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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.

In solidarity,

Robyn Vining    

Summer School Counts Bill

This week I introduced LRB-3142, the Summer School Counts bill, with State Representative Sondy Pope, State Representative Sara Rodriguez, and State Senator Chris Larson.

This bill would help provide funding to schools for summer school programming that provides opportunities for students to catch up, fill gaps or accelerate their learning, and move from surviving to thriving after this difficult school year impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as provide appropriate pay rates for the teachers that continue to dedicate their time to these students.

Let’s ensure that students, teachers, faculty, and school districts have the support they need, during the school year and throughout the summer.

Read my full statement HERE.

Pride Month

June is Pride Month — during Pride Month may we celebrate the accomplishments of the LGBTQ+ community, honor the community members we have lost, and recognize and take action on the work that needs to be done to ensure equal rights for all.

To our LGBTQ+ friends, neighbors, loved ones, and community members — we see you, we celebrate you, and we stand with you.

State Budget Update

JFC TOPIC OF THE WEEK - Failure to Fund Workforce Development

Governor Evers’ proposed budget, and a motion by the Democratic members of the Joint Committee on Finance, included $15 million for the Department of Workforce Development to provide necessary upgrades to the unemployment insurance (UI) system in Wisconsin that would help to avoid delays in appeals and adjudications for unemployment benefits. The computer system used for UI is from the 1970s. Republicans on the committee rejected this provision and did not vote to include funding in the state budget to update the UI system. More on this below.


The Joint Committee on Finance met on Wednesday and voted on the following agencies in the state budget:

  • Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection 
    • The Committee took up DATCP in an omnibus motion, Motion #63 which included medical marijuana provisions from the Governor’s 2019 budget along with the rest of the Governor’s 2021 DATCP budget provisions. The committee chair ruled the motion out of order due Motion 19 which stripped all marijuana items from further consideration. 
    • Democrats on the committee offered Motion #64 which removed the items relating to marijuana. The motion included $10 million in each year for Food Security and Food Waste Reduction to ensure the food that we grow in Wisconsin ends up on the table and not in the landfill. The motion also included $2 million for the Meat Processor Grant and an additional $1.6 million for Dairy Promotion & Processor Grants as well as 6.0 positions for the Meat Inspection Program. The proposal included $2.16 million for improving the exports of Wisconsin Agricultural Products, $400,000 for Something Special from Wisconsin program and a continuing appropriation of $200,000 for the Farmer Mental Health Assistance program. The motion failed 4-12.
    • Republicans offered their own omnibus motion, Motion #68, which would allocate $400,000 for the Meat Processor Grants and modify the Governor's proposal by removing the Dairy Promotion Program, support for Agricultural Business Development Grants and only funding the Dairy Processor Grants at $400,000. The motion included the Governor’s proposal by funding Farmers Mental Health Assistance program at $100,000 on a one time basis. The motion included $1.16 million for the Wisconsin Initiative for Agricultural Exports and 2.0 positions for the Meat Inspection Program. The motion passed 12-4. 
  • Department of Natural Resources (DNR) & Environmental Improvement Fund (EIF)
    • Democrats on the committee offered two separate motions, one on DNR and one on Environmental Improvement Fund. 
    • In the DNR motion, Motion #70, the proposal based on the Governor’s budget would provide an increase to equip DNR wardens with a radio upgrade,  body-worn cameras and Narcan. The motion would provide $1 million for Deer Carcass Disposal Grants to help stop the spread of CWD and $540,000 for a program to manage invasive species. Motion #70 would increase the waterfowl stamp by $5 to $12 and provide funding to ATV, UTV and Snowmobile to maintain and improve trails. The motion failed 4-12.
    • The other Democratic motion to EIF, Motion #69, proposed $40 million to address lead remediation in Wisconsin. The motion would create a program that authorizes DNR to award principal forgiveness for up to 50% of the cost of private lead service line replacement projects. Motion failed 4-12.
    • Republicans offered an omnibus motion including DNR and EIF. Motion #71 which would fund DNR wardens with body-worn cameras but put funding for a radio upgrade in the JFC supplemental fund. The GOP motion would not fund either the Deer Carcass Grant or invasive species grant. Motion #71 was nearly identical to the Democrats with regards to increasing waterfowl stamp and funding ATV, UTV and Snowmobile aids. This motion does not include any lead lateral remediation funding. Passed 12-4. 
  • Department of Workforce Development (DWD)
    • Democrats on the committees offered Motion #67, this proposal would fund several important programs offered by DWD. Among other minor program changes, the motion would create the Worker Connection Pilot Program and provide $9.7 million to fund the program. Motion #67 provides $8 million to provide grants to local workforce boards to fund pandemic recovery efforts, $200,000 for health care job recruitment programs and $1 million for green jobs training grants. The motion provides $500,000 for Youth and adult apprenticeship programs and $15 million for UI general administration needed to avoid increased delays in appeals and adjudications. This motion failed 12-4. 
    • The GOP offered Motion #72, which would modify the governor’s proposal for the youth and adult apprenticeship programs, funding the program by transfering funds from the Early College Credit Program to DWD for the programs. The motion would also expand eligibility for youth summer jobs programs and provide $25,000 to direct DWD to study a “sliding scale” UI system for the unemployment rate. The motion did not provide any GPR funding for training grants as the Democratic motion did. The motion passed 12-4.
  • Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS)
    • The JFC Democrats offered Motion #60 which fund several positions that would add to staffing to DSPS to decrease wait times for licenses and improve services. The proposal provides funding to modernize IT for the Electronic Safety and Licensing Application (eSLA). The motion included changes to Private Wastewater Treatment System Grant Program (POWTS) including providing $1.68 million in program revenue to reinstate the program and change the installation deadline to include systems that are at least 33 years old. This motion failed 4-12. 
    • Republicans offered Motion #62 which modified staffing to DSPS the motion would place funding for the eSLA in the JFC supplemental appropriation and did not reinstate the POWTS. The motion adjusted funding levels in the Democratic motion but was similar in programs acted on. The motion passed 12-4.  

