I-794 Lake Interchange Study The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is conducting a Lake Interchange Study to evaluate alternatives for the I-794 freeway corridor. The department is currently in the process of developing design concepts.
Returning Your Surplus Bill Advances This week in the Assembly we passed the ‘Returning Your Surplus’ proposal, which would provide over $2.9 billion in tax relief for retirees and the middle-class.
Seeking Nominations for First Responder of the Year! The time has come once again to nominate a First Responder of the Year for this 2023-24 legislative session. To have your local hero be eligible, please complete the nomination form linked below no later than Friday, September 29, 2023.
Returning Your Surplus Earlier this week, Legislative Republicans unveiled our plan to 'Return Your Surplus.' Gov. Evers disappointed all of us when he vetoed the majority of the middle-class tax cut we included in the state budget. However, Legislative Republicans are committed to returning the state's surplus to YOU.
Budget Recap: Transportation🛣️ If you drive, I'm sure you've noticed that we are in the thick of construction season! Each year, WisDOT completes between 350-400 state highway projects (averaging $1.5M each), in addition to passing funding through to local governments for road construction.
Budget Recap: K-12 Education✏️ The first day of school is almost here! This budget, we made historic increases in K-12 education, investing over $1B in new dollars for public schools. Our budget provides support for our public schools and the school choice programs, empowering parents to pick the best school for their child.
Budget Recap: Workforce Development Despite historically low unemployment rates, our state is facing a serious workforce shortage. This is effecting all sides of the supply chain. Employers are struggling to recruit and retain employees, with many even modifying their hours because they're short-staffed.
Happening Now: Wisconsin State Fair🎡 Our Wisconsin State Fair had its opening ceremonies yesterday, which means the fair is ON now through August 13th! I encourage you and your family to make a visit to this great tourist attraction that is also a wonderful display of our state's agriculture history.
Operation We ❤️ Our Troops! On Tuesday my colleagues and I packed over 100 boxes to send to members of our armed forces who are either deployed or stationed overseas. With the sacrifices these men and women make, I'm glad we could send something from the homeland to remind them of home and show them our appreciation.
Congratulations, Shanda and Tami! Congrats to Shanda Kaveney for being named Oak Creek's 2022 Citizen of the Year, and to Tami Mayzik for her 20-year work anniversary as South Milwaukee City Administrator!
Travel Wisconsin this Summer! As things slow down in the Capitol, I'd like to use this e-update to highlight things to do throughout Wisconsin this summer. As you're thinking about weekend getaways, consider being a tourist right here in our home state!
Governor Signs 2023-25 Budget, makes 51 Line-item Vetoes Earlier this week, Governor Tony Evers vetoed the largest tax cut in state history and ensured property taxes across Wisconsin will increase for the next four centuries.
Budget Heads to Governor's Desk Last night, I voted in favor of 2023 Senate Bill 70 (SB 70) – Wisconsin’s 2023-25 budget bill – a budget that is made for Wisconsin.
Republicans Cut Taxes by $4.4B Yesterday afternoon Finance Republicans unveiled our tax plan. We are cutting taxes by $4.4 billion in this biennium! This includes providing $795M in property tax relief and a $3.5B income tax cut. Every tax filer will receive an income tax cut, as we are reducing the tax rate for every bracket.
Historic Investments in K-12 Education This week the state’s budget-writing committee voted to make historic investments in K-12 education in our state! The proposal our committee approved provides over one billion dollars in new spending on education.
Financial Literacy in Schools Assembly Bill 109 (AB 109), a bill authored by my colleague Rep. Alex Dallman (R-Green Lake), would require one-half credit of personal financial literacy for high school graduation.
Republicans' Historic $2.4B Capital Budget We are making historic investments in our state properties with a capital budget totaling over $2.3B, about half of which is cash from our general fund. We have a large one-time surplus this year, and we know investing some of that cash in our state's buildings is a smart use of one-time money.
Rodriguez Recap: Week of Workforce JFC met on Tuesday and Thursday again this week as we work on our biennial budget. This week we made several investments in our workforce.
Assembly Passes Historic Investments in Local Governments On Wednesday, an amended version of AB 245, which I authored with Rep. Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc) and Sen. Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma), passed in the Assembly. AB 245 makes reforms to our shared revenue program, provides support to local public safety, and repeals the Personal Property Tax (PPT).
WisPolitics Luncheon Today I participated in a WisPolitics Luncheon with my colleague on the Joint Finance Committee, Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee). We had a great dialogue about local government funding, K-12 education, and the state's surplus!
Rodriguez Recap The Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) met on Tuesday and Thursday to begin crafting our biennial budget.
Local Government Funding, My Spring Survey, and more! I joined my colleagues, Mayor Johnson, County Executive Crowley, and other local officials from Southeastern Wisconsin in a press conference on Thursday afternoon to unveil a bipartisan package that will make historic changes to local government funding.
Carjacking in Wisconsin The Assembly was on the floor on Tuesday to consider a number of bills. I'd like to highlight a bill introduced by my colleagues Rep. John Spiros and Sen. Jesse James that defines 'carjacking' in state statute and increases the penalty of carjacking with use or threat of a dangerous weapon.
REMINDER: Budget Town Halls As a reminder, my Budget Town Hall Meetings are scheduled for next week! This is a great opportunity for you to share your thoughts regarding Wisconsin’s 2023-25 budget with me. I hope to see you at one of the sessions!
JFC Roadshow: Waukesha This week the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) traveled to Waukesha for our first Public Hearing on the budget. Our travels started on Wednesday with a stop at the Waukesha County Expo Center. It was great to hear so many perspectives from people right here in our region of Southeastern Wisconsin.
