Dear Friends,

Memorial Day gives us a chance to thank those who protected our way of life.  This weekend, I hope you are able to take a moment and remember the many brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. I also would like to thank the members of our military who continue to protect our freedoms.  Thank  you!

In case you missed it, Wisconsin's unemployment rate dipped again to 3.2% - the lowest since February for 2000!  On top of that, half of our state's largest cities had their lowest ever unemployment rate for the month of April.  That's great news and shows Wisconsin's economy is on the move!

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!

Memorial Day Weekend
Listening Sessions
Thank you to everyone who attended my listening sessions in Germantown, Mequon, and Lannon on May 20th. 

I truly appreciate everyone who took the time on a rainy day to have a robust and civil discussion on many issues.  I'd also like to thank State Representatives Dan Knodl, Jim Ott, and Janel Brandtjen for attending.
UW-System Budget Invests in Wisconsin's Future

Thanks to the efforts of Republicans, Wisconsin is making one of the largest investments ever in higher education.  This week, Joint Committee on Finance approved an additional $36 million, bringing the state's total investment in UW-System to more than $1.1 billion per year. 
 
The UW-System is crucial to our state's economy, to our future, and to our way of life. We are working to keep our system schools affordable and effective.
 
Building on the success of outcome-based funding used in Wisconsin's technical colleges, UW-System's budget will also include a similar plan.  UW schools would be incentivized to earn additional funding by meeting performance goals such as graduation rates and job placement.  

This budget will help the UW-System adapt to an ever changing environment of rapidly advancing technology and a shifting workforce. We count on System to produce the leaders of tomorrow, and we are helping them achieve that goal.
 
The budget plan approved by the Joint Committee on Finance also makes major investments in Alzheimer's and cancer research and makes a major investment in the education of the brave men and women who protect our nation.

State Budget Will Invest in Those in Critical Need

This week, the Joint Committee on Finance made several investments to protect our most vulnerable citizens and our families.  We are being careful with your tax dollars by investing in smart, evidence-based programs that have a proven record of success.

Over the next two years, we are spending $6 million to make sure victims of sex trafficking get the services they need.  We are also making sure services are available for homeless and runaway youths and ensuring victims of domestic violence have access to legal aid to obtain restraining orders.

We made serious investments to protect our vulnerable populations by ending the waiting list for children's long term supports, expanding access to the Medicaid Purchase Plan for our disabled population, promoting dementia care, and investing in prevention of disease and epidemics. 

I'm also happy to report this budget makes incredible investments into mental health.  From delivering mental health services in our schools to ensuring rural Wisconsinites have access to mental health services, we are making sure people have access to help when they need it.

I'm proud of the effort we are making to ensure sure vulnerable people in Wisconsin can get the help and protection they need.

Around the 8th...
Congratulations to Ryan Sobczak for obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout!
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Marcy Elementary in Menomonee Falls visited the State Capitol this week!
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Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Menomonee Falls also visited our beautiful State Capitol this week!
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Calvary School in Thiensville visited the State Capitol recently!
Senator Alberta Darling | Sen.Darling@legis.wi.gov | 1-800-863-1113| http://darling.senate.wisconsin.gov
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