Friends and Neighbors,

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! As I look back on 2019 I have much to be thankful for. It is a great honor to represent the people of the 65th Assembly District and all of the people of Wisconsin. This has been a great new experience having Tony Evers as our Governor. It has been frustrating at times as Republicans have repeatedly tried to take away some of the powers Wisconsin Governors have traditionally held. 

However, it has been refreshing knowing we have a Governor who is on the side of working people. I look forward to the remaining year of this term and will work hard to find common ground on bills I think are good for Wisconsin. 

I always welcome your feedback and opinions, so please feel free to contact me. Also, if you would like something to be included in future e-newsletters, just let me know at (608) 266-0455 or


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Proposals People Want 

  • Medicaid Expansion - 70% public support 
  • Universal Background Checks - 81% 
  • Non-Partisan Redistricting - 72%  
  • Closing the Dark Store Loophole - 79%  
  • Medical Marijuana - 83% 

Medicaid Expansion

This was a clear choice for Wisconsin. However, Republicans on the Joint Committee on Finance stripped the proposal from Governor Evers' budget. Accepting the expansion would have lowered private insurance premiums by 7 to 11%. The money is there for us to take, but until we do, the federal government will continue to give our money to our neighboring states. 

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Fair Maps for Fair Elections

Elected officials should not be allowed to cherry-pick their voters. In 2018, Assembly Democrats received 200,000 more votes than Assembly Republicans, yet the State Assembly has 63 Republicans and 36 Democrats. It seems like common-sense: voters pick their elected officials, not other way around. I cosponsored Assembly Bill 303 this session, which would have created a non-partisan redistricting system in Wisconsin. But, as expected, it received no action from the other side. 

Medical Marijuana

I've been a strong advocate for the legalization of medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. It's been 10 years since Wisconsin even held a public hearing on legalizing marijuana. So, given 83% of Wisconsinites support this action, why haven't Republicans allowed a public hearing for this policy? The answer is simple -- politics. 

From the potential millions in projected state revenue growth, to the thousands of new jobs that could be created through the development of new industries, to addressing the huge costs to both the individual and taxpayers for unnecessarily incarcerating citizens on marijuana charges – this policy makes sense for Wisconsin. 


Passed & Current Legislation

Senate Bill 208

Businesses have the opportunity to earn tax credits for investing in qualified startups. If the business is part of an investment fund, the credits can be earned by the fund itself, which allows the fund to spread the financial benefits to all of its investors. This was a common practice used from 2005 when the credits started, but then in 2009 it was expanded to include insurance companies without using the updated language. 

Senate Bill 208, now 2019 Wisconsin Act 61, changed the language to incentive insurance companies both inside and outside the state to invest in Wisconsin startups, which better our business environment. Our community has hundreds of startup businesses, attracting people from surrounding cities as well as Illinois. I was a proud cosponsor of this bill because it will help businesses in the Kenosha area. 

Senate Bill 219 

Many of you are aware dairy farms across our state are shutting down one after another. It's perceived giving out loans to rural farm owners is a risky investment due to their location. As our economy relies on agriculture and manufacturing, I thought Senate Bill 219, now 2019 Wisconsin Act 62 was important to cosponsor. This act creates a Pilot Loan Guarantee Program which will make it easier for our rural processors to grow and expand. In a time where the future of America's Dairyland is unpredictable, we must do what we can to keep our rich history and economy alive. 

Assembly Bill 235 

I co-authored this bill with Representative Kerkman which would ease the burden on tax payers in a county and community where a utility is being decommissioned. Governor Evers signed this bill as 2019 Wisconsin Act 45. Due to the Pleasant Prairie plant being phased out, this was extremely important for the Kenosha area. 

Assembly Bill 221

I've been working on this bill for several months. Approximately 20,000 federal retirees in Wisconsin are subject to a double standard regarding their pension, and I want to ease the tax burden for retirees. This bill unanimously passed in the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, and I'm hoping to have it on the floor for a vote during our session in mid-January. It has great bipartisan support and I look forward to seeing the outcome. 

Victim Notice 

When I read in the Kenosha News a convicted murderer was being released into the community and there is a disparity in the law regarding public notice for some of the most heinous crimes, I felt the need to take action. I recently introduced legislation with Senator Van Wanggaard and Representatives Samantha Kerkman and Tip McGuire which would provide the pubic with a stronger notice regarding the release of a person convicted of murder. Given its bipartisan support, I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle are able to understand the importance of this bill to our community and to Wisconsin as a whole. 

Forward on Climate Bills

I'm proud to cosponsor a package of bills which take action to fight climate change. Despite what the other side of the aisle say, this is a major issue across our globe and we need to take action soon rather than later. The package focuses on financially supporting climate-resistant infrastructure for schools and farming communities. If passed, they'll also establish "green banks" to sustain and manage these adaptive projects, and also require government agencies to examine the social costs of current carbon emission levels. Thank to you to my colleagues who introduced this package: Representatives Greta Neubauer, Dianne Hesselbein, Gary Hebl, and Senator Dave Hansen. 

Improved Suicide Hotline 

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. In Wisconsin, suicide rates increased from 2018. Very recently, the Federal Communications Commission approved a proposal which would make the number, 988, the new and improved suicide hotline number. This is a great step towards reducing the rate of suicide in Wisconsin. 

Request a Wisconsin Blue Book 

Remember, my office has 2019-2020 Blue Books to give away. Each legislator receives a limited supply of these Wisconsin resource books every two years, which function somewhat like an almanac for the state.

If you are my constituent and would like to request a copy, please call or email my office with your name and home address at (608) 266-0455 or

Kenosha County Aging & Disability Resource Center 

Volunteer Guardian Services is a program located in the Kenosha County Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) within the Kenosha County Division of Aging and Disability Services. The program provides qualified legal guardians to elderly and disabled adults in need. Since its inception, the program has grown to include over 40 guardians who make a positive difference in over 70 people’s lives. If this program sounds interesting to you, click here for more information so you can start making a difference!  

Labor Times Column 

Every month I write a column in the Labor Times Newspaper where I discuss my legislative priorities, events I participated in, and what's happening in our community. I encourage you to subscribe to Labor Times by liking their Facebook page. You can also read my December report by clicking here. If you would like to subscribe to the Southeast Wisconsin Labor Times Newspaper, call (262)-595-0329 or email 

Upcoming Events 

What: Winter Solstice Night Hike 

When: December 21, 6:30-8pm

Where: Pringle Nature Center, 9800 160th Ave, Bristol

What: The Vito Zatto Show  

When: December 27, 7:30pm 

Where: Wyndham Garden-Kenosha Harborside

What: Xeno and Joe Concert

When: 8pm

Where: Tg's Restaurant and Pub, 4120 7th Ave

What: Noon Year's Eve Celebration 

When: December 31, 11am-12:30pm

Where: Southwest Library, 7979 38th Ave

 What: Lemon Street Gallery Warehouse Sale

When: January 2-26, click here for times

Where: Lemon Street Gallery, 4601 Sheridan Road

What: Super Hero Day  

When: January 12, all day

Where: Wilmot Mountain, 11931 Fox River Road, Wilmot 


What: The Jill Plaisted Band

When: December 21, 9pm

Where: Union Park Tavern

What: Frost Fest 

When: December 27-30

Where: Kenosha Public Museum

What: Create @ The Space

When: December 26, 6-11pm

Where: Kenosha Creative Space

What: Beaut Live  

When: January 8-10pm

Where: Kenosha Creative Space



Phone: 608-237-9530           



Copyright © 2017 State Representative Tod Ohnstad, 65th Assembly District. All rights reserved.