Dear Friends,

In the last five years, the number of investments in Wisconsin's start-ups has almost doubled.   A new report from the Wisconsin Technology Council shows start-ups raised  $276.2 million in 2016, up 31 percent from the year before.  I'm very excited at the progress our state is making and I'm excited a bill I authored is starting to help entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground.

In 2013, I authored legislation to create the Badger Fund of Funds to invest in Wisconsin start-ups and keep our state competitive.  At the time, entrepreneurs were struggling getting their ideas into the marketplace. The Badger Fund of Funds is a Limited Partnership formed by the state of Wisconsin to invest in Wisconsin venture capital funds that will in turn invest in Wisconsin based new ventures. 

So far, there are seven new funds in our state:  the Idea Fund of La Crosse, Bascom Ventures, the Winnebago Seed Fund, Rock River Capital Partners, 30Ventures, NM Future Ventures, and CMFG Ventures.  While still in the early stages, the early reports are very good.    One venture capital fund manager said, " My phone has not stopped ringing from entrepreneurs across the state."  I'm thrilled to see this investment is making a difference.

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!

Budget Update
This week, the State Senate continued to roll-up our sleeves and work on the state budget.  The big issues that remain are transportation, education, and taxes.  Senate Republicans are ready to go.   I l ook forward to working with our friends in the Assembly to wrap-up the budget process soon.  

While we have our differences with the State Assembly, it is important to point out our budget is still in very good shape.  We started the budget with a surplus, it will finish balanced, and it will make strong investments in protecting vulnerable people in our state and continuing to improve educational opportunities for our children. 

The reforms we have enacted in previous budgets are providing savings now - something Governor Walker calls a "reform dividend."  Thanks to those savings,  we are wrestling over how much money to invest in these critical areas.  I am confident we can work out our differences and deliver a budget that continues to reform government and lower the tax burden in our state.  We always find a way to make it work.  I am confident that we will find a path forward this time too.
Wisconsin Health News Forum

This week, State Representative John Nygren and I sat down at a forum hosted by Wisconsin Health News.  We had an interesting discussion on health care, self-insurance for state employees, and the state budget.  You can watch the forum here.
Around the 8th...
Brown Deer High School Pep band performing at the Brown Deer Eat and Greet on June 3rd.
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Brown Deer Elementary School visited the Capitol recently.
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Milwaukee Jewish Day School also visited!

Senator Alberta Darling | Sen.Darling@legis.wi.gov | 1-800-863-1113| http://darling.senate.wisconsin.gov
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