August 20, 2021

  

Mursau_HeaderNewLG.jpg
Get Involved in Drawing Your District

Every ten years, once the Wisconsin legislature receives the federal Census data, we are responsible for drawing new district boundaries to reflect updated population changes. Our state Constitution requires that these lines are drawn through the legislative process, but it doesn't mean we can't get ideas and help from the public!

I'm excited to share that for this upcoming redistricting, we've created a website that will allow any Wisconsin resident to participate in the process by drawing and submitting their own maps to the legislature for review. The new districts will be for all upcoming elections, including local, state and congressional for the next decade. 

Normally, we get the census data earlier after a Census is held, but this time instead of getting the data back from the federal level in the spring, we're getting it months late. Because of the delay in data, the legislature had passed Assembly Bill 369 which would have pushed back the deadline for our local governments to craft updated maps and adopt final plans. Since Governor Evers vetoed that bill, locals are scrambling. 

Because of the upset in the process, we came up with this webpage so that folks can still share their input on how they feel the maps should be drawn. You can participate from September 1, 2021 through October 15, 2021 by visiting drawyourdistrictwisconsin.com. Three free web-based tools are given on the webpage and you can make a full statewide map, regional plan, or a community of interest. Your plan is then uploaded and submitted to the legislature for public input, letting you be directly involved in the process. 

While we wait for the drawing tools to upload the data, feel free to visit the website to get familiar with it before the submission period begins. 

Protecting Wisconsin Taxpayers

This budget, we were able to come to an agreement on a budget that was responsible and realistic for our state, and I'm pleased to share that the latest financial estimates display that. The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau released a new report showing that Wisconsin is expected to see a $1.7 billion surplus by the end of the current budget cycle. It's great to see that the work we've done to protect taxpayers while also funding the state's priorities has paid off. We've crafted budgets over the past decade to keep Wisconsin in a good financial place, and can see the impact in the budget surplus and lower taxes.

In addition to the report, the Department of Revenue(DOR) has also just finished setting up a brand new state fiscal dashboard that gives Wisconsinites an easy to use and understand tool to know where the state's revenue comes from and how it's spent. The DOR's Division of Research and Policy also has a reports page with even more useful and interactive data visualizations about local government spending, tax collections and more. It's your state, the information about spending should be easy to access and understand, so I'm glad that this resource is available. 

Veteran Resources

The men and women of our armed forces have served our country with honor as they fought terrorism abroad. It's been a long, tough road, and unfortunately with the withdrawal that has recently happened in Afghanistan, many wounds have been reopened among veterans. Our troops deserve our respect and thanks, so I want to pass along some resources specifically for our veterans:

Local Resources:

Other:

Question of the Week: 
Serious Felons Owning Vicious Dogs

Most dogs live up to the title of 'man's best friend' and offer loyalty, companionship and assistance. However, some people have used animals for unlawful activity such as dogfighting, guard dogs for illegal activity, and tools for intimidation. There's sadly been a substantial number of cases where officers have been attacked and injured by animals trained by their owners to be vicious when attempting to make arrests and investigate crimes by violent offenders.

A new bill has been introduced in Wisconsin that copies bipartisan legislation in Michigan, Illinois and Iowa that would prohibit serious felony offenders from owning vicious dogs. Under the bill, a dog would be considered dangerous if it attacked a person without justification, or behaved in a manner that posed a significant, imminent threat without justification. Determinations of viciousness could be appealed, and the bill is purposefully not breed-specific, because any dog can be mis-trained to be dangerous.  The legislation only applies to felons convicted of the specific serious felonies of homicide, felony battery, sexual assault, and felonies involving controlled substances.

Supporters of the bill say that it is an important piece of public safety legislation. They say that it will help protect not only our law enforcement officers in the line of duty but the average citizen who may happen to encounter these mis-trained dogs. Supporters say that being purposefully not breed-specific also acknowledges that no dog breed is automatically bad or vicious, and that the temperament of the dog comes down by and large to the training. 

Opponents are concerned that it only applies to certain types of felons. They are also concerned about it not being breed specific, saying that there are certain breeds that tend to be more violent or prone to aggression than others. They also are concerned that one bad action on the part of the dog could potentially lead to the felon losing their pet. 

In light of the threat that vicious dogs can pose to people, I'd like to hear your thoughts on this bill. Please take a moment to answer my question of the week:

Click here for my Question of the Week

Last Week's Results:
Educational Pelvic Exams on Unconscious Patients

I've heard from many people around the 36th Assembly District in response to last week's question. The chart below represents the responses from constituents to the question as of Thursday afternoon. Because of the overwhelming support shown for this bill, I've added myself as a co-sponsor.

Support for Students Experiencing Homelessness

During the 2019/20 school year, there were 17,179 students experiencing homelessness in Wisconsin. I'm glad to announce that the Department of Public Instruction will be providing more than $10 million in federal funds to school districts to help them identify and support students around the state experiencing homelessness. These funds come from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and I look forward to seeing this go towards getting our students into safe, secure housing. More information on this can be found here

Upcoming District Events

The following are just a few of events that will be occurring soon around or near the 36th Assembly District. Please let me know if you have an event you would like to have considered for inclusion on this list. As always, remember to take proper precautions when at events for COVID-19 and check their webpages for any updates or cancellations.

Follow the Legislative Action

In order to stay up to date on any legislation, proposals, or your legislator, a free notification service is available through the Wisconsin State Legislature's website. You can sign up for nightly personalized email notifications based on our state's legislative activity. This is a wonderful way to stay informed about state politics and proposals that you are interested in.