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Representative Taylor with Representatives Melissa Sargent, Lisa Subeck, and Dianne Hesselbein on the Assembly Floor. 
Dear Friend,

As our children adjust to being back in school, we have wrapped up a busy summer working on behalf of the people of the 76th Assembly District! In July, I visited the new building of the Steamfitters Local 601 for a tour and to learn more about the great training work they are doing there to get more young people into the trades and out into the workforce. In August, I hosted a rally here at the Capitol to support Wisconsin's immigrant community with local elected officials and advocates from the Madison community. I also hosted Summer Constituent Office Hours at Johnson Public House. Thank you to all of those who attended! I will be hosting office hours again in the community in early fall, so please keep an eye out for that event in future newsletters. 

I also introduced 6 new critical pieces of legislation. From supporting and empowering our immigrant community, to reducing employment discrimination, to protecting children from sexual abuse, these bills are focused on a progressive agenda for Wisconsin. Learn more about those bills in my "Legislative Update" below.

Next, the Assembly Democratic Caucus launched our first podcast, called "Some Assembly Required" and can be found on most streaming platforms! Listen here to my episode with Representative Gordon Hintz as we discuss the state budget, Foxconn, and some of my favorite Madison summer activities. 

 

Finally, I would like to address the proposed changes at Truax field. I have serious concerns regarding the proposed Air National Guard expansion and implementation of a F-35 program to bring the fighter jets to Truax field on the near eastside of Madison. The draft Environmental Impact Statement made findings that communities of color, children, and low-income communities on Madison’s north and east side would face significant disproportionate impacts should Truax field be chosen to house the F-35 fighter jets. My full statement with City Alder Marsha Rummel and Dane County Supervisor Yogesh Chawla can be found here. 

 

I oppose bringing these jets to Truax because of the substantial disruption they pose in displacing communities of color, for the sake of only a marginal economic benefit, according to the draft EIS. You'll have an opportunity to weigh in at two public meetings, detailed below.

Here are 3 ways you can make your voice heard:

1) Submit your comments on the Environmental Impact Statement online, by mail, or by email by Friday, September 27.

2) Attend the neighborhood meeting with Madison Alders Syed Abbas, Marsha Rummel, and Grant Foster in the Sherman Middle School cafeteria tomorrow (Wed. the 11th) at 5:30 PM.  

3) Attend the press conference and public meeting at the Alliant Energy Center this Thursday, September 12:

  • 5:15 PM: Press Conference on the outdoor steps. Featuring remarks from Rep. Chris Taylor, a doctor from Physicians for Social Responsibility, a clinical psychologist who specializes in autism, a veteran teacher at Hawthorne Elementary, and Madison residents affected by the F-35s.
  • 5:00 - 8 PM: Air National Guard Public Meeting in the Exhibition Hall. Formal presentation 6:30-8 PM, Question period to follow.

I hope you will join me for the press conference at 5:15 and stay to speak during the question period after the Guard's formal presentation around 8 PM. 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office with any legislative questions or concerns. 

 

Warmly,

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Rep. Chris Taylor

76th Assembly District

 

Rep. Taylor with Minority Leader Gordon Hintz recording an interview for the Assembly Democrats' new podcast, "Some Assembly Required." 

Legislative Update
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 Representative Taylor with Senator Lena Taylor and Representative Melissa Sargent introducing the Child Victims Act and Clergy Mandatory Reporter Act

 

Protecting Children from Shielded Perpetrators

The wide scale sexual abuse of children by clergy has created public outrage throughout the world, including in Wisconsin and every religious denomination. Stretching back decades, child victims in our own state suffered greatly as pedophile clergy were not reported to authorities and simply moved to other parishes where they continued to abuse children. The Milwaukee Archdiocese’s own files reveal how the systemic sexual abuse of children was covered up, ignored, and seldom reported to authorities until the early 2000s. 

Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee), Melissa Sargent (D-Madison), and I introduced two critical bills to help end the abuse of children known and perpetuated by clergy and adults in their congregation, while affording adult victims of childhood sexual abuse a long awaited chance at justice. Our bills empower survivors to seek justice and healing, while helping end the abuse of children. There can be no more excuses.

The Child Victims Act abolishes the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases, allowing victims to pursue civil action against their perpetrator after the age of 35 and allows any victim previously silenced to bring forward civil action within 3 years of the passage of this bill.  

The Clergy Mandatory Reporter Act requires that clergy report instances of child abuse, including physical and sexual abuse, and ends a loophole allowing child sexual abuse by clergy to remain secret and unreported. Under current law, a member of the clergy does not have to report any abuse that they have learned of, if it is disclosed in a private, confidential communication. This not only encourages the non-reporting of child abuse, but it allows abuse to continue in secret, without intervention. Wisconsin would not be the first state to adopt a policy such as this, as Texas, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, North Carolina, West Virginia, and New Hampshire have already removed clergy-penitent privilege from their mandatory reporting exceptions. 

These bills seek to correct and help expose and end the tragic injustice adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse face, cast light on child abuse, and provide additional protections for Wisconsin children. It’s time for Wisconsin to stand with the victims of child abuse, rather than with pedophiles.

My interview on Capital City Sunday can be found here: https://wkow.com/news/top-stories/2019/08/11/capital-city-sunday-ag-josh-kaul-w-i-l-l-katelyn-ferral-rep-chris-taylor/

 

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 Representative Taylor with local elected officials and community activists at a rally to support our immigrant community.

 

Unveiling Legislation to Support and Empower our Immigrant Community

As inhumane detention camps continue to operate along our southern border, as children continue to be separated from their parents, as families continue to live in fear of ICE raids ripping them apart, and as communities and individuals throughout our nation grapple with domestic terrorism targeted at immigrants and people of color, I introduced three pieces of legislation to support and empower Wisconsin's immigrant community. 

First, I introduced a bill with Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa (D-Milwaukee) that would add citizenship and immigration status to our housing non-discrimination laws. Ensuring that every family and every child has access to safe, stable housing, is absolutely critical. 

Next, I introduced legislation with Reps. Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) and Marisabel Cabrera (D-Milwaukee) that would ban the detention of immigrants without criminal charges in the State of Wisconsin. 

Finally, I believe that compassionate immigration policies are not only a moral issue and an ethical issue, but an economic issue as well. That is why Rep. Zamarripa, Rep. Jimmy Anderson (D- Fitchburg) and I introduced a bill to ensure tuition equity for undocumented students by allowing them to pay in-state tuition which is a third of the cost of out-of-state tuition. Immigrants mightily contribute to our Wisconsin economy, including our dairy and agriculture industries. We need young immigrants, many of whom have spent most of their lives in Wisconsin and have attended our K-12 public schools, to be able to afford to further their education in the UW-System. And we need these young people to stay and participate in our workforce, as a severe workforce shortage looms. 

I stand in solidarity with the immigrant community, and I hope you will join me. One action you can take today, is to contact Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and demand they schedule these bills for a public hearing. You can also donate to the Dane County Immigration Assistance Collaborative to support the needs of our Dane County immigrant community. Donations can be made at: https://www.madisongives.org/immigrantassistance

Speaker Robin Vos:

Rep.Vos@legis.wisconsin.gov  | 608-266-9171

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald:

Sen.Fitzgerald@legis.wisconsin.gov | 608-266-5660

 

Preventing Employment Discrimination with Ban the Box

Wisconsin has the third highest rate of African American incarceration in the country, and the highest rate of African American male incarceration. While African Americans make up just 6.2% of the population in Wisconsin, they are nearly 11.5 times more likely to be incarcerated than white individuals, according to the State Bar of Wisconsin. The NAACP reports that nationally, “African Americans and whites use drugs at similar rates, but the imprisonment rate of African Americans for drug charges is almost 6 times that of whites.” This perpetuates a cycle of racial disparities in education, health, and our workforce, which continues Wisconsin’s status as one of the worst states in the nation to raise a black family.

