Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you had a safe and enjoyable 4th of July. It was great to see so many familiar faces during the Kenosha Civic Veterans Parade – I got a little wet, but it was worth it! Between being in our community and being in Madison, it was definitely a busy month.

The budget process officially wrapped up last week as Governor Evers signed the 2019-21 State Budget into law, using his powerful partial veto authority on 78 provisions. Unfortunately, the Republican controlled legislature presented a budget that was in many ways, insufficient. The Republican legislature failed to embrace the will of the people on issue after issue, which resulted in missed opportunities.  

However, despite a final budget that falls far short of the “People’s Budget”, the Governor was able to make modifications to improve the bill and I remain hopeful we can work together to achieve further progress to meet the needs of the state going forward.

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


Tod Signature.gif

Assembly Budget Vote 

The Wisconsin State Assembly voted on the state budget on June 25th. After nearly 10 hours of debate, the Assembly passed the budget 60 to 39. I approached this budget process with true optimism for what could be accomplished on behalf of the people of Wisconsin. It was a shame the Republican-controlled legislature immediately rejected many key policies Governor Evers had offered. I stood up for our community and made it clear this budget was a shortfall for Wisconsinites during my floor speech.  

Tod Assembly Budget.jpg

Senate Budget Vote 

The day after the Assembly passed their Republican budget, the Senate casted in their votes, with no surprise: 17-16. It’s astonishing my Republican colleagues would rather play partisan political games than come to the table and work with the Governor in a bipartisan manner, but they will continue to obstruct Governor Evers at every turn in order to get a political win. That’s not the work Wisconsinites expect out of their state legislators.     

They want someone who will have a discussion about fixing problematic policies impacting the people of Wisconsin, not working to benefit their own special interests. I will continue working to address more of the state’s priorities in the spirit of compromise and cooperation – the way it should be done.  

Governor Signs Budget 

Back in February Evers gave his first budget address based on public input provided at numerous events around the state. It was great to see a budget crafted which reflected the priorities of Wisconsin families.

I knew right then and there a tough road was ahead with many roadblocks, the biggest one being the Republican-controlled legislature. However, while the budget process left a lot to be desired, the election of Governor Evers’ and support for his agenda was successful in moving the Republicans to increase investments in areas far beyond the levels we experienced in the Walker years.

Last week, Governor Evers took a leap over the Republican-controlled roadblock and signed the 2019-21 State Budget. Through Evers’ leadership and corrective vetoes the final document is a substantial step forward for Wisconsin. As the budget enacted is not as strong as the one Evers’ introduced, he accomplished increasing per-pupil aid in Wisconsin by $63 per student in each of the next two years by using his partial veto authority. With nearly an additional $100 million going to Wisconsin classrooms, Evers held true to what he said all along, “What’s best for our kids is what’s best for Wisconsin.”   

I was proud to join Governor Evers as he announced the substantial improvements he made to the state budget bill and signed the document into law. It was a great moment.

Tod @ Budget Signing.jpg

Important Provisions 


  • $230 million for the Direct Care Workforce
  • $14.2 million in lead testing and abatement; addresses the issue of childhood lead poisoning
  • $30 million to support programs for Wisconsin Veterans
  • $10 million for a new cancer research center at the Medical College of Wisconsin
  • $7.5 million in efforts to reduce homelessness across our state


  • $330 million increase in state general aid
  • $95 million in special education funding
  • $100 million increase in per-pupil state categorical aid
  • $5.7 million for school libraries
  • $85 million for the Wisconsin Shares child program
  • $30 million to increase county-run child welfare programs
  • $25 million to Wisconsin Technical System
  • $45 million to the University of Wisconsin System

Agriculture, Tourism and Economic Development

  • Creates a new Office of Outdoor Recreation at the Department of Tourism
  • $48 million to expand broadband
  • $8.8 million for a Dairy Innovation Hub at the University of Wisconsin System


  • $465 million for transportation projects across the state
  • $320 for funding our State Highway Rehabilitation program
  • $66 million to counties, towns, and villages based on road needs
  • Veto of the per-mile study created by the Joint Committee on Finance

Clean Communities

  • Provides two full-time staffing positions at the Department of Natural Resources to research water and sources of contamination.
  • $6.5 million for Targeted Runoff Management programs, which help reduce source pollution
  • Extension of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund


  • $80 million for a 2 percent annual general wage increase for state employees
  • $36 million in state funds to increase wages for correctional officers and youth counselor positions

What Else is Going On? 

