Born Milwaukee. Graduate Pulaski H.S.; B.A. UW-Milwaukee; M.A. UW-Madison La Follette Institute. Member: Sierra Club; Jackson Park Neighborhood Assn.; Story Hill Neighborhood Assn.; Milw. VA Soldiers Home Advisory Council. Recipient: Wisconsin Public Health Association’s Champion of Public Health 2008; Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups Russ Feingold Award for Service to Seniors 2007; Shepherd Express Best State Legislator 2008; Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Conservation Champion 2008; Shepherd Express Legislator of the Year 2003; Wis. Professional Fire Fighters Legislator of the Year 2002; Environmental Decade Clean 16 Awards.
Elected to Assembly 1984-2000; elected to Senate 2002; reelected since 2006. President Pro Tempore 2011 (eff. 7/17/12), 2007; Speaker Pro Tempore 1993.