Dear Friends,

Over the past eight years, our state made incredible progress in reforms, job creation, and tax relief. Wisconsin is in better shape than it was in 2010 and we can't afford to go back. This week, the Legislature brought forward a couple of bills to protect taxpayers, create more transparency, and make sure Wisconsin's laws are clear.  

Despite what you read in the media, when Tony Evers takes over as Governor, he will have the same constitutional powers and the same veto pen. However, he will have a harder time undoing our reforms and getting around existing state law.  

Republicans also tried to protect the health care coverage of people with pre-existing conditions. That fell short when Democrats, who campaigned on supporting those protections, all voted against it. I have more information on that below.

Wisconsin voters elected a split government. Democrats won the governor's mansion and Attorney General, while Republicans kept our majority in the State Assembly and increased our majority in the State Senate. I look forward to working with the new governor, but I will not surrender the principles that put a Republican majority in both houses of the Legislature.

The bills we passed will help make sure that Wisconsin's Legislature and Executive Branch remain co-equal partners.

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!
Extraordinary Session Protects Taxpayers
Senator Darling joins Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, and Representative John Nygren to discuss this week's Extraordinary Session with the media.
Many of the media reports on the Extraordinary Session were misleading. Here's what really happened this week.

Governor-elect Tony Evers wasn't clear about much of his agenda during the campaign, but after the election he's announced some plans that should be concerning to taxpayers.

The governor-elect plans to eliminate Wisconsin's successful economic agency even though it is crucial to our improved business climate. He is also considering removing work requirements for BadgerCare recipients. Those requirements are already in state law and no one, not even the governor, gets to pick and choose which laws they follow.

The Extraordinary Session addressed these concerns and will help make sure the Legislature and the Governor will work together on equal footing.

Here's a quick summary of the Extraordinary Session Bills:

Wisconsin's constitution is based on three equal branches of government, meant to be a check and balance with each other. Our bills are not aimed at weakening the next governor or attorney general, but they are designed to keep unaccountable and un-elected bureaucrats in check. We ended the terrible practice of agencies using deference and “guidance documents” to write their own “laws” and restored law-making to the legislature. These changes enable the legislature to perform our duties as a part of a co-equal system of government.

When Tony Evers is sworn in as governor, he will have the same constitutional powers as Scott Walker did, including the most powerful veto pen in the nation.

When Jim Doyle was Attorney General, he refused to defend Wisconsin when lawyers tried to kick inner city Milwaukee children out of the School Choice program. Governor Tommy Thompson eventually hired Ken Starr who won the lawsuit and saved the School Choice program.

If a scenario like that arises again, and it might, ( Tony Evers says he plans to phase out the Choice program.) the Legislature made sure it could hire attorneys to defend policies like making sure every child in the state has access to a quality education.

Speaking of what's happened before, this isn't the first time the legislature met after an election. Back in 2010, Democrats were swept out of office and lost the Governor’s office and control of both houses of the legislature.

Despite their historic loss, Democrats voted on 1,900 pages of union contracts before Republicans took over. Because of their mismanagement, the state had a $150 million deficit and faced a looming $3 billion structural deficit. Passing those contracts would have hampered the incoming governor (Scott Walker) from balancing the state's finances.

The Democrats had one problem, they didn't have enough votes in the State Assembly. So they helped get Representative Jeff Wood out of jail to get his vote. He was serving time for 4th OWI and was censured by the chamber. Democrats passed the contracts without a public hearing thanks to Wood's vote. The contracts ended up failing in the State Senate when two Democrats, who had lost their seats in the election, changed their votes.

So that's what really happened this week. Please take a moment and click here to read a summary of the bills from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. We made some important reforms this week, and you deserve to know the full story.
Democrats Flip-Flop on Pre-Existing Conditions
Remember when Democrats said protecting people with pre-existing conditions was their top priority? Apparently, it wasn't.

Currently, federal law protects people with pre-existing conditions, and Wisconsin covered them before Obamacare was created. This week, Republicans brought up a bill in the State Senate to double-down on protecting the health care of people with pre-existing conditions. Not a single Democrat voted in favor of the bill.

Democrats had a chance to turn their campaign ads into law. As late as one month ago, protecting the health care of people with pre-existing conditions seemed to be important to Democrats. Now, it turns out they were never serious about it.

Republicans remain committed to fixing the mess of Obamacare through innovation, reforms, and protecting pre-existing conditions. I hope after hearing from their constituents, Democrats will reconsider their position and put people ahead of politics.

SeniorCare Protected
Wisconsin received great news this week. The Federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced they are extending our successful SeniorCare prescription drug program.

SeniorCare is an important prescription drug program for our state's seniors. While many elderly people are limited to fixed incomes and tight budgets, SeniorCare helps them afford the prescription drugs they need. This program is unique in the country. Around 50,000 people aged 65 and older are taking advantage of the plan.

The discount prescription drug program needed a waiver from CMS to continue, otherwise it would expire at the end of December. Governor Walker also submitted a request for a 10-year extension of the program.

Click on the picture above to find out more about SeniorCare or to sign up!
Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting
Get the Facts
  • Wisconsin ranks second in the nation and best in the Midwest for manufacturing jobs created over the past year.
  • Wisconsin ranks number one in the Midwest for Health Care Access and Patient Safety.
  • Wisconsin's unemployment rate remained at 3% or below for nine consecutive months.
  • Over the last three months, Wisconsin added more manufacturing jobs than any other state.
  • Business Insider ranked Wisconsin's economy as the 10th best in the nation.
  • Fifty of Wisconsin's 72 counties met or broke their all-time low unemployment rates in May.
  • CNBC ranks Wisconsin as the 17th best state in the nation for business.
  • All 12 of the state's metro areas and all our 32 largest cities have seen a year-over-year drop in unemployment. 
  • The number of people employed in Wisconsin is at an all-time high of 3,090,200, and the unemployment rate is at all-time low at 2.8% for May.
  • Construction wages in Wisconsin are up 7.5% from 2016-2017.
Around the 8th...
Thiensville Christmas Tree Lighting
2018 Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

This Friday - December 7th
5:00 PM until 7:00 PM
Walgreen’s Parking Lot
Corner of North Main Street & Freistadt Road
Come sing with us!
See Santa & Mrs. Claus!
We’ll have cookies and hot chocolate!
Come see our Holiday Market, featuring vendors with crafts & holiday gift items!
Enjoy the sounds of the Seminary Choir!
Hear the fantastic Homestead High School Marching Band!
Thiensville Fire Department Breakfast with Santa
This Sunday - December 9th
8:00 AM until 12:00 PM
at Thiensville Village Hall, Fire Department
250 Elm Street
Have your picture taken with Santa!
Adults = $7.00 - Children Ages 6-10 = $5.00.