Joint Committee on Finance: Agency Briefings This session I'm once again serving as a member of JFC. We've already begun our work on the 2023-25 budget, and this week we held our agency briefings. This is when we invite state agencies to come before the committee and speak on their budget requests and answer questions from the members.
Reducing Crime in our State Promoting public safety is a core function of government, which is why we took up several initiatives on Wednesday aimed at reducing crime in Wisconsin. I'd like to highlight a few of the proposals we passed. Reckless driving is on the rise and has been especially prevalent in Milwaukee County.
The Inside Scoop on Gov. Evers' Budget Proposal By now you've likely heard that the state is projected to have a $7.1 billion surplus come June. What I'm guessing you haven't heard is that $4 billion of that is a one-time surplus. Only about $3 billion of it is expected to be ongoing.
Budget Committee Plans to Hit the Road Earlier this week the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) announced our public hearings. Each session JFC travels the state to hear public input on our state's budget. This year, we will be going to Waukesha, Eau Claire, Wisconsin Dells and Minocqua.
Women's History Month To kick off Women's History Month, I introduced my bill, which seeks to establish a goal for at least 5% of state building projects to be contracted with woman-owned firms for architecture, engineering, and professional services. This is not a mandate, handout, or a set aside.
MONDAY: Office Hours My February Office Hours will be held on Monday evening. I will be at the South Milwaukee Public Library from 5:15-6:15pm and at the Oak Creek Public Library from 6:45-7:45pm. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
Open Enrollment The open enrollment application period is underway! Through the open enrollment program, parents and guardians can apply to send their children to a public school in a district other than their resident school district.
All Aboard! I started my week with a Mobile Meet-Up organized by the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS). In addition to folks from MCTS, I was joined by Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley.
State of the State Reaction Here's my reaction to Gov. Evers' 2023 State of the State Address.
Bail Reform This week my colleagues and I convened to consider Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR 2), which proposes an amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution regarding bail.
Qualified Bidders on State Projects I kicked off this week by introducing my first bill of the 2023-2024 Legislative Session. The idea for this bill was brought to me by a constituent who owns an electrical contracting company in my district.
Beginning the 106th Wisconsin State Legislature On Tuesday, I was inaugurated for my sixth term in the 106th Wisconsin State Legislature. I’m honored that the residents of the 21st Assembly District have supported me by sending me back to Madison, and eager to get back to work for my community and our great state.
Signing Off As our legislative session comes to a close, I wanted to share some highlights and talk about a few of our accomplishments.
Recap: Rodriguez Bills sent to the Governor’s Desk this Session This session I worked on a number of legislative proposals spanning over a wide array of topics. Today, I’d like to highlight for you all of the bills that I sent to the Governor’s desk this session.
April 5, 2022 Spring Election Tuesday is Spring Election Day! You can make sure you’re registered to vote, find your polling place, and look at a sample ballot by visiting myvote.wi.gov. Depending on where you live, your ballot will have elections for local offices such as mayor, common council, and/or school board.
REMINDER: End-of-Session Town Halls I’ll be holding end-of-session town hall meetings in both South Milwaukee and Oak Creek on Tuesday, March 29. These will be the last official office hours or town hall meetings of the session, so I hope to see you there to hear about what’s important to you!
Wisconsin Simplifies the Process for Legal Separations On Friday, March 11 a bill I authored with Sen. Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) was signed into law. Senate Bill 603, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 169, allows court commissioners to grant legal separations when the terms of the separation are fully stipulated.
Wisconsinites save $22 billion in taxes since 2011 One of my top priorities as a legislator has been reducing the tax burden faced by Wisconsinites. I’m proud to say that we have delivered on this priority to the tune of billions in savings to taxpayers.
This Week in Finance The Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) met on Thursday to approve two bills that involve state spending. Both bills, Senate Bill 520 and Assembly Bill 973, have already passed on the Assembly Floor and are awaiting action by the Senate before they can go to the Governor’s desk.
Three Rodriguez Bills Move to Governor’s Desk This week we were on the Floor Tuesday through Thursday to consider a number of proposals. Included were four of my bills, three of which had already passed in the Senate and are moving to the Governor’s desk.
State of the State Governor Tony Evers delivered the State of the State address before a joint session of the Legislature on Tuesday night in the Assembly Chambers. The state of our state is strong, but is Governor Evers really responsible for the incredible position our state is in?
Two Rodriguez Bills Become Law 2 of my bills were signed into law last week! 2021 Wisconsin Act 124 will allow for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District to clean up the Milwaukee Estuary. 2021 Wisconsin Act 130 will allow naturopathic doctors to be licensed in Wisconsin and to be able to the full extent of their training.
February is American Heart Month Nearly 1 in 3 Americans die of cardiovascular disease, and heart disease remains the #1 cause of death in the U.S. and worldwide. But together, we can change that!
Law Enforcement Support Package passes State Assembly On Tuesday we were in session to consider a package of bills aimed at supporting law enforcement. The legislative package allocates approximately $25 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to help recruit, train, and retain law enforcement officers across Wisconsin.
Helping Local Restaurants Yesterday, I joined my colleagues in unanimously supporting Assembly Bill 717 (AB 717), which provides an income and franchise tax exemption for restaurant owners who received a Restaurant Revitalization Fund grant.
Vision Forward Earlier this week I had the opportunity to tour Vision Forward in Milwaukee. Vision Forward is a nonprofit organization that serves individuals of all ages who are blind or visually impaired.
