Official Government Communication

Dear Friend,

Welcome to my email newsletter. There is a lot happening at the State Capitol and it is my hope that this email will help you stay in touch with your government. As your Senator, I truly believe in public service. If there is anything my office can do to assist you, please feel free to contact us.

Here to serve,

      

Sen. Lena Taylor

4th District

Hope for unemployed felons

A budget is a ranking of priorities. And with the last day of the State Senate session fast approaching on March 15th, we need to get our priorities straight. Over the next two years, we will spend more than $2.2 billion in taxpayer dollars to fund the DOC. Thatís more than we will spend on the entire UW System. Donít you think itís wrong that we put incarcerating our people ahead of educating our college students? What makes it worse is that with Wisconsin leading the nation in the incarceration of black men, we arenít putting enough taxpayer dollars into re-entry programs to reduce re-offence. A person is 3 times more likely to end up back behind bars if they canít hold a job for one year. Thatís why we have to address employment. A new bill I authored with Republican Senator Alberta Darling and Democratic Senator Nikiya Harris Dodd will create a certificate for qualified employment for prisoners upon reentry. The certificate will vouch for the personís work ethic that they displayed while in prison. This bill has already passed in the Assembly and the Senate Judiciary Committee. I hope the Senate will pass the bill when we meet on March 15th.

Litscher confirmed as DOC Secretary

You know me. I believe in giving people another chance. Thereís perhaps no better example of this than with corrections. When someone does something wrong and they pay their debt to society, we should make sure they have a chance to turn their life around. But second chances arenít just for prisoners. Iíll admit that when Governor Scott Walker appointed former DOC Secretary Jon Litscher to his old job, I was skeptical. With all thatís going on at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake with the treatment of juvenile offenders and treatment of staff up there, something has got to change. Over the past couple weeks, Iíve met with Secretary Litscher for hours and even grilled him when he was in the hot seat in front of the public at the Judiciary Committee hearing. So far, Iíve found him to be transparent and he answered the tough questions. I feel what he says about needing to focus on fixing the mess in juvenile corrections and working on rehabilitation for all Wisconsin prisoners. I like that he is willing to work to provide more community-based visits from Milwaukee to Lincoln Hills. Iím gonna be candid with you, he and I wonít agree on everything. But, at the end of the day, I think heís someone we can work with. I think I was tough, but fair during his appointment process and Iíll continue to hold Secretary Litscher and the rest of the Walker administration accountable to the people.
 

Moving nowhere, Wisconsin job growth stalls yet again

Wisconsin job growth ranked in the bottom half of the nation last year according to an employment report released this week. This trend is nothing new. Since July of 2011, Wisconsin continues to trail the nation in job creation. Not only have we stalled employment growth, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve predicts Wisconsin to have essentially zero economic growth for the upcoming six months. It seems like zero is something Wisconsin families should have come to expect under Governor Walkerís leadership. Instead of pushing an anti-worker agenda which suppresses wages and dismantles protections, letís try something new. Zero is a number that Wisconsin can no longer afford.

Bringing our babies back to Milwaukee

Lincoln Hills has been in the spotlight for quite some time now and while progress is being made, it could be argued it isn't happening fast enough. Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake have been under an ongoing investigation into allegations of abuse, neglect, sexual assault and excessive use of force since the end of 2015. On February 4, the County Board declared a "state of emergency" and agreed to remove all county teenagers from Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake. The obstacles restricting this process have been seemingly endless. While the number of juvenile inmates has been reduced from 170 to 140, Circuit Court Chief Judge Maxine White says county court and human services were not notified whether these juveniles were just released onto the street or if they will be under "aftercare supervision." On the other hand, eight juvenile correctional officers have been hired at a 24 bed unit expansion in Wauwatosa. The county is also seeking approval to add an additional 44 beds by renovating a vacated space in Wauwatosa. These renovations will cost $750,000 and could be done by December. I hope that they will begin straightening out these confusions immediately, because our babies cannot wait much longer in these challenged conditions. 


 

 

 

Stay in touch:

     Email: Sen.Taylor@legis.wi.gov

    Milwaukee:  414-342-7176

    Madison:     608-266-5810

 

   

   

Community Events:

Know Your Rights! On Saturday March 19th from 10am-1pm come to Greater New Birth Church (8237 W. Silver Spring Drive) to learn about your legal rights surrounding license recovery, expungements, and voter ID information. Additionally there will be an Election Commission Representative to answer questions, voter booths and ballots to simulate voting, and a resource table and video.

50th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade: 100+ unit parade with marching bands, pipe and drum corps and local personalities. Saturday March 12th at 12:00pm. Further information here.

United States Air Force Band of Mid-America: The talents of 46 unit members will be displayed in a concert at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts on March 16th at 7pm. Free and open to the public. More information here.

 

 

 Video of the Week:

Click the video below to watch the latest Taylor Talk: On the streets of the 4th Senate District!

 

This is an official government communication from Sen. Lena C. Taylor. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, click here to send me an email to unsubscribe.