Economic Forum  

I took part in an economic forum in Kenosha hosted by WisBusiness. Our community has a booming economy and it’s important we find solutions to maintain current and future business. It was great to be a part of this.

Tod @ Economic Forum.jpg

Opening Prayer 

I was proud to welcome Reverend Jonathan Barker of Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha to the Capitol to deliver the opening prayer for the State Assembly. Rev. Barker does outstanding work in our community and I was glad to have him speak at the Capitol.

Rev Barker.jpg

Kenosha Woman Honored 

Ruth Donalds won the Governor’s Foster Care Award. She has taken in 15 foster children since 2013, many with traumatic histories and behavioral challenges. Thank you Ruth for all your inspiration and hard work!

Ruth Donalds.jpg

Civics Veterans Parade 

I always enjoy this parade and was happy I got to participate again. Our community has a lot to offer and I’m proud to be at events like this. Even though the weather didn’t cooperate, the parade route was full!

Civic Parade.jpg

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 read my June column by clicking here

Upcoming Events 

What: Peanut Butter & Jam Concert Series  

When: July 11th – August 29th, 11:30am & 6pm

Where: Veterans Memorial Park

What: Movie Night at Petrifying Springs Park, Area #1 

When: Fridays, June 14-August 23rd

Where: Petrifying Springs Park, 5555 7th St. Kenosha

What: Kenosha Folk Hootenanny

When: July 12th 7-10pm

Where: Kemper Center, 6501 3rd Ave. Kenosha

What: Kenosha Pride 2019  

When: July 14th, 12:30-9pm

Where: Veterans Memorial Park, 624 52nd St. Kenosha

What: Mammals of SE Wisconsin

When:  July 20th, 7-8pm

Where: Richard Bong State Recreation Area

What: Extreme Recess Day at the Beach 2019

When: July 25th, 9am-3pm 

Where: Lance Park, 55 Lance Drive Twin Lakes, WI

What: Civics Right Display

When:  Through August 11th, 10am-5pm

Where: Civil War Museum, 5400 First Ave

What: Tuesdays at the Bandshell

When:  Tuesdays, through August 27th @ 6pm  

Where: Sesquicentennial Bandshell in Pennoyer Park

What: Lincoln Park Live Music Series  

When:  July 31st, August 7th, August 28th, 5:30-8:30pm

Where: Lincoln Park, Kenosha

What: Mammals of SE Wisconsin

When:  July 20th, 7-8pm

Where: Richard Bong State Recreation Area


What: Relay For Life of Kenosha

When: August 2nd, Fri. 6pm-6am

Where: UW-Parkside, 900 Wood Road Kenosha

What: KAFASI’s Summer of ’69

When: August 8, 5:30-8pm

Where: Cortese’s Banquet Hall, 1300 Sheridan Rd Kenosha

What: HarborPark Jazz, Rhythem & Blues Festival

When: August 17th, 12:30pm

Where: HarborPark Celebration Place, 5501 Ring Rd Kenosha

What: Annual Picnic in the Park

When: August 24, 1:30-8:30pm

Where: Petrifying Springs Park, 5555 7th St. Kenosha

What: Fec's 11th Annual Pig Roast

When: 12-6pm

Where: Fec's Place, 5523 6th Ave Kenosha 



Phone: 608-237-9530           





















Graduation - Newsletter March 2019.jpg










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