Update on Licensing Naturopathic Doctors I wanted to provide you with an update on my bill, 2021 Assembly Bill 529 (AB 529), which seeks to improve patient access to care and expand patient choice by licensing qualified naturopathic doctors (NDs) in our state.
Happy New Year! As we head into 2022, I want to wish the residents of the 21st Assembly District a very Happy New Year!
Merry Christmas! I want to extend a very Merry Christmas to the residents of the 21st Assembly District. I hope you are able to spend some time with your families and celebrate your traditions together. One of the things we have learned over the past two years is that being together shouldn't be taken for granted.
Property Tax Relief As property tax bills hit mailboxes, I wanted to take some time to look back on the reforms Legislative Republicans have worked on recently. In fact, most recently, we included a property tax reduction in Wisconsin’s 2021-23 biennial budget.
JFC Continues to Put Kids First Earlier this week, the federal Department of Education (DOE) partially denied Wisconsin’s plan for the third round of Elementary and Secondary Education Relief (ESSER III) funds.
Clarifying and Simplifying the Family Law Process On Wednesday I had the opportunity to testify on two of my bills, Assembly Bill 633 (AB 633) and Assembly Bill 634 (AB 634), before the Assembly Committee on Family Law.
Happy Thanksgiving! A very Happy Thanksgiving to all! Please travel safely and enjoy your time with friends and family.
Wisconsin Among Best in Reducing Tax Burden Wisconsin's tax burden has dropped more than any other state over the past two decades, according to the Wisconsin Policy Forum. Thanks to Republican reforms, Wisconsin is headed in the right direction.
REMINDER: In-District Office Hours As a reminder, I will be holding two listening sessions on Monday. These will be the last listening sessions until next year. I hope to see you there!
Don’t Forget to “Fall Back!” Don’t forget to “fall back” as Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday at 2am. Remember to turn your clocks back one hour!
Honoring Detective Joel Bateman of Oak Creek On Tuesday I presented Detective Joel Bateman of the Oak Creek Police Department with the First Responder of the Year Award. This award was created in 2019 to honor first responders from around the state for their outstanding service to their communities.
New Legislative District Maps Every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau publishes updated information reflecting changes in the population since the previous census. This information is used by states to redraw local, legislative, and congressional districts so that each district has approximately the same number of people.
REMINDER: In-District Office Hours As a reminder, I will be holding two listening sessions next week. I look forward to hearing about the issues of importance to you and your family. As always, if these opportunities don’t work for you, I encourage you to share your thoughts with me by using my website form or by calling my office.
Manufacturing Month in Wisconsin October is Manufacturing Month in Wisconsin. Manufacturing is the biggest contributor to our states’ economy, accounting for nearly 19% of Wisconsin’s total economic output. The industry is also instrumental in employing about 1 in 6 Wisconsin workers.
Licensing Naturopathic Doctors On Wednesday, September 29 I had the opportunity to testify on my bill, 2021 Senate Bill 532 (SB 532), before the Senate Committee on Insurance, Licensing and Forestry. SB 532 seeks to improve patient access to care and expand patient choice by licensing qualified naturopathic doctors (NDs).
Seeking Nominations for First Responder of the Year! I am pleased to seek nominations from our community for the upcoming 2021-22 First Responder of the Year Award for the 21st Assembly District.
Wisconsin Blue Book Coming Soon The new 2021-2022 Wisconsin Blue Book will become available in the coming weeks. The Blue Book is published biennially by the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau and features a variety of information about our state government and history.
REMINDER: In-District Office Hours As a reminder, I will be holding two listening sessions on Tuesday. If you attend Office Hours, it will be necessary to respect the COVID-19 precautions set out by each individual venue. I hope to see you Tuesday!
Draw Your District, Wisconsin! The Assembly and Senate will pass legislation in the coming months that will include new district maps [...] to be used for the next decade based on 2020 Census data. The Draw Your District Wisconsin website has been created to allow Wisconsinites to learn about the redistricting process.
Election Integrity Bills – VETOED Earlier this week, Governor Evers vetoed seven bills passed by the Republican Legislature that are aimed at ensuring fair and secure elections in Wisconsin. If you would like more information, click on the bill number or send my office an email – we would be happy to answer your questions.
Assembly Attempts Veto Override On Tuesday, the Assembly voted and failed to override Governor Tony Evers' veto of Assembly Bill 336 (AB 336). AB 336 would end Wisconsin's participation in the federal unemployment benefit program which gives up to an extra $300 to people who are collecting unemployment.
Capitol Tours Resume The State Capitol is back open seven days a week and our tour guides are available for guided tours. If you have a large group (over 10) you must sign up using this link. If you are coming as a school group, please try and let our office know as well so we can meet you when you get here.
Gov. Evers Follows Legislature’s Lead Throughout the budget process, it was our intention to send Gov. Evers a budget that he could sign and that we could be proud of. This week, that became a reality. Gov. Evers has followed the lead of the Republican Legislature and signed off on the vast majority of the budget we passed last week.
Budget Bill goes to Gov. Evers’ Desk This week, the Assembly was on the floor on Tuesday to consider the biennial budget. The budget bill passed with bipartisan support in our house and was sent over to the Senate. The Senate concurred on the bill on Wednesday.
Welcome back, Former Representative Mark Honadel! This week, my predecessor, Former Representative Mark Honadel paid a visit to the Capitol while the Assembly was in session. It was my honor to formally introduce him on the floor of the Assembly. Mark served the 21st Assembly District from 2003 until his retirement in 2013. Thanks for visiting!
