Dear Friends,

There's more good economic news for Wisconsin!  Unemployment went down in all 72 counties for the month of March. Also continuing unemployment claims are running at their lowest in at least 30 years.  Wisconsin is working and open for business!

Stay tuned, I hope to announce some town hall meetings in our area soon. I'd love to get your input on the budget and the many other issues being debated in Madison.  I look forward to seeing you.

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!

Senator Darling Talks About Budget Hearings
The Joint Fiance Committee spent two weeks on the road, stopping at six great Wisconsin cities.  Click on the video above to hear my experiences, what I heard, and what I learned at those hearings.
Budget Voting Begins Monday

After six public hearings and hours of testimony, the Joint Committee on Finance will start to vote on the governor's proposed budget starting Monday. For the next few months, we will go piece-by-piece through the governor's budget and look for ways to improve it to be more efficient and save money.  

It's a long and detailed process and it should be.   Our job is to make sure the hard-earned tax money you send to the state is used wisely. Here's how it will work.

The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) reviews the governor's plan and prepares detailed papers on every topic.  We review these papers and either vote to keep the governor's version, make changes, or eliminate the item entirely. 

On Monday, we will be voting on the Judicial Commission, Judicial Council, Circuit Courts, Court of Appeals, Supreme Court, Employment Relations Commission, Division of Gaming, Insurance, Board for People with Developmental Disabilities, Board on Aging and Long-Term Care, and the Environmental Improvement Fund.  You can read and review the papers prepared for Monday's meeting by the LFB here.

It is my hope that the Joint Committee on Finance will be done with their work sometime in June.  After we are done, the whole plan must pass both the full State Assembly and full State Senate.  I expect both houses will also make some changes to the plan. 

Once both houses agree to the same budget, it will go to Governor Walker who may veto all of it or parts of it.  The Legislature can then override vetoes or try to pass a vetoed item as a bill.  Both houses need two-thirds of the members present to override.  It's a rare occurrence, but it's an important option to have for checks and balances in government.

Like I said, it's a long and detailed process to pass a budget - and it should be.  Please feel free to contact me throughout this process if you have ideas on how to improve our budget.
Around the 8th...


Riverside Elementary in Menomonee Falls visited the Capitol this week!
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St. Monica School in Whitefish Bay visited the Capitol this week!
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Templeton Middle School in Sussex visited the Capitol this week!
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Cumberland Elementary School in Whitefish Bay visited on Friday!
Senator Alberta Darling | Sen.Darling@legis.wi.gov | 1-800-863-1113| http://darling.senate.wisconsin.gov
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