Friends and Neighbors,

I hope your summer went well. Now, fall is officially here and many of us may be starting to gear up for the colder weather ahead. As you’re beginning to dig out the sweaters and jackets, don’t forget our community offers plenty of family-friendly fall activities.

The intensity in Madison picked up after Labor Day weekend - legislators are preparing for our floor session on October 10th. Given the Republican track record, I don’t think many Democratic bills will make it to the floor for a vote.

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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Current Legislation

AB 221; Federal Retirement Benefit Tax Fairness

As you recall in my August Report, this is a bipartisan bill I authored which ends the tax disparity between retired federal workers receiving social security and former federal employees not receiving social security, but instead a pension. This is a common sense issue of fairness, and I was happy to work with my constituents and across the aisle to develop the legislation to address this. AB 221 is scheduled to be voted on in the Assembly Ways and Means Committee on October 2nd. If the bill passes, it then goes to the floor so the rest of the Legislature can vote yes or no. 

Earlier this month, I was joined by my Republican co-author Rep. Kuglitsch and a number of federal retirees from across the state to testify in support of this legislation:

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LRB-1055 & 4395; Medical Marijuana Bill

Last fall, Wisconsin voters in 16 different counties and two cities displayed strong support for Wisconsin to join 33 other states in legalizing marijuana for medical use. With over 80% of Wisconsinites supporting legalization, it was about time a Republican started listening to the voice of the people and helped introduce this bill. As other Republicans in the Assembly will hesitate to sign on, we must continue fighting for medical marijuana to help those in pain and sickness. It will be a long time before Wisconsin fully legalizes marijuana, but passing this bill would provide the relief some Wisconsinites need. Thank you to Representative Chris Taylor and Senators Jon Erpenbach and Patrick Testin for introducing this legislation.

LRB-4383; Extreme Risk Protection Orders

I joined my Democratic colleagues, Governor Evers, and Attorney General Kaul in proposing a common-sense process to allow for courts to issue extreme risk protection orders to temporally restrict firearms access for a person who is substantial risk of harming themselves or others.

81% of Wisconsinites support this reform, but as Republican leaders continue to line their pockets with NRA donations, families across the country will continue to lose loved ones to shootings. Protecting Wisconsin families should be one of our main priorities as a Legislator and it is extremely disappointing Republicans would choose special interests over protecting Wisconsinites.

I was proud to stand next to my Democratic colleagues as they introduced this bill:


LRB 2868; Hands-free Driving in Wisconsin

It is no secret distracted driving is a problem nationwide, with our state experiencing a 6% increase in distracted driving crashes since 2016. In 2010, Wisconsin became the 25th state to ban texting while driving, however, a majority of people now have smartphones which make it easier to become distracted while behind the wheel. LRB-2868 takes it one step further and puts our state in line with 20 other states by enforcing a hands-free only cell phone law. Of course, this law provides an exception for law enforcement and emergency vehicles. I am a proud cosponsor of this bill – I no longer want to see anyone become a victim of distracted driving.

What Else is Going On? 

Suicide Awareness Month   

September is National Suicide Awareness Month. While suicide prevention is important to address year-round, this month gives us an opportunity to come together and raise awareness. Suicide is a growing issue in Wisconsin and I hope the Speaker’s Task Force on Suicide Prevention writes policy recommendations which get signed into law and reduce the growing rate.  


First Responder of the Year Award

Earlier this month, Speaker Vos asked each legislator to identify a deserving person in their district for a First Responder of the Year recognition event during the October 10th floor period.

I nominated Kenosha Police Officer, Nicholas Benevento, a twelve year veteran police officer with the department. Benevento was responsible for a heroic and life-saving rescue following an automobile accident earlier this year. I am thankful for his service to our community and look forward to honoring his actions on October 10th.

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Rally 4 Recovery

It was great to speak at the Rally 4 Recovery in Kenosha. We must continue to create resources supporting addiction recovery for individuals, families, and communities through advocacy and education. I was pleased to have Representative Tip McGuire join me to raise awareness about this important issue.

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POW/MIA Remembrance Day

September 20th was POW/MIA remembrance day. I had the opportunity to visit the Kenosha County Building and pay my respects to those U.S. service members who were prisoners of war or went missing in action.

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Kenosha Creative Space Exhibit: Imagenes De Latin America

I stopped by Kenosha Creative Space to show my appreciation of life and the art of Latin America. The images included rare prints of works by many artisits of the time including Rufino Tamayo, Juan Soriano, and Carlos Cruz-Diez. Thank you to Francisco Loyola and Margaret Heller in their work to display these collections.

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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 read my September column by clicking here

Upcoming Events 

What: Women of the World Concert 

When: October 3, 7:30pm

Where: Carthage College, Kenosha

What: Captains + Canines Block Party  

When: October 4, 3-11pm 

Where: Captain Mikes, 5118 6th Ave, Kenosha

What: Wilmot Mountain Fall Fest & 5K

When: October 5, 10am-5pm

Where: Wilmot Mountain, Wilmot

What: Kemper Center Autumn Grand Tour 

When: October 6, 1-5pm

Where: Kemper Center, 6501 3rd Ave, Kenosha


What: Free Military and Veterans Family Day

When: October 4, 4-9pm 

Where: Boundless Adventures

What: Hispanic Heritage Month Cultural Fest 

When: October 13, 1:30-3pm

Where: Southwest Library, 7979 38th Ave

What: National Fossil Day

When:  October 16, 10am-5pm

Where: Kenosha Public Museum, 5500 First Ave

What: Pike River Cleanup

When:  Sept. 21, time: TBD

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


What: Kenosha History Center Chili Cook-off

When: October 19, 6-9pm

Where: Kenosha History Center, 220 51st Place 

What: Habitat for Humanity 5K Run/Walk 

When: October 19, 9am 

Where: Petrifying Springs Park Area 3, 5555 7th Street  

What: Trick or Treat on 6th Ave 

When: October 26, 2-5pm

Where: 6th Ave, Kenosha, @ Participating Stores 




Phone: 608-237-9530           













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