Dear Friend,

Welcome back! Now that the 2018 election has concluded, legislators can once again do mass communications to our constituents.

As you know by now, Democrats won all of the statewide seats on the ballot in Wisconsin! Governor-Elect Tony Evers truly marks a new era in Wisconsin, and I’m excited to get to work when the new legislative session begins in January.

I am so impressed, in awe of, and inspired by the amazing young people and students who dedicated so many hours, weeks, and months of their lives to getting people out to vote to change the course of our state. It was so amazing to see their energy!

While Democrats were elected statewide, the Assembly Democrats picked up one additional seat and the Senate Democrats lost a seat. It is more important than ever to pass nonpartisan redistricting legislation to ensure the legislature reflects the will of the people, and this will be our top priority going forward

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am so truly thankful and grateful to the amazing people of the 76th Assembly District for giving me the honor of representing you in the 2019-20 legislative session! It is truly a privilege every day.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office with any legislative questions or concerns.

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving,

Chris

 

Legislative Update

 

My Focus

As we move into the 2019-20 legislative session, I am working diligently on preparing my progressive proactive agenda.

I look forward to working on policies that I heard Wisconsinites ask for as I traveled the state in the last couple of months – fixing their roads and funding our public schools. Moving forward, my big focus will be cleaning up the damage done in the last eight years, including passing policies fundamental to our democracy, like nonpartisan redistricting, getting dark money out of politics, and making sure everyone can vote. Where possible, I will work to find common ground with my Republican colleagues on these and many other vital issues!

As we saw in the November election, the public overwhelmingly supports marijuana legalization. There were 18 marijuana referenda measures on the ballot this year in 17 counties and the City of Racine. From 76 percent of Dane County voters supporting recreational legalization to 88 percent of voters in Kenosha County supporting medical marijuana legalization, not a single referendum failed. 

This session, I will reintroduce the Compassionate Cannabis Care Act, which I have introduced for the last several sessions. This legislation would legalize medical marijuana in the state of Wisconsin. No one should be treated as a criminal for accessing the medication they need. I hope this legislation is a first step. I strongly believe that all individuals should have the right to medical marijuana to control pain and alleviate their symptoms. Wisconsin is behind the majority of other states passing marijuana reform legislation, and we are surrounded by state that have all legalized medical marijuana.

I want to hear your ideas! If you have a policy idea, please let me know, as so many of my bills come from my constituents!

 

GOP Power Grab

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) threatened to limit Governor-elect Tony Evers’ power less than 24-hours after Evers was elected. This is an unprecedented, alarming, and likely unconstitutional power grab.

It was so disappointing to hear Republican leaders, right out of the gate, continuing the divide and conquer politics of the last eight years. They continue to change the rules when they win and when they lose for their own political purposes, not to benefit the people of this state. From gerrymandering, to rewriting campaign finance laws to benefit their donors, to tinkering with the open records law, Republicans have shown they’re willing to do whatever it takes to amass and protect their power. By ousting Governor Walker, Wisconsinites spoke loud and clear that they want real leaders to step up and solve the state’s problems, not the same shenanigans we’ve seen for the last eight years under Republican rule.

We don’t know what the lame duck legislation will look like, but we will keep you updated as soon as we know.

 

Committee Update

 

Joint Committee on Finance

This week, the Joint Finance Committee met twice. In our first meeting, the Committee unanimously approved Governor-Elect Evers’ transition budget. When accounting for inflation, the request was below both Governor Walker and Governor Doyle’s transition budgets.

In our second meeting, the Joint Finance Committee held a public hearing on Assembly Bill 963, which would provide the Kimberly-Clark facility in the Fox Valley with the same incentives that were provided to Foxconn. Earlier this year, Kimberly-Clark announced they were cutting jobs and closing plants across the country, including their Wisconsin facilities. The Assembly considered and passed this bill during its regular session, although I voted “no” on it.

We are now in a lame duck extraordinary session as Governor Walker and legislative Republicans attempt to push the bill through the Senate. Kimberly-Clark had very little to say about their decision to close their Wisconsin facilities, despite the fact that the workers were extremely skilled, the facilities were very productive, and they have paid almost nothing in state income taxes in the last several years. Additionally, when they received a windfall from Republicans in the federal government through their tax code overhaul, Kimberly-Clark gave that additional money to their shareholders rather than investing in their employees.

Finally, Kimberly-Clark reaped a record $3.3 billion in profits last year. It is perplexing to me why they need $100 million of taxpayer funds, but to pad the profits of their shareholders. The union has agreed to $8 million in wage cuts, but that’s still not enough for Kimberly-Clark.

My heart goes out to the union workers who have been put in an unimaginable situation by pure corporate greed. We need a long-term strategy to keep and create family-supporting jobs, not continued handouts to corporations like Foxconn.

 

Rep. Taylor in the News

Women’s March, other local advocacy groups protest Trump’s attorney general appointment

Wisconsin Democrats oppose efforts to curb power of incoming governor

Democrats Resist Limiting Governor’s Power

Republican Shenanigans Must End

UW system, lawmakers react to DeVos’ overhaul to campus sexual misconduct rules

Rep. Taylor seeks Board of Regents power shift, stable state support

Public Hearing Held in Madison Brings up Questions Over Kimberly-Clark Tax Incentive Package

 

Our Community

Finally, I’d like to leave you with this video of Lydia Hester, an incredible high school activist right here in our community that I’ve had the pleasure of working with! I have been so inspired everyday by our young people who are working to create a Wisconsin where everyone has the opportunity to thrive!