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Official Government Communication

Week of Jan. 29th - Feb. 2nd

Dear Friend,

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,

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Sen. Lena Taylor

4th District

Taylor Introduces HOPELINE BILL

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/020218eupdate/Hopeline%20bill%20pic.jpg-done.jpgOn Monday, I was happy to introduce a bill with bipartisan support that will provide funding for the Center for Suicide Awareness to operate HOPELINE, a service that provides immediate emotional support and resources for those experiencing a crisis. HOPELINE is available statewide, 24/7, every day of the year, at no cost. A terrifying and little known statistic is that the teen suicide rate in Wisconsin was above the national average every year but one from 2005 to 2015, and the rate for teens doubled between 2007 and 2015. Veterans are also particularly at risk, account for 19% among Wisconsin residents 18 and over from 2007 to 2011. Considering these facts, I believe it is more important than ever to introduce legislation aimed at offering support to those who are fighting a difficult battle. This bill will help fund a critical, accessible service so that the Center for Suicide Awareness can continue to address this devastating issue. The bill is supported by Mental Health America of Wisconsin, National Alliance on Mental Illness – Wisconsin, Wisconsin Council on Mental Health, Disability Rights Wisconsin, Wisconsin Family Ties, and Reentry Associates LLC. I look forward to seeing this bill passed swiftly so that we can provide help for those in need.

Judiciary Passes Three Taylor Bills

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/020218eupdate/Judiciary%20pic.jpg-done.jpgOn Tuesday, the Judiciary Committee passed three bills that I co-authored: SB 403, SB 446 and SB 615. SB 403 is associated with modifying the responsibilities of the Law Enforcement Standards Board, which currently oversees the certification of law enforcement training standards. SB 446 relates to plans for bringing the community closer to the process of deciding where persons convicted of sex crimes, whom a judge has ruled should be given community supervision, may live. SB 615 relates to the granting of certificates of qualification for employment for persons convicted of crimes. All three bills are meant to ensure that our judicial system is fair and equal for all individuals, while maintaining the highest standard of public safety.      

 

Specifically, SB 403 is of great importance to me. Under this bill, the Law Enforcement Standards Board would also take on regulating the training standards of jail and juvenile detention officers, as well as recruitment standards.  I co-authored SB 403 to make sure all individuals working within the detention facilities are kept safe. In light of the crisis at Lincoln Hills, I want to further make sure that these standards become a priority. It is important to ensure that those working in correctional institutions are provided training that allows them to respond to situations in a manner that respects the safety and dignity of both parties in a correctional institution.

State of the Union 

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/020218eupdate/State%20of%20Union.jpg-done.jpgOn Tuesday night, President Trump gave the first State of the Union address of his presidency. Throughout the speech, Trump continuously praised individuals who have accomplished extraordinary tasks in the year that he has been president, as well as those whose businesses have been doing well. Yet, the President minimally addressed his own plans for the country or the state of the union, choosing instead to taut his very short list of barely accomplished campaign promises as if they were the greatest achievements in presidential history.

 

When Woodrow Wilson gave the first annual presidential address known as the State of the Union in 1914, he set a precedent that has become a presidential institution: to use the constitutionally mandated speech to Congress to reflect on the past year and lay out an ambitious agenda for the next one. President Trump’s address, in keeping with his typical hyperbolic and egotistical style, praised his immigration and tax policies while staying mute on the investigation into his administration’s inner-circle. Sadly, he then went on to highlight his accomplishments in taking the fight to ISIS and declared it his sacred duty to protect the American people, and followed with an indirect attack on the Dreamers in this country—highlighting his narrow definition of American people.

 

Furthermore, President Trump falsely claimed his administration is responsible for decreasing the African-American unemployment rate in our country. He neglected to recognize the low rate cited today is the result of the proactive policies of the Obama administration, coupled with a strong job market. Instead, he chose to shamelessly ride President Obama’s coattails, instead of acknowledging his limited role in a policy area he has shown little interest devoting meaningful attention to. While I appreciate the numerous men and women Trump recognized in his speech, what I would appreciate more is a presidential address that could be less about the individual and more about the State of the Union.

 

Lottery Meeting

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/020218eupdate/lottery%20pic.jpg-done.jpgThis week, I was able to start a dialogue with stakeholders in the Hmong community and relevant officials regarding the disproportionate rate at which problem gambling effects the Hmong community. I circled with our lottery administrator, the Hmong Chamber of Commerce, the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling, and Nyob Zoo TV to discuss next steps in assuring that the Hmong community is not forgotten, as we allocated state resources to address this issue.

The notably disproportionate impact problem-gambling has on the Hmong community first came to my attention during the summer budget process. I noticed that funds were allocated in the state budget to addressing the issue of problem gambling, but the money was not reaching the communities most affected. There is a large and growing body of academic research that supports, due to a vast array of different factors, there being significantly higher percentages of certain Asian American ethnicities affected by pathological gambling (for example, being targeted by advertisements for casinos and online gambling sites). While reviewing how funding was allocated and in talks with community stakeholders, we found funding for Public Service Announcements and other preventative measures were not reaching minority communities to the degree that they should be. As with any other issue in which government can play a role in the community, I believe it is especially important to ensure we do not leave minority groups behind. That is why I was excited to discuss next steps, possible community partners, and how the budget used as a tool to alleviate this issue in the Hmong community. 

 

 

Taylor to Address NBLSA

 

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/020218eupdate/NBLSA.jpg-done.jpgI am honored to be the keynote speaker at the Midwest Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) Midwest Regional Convention this weekend in St. Louis. The NBLSA looks to promote a positive, reciprocal relationship between black law students and the American legal structure. The five day convention includes a number of events such as community service, discussions on current events and topics, mock trials, and will culminate with the Black Excellence Awards Gala. It is exciting to have the opportunity to speak to students from around the Midwest and to encourage diversity and inclusion within the underrepresented legal community.

 

The courtroom always has been, and will continue to be, the site of some of our country's greatest battles for freedom and equality. All the way back to Madison v. Marbury to Brown v. Board of Education to Powell v. Alabama and Citizen’s United, we have seen our freedom’s be upheld, and at times, tragically lost in the courtroom. In the political climate of today, when divisive policies disproportionately affect the lives and rights of immigrants and minorities, we need the legal community to reflect the people most affected by these injustices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Events and Opportunities

 

 

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Big Bird's Adventure at Milwaukee Public Museum's Planetarium

 

Saturday February 3rd, 9:30-10:30 am

Milwaukee Public Museum

800 W. Wells St

Milwaukee, WI 53233

 

Event Details Here

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Urban Candlelight Hike at Three Bridges Park

 

Saturday February 3rd, 5:30 pm- 8:30pm

Urban Ecology Center

1500 E. Park Place

Milwaukee, WI

 

Event Details Here

 

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Family Free Days at the Zoo

 

Saturday February 3rd, 9:30 am- 4:30 pm

Milwaukee County Zoo

10001 W. Bluemound Road

Milwaukee, WI

 

Event Details Here

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Owl Prowl

 

Tuesday February 6th, 6:30 pm- 8:30pm

Riverside Park

1500 E. Park Pl

Milwaukee, WI 53211

 

Event Details Here

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 Quote of the Week:

"As we celebrate black history, let us pause to remember the African American trailblazers who pushed against the status quo aiming for fairness, equality and justice for all in Wisconsin."

-Senator Lena C. Taylor

 

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.

Stay in touch:

 Email: Sen.Taylor@legis.wi.gov

 

Milwaukee:

414-342-7176

 

Madison:

608-266-5810

 

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