Wisconsin Republicans Cut Taxes and Fund Schools at Historic Levels Yesterday, the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) voted to cut taxes by about $3.4 billion over the 2021-23 biennium! Our tax plan will provide an average of $1,200 in savings for the typical family. In addition, we were able to reach the goal of two-thirds funding for our K-12 schools.
Welcome, Chief Anderson! Yesterday, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Oak Creek Police Chief Anderson. He was in Madison for the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Legislative Advocacy Day. Thank you, Chief Anderson for all the work you and your officers do to keep our community safe!
Happy June Dairy Month! We take our dairy industry pretty seriously here in Wisconsin. As if June being Dairy Month wasn’t exciting enough – today is National Cheese Day!
Finance Republicans provide nearly $150M in new K-12 Spending The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) met yesterday to make historic new investments in K-12 education spending.
Budget Committee Updates This week, JFC met to continue our work on the budget. First, we approved a Knowles-Nelson Stewardship request to assist in the creation of a trail using an old trestle bridge in the City of Appleton. In executive session, we tackled DOA, Tourism, Ethics Commission, and Elections Commission.
May Floor Session Highlights The Assembly convened on Tuesday to listen to the 2021 State of the Tribes Address and to consider a number of pieces of legislation.
Back to Basics Yesterday, my colleagues and I on the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) took our first votes on the 2021-2023 biennial budget with a goal of creating a reasonable, responsible, and realistic budget proposal.
Opening of General Fishing Season The general fishing season opens tomorrow, May 1. Over the last year, getting outside and enjoying our state’s natural resources has been a popular pastime. DNR is predicting a successful opening weekend. Good luck, anglers!
Please complete my Spring Budget Survey! Many of you have probably noticed that my 2021 Spring Budget Survey began to hit mailboxes late last week! I want to encourage you to complete the survey. You can fill out the survey you received in the mail and send it back, or you can save a stamp and answer the questions online.
April Floor Session The pandemic has affected industries and groups of people in Wisconsin differently. As a result of that, we have come up with a series of bills that use the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) funds to invest in multiple industries in Wisconsin as they recover.
REMINDER: Budget Town Halls – Next Week As a reminder, you will have three opportunities to participate in a Budget Town Hall with me next week. If none of these opportunities are convenient for you, I encourage you to share your thoughts with me by completing my budget survey on my website or by mail.
Budget Town Halls I am pleased to announce that I will be offering three opportunities for you to share your thoughts regarding the budget with me, including one virtual option. [...] I want every constituent who wishes to share their thoughts with me to have a safe and comfortable way to do so.
Rodriguez Bill Signed into Law Earlier today my bill, Senate Bill 116, was signed into law by Gov. Evers as 2021 Wisconsin Act 20. This legislation gives courts the flexibility to approve anticipated changes to a child custody or physical placement order without requiring divorced parents to return to court.
Affordable Care This week we were on the Assembly Floor on Tuesday and Wednesday. I want to take a moment to highlight a couple pieces of legislation that passed on Tuesday aimed at ensuring Wisconsinites have access to affordable health care and prescription drugs.
Joint Committee on Finance Plans to Hit the Road! On Wednesday I participated in a press conference with my colleagues on the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) to announce public hearings coming up for the committee. Each session JFC travels the state to hear public input on the sitting governor’s biennial budget proposal.
Improving the Family Law System On Tuesday, March 2 I had the opportunity to testify on my bill, 2021 Senate Bill 116 (SB 116), before the Senate Committee on Human Services, Children and Families.
Starting the Biennial Budget Process Last night Governor Tony Evers gave his Budget Address to the legislature, outlining his proposed 2021-2023 biennial budget. [...] I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) to craft a budget that is fiscally sound and works for all Wisconsinites.
Gov. Evers Issues a New State of Emergency You may be aware that yesterday the Assembly was on the floor to take up Senate Joint Resolution 3 (SJR 3), which nullified the governor’s emergency order in our state. This vote was not an easy vote for me.
Congratulations Lt. Colonel Bobinski! Today I had the honor of presenting Retired Lt. Col. Timothy Bobinski of Oak Creek with flags flown over the State Capitol and a legislative citation. Lt. Col. Bobinski retired from the U.S. Air Force after 21 years. I thank him for his service to our country and wish him a long, healthy retirement.
The State of our State is Improving The state of our state is improving. Despite a difficult ten months brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, Wisconsinites have come together and persevered.
Beginning the 105th Wisconsin State Legislature On Monday, I was inaugurated for my fifth term in the Wisconsin State Assembly. I’m humbled that my constituents have sent me back to Madison to represent the 21st Assembly District in the 105th Wisconsin State Legislature.
Wishing you a happy, healthy New Year! Happy New Year Wisconsin!
Season’s Greetings I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you in the 21st Assembly District a very Merry Christmas!
Audit of Unemployment Insurance My colleagues in the Legislature requested that the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau perform an audit on the Unemployment Insurance Division of DWD. This week, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee held a hearing to review the full report and hear from DWD leadership.
Remembering Pearl Harbor Today we remember and honor the 2,403 Americans who lost their lives on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor, and reflect on the courage and sacrifice of all those who served our Nation in World War II.
Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and though it may look and feel a little different for all of us, I hope you are finding a way to celebrate. I wish all of you a harvest of blessings this season. Happy Thanksgiving!!
Assembly GOP proposes new initiatives in the fight against COVID-19 On Tuesday afternoon, Republican leadership held a press conference to discuss legislative priorities relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Priorities include testing, contact-tracing, unemployment insurance reforms, and more assistance for businesses impacted by the pandemic.
