Dear Friends,

A new study proves what we've always known. Wisconsin is one of the most generous states in the nation.  According to WalletHub, our great state is the fifth most charitable state in America.  Wisconsin ranked second in volunteering and service.

Our wonderful people are one of our great strengths.  It's a big reason major employers like Haribo and Foxconn picked Wisconsin to build.  This week, The Kenosha News wrote an editorial praising how " Wisconsin is booming ."  The paper concludes their editorial with this glimpse of our future.

"In just a few years, we'll be enjoying Wisconsin cheese and Gummy Bears while we watch the Green Bay Packers on our locally manufactured flat-screen TVs."

Wisconsin is open for business and the whole world is noticing! 

As always, if you have any ideas on how to improve our great state, please do not hesitate to contact me by email at  Sen.Darling@legis.wi.gov or 608-266-5830.   

On Wisconsin!

Governor Closes Ignition Interlock Loophole
Representative Jim Ott, Governor Scott Walker, Senator Alberta Darling, and Senator Van Wanggaard at Friday's bill signing in Mount Pleasant.  

On Friday, Governor Scott Walker signed my bill to close a loophole in state law that let some convicted drunk drivers off the hook for driving without their court-ordered ignition interlock device. The new law allows judges to specify the date on which a convicted drunk driver's car must have an ignition interlock installed.

Ignition interlocks can be an effective tool in preventing drunk driving. They save lives and are like having a probation officer right there in the car. Some convicted drunk drivers were exploiting the loophole by not installing an ignition interlock and driving before their license was reinstated.

If that driver was pulled over by police, they can be charged with driving without a valid license, but not the more serious crime of driving without the court ordered ignition interlock. Driving without a court-ordered ignition interlock can lead to a hefty fine and/or up to six months in prison.

Closing this loophole makes Wisconsin's roads much safer. Individuals who break the law should face the consequences of their actions, not skip the law because of a loophole.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, first-time OWI offenders who used ignition interlocks were less likely to be arrested again in the next two years for alcohol-impaired driving than those without interlocks in their vehicle.

Darling Named to Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding

This week, I was named to a bipartisan, blue-ribbon commission to look at the way Wisconsin pays to educate our children.  I'm excited to get started on this important initiative.  The legislature hasn't fully examined the school funding formula in about 20 years.  It's time we take another look how we fund schools and see if there is a better way.

The commission will hold its first meeting this month. In 2018, the commission will travel around the state conducting public hearings to learn more about school funding issues in Wisconsin.  Policy recommendations will be made by the fall of next year.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any suggestions.
Wisconsin's Economy in the Best Position in Years  
Update on Wisconsin's economy

Wisconsin's Department of Revenue's Chief Economist,  John Koskinen, says our state is in the best position in 20 years!  Click on the video above to see why!
Senator Duey Stroebel Named to Budget Committee

Recently, Governor Walker named State Senator Sheila Harsdorf as the new Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.  Her appointment left a vacancy on the budget-writing Joint Committee on Finance, where I serve as the Senate Co-Chair.  

I am very happy to report State Senator Duey Stroebel  will replace Senator Harsdorf on the committee.  Senator Stroebel represents the Cedarburg area and will hit the ground running.  

Taxpayers are getting another strong voice in Senator Stroebel.  His leadership and common sense will continue our goal of putting Wisconsin's working families first.
 
Our last budget made historic investments in our children without raising sales, income, or property taxes.  I look forward to working with Duey to continue to make Wisconsin the best state in the nation to live, work, raise a family, and retire.  
Around the 8th...
Students from the Richfield  School District visited the Capitol recently.
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Thank you to my friends at College Possible for this fantastic picture with signatures from their students.  98%  of College Possible students are admitted to college and are twice as likely to graduate!  If you'd like more information about their amazing work, please visit here.
Senator Alberta Darling | Sen.Darling@legis.wi.gov | 1-800-863-1113| http://darling.senate.wisconsin.gov
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