April 23, 2021

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Governor Vetoes Stimulus Bills

As I noted in last week's e-update, Wisconsin is set to receive $3.2 billion in federal stimulus funds. This is a massive sum of money, and deserves the due diligence of legislative oversight.

The last time the state received significant stimulus funds was during the Great Recession, and then-Governor Jim Doyle voluntarily provided for legislative oversight of these expenditures. Sadly, Governor Evers has chosen to follow a different path and withhold all power to himself.

We sent a bill to the governor that would have provided for legislative oversight of funds, with even greater flexibility than the arrangement that was in place during the last stimulus. Regrettably, the governor vetoed that bill.

In response, we listened to the people of Wisconsin and assembled a package of 11 bills that would have directed these funds to the priorities we were hearing from constituents, including tax relief to households, small business assistance, replenishing our unemployment trust fund, repairing local roads, supporting long-term care, modernizing our emergency medical services, expanding broadband, and servicing our state debt.

The governor vetoed all of these bills on Thursday. While this is a sad day for fiscal accountability in Madison, rest assured that the legislature will continue to voice the needs of the state in both the use of stimulus funds and in the ongoing budget discussions.

Racial Disparities Task Force

State Representatives Sheila Stubbs and Jim Steineke have been working for months to find common ground on law enforcement policies as co-chairs of the Speaker's Task Force on Racial Disparities. The task force included stakeholders from law enforcement, advocacy groups, and community organizations, and they have begun to share their recommendations.

You can read the task force's report on law enforcement policies and standards here. Some of the recommendations include:

  • Whistleblower protections for law enforcement officers reporting alleged excessive use of force
  • Statewide prohibition on the use of "choke holds" except in life-threatening situations or self-defense
  • Establishing an independent use-of-force advisory board to investigate and review specific incidents
  • Increased and standardized data collection on use-of-force incidents, including "no-knock" search warrants
  • Strengthening training in crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques

These recommendations will result in several pieces of legislation to address the topics covered above. I will provide updates in future newsletters as these advance in the process. I appreciate the input I've received from constituents on this important issue and I welcome your comments and suggestions, as I expect I will be voting on many of these bills in committee and on the floor in the coming months.

Drug Take Back Day

Saturday, April 24th is Drug Take Back Day across Wisconsin. This is an opportunity to dispose of your expired and surplus medications safely. Flushing them contaminates our water supply and can cause many problems in local ecosystems, even for simple over-the-counter drugs. Drug Take Back Day is an opportunity to keep unused prescription drugs out of the environment as well as out of the wrong hands.

There are multiple take back locations throughout the 24th Assembly District. You can find the nearest one here.

Community Events

 Germantown

Event: Germantown High School Dramatic Impact Group Presents "Little Women"

Date and Time: April 30th and May 1st at 7:00 PM, May 2nd at 2:00 PM

Location: Germantown Performing Arts Center - W180 N11501 River Lane

Description: In-person and livestream tickets available.

Menomonee Falls

Event: Red Cross Blood Drive

Date and Time: April 27th from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Location: Silver Spring Golf Club - N56W21318 Silver Spring Drive

Glendale

Event: Glendale Clean-Up Day

Date and Time: April 24th from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM

Location: Kletsch Park Pavilion - 6560 N. Milwaukee River Parkway

Description: First 200 volunteers will receive a free pass to the Milwaukee County Zoo.