JFC will meet next on Tuesday, June 8th at 1pm to vote on the following agencies:

  • Military Affairs
  • Administration -- Division of Gaming
  • Volkswagen Settlement Distributions
  • Building Commission
  • Building Program
  • Transportation -- Transportation Finance
  • Transportation -- Local Transportation Aid
  • Transportation -- Local Transportation Assistance
  • Transportation -- State Highway Program
  • Transportation -- Motor Vehicles
  • Transportation -- State Patrol
  • Transportation -- Departmentwide

JFC will also meet on Thursday, June 10th at 1pm to vote on the following agencies:

  • Corrections -- Departmentwide                               
  • Corrections -- Adult Institutions                                 
  • Corrections -- Community Corrections                      
  • Corrections -- Adult Sentencing                                 
  • Corrections -- Juvenile Corrections
  • Children and Families -- Juvenile Justice                   
  • Circuit Courts
  • Supreme Court
  • District Attorneys
  • Public Defender
  • Justice
  • Legislature
  • Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection -- Environment
  • Natural Resources -- Stewardship
  • Natural Resources -- Forestry and Parks
  • Natural Resources -- Waste, Remediation, and Air
  • Natural Resources -- Water Quality

Law Enforcement Information Card Legislation

As part of a package of 12 bills related to policing reform introduced by Representative David Bowen (article HERE by TMJ4), I co-authored a bill with Rep. Bowen, Rep. Francesca Hong, and Senator Lena Taylor that would require that each law enforcement officer in Wisconsin, when making contact with an individual in their official capacity, distribute information cards upon request that contain the officer’s name, the officer’s badge number, the telephone number of the officer’s direct supervisor, and a clear description of the process by which an individual may file a formal complaint.

This bill would also require that any law enforcement agency that has a website display on their home page a clear description by which an individual may file a formal complaint regarding their interaction with a law enforcement officer.

Law enforcement officers are consistently interacting with the public, and these interactions can sometimes be stressful for individuals. This bill would provide greater transparency and accountability which would be beneficial for all parties involved.

Session Next Week 

The Wisconsin State Assembly will be in session on Wednesday, June 9th at 1pm to vote on legislation.

Watch live at wiseye.org/live

Wear Orange - Gun Violence Awareness Day

Gun violence is a public health crisis, but it’s not an inevitable one. We can change this, and so we should.

Moms Demand Action mothers, supporters, and survivors, Rep. Andraca and I joined Mayor Barrett for his presentation of a proclamation on behalf of the city of Milwaukee.

The Republicans have blocked the Gun Violence Awareness Day resolution at the state level this year, so our sincere gratitude to Mayor Barrett for his proclamation at the city level.

We did some tv press so watch for Rep. Deb and me on your local nightly news tonight!

Brookfield Fire Chief Charlie Myers Commendation 

Last Friday in Brookfield, Rep. Sara Rodriguez, Senator Kooyenga and I were honored to deliver a citation and demonstration of appreciation to Fire Chief Charlie Myers. On behalf of the state of Wisconsin, we thank Chief Myers for his distinguished career dedicated to public service. We wish you an absolutely wonderful retirement!

Wauwatosa East Boys Basketball Commendation

On Wednesday I had the honor of presenting the Tosa East boys’ basketball team with some love from the state of Wisconsin for their phenomenal achievement (during COVID!!!) of State Champs! On behalf of Senator Kooyenga, Rep. Rodriguez, and myself, we celebrate you one more time Tosa East Raiders!!! And—I was lucky and got to see two members of the team celebrate signing day!

Wauwatosa East Industry Signing Day Event

Also on Wednesday was this exciting event at Tosa East! We are so proud of our students!

Tosa East Senior, Jordan Weishoff, was celebrated at “industry signing day”—he accepted an apprenticeship in carpentry!

Congratulations To Jordan!

AND—Congratulations to Tosa East High School for its *newly certified* (!!!) Registered Pre-Apprenticeship program, such a phenomenal opportunity and option for Tosa students— congrats and gratitude to Mr. Griffie (pictured) for developing the exciting program! Also pictured is a rep from DWD! This is only the 2nd program like it in Wisconsin (Mr. Griffie also created the first one!).

Wauwatosa West “We the People” Team Commendation 

Today I visited Wauwatosa West High School to present their “We the People” team a commendation plaque for finishing fourth in their national competition in April. Congrats to these amazing students!!

The Ability Center - Bradford Beach Opening 

I was honored to join County Executive David Crowley, Supervisor Rolland, Milwaukee County Parks, Damian Buchman of the Ability Center, and other valuable community members for the grand opening of the nation’s most accessible beach— Bradford Beach! May we continue to charge forth to create a world for everyBODY!

 COVID-19 Vaccine Update

As of June 3rd, 5,216,241 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Wisconsin and 48.2% of Wisconsin residents have received at least one dose, with 42.5% fully vaccinated. 

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

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

For more information about where to get vaccinated in Waukesha County, visit their website HERE.

For more information about where to get vaccinated in the city of Wauwatosa, visit their website HERE.

For more information about where to get vaccinated in the city of Milwaukee, visit their website HERE. En español AQUI

COVID-19 Case Update

For daily updated information on COVID-19 in Wisconsin, visit the DHS website HERE.

14th District Counties

Milwaukee - 107,089 confirmed cases (increase of 26)
Waukesha -  44,075 confirmed cases (increase of 11)

*Changes over day prior


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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