Dear Friends,

Breaking News: Foxconn announced today they are making another major investment in Wisconsin. The technology giant announced they are purchasing a downtown Madison property.

Despite the naysayers, Foxconn continues to invest in our state - despite not earning tax credits yet. The company is making major investments in Eau Claire,Green Bay, Racine, UW-Madison. This is in addition to their transformational $10 billion investment in Mount Pleasant. Foxconn plans to have that facility up and running by the end of 2020.

There were two polls this week that showed some very interesting results. The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) surveyed the state and found strong support for choice and charter schools. This is important because Governor Evers wants to freeze kids out of those programs and force them to stay in failing public schools. The governor claims his plan is "the people's budget," but according to WILL, only 33% of the people support the governor's freeze.

WILL also found support for increasing funding for public schools, which isn't surprising. What is a bit shocking is support drops by 20 percentage points when people are told the governor's plan doesn't include any accountability measures. There are more interesting results in the second poll released this week.

The Marquette Law School Poll asked about the expungement bill I am working on, and the results are encouraging. According to the poll, 62% of Wisconsinites support expungement, while 26% do not. I'm hoping this support can help push our bill over the finish line. You can read more about it below.

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!
Oak Creek Public Hearing
Senator Darling meets with American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network advocate Nikki Payne. Nikki talked to the budget committee about tobacco use in the state.
On Wednesday, the Joint Committee on Finance visited Oak Creek for our second public hearing. People packed the community center, and we listened to more than eight hours of testimony.

I really enjoyed listening to so many people who are passionate about our great state. We still have two more public hearings coming up. More information is listed below - including how to contact the budget committee if you can't make any of the listening sessions.
Budget Listening Sessions Announced
There are still more opportunities to make your voice heard on the state budget.

I highly encourage the public to attend these public hearings. Hearing comments, concerns, and opinions from Wisconsin citizens is key for us to craft the best possible budget for our state. 

Monday, April 15 (10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
University of Wisconsin-River Falls
University Center
Riverview Ballroom #260
500 Wild Rose Avenue
River Falls, WI

Wednesday, April 24 (10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay 
University Union - Phoenix Room
2430 Campus Court
Green Bay, WI

If you are unable to attend a public hearing in person, written comments can be emailed to the Committee at BudgetComments@legis.wisconsin.gov
Education Listening Session 
This week, Representatives Jim Ott, Dan Knodl, Janel Brandtjen, and I met with some of our local school officials about the Governor's proposed budget. We had a great dialogue about how to move our state forward and invest in priorities like our schools.

I especially would like to thank the Brown Deer School District and their amazing Superintendent Dr. Deb Kerr for hosting the event.
Local Officials Listening Session
Today, I met with several local officials from around the 8th Senate District to ask for their input on the state budget.

We had a lively discussion about how the Governor's budget will impact our communities. There was strong concern that the governor's budget is unsustainable because it spends too much. They would rather live within our means as a state. That's makes their budgeting more predictable. That's a goal we share.

We also talked about making it easier for municipalities to save money by consolidating services. I'm grateful for their input and look forward to working with them to make changes that benefit taxpayers.
Celebrating Wisconsin's Role in the Suffrage Movement
Did you know that Wisconsin was the first state in the nation to deliver ratification of women's suffrage to Congress? A few weeks ago, I co-authored a Legislative Resolution to honor that event.

On Thursday, Governor Evers signed Executive Order #19 which creates a committee to celebrate the same momentous occasion.

I am proud to say that I will be a member of that committee and look forward to working with Wisconsin's First Lady Kathy Evers as we celebrate the role our great state had in empowering women to vote.
Expungement Reform
Wisconsin continues to have historically low unemployment. Our biggest economic issue right now is that companies can't find employees for available jobs. We have hardworking people who can be dedicated employees, but don't have a chance at one of our many, many jobs because of a mistake made years ago.

Representatives David Steffen and Evan Goyke, and I introduced a bill to give people another chance to support themselves and their families. It's called expungement reform, and it can mean the difference between being able to support your family versus the state supporting you.

This week, the non-partisan Badger Institute wrote about the benefits of expungement reform and how it can help our state businesses find quality workers. Click on the picture above to read more.
Darling Named 2019 Legislative Advocate of the Year
Recently, I was honored as the 2019 Legislative Advocate of the Year by the Wisconsin Association of Free and Charitable Clinics.

I want to thank them for this incredible honor.
Real ID Is Coming
In a little over a year, you will be required to have a REAL ID if you want to fly within the United States, visit a military base, or a federal building.

In order to get a REAL ID, you need to provide more information than a regular driver's license. You will need to present:

  • Proof of Name and Date of Birth
  • Proof of Legal Presence in the U.S.
  • Proof of Identity
  • Proof of Name Change (if applicable)
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of Address

To find out more about how to obtain a REAL ID, click on the picture above.
Suicide Prevention Hopeline
Around the 8th...
On Monday, I had the honor of joining the Glendale Mayor Brian Kennedy to honor the Nicolet Boys Basketball team on their championship season.

Their hard work and perseverance paid off with the school's first state championship. It was a joy watching this team this season. So after the State Senate met on Tuesday, I adjourned in honor of the Nicolet Boys Basketball team.

Here is my official adjournment in honor of Nicolet Boys Basketball:

"Iā€™d like to adjourn in honor of the Nicolet Knights Boys Basketball team who won their first WIAA Division 2 State Title on March 17, 2019, with a 67-54 victory over Milwaukee Washington.

The Knights finished the season 27-1 and ranked #9 in the nation according to MaxPreps. The team was led by the AP Player of the Year in Wisconsin and unanimous first team all-state, Jalen Johnson.

Congratulations to head coach Allan Hanson and his team on a historic season."
Brown Deer Scholarship Fund