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!


Assembly Floor Session

On Tuesday, the State Assembly was in session to take up two pieces of legislation.


Assembly Bill 293 (AB 293) – Making Wisconsin a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary State
AB 293 would prohibit any state funds or state employees from enforcing a federal law or order that would ban firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition. This bill would also require any firearms manufacturer in Wisconsin to stamp the firearm so that it reads “Made in Wisconsin” to further protect the rights of Wisconsinites by nullifying the federal government’s use of the interstate commerce clause to confiscate firearms.


While I hope that this legislation is never needed, I firmly believe in the Second Amendment and protecting our rights to keep and bear arms. Those rights are not to be infringed. I hope that Governor Evers stands with the men and women in Wisconsin who choose to own a firearm and signs AB 293 into law.


Assembly Bill 336 (AB 336) – Ending Federal Unemployment Insurance Programs
This bill terminates Wisconsin’s participation in federal supplemental unemployment insurance programs. We typically refer to this as the extra $300 per week for unemployment insurance benefits.


As the pandemic is becoming a thing of the past, so is the need for extra government assistance. The economy is strong and employers are desperate for workers. These extra benefits from the federal government are creating an incentive to stay home and not work because in some cases, the extra benefits amount to more than some would have made at their jobs prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is time for those who are able to get back to work and stop collecting unnecessary extra payments from the federal government while businesses are hurting and having a difficult time keeping their doors open. This has been done in 25 other states already and I hope that Governor Evers will stand with businesses around the state and help get Wisconsin back to work by signing AB 336 into law.

Budget Update


This week, the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) met in executive session (meetings where the committee votes on pieces of the budget) on Tuesday and Thursday. We took up the following topics: Transportation, Department of Military Affairs, Capital Budget (state building projects), Department of Corrections, Department of Justice, Supreme Court, District Attorneys, Public Defender, and Natural Resources. Below are some highlights:


Department of Transportation (DOT)
An important program to our local communities is the Local Road Improvement program that provides funds to maintain and improve local roads. We funded the program at $100 million which is $25 million higher than the Governor’s proposal. The Legislature provided $90 million to this program in the last budget after the Governor proposed nothing and tried to cut it by $15 million with a veto – that was overturned by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.


Most importantly for Southeast Wisconsin and the 21st Assembly District – we enumerated the I-94 East/West project which will ensure that it is completed in a timely manner. The committee provided $40 million to keep this project moving forward. This is the section of I-94 that stretches from 16th Street near Marquette University to 70th Street near West Allis. This stretch of interstate is one of the last pieces of I-94 in our area that has not been upgraded in recent years and I was excited to vote to make sure that it happens.



Department of Military Affairs (DMA)
Wisconsin has two major pieces of critical emergency response and public safety infrastructure in need of updating and rebuilding. The Wisconsin Interoperable System for Communications (WISCOM) is a statewide radio network which enables first responders from different jurisdictions to communicate with each other during daily operations, natural disasters, and large-scale events. DMA has indicated the current WISCOM needs to be replaced. JFC invested $6.5 million to start the upgrade of a new statewide interoperable radio network. Our current system is not reliable and has left some local agencies unable to connect to the full network. This investment is essential for encouraging statewide participation in the system so that Wisconsin can accomplish true interoperability.


JFC also continued to invest in Next Generation 911 (NG-911) – including over $19 million for the infrastructure and an additional $6 million for grants to local units of government to upgrade their infrastructure and equipment. NG-911 will allow for better communication with people calling 911 including accurate location detection, texting, video messaging, telematics capabilities, and enhanced communication for deaf and hard of hearing individuals.


Capital Budget (building projects)
The Capital Budget is a part of the overall budget that approves bonding (borrowing) for large scale building renovations and projects. Governor Evers proposed over $2 billion in new bonding in his budget proposal. Instead, JFC voted to approve $1 billion in bonding for state building projects. The state owns over 84 million square feet of physical assets across Wisconsin. They all require upkeep and improvements to ensure that they are viable in the future and we get the most out of their useful life. Some examples are UW buildings, the State Capitol, veterans’ homes, and state parks. A few examples of projects that were approved in the Capital Budget in Southeast Wisconsin are: a $40 million investment in the Milwaukee Museum of Nature and Culture; $4 million for a juvenile corrections facility in Milwaukee County; $2.5 million for the Department of Military Affairs Readiness Center rehabilitation in Milwaukee; $1.5 million for a consolidated field operations facility at Richard Bong State Recreation Area in Racine County; $11 million for the renovation of Sandburg Hall West Tower at UW-Milwaukee; $3.5 million for renovations at the Union Grove veterans home in Racine County; $14 million for repairs at Old World Wisconsin in Walworth County; and many others across the state.


Department of Natural Resources (DNR)/Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program
The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund was created in 1989 to preserve important natural communities, protect water quality and fisheries, and expand opportunities for outdoor recreation. Funds from this program are used in every corner of the state – even here in Milwaukee County. We are fortunate to be able to use this program to protect our natural resources, including in urban areas like the 21st Assembly District. Many parks and hiking/biking trails in Oak Creek and South Milwaukee have been funded using the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund.


JFC voted to extend the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program for another four years with a total allotment of $32 million. I was proud to support this plan so that we can continue to protect and preserve this beautiful state for future generations.

Flag Day


Monday, June 14 is Flag Day! Did you know flags are made right here in our community at Eder Flag? If you're in the market for a new flag to fly outside your house this summer, try to buy one that has been Made in America or even locally!