Last E-Update for a While! State law prohibits legislators who are up for re-election from sending mass communications after April 15 of an election year. Given the state of emergency, this rule has been exempted for communications related to COVID-19. This exemption expires today, so this will be my last E-Update.
South Shore COVID-19 Testing Free COVID-19 testing will be available to south shore residents from June 4-6. I encourage anyone who wants to take advantage of this opportunity to do so. Thank you to the local health departments for organizing this, and for working tirelessly throughout the pandemic!
“We’re All In” Grants Earlier this week the Department of Administration (DOA) announced two more initiatives that will be paid for using funds provided to Wisconsin by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Federal COVID-19 Funding The federal CARES Act provided just over $2 billion in federal assistance to Wisconsin. Several new initiatives that will be supported using this funding have been announced recently by the Evers administration.
“Safer at Home” Overturned, what it means for you Earlier this week the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm’s Executive Order 28 (the extension of “Safer at Home”) was “unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable.”
34 State Parks Re-Opened TODAY! Effective today the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will re-open 34 of the state parks and trails that were previously closed to the public. A few special conditions will be put in place to promote a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.
Application Now Available: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Earlier this week the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) opened up the application process for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). This option is available because of funds set aside by the federal government in the federal CARES Act.
My Response to Gov. Evers’ Extension of Safer at Home Order My colleagues and I will continue to listen to our constituents, explore legal and legislative options, and work with the healthcare community and local business owners to come up with a plan to slowly and intelligently reopen parts of the economy while also keeping the curve flat.
Assembly Approves COVID-19 Response Package The State Assembly convened today to approve the COVID-19 Response Bill to help the state address the many challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak.
Passover and Easter Greetings! I want to wish all the members of our community celebrating, a Happy Passover and a Happy Easter!
Shape your future Wisconsin We’re counting on you to shape our future in the U.S. Census. This spring everyone will get a U.S. Census form delivered to your mailbox. You can either return it in the mail or for the first time you can complete the form online. For more information on the census please go to 2020Census.gov.
Safer at Home Order Earlier this week the Evers administration released what they are calling a “Safer at Home” emergency order, which will now be in effect until 8am on Friday, April 24th. The order requires Wisconsinites to stay in their homes as much as possible.
COVID-19 Updates For the most up-to-date information from all Wisconsin state agencies that are developing guidance and resources during this time, visit the new COVID-19 state website here: https://govstatus.egov.com/wi-covid-19.
UPDATE: End-of-Session Town Halls are CANCELLED! In an effort to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, I have decided to cancel my town hall meetings that were originally scheduled for Monday, March 16. This decision was made in accordance with CDC recommendations to not congregate in groups. The health and safety of our community is my top priority.
Respiratory Care Reforms Become Law Earlier this week the Governor signed 60 bills, one of which was my bill, AB 558/SB 500. The legislation, now 2019 Wisconsin Act 156, makes simple but necessary changes to bring our laws surrounding the licensure of Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCPs) up-to-date with current industry standards.
End-of-Session Town Halls coming up in March! I will be holding end-of-session town hall meetings in both South Milwaukee and Oak Creek on Monday, March 16. A lunch hour town hall will take place at the South Milwaukee Public Library from 11am-12pm, and an after-work meeting will be held at the Oak Creek Public Library from 5:30pm-6:30pm.
Returning Money to the Taxpayers Earlier this year the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau released their most recent estimate indicating a projected budget surplus of about $818 million. This is great news because it indicates our economy is strong!
Operation We Love Our Troops Do you know a deployed member of our U.S. military from the 21st Assembly District? Let my office know! Over the next month I will be putting together care packages for our Wisconsin deployed service members, and I would love to be able to show my appreciation to service members from our community.
Nominate a friend for the Caring for Kids Award! Know someone in the child welfare profession who goes above and beyond? Nominate them online for the Department of Children and Families (DCF) Caring for Kids Award before Sunday, February 16.
Welcome to Wisconsin, Vice President Pence and Secretary DeVos! During the annual National School Choice Week celebration our state welcomed Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to the Capitol on Tuesday. The celebration marks 30 years of the School Choice program that started right here in Wisconsin under former Gov. Tommy Thompson.
The State of our State is Strong Earlier this week, Gov. Tony Evers delivered the annual State of the State address before a joint session of the legislature. The state of our state is strong, a credit to years of responsible budgeting and investments in the areas important to the people of Wisconsin.
Adoption Bills Passed by the Assembly The Assembly was on the floor this Wednesday to pass all eight bills that were introduced by the Speaker’s Task Force on Adoption.
Family Law Moves Marriage-Related Bills Forward This week the Assembly Committee on Family Law voted to move two bills out of the committee.
Adoption Task Force Bills Move Forward This week the Assembly Committee on Family Law voted to approve several bills aimed at improving the adoption process and reducing the amount of time children spend in the child welfare system in Wisconsin.
Lights on Edgewood South Milwaukee resident Bob Gray has caught the eye of quite a few including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for his alluring holiday light show aptly named “Lights on Edgewood.”
Deck the Halls The Capitol Christmas tree arrived in Madison this week and is now adorned with lights, garland and thousands of ornaments made by elementary school students from around the state.
Gun Deer Season Begins This Weekend This weekend, marks the start of the annual 9-day gun deer hunt in Wisconsin. Before you head into the woods searching for your trophy buck, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is passing along some need-to-know information.
State Assembly Considers Bill to Improve Minor Guardianship The Assembly was on the floor for the second consecutive week this month with a variety of bills including one in particular that aims to improve issues related to minor guardianship in Wisconsin.
