Dear Friends,

Wisconsin is on a roll again!  Fresh off being named a top ten state for business in America, our unemployment rate is now at its lowest in 17 years!  

This week, the Department of Workforce Development announced our state's unemployment rate is now 3.2%.  You have to go back to February of 2000 for the last time the rate was that low in Wisconsin.  

Also,   our manufacturing growth rate and total non-farm growth ranked 5th highest in the nation from March to April 2017Wisconsin is open for business, and our job numbers prove it! 

I hope to see you at one of my listening sessions tomorrow.  I will be stopping in Germantown, Mequon, and Lannon.  The times and locations are listed below.

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

On Wisconsin!

Listening Sessions Saturday
Sunsetting Bill Shines Light on Red Tape

By sunsetting red tape rules, a new bill I'm working on will bring sunlight to the bureaucratic process.  State Representative Jim Steineke of Kaukauna and I are introducing legislation which will sunset administrative code chapters every seven years.
 
With how quickly technology and the marketplace change, we can't keep doing things the same way just because that's the way we've always done it.  Adding sunset clauses to entire chapters of rules will make sure they stay relevant with our fast-changing world.
 
Currently, once it's established, administrative code or red tape can exist forever - often does - even when the rules don't reflect the times.  
 
One year before the chapter of code expires, the agency can seek the chapter's re-adoption by going to the Legislature. If the relevant standing committees object, then the code can be renewed by going through the rule making process all over again. If no lawmakers object, the chapter of code is readopted. The process will allow for more input from the public and lawmakers and regular opportunities to hold bureaucracies accountable.
 
Right now, Representative Steineke and I are seeking co-sponsors for the legislation.
Wisconsin Certified

Wisconsin is one of the top ten states in the nation for business. The strong reputation of Wisconsin's workers and businesses can give consumers more confidence in who they choose to hire. 
 
This week, I introduced legislation with State Senator Chris Kapenga, and State Representative Rob Hutton which will create a self-certification registry for professions not regulated by the state.  This is a free-market way to tell consumers who is a reputable provider of services.
 
The label 'state certified' will be a mark of quality for Wisconsin's businesses and trade workers. Consumers will know which professionals have earned that rating and which ones haven't.
 
Wisconsin currently regulates 166 professions.  However, over-regulation of some professions creates an unnecessary burden to employment for many low-income people and entrepreneurs. Self-certification will create a middle ground between licensure and completely unregulated professions. This middle ground will increase safety and ensure consumer protection with minimal state involvement.
 
The Wisconsin certified label will be offered through the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS).  DSPS will enforce the standard and impose fines for lying about accreditation or falsely claiming the title of state certified.
Budget Update

Creating a workforce ready for the jobs of today is a top priority for me.  This week, the budget-writing Joint Committee on Finance, which I co-chair, made a major investment in our workers.
 
I am happy to report we increased need-based scholarships for the Wisconsin Technical College System students by $5 million per year.   This increased funding will help train students for family-supporting jobs upon graduation.

Next week, our committee will take up several important items including the University of Wisconsin System, the Department of Heath Services, and several other important items.  You can read more about the areas we are taking up here.
Around the 8th...

I had the honor of speaking to these amazing students in Mr. Waech's Social Studies class at Lumen Christi Catholic School in Mequon on Friday. They ask great questions!
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Congratulations to my friend Ted Kellner!  This week, he was named the 2016 Business Leader of the Year from the Harvard Business School Club of Wisconsin.  You can read more about Ted and his amazing career here.
Senator Alberta Darling | Sen.Darling@legis.wi.gov | 1-800-863-1113| http://darling.senate.wisconsin.gov
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