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October 1, 2021



The Assembly was in session this week to take up a calendar full of ideas to improve our children's education and better equip parents to have conversations about education locally.


Some of the ideas are intended to improve transparency.  Assembly Bill (AB) 488/Senate Bill (SB) 463 require local school boards to make complete information available to parents regarding the subject matter being taught in class.  AB 378 gives parents better tools for understanding their schools' and school districts' finances.


Two ideas would help prevent state-sanctioned racism or sexism from creeping into our classrooms.  AB 411 and AB 414 prohibit leftist "critical race theory" concepts from being taught in the classroom or being used in teacher training.


Still other ideas aim to improve educational outcomes and better equip young people for citizenship.  The Fordham Institute's 2021 report on the status of the 50 states' civics and history education standards gave Wisconsin an "F" grade.


Record-high state, local and federal funding is already flowing to our public schools.  The proposals that we have advanced this week are simple, necessary improvements to our education system and acknowledge the fact that funding alone won't solve our state's very real education challenges.


Finally, on a bit lighter note: I used to say that the Highway 23 expansion project would be completed about the same time the Vikings win a Super Bowl.  Turns out I was wrong; one of these things is now reality.  WisDOT reported Wednesday that all four lanes are fully open in Sheboygan County, and the speed limit from the county line to Highway 57 has been increased to 65 mph.


Best wishes on your weekend!


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It's Just Common Sense



I'm pleased to report that I've just received Common Sense Wisconsin's first-ever Common Sense Award for my role in authoring historic middle-class income and property tax cuts enacted earlier this year.


Governor Evers began 2021 by proposing tax increases of greater than $1 billion (this at a time when many households and small businesses were still reeling from forced shutdowns in 2020).


Instead, I helped write a budget that cut taxes by $3.4 billion.  For a typical family, the math works out to about $900 in income tax cuts plus $300 in property tax cuts in this two-year period alone.  The property tax cuts will begin taking effect when you receive this December's bill.  The income tax cuts would be showing up on your paychecks already (in the form of reduced tax withholding) if Governor Evers hadn't blocked this part of our plan.

Even with this historic tax cut, Republicans increased state funding for K-12 education by enough to reach the goal of delivering two-thirds state support.  Wisconsin schools today are funded at record-high levels.


We're keeping our promises, investing in our shared priorities and managing your money responsibly.  It's just common sense!



There's Still Time!



There is still one week left to submit nominations for the State Assembly's First Responder of the Year Award.  As part of First Responders Appreciation Month, later this month the Assembly will recognize the police officers, deputies, firefighters and EMS providers who serve and protect Wisconsin's communities every day.


Nominations may be based on any number of factors, such as a specific act of heroism, significant professional achievements, length of service, community service and more.  Use the form available online here to email or mail me about someone who deserves to be recognized!



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|  |