Fiscal Bureau Estimates Significant Tax-Break for 2019 This week the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau announced there will be an estimated $144.9 million tax reduction as result of Wisconsin Act 9, legislation I authored with my colleague Sen. Dale Kooyenga.
Manufacturing Month in the 21st Assembly District Last week, to continue celebrating Manufacturing Month and highlight our district’s rich history in manufacturing, I toured three local manufacturers in Oak Creek.
Improving Access to Respiratory Care This week, I had the opportunity to testify on Senate Bill 500 (Assembly Bill 558) in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee with my colleague and Senate co-author Sen. Pat Testin (Stevens Point); appropriate timing given Oct. 20-26 is respiratory care week.
Celebrating Manufacturing and Local Small Business October is manufacturing month in Wisconsin. For many years manufacturing has been an important part of the fabric that makes up southeastern Wisconsin.
Honoring Chief Knitter of South Milwaukee The Assembly convened on Thursday in the first ever ceremony to honor first responders from across the state. The new award, First Responder of the Year, gives each Representative in the Assembly an opportunity to honor a first responder from their district.
Updating Respiratory Care Practitioner Standards This week, Senator Pat Testin and I introduced legislation that aims to update accreditation and education standards for Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCPs) in Wisconsin.
Family Law Approves Bill to Streamline Paternity On Tuesday, the Assembly Committee on Family Law approved legislation that aims to streamline the process used to establish paternity.
Federal Legislation Overhauls Funding for Foster Care in Wisconsin Last Wednesday, legislators were given the opportunity to learn more about recently passed federal legislation called the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) that overhauls how states fund child welfare services.
Family Law Passes Nine Bills Out of Committee This week the Family Law Committee met to pass nine bills out of committee. The bills came from two study committees that met last summer to address issues related to minor guardianship and child placement and support.
In-District Office Hours This month I will be holding in-district office hours on Thursday, September 19th from 11:30am-12:30pm at the South Milwaukee Public Library and on Monday, September 30th from 5:30-6:30pm at the Oak Creek Public Library.
Rainy Day Fund Reaches Historic Total New revenue collections were released by the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau this week indicating the state’s Rainy Day Fund will grow to its largest total increasing to $649.1 million. The total does not include any additional interest that will likely accrue in the coming years.
Local Company Looks to Improve Workforce I had the opportunity to visit and tour Grunau Company, a local shop that not only employs people across the region in a variety of skilled trades but they also work with local schools to introduce students and young adults to careers for some of the most in-demand jobs on the market right now.
Health Committee Examines Bills on Dentistry and Contraceptives On Wednesday, the Assembly Health Committee examined two bills, one that aims to expand the number of dentists in rural parts of the state and another that would allow pharmacists to prescribe certain contraceptives to women over the age of 18.
Discussing the Issues During the summer months, my colleagues and I spend time in our respective districts meeting with constituents and local stakeholders to bring new ideas to Madison and address local concerns.
Water Quality and Suicide Prevention Task Forces Continue Working Through Summer In addition to the adoption task force that I highlighted last week, the Speaker convened two other task forces; the Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality and the Speaker’s Task Force on Suicide Prevention.
Speaker's Task Force on Adoption Holds Third Public Hearing This week the Speaker’s Task Force on Adoption met in Balsam Lake where they took testimony from community stakeholders to learn about the problems many face when trying to adopt children in Wisconsin.
Travel Wisconsin This Summer The summer months are upon us which means now is the perfect time to get out and explore all the amazing places Wisconsin has to offer before the colder months return.
Partial Budget Veto Could Spell Trouble for Local Road Funding In signing the budget last week, the governor partially vetoed funding for the Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP) that repairs deteriorating county highways and local roads.
Legislature Sends the Budget to the Governor This week, the Assembly passed the biennial budget followed by the Senate a day later.
Assembly Takes on Homelessness, Tax Cuts and the Miller Park Tax It was a busy week with the Assembly on the floor Tuesday and Thursday taking up a series of legislation that addresses homelessness, provides an income tax reduction and ends the Miller Park tax.
Commemorating Ratification of the 19th Amendment On Monday, Wisconsin celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote.
Creating Fairness and Equity in Sales Tax This week, I had the opportunity to testify before the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means on a bill I authored with Sen. Dale Kooyenga that allows Wisconsin to bring in more revenue while also providing an income tax reduction for many middle class families across the state.
Joint Finance Turns Focus to UW, Criminal Justice and DNR The Joint Finance Committee continued working through the budget this week focusing on the UW System, the criminal justice system and the Department of Natural Resources.
Budget Writing Committee Approves Education Funding Increase This week the Joint Finance Committee agreed to boost K-12 education funding by more than $500 million over the next biennium.
Budget Writing Committee Begins Work Last week the Joint Committee on Finance began voting on pieces of the budget and continued its work this week.
Joint Finance to Begin Voting on the Budget Within the next couple weeks, the Joint Finance Committee will begin its work voting on the budget.
Bills Tackling Homelessness Receive Hearing in Assembly On Tuesday, two of my colleagues and I testified in the Assembly Committee on Workforce Development to urge support for legislation that aims to curb homelessness in Wisconsin. My bill, Assembly Bill 122, assists in workforce development for homeless job seekers.
Wisconsin Has Lowest Tax Burden in Nearly 50 Years The tax burden in Wisconsin has fallen to its lowest level in nearly 50 years and it all started in 2011.
Budget Committee Holds Hearing in Oak Creek On Wednesday, the state Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee held it’s second of four statewide public hearings at the Oak Creek Community Center.
