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Weekly E-Update

Dear Neighbor,

Welcome to my latest e-update. Here is a summary from the past week as your State Representative. 

As always, previous updates are available on our website and social media. 

Please contact my office with any questions or concerns.

Forward together,

Robyn Vining  

Hello everyone. Something different this week! You will find January and February are very busy months in the legislature. The legislative 2021-22 session is wrapping up. March 10 is the last date to vote in the regular session, so final bills are rolling out, final committee hearings and floor sessions are being held, and our legislators and staff are working hard to make the most of our final days in session. On many days the pace is frenetic (and exciting!).

As we wrap up the session, the e-updates might be brief from time to time. This week is one of those weeks! I introduced legislation at the Capitol Monday, we were in session voting Tuesday, and in committee Wednesday. There was a HUGE budget surplus announcement, followed by a BIG announcement from Governor Evers (see below). In addition to work on the newly announced surplus, we are currently working to introduce more legislation next week, and to reply to hundreds of constituent contacts from the last couple of weeks. Wishing you well, and hoping you are staying warm! -RBV 

Criminal Justice Bill Package


On Monday, I joined Democratic colleagues to introduce a package of criminal justice bills aimed at supporting victims, reducing crime, and increasing public safety.

Protecting women and children– protecting all people who are victims of domestic violence– is part of public safety.

We don’t talk enough about victims in this building. We talk about crimes, but we do not talk enough about the impact of these devastating crimes on the people they have hurt, and sometimes, killed. And so today, I introduced legislation that centers the victims– the survivors–as they deserve to be seen, centered, and protected.

LRB-5696 uses the State’s current budget surplus to fund the DOJ “Safe at Home” program which provides substitute addresses and mail forwarding services for victims of various forms of abuse, including threats of violence as part of their personal safety plan. DOJ currently runs this Safe at Home program with a federal grant, which means the program is not guaranteed and could go away. My bill ensures protection for victims into the future.

For more information about the package and summaries of each bill, please see the Wisconsin Assembly Democrats press release HERE.

To see more news coverage of our new bill package click HERE.

Wisconsin Budget Surplus

On Tuesday, the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau released new revenue projections indicating that the state General Fund Balance will have a $3.8 billion surplus at the end of the 2021-23 biennium. A budget surplus is the result of the state bringing in more money than it spent. This is particularly surprising because the projected surplus is nearly $2.9 billion more than what was originally expected in June of 2021, and is a result of sound leadership and decision making by Democrats like Governor Tony Evers, President Joe Biden, and Democrats at the federal level.  

This surplus can fund existing programs, new programs, tax rebates, or a combination of all three! 

Governor Tony Evers announced in a press conference on Thursday his proposed plan to fund our schools to help kids and educators succeed, help families with the costs of childcare and caregiving, and deliver a tax rebate. We will be detailing his plan in the days to come.

  • Now is also the time to act swiftly by passing the “Mental Healthcare is Healthcare” package, which I introduced alongside my Democratic colleagues to support mental healthcare access for K-12 students, UW students, and veterans. 
  • We can also save lives  by passing the Wisconsin Birth Equity Act, which would expand insurance coverage, remove financial burdens, and increase access to care for mothers around Wisconsin. 
  • Existing programs like the School Breakfast Aid program, which is essential for certain students who may not have regular access to nutritious or regular meals, will also receive more funding under the new plan announced by Governor Evers.

January is Human Trafficking Month


This month I co-sponsored LRB 5691, a resolution which would proclaim January 2022 as Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, our last session day in January has passed and the GOP chose not to bring this resolution up for a vote yet.


I have worked to combat child sex trafficking in Wisconsin for over a decade and have continued that fight in Madison. This session and last session, I co-sponsored the Safe Harbor Bill, Assembly Bill 185 which grants child victims of sex trafficking immunity from prosecution for prostitution charges-- in other words, it doesn’t charge children for the crimes of their abusers. Wisconsin needs to pass the Safe Harbor bill to protect trafficked children, and data shows it’s likely to result in more child sex trafficking criminal prosecutions. 

Right now this bill is being held up by Republicans in the Assembly leadership, and we are told that after a bipartisan, unanimous vote in committee last session, Republicans may block the bill completely this session. This is deeply concerning. I am very disappointed in the GOP’s lack of action to protect children from sexual violence.

Session Newsletter and Survey

Have you received your copy of the session newsletter and survey? Newsletters have been landing in mailboxes over the last week. You can fill out that survey online if you’d prefer. As of this week we have received about 130 online responses, and I have really enjoyed reading through your responses! We look forward to hearing from you!

Here’s a handy link!

LINK to survey: https://forms.gle/Xf2MWzHA6nMDfh4D9

The work we do can be contentious at times, and while this can be true it is a really beautiful building, and the process has beauty to it as well— even on the those contentious days. Sometimes it takes a step back to the outside looking in to remember that. Wishing you all the best this weekend— we are in this together.


COVID-19 Vaccine Update

As of January 28th, 8,999,685 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Wisconsin and 63.2% of Wisconsin residents have received at least one dose, with 59.2% fully vaccinated. Additionally, 1,847,169 additional or booster doses have been administered.

DHS has reported that new data indicates that unvaccinated individuals are 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19, are 10 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19, and die from COVID-19 at 14 times higher rates than fully vaccinated individuals. 

The best protection against any variant of COVID-19, is to get fully vaccinated and get a booster shot. All Wisconsinites ages 5 and over are eligible for a FREE COVID-19 vaccine series. Additionally, all those 18 years or older who had their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago, or got their Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least two months ago, are eligible for a free booster shot. Getting your booster shot will provide the best protection from COVID-19, including the new omicron variant.

Find more information of COVID-19 variants HERE.

Find additional information on booster shots HERE.

For more information about where you can get a vaccine, visit the DHS website HERE.

En español, AQUI. ¿Tiene preguntas sobre la vacuna contra el COVID-19? Llame al 844-684-1064 (llamada gratuita)

COVID-19 Update

14th District Counties

Milwaukee - 231,812 Fri, Jan 21, 2022 and 234,306 confirmed cases Fri, Jan 28, 2022 (increase of 2,494

Waukesha - 91,015 Fri, Jan 21, 2022 and 92,406 confirmed cases Fri, Jan 28, 2022 (increase of 1,391


Forward together,

Rep. Robyn Vining


Contact Us: 

State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708 

PH: (608) 266-9180
TF: (888) 534-0014

Email: Rep.Vining@legis.wi.gov 
Web: www.vining.assembly.wi.gov 

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