Cold Day/Hot Topic!

18 degree weather on January 21st couldn't put a chill on the fight for fair maps! My heart was warmed by the turnout at the historic Ozaukee County Courthouse and at courthouses across Wisconsin.

Bayside Consolidated Dispatch Inspires Bill

When our communities struggle to provide essential services, legislators should act. Working with the Village of Bayside, I introduced a bill (LRB 4360) yesterday to assist cities, towns and villages consolidate emergency dispatch services.

Sharing fire and emergency services is an effective way to provide better services at lower costs without raising taxes to do so. This bill will help municipalities share emergency dispatch services while addressing one of the most urgent issues facing our cities, villages and towns.

An October 2021 Wisconsin Policy Forum Report, “In Need of Resuscitation,” found that many communities are struggling to maintain existing EMS staffing models as call volumes rise and rosters of part-time staff decline. The report specifically mentions Ozaukee County, where consolidation discussions are underway among several municipalities.

Whenever we call 911, we expect help right away. As legislators, we should be helping our municipalities do the right thing for our residents, first responders and taxpayers.

Criminal Justice Package

Earlier this week, I joined several of my colleagues to introduce an evidence-based Smart Criminal Justice Package. The bills we introduced will work to prevent crime, support victims, and provide much-needed resources to local governments to increase public safety.

I joined Rep. Sara Rodriguez (D-Brookfield) as a lead author of LRB-5694, which requires the Clerk of Court to send a court order prohibiting an individual from possessing a firearm to the appropriate law enforcement agency within one business day of the individual being released on bail or bond. It also codifies the requirement for law enforcement agencies to enter the order within 24 hours of receipt.

Local municipalities increasingly rely on local property taxes to provide essential services like police and fire. Since 2011, state shared revenue has dropped an average of 9% while local government expenditures for public safety services have increased 16.7% – and the gap continues to widen.

One of the bills in the Smart Criminal Justice Package will increase shared revenue payments by 2% in each year of this biennium, providing local municipalities more resources to invest in public safety and more control over how the money is used. The bills also include funds for services that support victims of various forms of abuse, a grant program for violence intervention initiatives, and enhanced monitoring of individuals released from custody before their trial.

Legislative Update

Thursday, January 20th Assembly Session:

The Assembly voted on several reckless firearm-related bills that would bring guns into our schools and places of worship. The measures were approved despite opposition from parents, students, school leaders, responsible gun owners, church officials, and law enforcement agencies because they put all of us at risk. Collectively, the bills would allow high school seniors to carry a loaded gun in a car on school grounds, at school events, and while hanging out with their friends after school. I spoke out against the bills in the media and on the Assembly floor, but the bills passed out of the Assembly along party lines. Click to read my full statement.


Tuesday, January 25th Assembly Session:

Unfortunately, this session was long and partisan with the introduction of a series of public safety proposals funded with Wisconsin’s allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars. As you may know, these one-time funds are designated for short-term projects related to the impacts of COVID-19, and the vast majority of funds are already spent or allocated. At a time of unprecedented state revenues, I don’t believe we should use temporary, pandemic-related funding for high-priority state issues, such as public safety. 

In order to ensure the viability of these anti-crime proposals, I voted to amend bills for law enforcement support and recruitment to use more stable state general purpose revenue, but those amendments did not pass. My vote against such measures was a vote against using an unsustainable source of revenue that jeopardizes other ARPA-funded programs for public health and pandemic recovery. For an example of what meaningful anti-crime legislation looks like, see our package of Smart Criminal Justice Reform introduced on Monday.

New Committee Appointment: Financial Institutions

Earlier this week, I was appointed to serve on the Assembly Committee on Financial Institutions. Soon after my appointment, the committee met in Executive Session and unanimously passed two bills:

AB 566 which would make revisions to the state's uniform limited partnership law and the state's limited liability company law.

AB 596 which would make several updates and changes to statutes related to banking practices.

The Wisconsin Blue Book--and it's FREE!!!

The Wisconsin Blue Book, published biennially, is a terrific source for information about the State of Wisconsin. We can provide your FREE copy upon request by clicking here, stopping by our Office Hours, or picking up a copy in person:

Monday, January 31st -- Grafton Village Library from 7-8 pm

Meeting with constituents is the best and most important part of my job!  These sessions are opportunities for you to meet your state representative, and for us to learn what matters most to you, your businesses and your families. Office hours are held at small businesses throughout the 23rd District.  Click here to reserve your appointment on Friday mornings between 9:00 am--12:00 pm. If you prefer, we can also schedule a phone call or Zoom at a time that works for you.

We look forward to hearing from you!

  • January 28 at Friendship Café in Fox Point
  • February 4 at Grafton Arts Mill Coffee Roastery
  • February 11 at Fiddleheads Coffee in Thiensville

Gov. Evers, DHS Launch "Keeping Kids Safe and in School" Multimedia Campaign

Gov. Tony Evers and the Department of Health Services (DHS) have announced the launch of Keeping Kids Safe and In School, a statewide multimedia campaign that focuses on ways to keep Wisconsin children healthy and in the classroom. This campaign is an extension of the broader You Stop the Spread campaign which has been running in Wisconsin since September 2020. 

Keeping Kids Safe and In School raises awareness and promotes good public health safety practices for school-aged children and their families, including:

  • Getting children 5 and older vaccinated.
  • Wearing a well-fitting mask at school as well as other public, indoor spaces.
  • And staying home from school when sick.

It will also include videos from Wisconsin doctors urging vaccination in children, building off of the previous Our Doctors multimedia campaign.

Keeping Kids Safe and In School, like You Stop the Spread, uses a combination of traditional media and social media channels. Wisconsinites will see the messaging on television, transit, and local newspapers. The campaign will utilize social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Keeping Kids Safe and In School campaign also includes two new toolkits to help parents, guardians, and local community leaders promote public health best practices in their own community schools and school districts. DHS encourages Wisconsinites to use these materials in their own efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Contact Our Office

There are several convenient ways to share your thoughts and concerns with us:

Call our office at (608) 266-0486

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Visit our website to learn more about constituent services, legislative priorities and to share your comments or concerns.