Supporting Career and Technical Education On February 25th, I had the opportunity to visit Milwaukee Area Technical College in Oak Creek. Earlier this year, the Assembly proclaimed February “Career and Technical Education Month." This provided a perfect opportunity to visit MATC in Oak Creek.
Property Taxes to Increase Under Governor's Budget Proposal Gov. Evers is proposing an increase in property taxes in his two year spending plan, in addition to more than $1 billion in other taxes. The proposal calls for a possible increase of $151 dollars over the next two years on a median valued home, the largest increase in more than a decade.
Letting Parents Decide This week, I was given the opportunity to deliver the GOP weekly radio address on behalf of my Republican colleagues in the Legislature.
The Budget Process Begins Over the next several months, members of the Joint Finance Committee will begin the months-long process of crafting the state budget. The state budget is a two-year spending plan that accounts for state spending on every statewide program.
So-called "People's Budget" Leaves Many Behind Last week Thursday, Gov. Evers unveiled his budget request before a joint session of the Wisconsin State Legislature.
Promoting Career and Technical Education Month This week, I met with local manufacturers and officials from MATC in Oak Creek to help promote Career and Technical Education Month.
Lending a Hand to the Homeless This week, my colleagues and I held statewide press conferences to unveil a new package of legislative initiatives that aim to curb homelessness in Wisconsin.
Legislature Approves Tax Break This week, the Assembly and Senate GOP passed legislation that will provide a tax cut to middle class families throughout Wisconsin. The plan will use the GOP surplus to allow Gov. Evers to fulfill the promise he made to voters last fall.
Ways and Means Committee Approve Middle Class Tax Cut This week, the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means approved legislation that will provide a 10 percent tax cut for middle class families in Wisconsin. The proposal uses a portion of a massive surplus Republicans created last session through government reforms and responsible budgeting.
State Reports Additional $2.4 Billion in Revenue On Wednesday, the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau announced Wisconsin will end the fiscal year with an additional $2.4 billion in revenue, more than DOA’s November estimate of $2.1 billion. The increase is due to Republican reforms, responsible budgeting and less spending at state agencies.
The State of our State is Strong There’s no denying it, the State of our State is strong! Our unemployment rate remains at a historic low - three percent, wages continue to rise, we have yet another surplus of nearly $600 million and our rainy day fund is still the largest in state history.
GOP Proposes Middle Class Tax Cut On Thursday, Assembly Republicans unveiled a Middle Class Tax Cut proposal providing $340 million in tax relief for couples making $150,000 or less and individuals with yearly income of $100,000 or less.
The 104th Wisconsin State Legislature Begins On Monday, I officially began my fourth term as your state representative.
Investing in Priorities This will be my last Rodriguez Recap this session. But before I go, I wanted to share with you one last update highlighting a few of our accomplishments from this legislative session.
Raising Awareness to Reduce Distracted Driving Most people are always looking at their cell phones and with summer right around the corner orange cones will begin lining the streets and freeways as road crews prepare for construction season. Now is the time to focus on safe driving.
Investing in Higher Education Wisconsin has some of the best colleges in the country. From our four-year universities to two-year tech colleges, each one provides Wisconsin residents with unique opportunities to find a career that fits their interest.
Reducing the Tax Burden and Strengthening the Economy This legislative session my colleagues and I continued our efforts to lower the tax burden in Wisconsin by reforming state government.
Broadening our Workforce Through Education Earlier this month, the Lt. Gov. and I invited local business leaders to join us at MATC in Oak Creek for a roundtable discussion about economic development and job opportunities in our region.
Advancing Options for Affordable Healthcare In February, the Assembly approved several legislative proposals that improve access to health care in Wisconsin.
Providing Tools for Economic Development Last week, when the Assembly was on the floor we approved a proposal that increases the historic rehabilitation tax credit.
Improving Resources for Alzheimer's and Veteran's Care This week the Assembly was on the floor three days in a row voting on a variety of bills aimed at improving access to healthcare in our state.
Creating Equity in Education Funding This week, the Assembly was on the floor Tuesday and Thursday to vote on several bills relating to foster care and education.
Guiding Patients to Effective Care This week, I testified on a bill I authored to create a pilot program for intensive care coordination programs across the state.
Return of the Rodriguez Recap Welcome back to the Rodriguez Recap!
Continuing Forward This week, Gov. Walker delivered his annual State of the State Address.
Expanding Treatment Options This legislation creates the infrastructure for an alternative drug rehabilitation program that focuses on developing sober households.
Improving Foster Care One Step at a Time The Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care completed its final hearing and unveiled a list of legislative recommendations.
The Spring Session Has Arrived Now that the holidays have passed, the Assembly is ready to get back to work.
Happy New Year! With the end of another year upon us, now is the perfect time to reflect on what a great year 2017 has been.
Merry Christmas As the holidays are quickly approaching, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a Merry Christmas.
Christmas at the Capitol Last week, Governor Walker was joined by students and residents from across the state for the annual lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree.
Speaker's Task Force on Foster Care Unveils Foster Forward Over the last several months, the Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care traveled to communities throughout the state to learn more about issues affecting the foster care system and identify ways to improve foster care in Wisconsin.
Happy Thanksgiving! This week, I wanted to share with you a few things I’m thankful for this holiday.
Streamlining Custody and Placement Laws This week, the Assembly Committee on Children and Families met to hold a hearing on several bills including two that I authored that will clarify and streamline laws for separated parents.
Honoring Our Veterans November 11 holds great significance for the women and men serving in our Armed Forces.
