April 13, 2018

Volume 4 Issue 6


State Representative Janel Brandtjen

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It is the end of the 2017-18 Legislative Session and the beginning of the next campaign cycle. Wisconsin election law prohibits elected officials from disseminating newsletters and other such printed or electronic materials. In order to keep my constituents up to date I will continue to provide a newsletter which will be available on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RepJanel/ or visit my website: Representative Janel Brandtjen - Wisconsin's 22nd Assembly District. I look forward to keeping you up to date.

Session Recap

The Wisconsin State Legislature led by Governor Walker has continued to move Wisconsin in a positive direction. The following are some of the highlights:

One of the most important achievements the Legislature accomplished this session was welfare reform. The only sure way to help people escape poverty is to help them find a job. From there, people can learn valuable skills and achieve financial independence, which is essential to a happy and successful life. Without finding a job, the chance of climbing out of poverty is zero.

As we've done every year since 2010, the Legislature continued to lower the tax burden on Wisconsin citizens. The state property tax was completely eliminated. In addition, the budget passed this session was balanced, meaning the state government will be spending taxpayer dollars wisely and responsibly. In a reflection of this, Moody's Investment service upgraded Wisconsin's bond rating to 'Aa1', the highest received in decades. Fiscal responsibility is a priority of the Legislature, and our accomplishments this session reflects our commitment to that.

On top of fiscal responsibility, large strides were made in regulatory reform as well. The Legislature passed the REINS Act, which implements a review process for the budget of state agencies. Any new rules or procedures implemented by an agency with a cost of over $10 million will be frozen until a proper review can be conducted. Again, our goal is to make sure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and responsibly.

This past session's budget included historic levels of funding for K-12 education. Over the next two years, the overall increase in funding for schools across the state will total around $636 million. In other words, the per student funding will increase by $200 this year, and an additional $204 the following year. Education is crucial to the success of our children, and the Legislature is helping to ensure every child receives a quality education.

In addition to K-12 funding, the tuition freeze for UW students was continued for another two years. The rising cost of higher education has outpaced the rate of inflation for decades, making college less and less affordable. However, with the freeze, the average in-state student has saved more than $6,000. That goes a long way towards minimizing the student loan debt burden they face when graduating.

Out of all the accomplishments achieved by the Legislature this session, none got more well-deserved attention than Foxconn. The tech manufacturing giant will be building a plant in Racine County, and also moved its North American headquarters to Milwaukee. Foxconn will employ nearly 13,000 people across Wisconsin, and spend around $1.4 billion per year with businesses within the state. This is evidence that the economic climate in our state is attracting new businesses to move here, and convincing ones already here to stay here.

Keeping our citizens safe is a top priority of mine, and this past session, the Legislature took important steps to reduce crime in our communities. From helping serious juvenile offenders get the rehabilitation they need by repurposing Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake, to increasing the penalties for various crimes, to closing loopholes in our criminal justice system, we've taken crucial steps needed to protect everyone in Wisconsin. Public safety must be upheld, and the bills passed this session go a long way in doing so.

In the wake of the tragedy in Parkland, the Legislature took various steps to improve the safety of our schools. One of those was appropriating $100 million dollars to help increase school security. All schools across Wisconsin will be able to apply for this grant, and once approved, will be able to spend the money to fix whatever security issues they deem necessary. No student should fear for their life when they go to school, and no teacher or administrator should fear for their life when they go to work. The focus needs to be on helping troubled or mentally ill students, not taking gun rights away from law-abiding citizens. We're taking great strides to keep our schools secure.


God Bless Wisconsin!



Coming soon, keep your fingers crossed!

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RepJanel                 Website:http://legis.wisconsin.gov/assembly/22/brandtjen                                                                 Twitter: @RepJanel

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