Friends and Neighbors,

I hope all is well. Summer is just around the corner and I couldn’t be more excited about what our community has to offer over the next few months. From music festivals and harbor markets to Kingfish baseball and the waves of Lake Michigan, Kenosha is truly an amazing place to live.

It’s been a hectic few weeks here in Madison. The Joint Committee on Finance is planning to wrap up their executive sessions this week, turning the People’s Budget into the Politicians’ Budget. It’s disappointing to see the committee dismantle a budget which included provisions supported by the majority of Wisconsinites.

With the Republicans plan to present their completed budget towards the end of the month, it’s important we don’t give up the fight in providing quality education and affordable, accessible healthcare for our state. This report will provide you with an insight of what their budget might look like along with our continued efforts in protecting the People’s Budget.

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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New Research on Medicaid Expansion

Republican leaders refused to listen to the people of our state and removed expansion from the Governor’s budget. However, due to the fact that 70% of Wisconsinites support it and everyone having the right to affordable, accessible health care, we are continuing the fight. Republicans claim the expansion would raise health insurance premiums and cost our state billions of dollars, but that’s just simply not true.

Last week, Health Affairs released new research showing that expanding Medicaid in Wisconsin will substantially lower the health insurance premiums in the individual market. The study compared marketplace premiums in Wisconsin to marketplace premiums in neighboring states which expanded Medicaid, recall the graph below from my last report:
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Controlling for a range of county-level demographic, market, and policy characteristics, the study found that expanding Medicaid produced individual marketplace premiums that were 19% - or $57 per month – lower among Wisconsin’s neighbors than in Wisconsin over the 2014-2018 period. This is because when states expand Medicaid to more low-income populations, some of these newly eligible individuals move from the individual marketplace onto public coverage.

It’s clear expansion is fiscally responsible, expands access to health care, and lowers health care premiums. It simply does not make sense why Wisconsin Republicans would cut it out of the budget. They are not listening to their constituents and attempting to override the will of the people.  

Expansion Efforts in Wisconsin

Forward Wisconsin is a group of Wisconsinites who support expansion and want to highlight Republican attempts to dismantle the budget. I encourage you to join me in the fight to expand Medicaid while holding your legislators accountable. Forward Wisconsin provides you with great resources to get started: petitions, letters, phone banks, rallies, and many other initiatives. Follow the group on social media:



Join the Movement:

JFC Executive Sessions

The people of Wisconsin asked for meaningful action on many issues impacting their day-to-day life. However, Republicans continue to turn their back on common-sense policies. Rather than reaching across the aisle and working with the Governor, Republicans failed the majority of Wisconsinites by stripping out highly supported provisions from Governor Evers’ budget proposal:

  • K-12 Schools
    • Evers’ proposal: $1.4 billion over the biennium
    • JFC’ proposal: $500 million
  • UW-System
    • Evers’ proposal: $150 million over the biennium
    • JFC’ proposal: $58 million
  • Transportation
    • Evers’ proposal: $624 million over the biennium
    • JFC’ proposal: $484 million
      • Republicans rejected Evers’ plan to increase the gas tax. Instead, they decided to increase vehicle title fees by $95 and registration fees by $10.
    • Marijuana Legalization
      • Evers’ proposed legalizing medical marijuana and decriminalize small amounts of recreational marijuana, but Republicans rejected it immediately.
    • Redistricting
      • Evers called for creating a nonpartisan redistricting process for the next time the Legislature has to draw boundary lines following the 2020 census. However, Republicans favor the current system because it allows them to maintain the majority in the Legislature.

The Budget Going Forward 

The Republicans have nearly finished reshaping Governor Evers’ proposed budget. With only one more week of executive sessions, the Joint Committee on Finance expects to present their full budget in a few weeks, with the legislature voting on it as early as the end of the month. I will be rejecting many of the proposals in this Republican budget - it's important my colleagues and I continue working for the people of Wisconsin and keep trying to pass a budget which works for you, not special interests.   

What Else is Going On? 

LGBT Month

June 1st marked national LGBT month. It’s a time where the country comes to celebrate how far we’ve come to honor LGBT rights. I applaud Governor Tony Evers leadership and commitment in making Wisconsin a better place to live by flying the Pride Flag over our Capitol.

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Budget Forum

It was great to join Senator Wirch and Representative McGuire for a Wisconsin Non-Partisan Budget Forum. We had a great conversation about a number of critical issues that are in the budget.Budget Fourm.jpg

Tour of UW-Parkside

I had the pleasure of touring UW-Parkside to hear about all the exciting activities and innovations taking place at the University, as well as learning about the investments needed on campus.


Memorial Day Events

It was great to see many familiar faces throughout the many events in our community. Together, we remembered and honored all the individuals and families who have made incredible sacrifices to defend our country. I had the opportunity to attend five events:

  • Navy Club Ship 40 Kenosha Ceremony
  • American Legion Post 21 Ceremony
  • Sunset Ridge Memorial Park/American Legion
  • Kenosha Area Vietnam Veterans Ceremony
  • VFW Post 1865, Kenosha Ceremony

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Habitat for Humanity

I had the chance to join Senator Bob Wirch and Habitat for Humanity during a groundbreaking this past weekend. It was truly a blessing to witness a new beginning for such a resilient family. I hope they enjoy their new home!


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: Kenosha Pops Concert Band 

When: Wednesday Evenings, June 12th - July 31st 

Where: Pennoyer Park, 3601 7th Ave 

What: Food, Folks & Spokes 

When: June 20th, all day 

Where: Library Park, 711 59th Pl 

What: Durkee Mansion Open Tours

When: 1st and 3rd Saturdays & Sundays, 1:30-4pm

Where: Durkee Mansion, 6501 3rd Ave 

What: Kenosha HarborMarket 

When: Saturdays, 9am-2pm 

Where: 56th St & 2nd Ave 

What: Kingfish Baseball 

When: Now-August 

Where: Historic Simmons Afield, 7817 Sheridan Rd 

What: Kenosha County Dairy Breakfast 

When: June 15th, 6:30-10:30am 

Where: Mighty Grand Dairy Farm, 22811 18th Street, Union Grove


What: Father’s Day Car Show

When: June 16th, 9am-3pm 

Where: Baker Park, 835 65th Street, Kenosha

What: Solstice Concert in the Town Hall 

When: June 21st, 6-8:30pm 

Where: Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum, 880 Green Bay Rd, Kenosha 

What: Kenosha Civic Veterans Parade 

When: June 30th, 1pm

Where: Uptown to Downtown, 6300 22nd Ave, Kenosha

What: Celebrate America Featuring Fireworks 

When: July 4th, 9:30pm 

Where: HarborPark, 5501 Ring Rd, Kenosha 



Phone: 608-237-9530           



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