October 20, 2017

Volume 3 Issue 23


State Representative Janel Brandtjen

Continuing a Positive Trend

Earlier this week, it was reported that Wisconsin's budget from the previous fiscal year ended with an approximate $579 million surplus, about $126 million more than expected. When Governor Walker took office seven years ago, Wisconsin's economic situation was abysmal. Now, thanks to numerous pro-growth reforms, a massive budget deficit has been turned into a surplus.

In addition, Moody's Investment Service bumped Wisconsin's credit rating up a notch to 'Aa1'. This is the first time in decades that our state has earned this prestigious rating, with the last time being in 1973. This clearly shows that the Legislature's and the Governor's commitment to spending wisely and easing the burden on taxpayers is having a positive impact our the state economy. This is fiscal responsibility at its finest, and the future is bright for Wisconsin.

Protecting Milwaukee's First Responders

It has become undeniably clear that the City of Milwaukee has an ever-growing crime problem. It has also become clear that we can no longer look the other way. The Milwaukee Police Department and the Milwaukee Fire Department are continually under attack from a city government that has made public safety a low-priority issue.

Earlier this year, the Milwaukee Police and Fire Commission eliminated a significant portion of the hiring preference points given to veterans. Furthermore, the Milwaukee Police Department is the only law enforcement agency in Wisconsin that suspends officers without pay. The men and women who serve as Milwaukee police officers deserve the same protections that are provided for officers in Madison, Green Bay, or Kenosha.

State Senator Van Wanggaard, the Milwaukee Police Association, and myself will be introducing legislation that will:

1. Restore hiring preferences for veterans.

2. Protect officers accused of wrongdoing until they receive due process.

3. Restructure the Milwaukee Police and Fire Commission, including the requirement to have at least one member with police experience and one member with firefighting experience. 


Next week, I have plans to introduce a bill that would address two childhood disorders. Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) and Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal  Infections (PANDAS) are clinical diagnoses given to children who have a dramatic - sometimes overnight - onset of neuropsychiatric symptoms. These disorders seize children's sensory and motor functions and inflict tics, depression, aggression, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms.

There are an estimated 7,000 children in Wisconsin suffering from PANS and PANDAS that have not received a proper diagnosis due to lack of awareness and education.

The bill, which has bipartisan support, would create a 15-member advisory council within the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, made up of pediatricians, parents with an affected child, medical researchers, physicians, and other child experts. The council will change the narrative surrounding these disorders and help children get proper medical treatment. See the bill here.

In-Person Absentee Ballots

Over the past several months, my office and I have worked with several county, city, and village clerks, as well as the Wisconsin Elections Commission, in an effort to increase voter integrity and implement cost-saving measures for local governments across the state. The result of this is an optional voting process that allows voters to cast their in-person absentee ballot directly into the voting machine. A record will be kept of that vote, but the vote itself will not be counted until after the polls close on Election Day.

Currently, in-person absentee ballots are sealed in an envelope and stored away until they can be tallied on Election Day. This process requires poll workers to go through each ballot individually and enter it once the polls have closed. With many municipalities seeing massive increases of in-person absentee voting over the past decade, the current process of tallying absentee ballots has become incredibly expensive and time-consuming for those municipalities.

Again, this is not a mandatory process, rather the bill provides an alternative to the current process, should a municipality decide to adopt it. By voting to implement this new process, a municipality can save both time and taxpayer dollars on Election Day. In addition, voters will have increased confidence that their vote will be counted, as they themselves will feed it into the machine. See the bill here.

God Bless Wisconsin!




Great to hear from constituents earlier this week with Congressman Sensenbrenner!













Rep.Brandtjen@legis.wisconsin.gov State Capitol Room 221 North - PO Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708 Toll Free: (888) 534-0022 or (608) 267-2367

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