longest serving woman to co-chair the budget-writing Joint Committee on Finance.
Wages Rising in Our Area
We are seeing more positive signs in our economy.


The story credits Foxconn with helping wages grow more than 25%.
Giving Schools More Flexibility
This session, not only did we make sure schools would have historic level funding - we also gave them more flexibility to save money.
 
I authored legislation with Representative Mary Felzkowski of Irma that will allow school districts to engage in "whole grade sharing."
 
Some school districts find they don't have enough students to fill a class for a grade level. Our bill will encourage different districts to swap grade levels when needed by creating a financial incentive of $150 per student.
 
I hope that school districts in both rural and urban areas can benefit from this change and make sure more money goes directly to teaching children.
Darling Named "Friend of Family Medicine"
This week, I was honored to be named a "Friend of Family Medicine" by the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians (WAFP).
 
WAFP strongly supports my Step Therapy legislation with Representative John Nygren which Governor Evers signed into law.
 
Step therapy is a process used by health plans that determines the order in which prescription drugs should be given to patients. While the goal is to lower health care costs, it can be an obstacle between patients and the care their doctors prescribe for them.
 
I'm grateful for the award and happy they support this important reform that was signed into law.
Back to School Plans


Here is a quick summary of the back-to-school plans for our local districts.

Brown Deer: Families will have the option to choose between virtual learning or a five-phase gradual return to face-to-face learning.

Foxpoint-Bayside: The district will use a hybrid model with students having in school instruction twice a week and virtual instruction twice a week with unstructured learning on Fridays. Kindergarten will be in school four days a week.

Germantown: Parents will be able to pick between face-to-face instruction or virtual learning. Click here for more information.

Glendale-River Hills: School will begin virtually.

Grafton: Students will have the option of virtual learning or face-to-face instruction with social distancing.

Hamilton: Families will have the option to choose in-person or virtual instruction.

Maple Dale - Indian Hill: School will start on September 1st with a hybrid model. Students will be in school for two days and will learn virtually three days. The district hopes to return to full in-person learning in October.

Menomonee Falls: Students will choose between all virtual instruction or a hybrid option depending on attendance and health data.

Mequon-Thiensville: Originally, students were to return to class five days a week.This week, the school board reversed course and switched to virtually learning.

Milwaukee Public Schools: School will begin virtually and will move to a hybrid model in 30 to 45 days.

Nicolet Union High School District: School will begin with virtual learning.

For more details on district plans, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel compiled a list of area schools and their status. You can find that article here.
Drug Overdoses Rise
The lockdown and pandemic of COVID-19 is leading to increases in overdoses. Despite this uptick, our state is making progress in preventing opioid addiction. Last year there was a 10% decrease in opioid-related deaths and opioid prescriptions continue to fall dramatically. There is still more to do.
 
Since 2013, I have worked with my friend and colleague Representative John Nygren on his Heroin, Opiate, Prevention, and Education (HOPE) agenda to combat the opioid epidemic in our state and nation. So far Wisconsin has passed 34 bipartisan pieces of legislation as a part of the HOPE Agenda.
 
Next session, I will continue our fight against opioid addictions and overdoses.
COVID-19 Cases in Our Area
The table above contains data reported on August 26, 2020 from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on coronavirus cases in our area.
COVID-19 Deaths Per 100,000
As of 8/26/2020, Wisconsin is 37th in the county for COVID-19 deaths per 100,000. 

While Wisconsin has (19) deaths per 100,000 residents, surrounding states are Minnesota (32), Iowa (34), Indiana (48), Illinois (64) and Michigan (67).

Deaths per 100,000 residents in the Midwest:
Wisconsin: 19
Minnesota: 32
Iowa: 34
Indiana: 48
Illinois: 64
Michigan: 67
Emergency Room Visits with COVID Symptoms
According to data from the Center for Disease Control, emergency room visits for COVID-19 symptoms are around two percent.

COVID-19 Testing Available
Around the 8th...
On Monday, I had a fantastic time at the Menomonee Falls Chamber of Commerce "Going for the Green" Golf Tournament & Fundraiser 2020 at Silver Spring Golf Course.

Thanks to everyone who participated!
This week, I attended the Rotary Club of Milwaukee Northshore and enjoyed seeing Dr. Deb Kerr and new Brown Deer Superintendent Dr. Monica Kelsey-Brown talk about Brown Deer's re-opening plan.

You can read about their plan above or right here.
On Wednesday, I attended the 13th annual Ozaukee Economic Development Outreach Event at the The Watermark at Shully's in Thiensville.

It was a great event featuring the President and CEO of the Marcus Corporation, Greg Marcus.