Assembly Approves Legislation Honoring Rick Grobschmidt On Thursday evening, my colleagues and I unanimously approved Senate Bill 99, legislation that will name the bridge on the Hank Aaron State Trail after former state representative and senator, Richard Grobschmidt.
Construction on Ryan Road Set to Begin This week, you may have noticed orange barrels going up along Ryan Road as the Wisconsin Department of Transportation began reconstruction of the Ryan Road interchange on I-94 in Oak Creek.
Foster Care Task Force Visits Milwaukee This week the Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care picked up again, this time traveling to southeastern Wisconsin to discuss foster care with local organizations and advocates.
Creating a Path to Sobriety and Reunifying Families This week, I had the opportunity to testify on Assembly Bill 481, legislation that will allow counties to develop a Family Drug Treatment Court program.
Foster Care Task Force Travels to La Crosse This week, the Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care traveled to La Crosse for its fourth hearing on issues impacting foster care in Wisconsin.
Assembly Approves Two-Year Spending Plan Crafting the 2017-2019 Wisconsin State Budget began back in early February when the governor unveiled his proposal before a joint session of the legislature.
Joint Finance Completes the Budget This week, the Joint finance Committee completed the final pieces of the biennial budget.
Honoring Senator Richard Grobschmidt This week, I had the pleasure of testifying on my bill, Senate Bill 99 before the Assembly Transportation Committee.
Speaker's Task Force Convenes in Wausau This week, the Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care met for its second hearing in Wausau.
Foxconn Moves Forward This week the Assembly hit the floor to take up legislation that will allow Foxconn Technology Group to move forward with plans to invest more than $10 billion in a plant to be located in southeastern Wisconsin.
Getting it Right Next week, the Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy will vote on special session legislation, which would allow Foxconn Technology Group to build a 1.58 square mile manufacturing facility in southeastern Wisconsin; a $10 billion investment, expected to employ thousands of workers.
Foxconn Chooses Wisconsin for Billion Dollar Investment On Thursday evening, before a packed crowd at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin received great news; Foxconn Technology Group has chosen southeastern Wisconsin to build a state-of-the-art technology campus, the first of its kind in North America.
Solving Homelessness One Step at a Time On Monday morning, several of my colleagues and I traveled to Milwaukee for an in-depth tour of homeless facilities and to meet with people that help homeless individuals on a daily basis.
Fighting for Small Businesses Small businesses are the backbone of our community.
Tackling Foster Care Issues This week the Speaker unveiled his sixth task force: the Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care. The bipartisan group, chaired by my colleague, Rep. Snyder (R-Wausau), will investigate foster care issues in Wisconsin.
Protecting Consumers, Prosecuting Dealers The Assembly capped off a 12 hour floor session shortly after 1 am on Wednesday morning addressing important issues that aim to protect consumers and prosecute drug dealers.
Restricting Government Overreach Restricting Government Overreach
Building the Budget On Friday, my colleagues and I gave a brief presentation to area businesses on the budget and some of the great things we are doing to continue moving Wisconsin Forward.
Raising Awareness for Foster Youth This week, I was honored to join First Lady Tonette Walker, Secretary Eloise Anderson and others to speak at an event at the Capitol in honor of Foster Care Awareness month in May.
The First Rodriguez Recap This week, my e-update includes the first Rodriguez Recap; a series of videos that I will be sharing with you to discuss important issues taking place in Madison and back in our district.
Reforming Wisconsin Shares Assembly Bill 241, legislation I authored with Sen. Darling, passed the Assembly unanimously on Wednesday evening.
Ending Homelessness Through Work This week we passed Assembly Bill 237, a bill I authored that is part of a broader package of bills focused on tackling homelessness in Wisconsin.
Growing Our Economy Thursday morning I returned home from a two-day trip to Washington D.C. after meeting with congressional members from the Wisconsin delegation.
Mitigating the Child Care Cliff This week I had the opportunity to testify on a bill I authored, Assembly Bill 241.
Taking the Lead on Homelessness At a Capitol press conference this week, my GOP colleagues and I introduced a package of bills aimed at combating homelessness in Wisconsin.
Special Session Bills Combat an Epidemic This week the Assembly had a packed calendar, approving nine bills aimed at battling drug abuse and addiction, an epidemic that spans the country and has impacted nearly every corner of the state.
Budget-Writing Committee Holds Agency Briefings The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) held agency briefings this week as the committee began to delve deeper into Governor Walker’s budget recommendations.
Commitment to the Community This week, I continued an initiative I began at the start of session; to tour local companies that have a direct impact on our economy.
Innovation and Expansion Continues in Oak Creek Master Lock, a long-time staple of the Oak Creek community, is moving its headquarters this year to a remodeled facility formerly occupied by Caterpillar.
Celebrating International Friendship On Tuesday, the Assembly welcomed Mexican Consul Julian Adem to the Capitol to meet with lawmakers for the first time since the consulate office opened last summer.
Advocating for Safety Throughout the legislative session, hundreds of students, citizens, and people from Wisconsin and different parts of the country visit our state Capitol for a variety of reasons.
Looking to the Future Last week, I went on a tour of the Caterpillar (CAT) plant in South Milwaukee.
The Budget Begins This week, Gov. Walker unveiled his recommendations for the 2017-19 biennial budget.
We're Just Getting Started In less than a week, Gov. Walker will unveil his 2017-18 biennial budget and the Legislature will begin to review the two-year spending plan.
Our Work Begins Since inauguration just a few short weeks ago, the Assembly has wasted no time getting to work.
Ringing in the New Session On Tuesday, the 2017-18 legislative session commenced with the inauguration of 99 Assembly Representatives from every corner of the state, with 11 new members.