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Forward Fridays


Welcome to my latest e-update! Here are highlights from the past week as your State Representative. 

As always, feel free to reach out to my office with any questions or concerns you have.

Forward together!      

Cap Rotunda 2-5-2020.jpgAs we were in a hearing on Wednesday for 8 hours (it lasted 11 hours total), I took a quick walk break to stretch my legs and wanted to show that this building never ceases to amaze me. Happy Friday, everyone! 

This Week

Black History Month

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"Democracy is not something that just happens like the weather, Democracy is something we create.”
-State Representative David Crowley

“Diversity makes us stronger and smarter, not weaker.”
-Governor Tony Evers.

Black History Month Kick-off at the Capitol on Monday with the Governor, Lt. Gov., cabinet members, and the bicameral Legislative Black Caucus. The Legislative Black Caucus is hosting numerous events in Madison, Milwaukee, and other areas throughout the month- check them out below! 

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The fight to protect the 12,000-13,000 women, men, and children who are sexually assaulted each year in Wisconsin (1 in 7 women).

On Wednesday, we heard AB 844 in the Assembly Health Committee, a bill thrown together last week with no consultation of the advocates consulted when designing AB 214

AB 214 is bipartisan and has the votes to pass the State Assembly with the amount of co-sponsorship alone. AB214 passed the senate by voice vote (with no objection). The author of both AB214 and AB844 said that “AB214 is a great bill”. AB214 provides the necessary changes to never end up with the backlog WI found in 2018. AB214 is supported by enough Republican and Democrat legislators to pass the bill, and is heralded by the current Attorney General and Governor, as well as the previous AG, as the solution needed to protect Wisconsinites. AB214 is an example of what can be achieved under divided government when the needs of the public meet hardworking, willing legislators, an engaged AG and Gov, and expert-advocates.

AB844 was designed to kill AB214. On Wednesday, for several hours, with only 3 business days’ notice, Wisconsinites testified on AB844. Over and over again we heard praise for AB214, the bill so many hoped to pass (& the senate accomplished that in October!). Not one person testified in favor of AB844– every single person opposed it. Forensics nurses, members of the previous Republican Attorney General’s SART team, survivors, a woman who travels the country working to get these types of laws passed, crisis care workers, trauma-informed care workers, lawyers, advocates, a police officer who also worked with the previous Attorney General: all testified against AB844.

It’s my job to keep you posted. I do try to use my platform to build community versus throw fire. That’s important to me. But what’s happening with this bill— you deserve to know about it. I believe you deserve to know. And as my fellow Democrats have expressed as we have walked through this week, we are ready to move back to the bipartisan bill AB214 and not fight against each other for a win, but rather pass a bipartisan law that honors the lives of every person we serve. 

Democrats were joined by one Republican rejecting AB 844, it passing through committee 8-5. The State Assembly is set to vote on AB 844 on Tuesday, February 11th at 1PM. 

  • Read my full statement here
  • Watch the Health hearing here
  • Watch the Attorney General's Press conference here
  • More information in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel here

C&F 2-5-2020.jpgWe had our penultimate Children and Families Committee meeting this week. We voted on an important bill that needs to be swiftly passed for the federal Family First program set to roll out October 2021.

Education Announcement 

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Governor Evers announced yesterday he would call a special session of the State Legislature to take up legislation regarding education funding. Gov. Evers' plan is to use the state's revenue surplus to relieve property tax burdens from residents and further fund education programs like mental health and special education. 

Watch the full announcement here! 

Community Events

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It was a packed house on Monday night to kickoff the Tosa All-City Read for the month of February: "Just Mercy". Speaker Reggie Jackson was discussing criminal justice reform.

There are numerous events hosted by the All City Read program. I'll be trying to attend as many of these events as possible to check out the program-- I've never taken part in an all-city read before, have you?

This is not Wauwatosa-exclusive, everyone is invited! Find all events here.

Childrens Mental Health Briefing 2-4-2020.jpgI started my morning in Madison on Tuesday at the Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health annual briefing. The website shown (www.children.wi.gov) has information about their Annual Report, which they briefed us on that morning and answered questions about their research. 

WI Realtors 2-5-2020.jpgThe Realtors came to visit this week. This is the “North Hearing Room”, an absolutely beautiful room for meetings/hearings. I was in an 11-hour committee hearing, but I wanted to stop by and say hello, and hear a little bit about their legislative priorities. Thanks to everyone who came by!

 Next Week


I have some important pieces of legislation rolling out next week-stay tuned!


The Wisconsin State Assembly will be in Session on Tuesday, February 11th at 1PM, and possibly Thursday, February 13th

Watch live on Wisconsin Eye! wiseye.org/live 


The Assembly Health Committee will be meeting on Thursday, February 13th, time TBD

Watch live on Wisconsin Eye! wiseye.org/live 

 Looking Forward

In-District Office Hours 

We look forward to hosting more in-district office hours with constituents this year! Let us know if you want to schedule an appointment for our February office hours- date and location TBD. 


Feel free to email or call my office with any questions or concerns, or meet with me at one of my in-district office hours or listening sessions. 

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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