October 13, 2017


It's always the highlight of a week when I get to greet Sheboygan County visitors at the Capitol!  We have a rich history in Wisconsin that is worth reliving and passing down to our future leaders.


It's appropriate that this week's newsletter is all about Wisconsin's young people, because so much of the activity in the Capitol these days is (rightly) aimed at investing in our future.  Whether we're looking at our child welfare system through the Speaker's Task Force on Foster Care, showing a homeschool student the Assembly floor where so much history has been made, meeting with undergraduate and graduate students to discuss the future of occupational licensing and health care or engaging in a community dialogue about teaching financial literacy to students young and old, we're investing time and resources now to give our citizens better opportunities later.  (Yes, every one of these things happened this week!) 


As always, I encourage you to follow my updates on social media or contact my office directly with your questions.  Best wishes on your weekend!


A Message from Ambassador Jordy Nelson


Did you see Jordy Nelson's huge touchdown reception in the fourth quarter of the Packers' big win over the Cowboys last weekend?  I bet you didn't know that, just two days prior, Jordy and his wife Emily had formally adopted a San Antonio child into their family.


Jordy serves as an ambassador for the Jockey Being Family Foundation, a charity that provides funding to other national and local adoption-related nonprofit organizations.  Last week, the Nelsons adopted baby girl Adda Jo, whom they had been fostering since her birth seven months ago, and are now a family of five (along with biological son Royal and adopted son Brooks).  Click on the image at right to watch Jordy speak about his family's experience with adoption and what a typical day in the busy Nelson household looks like.


Coincidentally, the Speaker's Task Force on Foster Care (on which I serve as a member) will visit Green Bay soon for the next in our series of on-the-road public hearings to investigate what more can be done in Wisconsin to serve our children.  More than 7,000 Wisconsin children live in out-of-home foster care, the majority of whom have suffered neglect or abuse; in many cases, these kids need nothing more than a loving home to give them a chance to succeed.  Thank you, Nelson family, for speaking up so powerfully for these vulnerable young people! 



Kids Count


I've always recognized that Wisconsin is a great place to live, work and raise a family, and new numbers put some science behind it.  The Annie E. Casey Foundation's "Kids Count Data Book" recently ranked Wisconsin as the 12th best state in the nation for the overall well-being of our children.


The statistics are both encouraging and sobering.  The ranking is based on 16 criteria that measure children's economic well-being, education, health and family and community.  In almost every category, Wisconsin's young people outperform national averages and are doing better than they were five years ago.  For example, the teen birthrate in Wisconsin dropped from 26 per 1,000 in 2010 to just 16 in 2015.  That's great progress!  In other areas, though, there is much more work yet to be done: fully 63 percent of our fourth graders are not proficient in reading and 59 percent are not proficient in math.  (That's still better than national averages... but we can still do a lot better.)


Investments in our children and families are having positive impacts!  We're moving in the right direction but still have plenty more that we can do to give every child a chance at a brighter future.




If you wish to be excluded from future mailings, simply e-mail me and ask to unsubscribe.

Room 208 North, State Capitol ● PO Box 8952 ● Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-0656  ●  Rep.Katsma@legis.wisconsin.gov  ●  www.repkatsma.com