Dear Friends,

In 2011, Wisconsin was at a crossroads. Mismanagement from Governor Doyle and Democrats left the state with a huge structural deficit because of tax hikes, increased spending, and raids on the Injured Patients Compensation Fund and Transportation Fund. 

Instead of raising taxes and making our economy worse, Republicans rolled up our sleeves and reformed state government and protected taxpayers. We passed Wisconsin's landmark budget reform, Act 10. The reform turns nine years old this week and it has delivered more than $12 billion in savings for taxpayers.

Despite the claims of doom and gloom from protesters, Wisconsin is in great shape economically. Not only did Act 10 save money, it more importantly, saved thousands of jobs. There were no mass layoffs, state attractions remained opened, and bills were paid on 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 Sen.Darling@legis.wisconsin.gov.

On, Wisconsin!
Holocaust Education Bill Has Public Hearing
On Wednesday, we had another emotional public hearing on my bipartisan bill that will require Holocaust education in Wisconsin schools.
 
In front of a packed committee room, many people from all walks of life testified on the importance of teaching about the Holocaust and other genocides in our schools.

Click on the picture to see the incredibly moving testimony of Holocaust survivor Eva Zaret.
 
My bill will add Holocaust education to the model academic standards for social studies. Also, it guarantees that Wisconsin students learn about the Holocaust at least once during middle school and once during high school.
 
Holocaust education is currently required in 11 states with legislation pending in 17 others.
Our goal is to ensure that Wisconsin students understand the important lessons of the Holocaust and the dangerous consequences of rising anti-Semitism and religious bigotry.
Tracking Your Tax Dollars
In real dollars, we've never spent more on K-12 education than we do right now. However, it can be very difficult for a member of the public to understand how much money their school district receives and how their money is being spent. 

I authored Senate Bill 743 to make it easier for taxpayers to track exactly how school districts are spending their money. This week, the Senate Education Committee held a public hearing on my bill which creates an easy-to-access school expenditure dashboard on the Department of Public Instruction's website.

Every taxpayer, parent, teacher, reporter, school board member, and legislator deserves easy and understandable access to this vital information about our schools. 

The committee also held a hearing on my bill that will provide a more customized education for Wisconsin students. Our state already allows letting students take courses at a different school.

For instance, if a student could take a French class at a different school if it wasn't offered at their own school. My bill will all allow students to attend courses in public schools, an independent charter school, a private school, or any nonprofit organization approved by the Department of Public Instruction.

Senate Bill 789 will provide more transparency and expands eligibility for this program. My bill will all allow students to attend courses in public schools, an independent charter school, a private school, or any nonprofit organization approved by the Department of Public Instruction. Students will have access to more courses to better prepare themselves for college or life after graduation.

It's my hope the Education Committee will vote on these important reforms soon.
Children's Caucus Presentation
This week, the Children's Caucus held a briefing on Maternal and Infant Mortality in our state. It was an informative briefing with national and state experts, in partnership with UW-Madison's Population Health Sciences Department.

Click on the picture to watch the presentation.

I'd like to thank Senator LaTonya Johnson, Dr. Tiffany Green, Dr. Jennifer Kleven, Representative Joan Ballweg, Tahra Johnson, Dr. Sheri Johnson, and Fiona Weeks for being a part of the briefing.
Celebrating the Right to Vote
Did you know Wisconsin was the first state in the union to deliver the papers to Washington, D.C. to show the voters of Wisconsin supported giving women the vote?

One hundred years ago, women finally gained the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

This week, we celebrated that historic event in the State Capitol. I was honored to stand with the many women leaders who are working for the people of Wisconsin because of that vote.
Staying Up-to-Date on Coronavirus
Due to concerns over the Coronavirus, many area events have been canceled or rescheduled. Make sure you call ahead or check online for the latest.

Wisconsin is now under a public health emergency to deal with the virus. That designation will help make our state eligible for federal funding to combat Coronavirus. I will continue to work on smart solutions to help people get the care they need such as telehealth, direct primary care, and other innovations.

Click on the picture above to get the most recent updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Wisconsin is Still Winning!
Blue Books Available
Around the 8th...
Click on the picture for more information.