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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,

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Sen. Lena Taylor

4th District

Creating positive change in Wisconsin's justice system

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/100915/Madland-Talaga-Justice-crDMM03132015.jpgA few years ago, I chaired the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Corrections. As the first African American in that role, I hosted the first-ever “State of the Justice System” tour in which my colleagues and I traveled around the state hosting public informational hearings and visiting correctional facilities. The lessons that I learned on that committee and in my current role as a member of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety have not only influenced, but truly directed much of my legislative work. Whether it is the need for drug courts, the way that canteen services are provided to those incarcerated, re-entry programming and services, addressing disparate treatment in arrests, or charging and sentencing—I’ve done it all.

Continuing my work in this area, I will be rolling out a number of justice-related bills in the coming weeks. I have drafted legislation to address victim’s rights, DNA expungement when found innocent of a crime, voting rights registration, banning the box on applications asking about criminal record, and the formation of an independent pardon council. I will also be introducing bills to address what some refer to as “Taxation by Citation,” when municipalities supplement their budgets with citations. This leads to over-policing, unnecessary citations and targeted groups, such as African Americans, having disproportionate amount of fines and warrants. Further bills will address No-Knock warrants, removing information from the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access Website (CCAP) and limiting access to certain information placed on the website. Nothing is off the table when it comes to making our system of justice work equitably for all Wisconsin residents. And, as always, if you have ideas about legislation that you would like to see, call my office at (414) 342-7176. Together we can create a system that works for our community.

Senate Democrats unveil Badger Blueprint

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/100915/badgerblueprint.jpgOn Tuesday, the Senate Democrats unveiled the Badger Blueprint to help create jobs and boost family wages. My colleagues and I believe that the best way to move Wisconsin forward is by encouraging growth, driving innovation and increasing economic opportunities. The agenda includes a wide range of new ideas and old solutions: Encouraging education from early childhood to technical training and college. Investing in innovation in our infrastructure from roads and bridges, to water treatment and sewer systems, to broadband and rail networks. This in turn encourages business growth, fosters workforce opportunity and attracts private investments. The Badger Blueprint also aims to change the system in Wisconsin that favors the wealthy and big businesses over hardworking families through targeted middle-class tax relief and improved workplace flexibility for Wisconsinites. Many of these proposals have bipartisan support and we are hopeful that the majority party will work with us to address these issues. If you have any ideas for the Senate Democrats regarding the Badger Blueprint we encourage you to share them here or use the “#wibadgerblueprint” hashtag on social media!

A weekend well-spent at the WiLL WAND Conference

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/100915/WiLLWAND.jpgThis past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the “Women at the Tables of Power” conference hosted by Women Legislators’ Lobby (WiLL) and Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND) in Washington, DC. It was an incredible experience to be surrounded by inspiring women leaders who are doing amazing work on global peace and security. My friend and colleague, Wisconsin’s own State Representative Melissa Sargent (48th district,) joined me as an award winning WiLL WAND Pacesetter for noteworthy legislative service, contributions to sound, progressive policy and groundbreaking leadership. We are so proud of her! Conferences like the WiLL WAND conference keep women in the thick of global peace and security issues and ensure that women have a seat at the tables of power and give voice to the priorities that will improve our nation. Additionally conferences like WiLL WAND help women in government support one another and better strengthen the communities and districts we represent. I have come home freshly inspired and ready to act on behalf of my district and country.

Illiteracy as a pipeline to prison: what the Milwaukee Summer Reading Project can do to help

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/100915/reading.jpgYesterday, the Assembly Committee on Education held a public hearing on Assembly Bills 321 and 338. AB-338 is a bill that I co-authored with Representative Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) that aims to expand the Milwaukee Summer Reading Project due to its past success and the urgent need for it in Milwaukee. Currently, the Milwaukee Summer Reading Program operates through Marquette University and has an excellent track record. 60 percent of the children who go through the program gain more than six weeks’ worth of reading improvement, and 30 percent gain more than 18 weeks’ worth of improvement, which is equivalent to an entire semester during the school year. Rep. Sanfelippo and I would like to take something that is already working and expand it by securing funding for the program through the next two summers.

Reading is absolutely integral to success and unfortunately Milwaukee and the whole state of Wisconsin are struggling in this regard. 84 percent of Milwaukee kids read below grade level and children of color suffer most. Wisconsin currently leads the nation in worst reading scores for 4th grade African American children. Children who can’t read can’t learn, and that dangerous combination is a direct pipeline to incarceration down the road. I believe there is a clear correlation between our poor reading scores and our position as number one in the incarceration of African American men. Assembly Bill 338 is not a partisan bill. Expanding the Milwaukee Summer Reading Project is about getting kids to read and learn, leading them toward successful lives and away from cells with bars.

 

 

 

Stay in touch:

     Email: Sen.Taylor@legis.wi.gov

    Milwaukee:  414-342-7176

    Madison:     608-266-5810

 

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Community Events:

8th grade students and parents: Early High School Enrollment is Oct. 5-Nov. 2! More info here.

Education at no cost! MATC and Promise Program deadlines extended to Dec. 1 for high school seniors. Details.

Love & Hip Hop/The Truth Behind Unhealthy Relationships RSVP by Oct. 15. Click here and scroll down to the Love & Hip Hop event for more details.

Fighting the Stigma of Mental Illness and Promoting the Journey of Recovery event in partnership with NAMI, AKA, and MISRRC. Oct. 27th 4-8pm. Milwaukee Public Library Centennial Hall 733 N 8th St.

 

 Quote of the Week:

 "By making college unaffordable and student loans unbearable, we risk deterring our best and brightest from pursuing higher education and securing a good-paying job."

-Wisconsin Representative Mark Pocan

 

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.