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August 19, 2021



Last week, Governor Tony Evers made an enormous mistake.


Throughout the spring and summer, Wisconsin Republicans led the development of a series of elections reform bills.  By mid-summer, I had voted to advance no fewer than seven initial proposals that close some obvious loopholes, increase transparency and make it harder yet to cheat in Wisconsin elections.


These proposals were simple changes that could have resolved many questions going forward.  For instance, Senate Bill (SB) 205 would have helped protect vulnerable seniors from coercion by requiring that family members be notified prior to absentee voting activity at long-term care facilities.  SB 212 would have clarified what happens to a ballot that, say, is missing a portion of a voter's address.  SB 292 would have simply required that any municipality who is already broadcasting or livestreaming an election proceeding would have to keep the recording for two years so that it exists in case further review is ever needed.


But Governor Evers has now vetoed every one of these seven proposals.  (The others that I haven't mentioned already are AB 173, SB 203, SB 204 and SB 210.)  I, for one, think that Republicans and Democrats broadly agree with increased public transparency of government and increased public notice about what's happening... but the Governor said "no."  And I think that Republicans and Democrats alike want to be certain that the election clerks in Bayfield are following the same procedures as the clerks in Kenosha and everywhere in between... but the Governor said "no."


More work remains underway in the Legislature to identify more ways to increase security and prevent harm.  So far, Governor Evers has flatly refused to consider any improvements at all.  I hope he will eventually do the right thing.


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What's On Your Mind?


Please join me (along with other area legislators) next week for a community listening session.  The general public is welcome to attend and share concerns or questions about any topic.  We are particularly encouraging folks to bring their questions about the state of education in Wisconsin; as a new school year begins, we've been hearing from families who have thoughtful questions as to how their schools will be making use of new funding, what their kids will be learning, and who makes decisions regarding student learning and student safety.


Come see us Wednesday, August 25th at 2:00 PM at the Kiel Community Center (510 3rd Street, Kiel).  We'd love to meet you there!



Don't Miss Your Chance to Win!



The Wisconsin Department of Tourism wants to give you a free vacation!  Now through September 3, you may enter daily to win in the upcoming "Stay Unique Getaway" prize drawing.  Each of the 10 prizes includes a free 2-night stay at an iconic Wisconsin destination plus $50 to use at a nearby restaurant.  Click here to enter the drawing.


While you're at it, it's a great time to browse www.travelwisconsin.com for some second-half-of-summer ideas for fun.  The Wisconsin Trail Report provides an instant list of hiking opportunities and current trail conditions.  Learn where to visit Wisconsin's highest waterfalls or our state's most popular ocean-like beaches.  Use the "Trip Ideas" section to search destinations by themes (such as "pet-friendly" or "family getaways" or "Frank Lloyd Wright").  There are TONS of suggestions for trying something new, indoors or outdoors, at all times of the year.  Check it out!



Office of Representative Terry Katsma
State Capitol, Room 306 East
P.O. Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

(608) 266-0656
Rep.Katsma@legis.wisconsin.gov|  |