Now THIS is the way to find useful solutions to real-world problems! Senator Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) and Representative Tyler Vorpagel (R-Plymouth) and I were at HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan earlier this week for a "Continuum of Care" conference. I'm a big believer in getting knowledgeable folks together in a room to talk about future plans and figure out what we need to succeed. The ideas were flowing as we talked about the future of health care in Wisconsin and how government can serve our communities more effectively. Thanks for including me; this is excellent work!
This weekend is Wisconsin's annual youth deer hunt, which gives youth ages 10-15 a special chance to hunt under the supervision of adults prior to the regular season. Keep an eye out for folks outdoors this weekend, and maybe even offer a supportive word to those families you see out enjoying our beautiful state in positive ways. You may also be interested in Wisconsin's "first harvest" and "first experience" certificate program through which you can obtain a free personalized momento to recognize new sportsmen's achievements.
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!
Did You Hear the Great News?
According to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Wisconsin's overall tax burden (as a percentage of personal income) is now below the national average. Our new ranking among the 50 states is the best it has been in more than 50 years!
As recently as 2010, Wisconsin had the 9th-highest state and local tax burden in the nation. But your state government has reduced your taxes by more than $8 billion since 2011.
Little by little, it adds up! It turns out that you CAN reduce families' overall tax burden and still invest in the future at the same time. For example, even though taxes are down, we will achieve a new all-time record high investment in our K-12 education system in the next two years, and University of Wisconsin tuition will remain frozen for another two years so that college continues to be affordable.
More work remains to be done. Residents in nearly half of U.S. states still enjoy an even smaller tax burden than Wisconsinites do. But we're definitely going in the right direction!
Take a Moment
America awoke Monday morning to the terrible news that innocent concertgoers in Las Vegas had been attacked, maimed and killed by a fellow American. Later in the week, we learned that at least one Wisconsin man was among the dead there. Then came the tragic news right here in rural Wisconsin that my State Assembly colleague, Representative Bob Gannon of West Bend, has passed away unexpectedly of natural causes.
To paraphrase President Donald Trump's spokesperson, our society and our government should have policy conversations frequently about the delicate balance we maintain in America between, on the one hand, security and safety and, on the other hand, liberty and individual rights. Let's converse some more soon. This week, however, is not that week.
I'm going to miss Bob. I mourn his passing and pray that his family and friends will find comfort. I grieve for the families of my fellow Americans who died in Las Vegas. I'm enraged at the evil, selfish man who plotted to cut their lives short. I'm thankful for the many heroes who intervened to save lives. I'm going to hug my wife and kids and grandkids a little tighter, because all human life is precious and short. And I'm going to keep fighting for a better future for you, the men and women whom I am honored to serve!