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Official Government Communication

Dear Friend,

Finding the right words for the right situation is something all elected officials strive to do. Yet, upon looking back on the September 11th terrorist attacks, it is difficult to find the right words. So many great lives were lost unnecessarily and so many lives spared by brave heroes who put the lives of others ahead of their own. On this tragic day of remembrance, my heart goes out to all who were impacted by this terrible tragedy. Let us never forget that the terrorists attacked America, but they were really attacking the American Ideal of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is with that in mind that I continue to work with all interested parties to help everyone in our community achieve the American Dream.

With liberty and justice for all,

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Sen. Lena Taylor

4th District

Republicans still pushing public records law changes

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/091115/Public-Record.jpgRepublicans backtracked on dramatic changes to Wisconsin's public records laws in early July after significant backlash from the public. Yet privately, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos' office continued to push for changes to the law according to a news report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The proposal would exempt certain legislative documents from the state's public record law. I fought against the original proposal and will continue to fight to keep government open to the people.

Judiciary Committee votes on Senate Bill 102, 222http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/091115/detail_340_bokerkalashnikov.jpg

Yesterday the Judiciary Committee, of which I am a member, voted 3-2 in favor of Senate Bill 102. SB-102 aims to allow the manufacture, sale, possession and carry of switchblades (automatic knives) in Wisconsin by “qualified law enforcement officers, qualified former law enforcement officers, and persons who have license to carry a concealed weapon." I am opposed to this bill not only because I feel that the use of highly dangerous weapons such as switchblades should be regulated, but also because only 26 states, a minority in our country, allow the unregulated manufacture, sale, possession and carry of switchblades. I believe these states are in the minority for good reason and that Wisconsin should not join their ranks.

The Judiciary Committee also voted 3-2 in favor of Senate Bill 222. And again, I stand in opposition. This proposed law would require people who have committed certain offenses to install an ignition interlock device in their cars and criminally penalize them. Data shows that out of the 35,000 people who were ordered to install an ignition interlock device in 2013, only 15,000 did—and those 15,000 may have simply been those able to afford the expensive device. I am interested not just in stopping isolated incidents of drunk driving, but actually looking at the bigger picture and working toward minimizing the behavior of drunk driving altogether. 

Mandatory Minimums updatehttp://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/091115/mandatory-minimum-sentences.jpg

Unfortunately, in spite of my strong opposition to mandatory minimum legislation, the Judiciary Committee voted 3-2 in favor of Assembly Bill 220. This bill concerns mandatory minimum sentencing for previously convicted felons. A “tough on crime” bill like AB-220 is easy to sell but likely to be a poor law when put into effect. Our state already has punishment for a felon carrying a gun and this legislation could end up costing Wisconsin an additional $100,000-$250,000 per inmate for an extra 3-8 years behind bars. I can think of many ways those valuable tax dollars would be better spent.

 

Governor Walker's racially charged columnhttp://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/091115/flickrweb-620x360.jpg

Last week, I wrote you about Governor Scott Walker's racially charged guest column in which he insinuated that President Barack Obama is responsible for the tone in America that he alleges has led to murders of police officers. That came about a month after he was asked by a reporter what he thought about the anniversary of the death of teenager Michael Brown and what it said about race relations in America. His answer? "...I think in general if anyone focuses on racial discord, we're going to get more... If we focus on unity, we're going to get more of that..." So basically, Walker is making the case that there's a racial divide in America, it's President Obama's fault and that if we want to fix it, we should elect him President of the United States of America so he can ignore it and all our racial problems with magically go away. 

On Walker's watch, Milwaukee is still one of the most segregated cities in America. Eighty-five percent of our school kids don't read on grade level, we have huge health disparities in the black community, Wisconsin is rated one of the worst places to raise a black child and far too many of our young men end up behind bars instead of behind a desk. It gets worse. It seems other presidential candidates are beginning to mimic Walker's racial rhetoric. Chris Christie and Ted Cruz have gotten into the mix singing from the same song book. This type of rhetoric is despicable, but it looks like this Republican presidential primary will be full of a lot more of it. That is why it is up to us to continue to educate and advocate for equality and fairness across the board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay in touch:

     Email: Sen.Taylor@legis.wi.gov

    Milwaukee:  414-342-7176

    Madison:     608-266-5810

 

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Community Events:

The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD) is holding a series of interactive Conversation Cafes: September 26: Milwaukee, October 7: Milwaukee, October 8: Grafton, October 29: Milwaukee. For more info and to RSVP click here.

 

 

 

Canvassing for Milwaukee Jobs! Saturday September 12, 11:30am 1862 W Fond du lac Ave. Make sure the Bucks say YES to good jobs before you say YES to the arena development deal.

Milwaukee Career Opportunities! Court Reporter, City of Milwaukee

 

 

 

 Quote of the Week:

“Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.” — President Obama in a 2011 radio address

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.