Current state law, subject to certain exceptions, prohibits discrimination in employment based on conviction records, but does not prohibit an employer from inquiring about an individual’s criminal history in the initial job application. My bill would “Ban-the-Box” on job applications, prohibiting employers from asking for an individual’s criminal history or doing a criminal background check until later in the employment process. Nothing prohibits employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history later in the job hiring process, or notifying applicants that an individual with a particular conviction record may be disqualified if the conviction is substantially related to the employment.

According to the National Employment Law Project, 35 states, the District of Columbia, and over 150 cities and counties have “banned the box” or passed a similar fair chance policy. This bill ensures another level of protection from employment discrimination for all Wisconsinites.

Committee Update

As many of you know, I am one of four Democrats out of 16 members on the powerful Joint Finance Committee (JFC). The Lame Duck laws, pushed through in December to take away powers of newly elected Governor Evers and Attorney General (AG) Kaul, gave more power to the JFC, effectively allowing it to operate as the Executive and Judiciary. One of the Lame Duck laws requires JFC approval before the AG settles law suits in which the state is involved. The last two weeks have shown, as we warned, why the Lame Duck laws will not work, and AG Kaul has been prevented from settling over a dozen lawsuits. AG Kaul is being forced to either violate the Lame Duck laws, or his legal and ethical duties as a lawyer, and the state's chief legal advisor. 

The Republicans on the JFC voted against our Democratic motion to let AG Kaul move forward with the potentially huge, complex multi-state litigation settlement, involving substantial funds for the state. 

Democratic JFC members have since introduced a bill to repeal the Lame Duck laws that impact AG Kaul and restore his ability to do the job the people elected him to do. You can read more about that important bill here.

 

 

Our Community

Rep. Taylor Tours Steamfitters 601

My Democratic colleagues and I had the pleasure of touring the new Steamfitters Local 601 building here in Madison to learn more about their trade and their apprenticeship training program. 

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Rep. Taylor Hosts Rally to Support our Immigrant Community

Rep. Taylor hosted a rally at the Capitol to support Wisconsin's immigrant community and to introduce legislation to empower immigrants in Wisconsin (see Legislative Update). Rep. Taylor was joined at the rally by Christine Neumann-Ortiz-- Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera, Stephanie Salgado-- Youth Climate Action Team, Mario Garcia Sierra-- Centro Hispano, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, Fabiola Hamdan-- Dane County Immigration Affairs Specialist, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes Conway, Madison City Alder Shiva Bidar, MMSD School Board Member Ananda Mirilli, Dane County Supervisor Yogesh Chawla, and Masood Akhtar-- United Against Hate. Thank you to everyone who attended! We will continue to rise up, to speak up, and to never give up! 

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Rep. Taylor In The News

Democrats introduce bill to repeal laws curbing attorney general's power

Rep. Taylor on Devil’s Advocate

Madison State Rep. Calls for Assembly Speaker to Resign

Wisconsin Democrats call for new gun laws after weekend shootings

What are the statutes of limitations for child sex abuse crimes in Wisconsin?

Proposal would make it easier for victims of child sexual abuse to seek justice

Democrats look to end lawsuit limits, force clergy reports

Lawmakers push bills to end statute of limitations on lawsuits for childhood sex assaults, close loophole for clergy to report abuse

Rep. Chris Taylor: The GOP’s Corrupt Hold on Wisconsin

Bills would assist victims of child sexual assault by clergy

Madison rallies to support immigrant community

'We are here to stay': Madison's immigrant community rallies on Capitol steps after Mississippi raids

Report: More than 1,000 Madison homes would be 'incompatible for residential use' with F-35 jets

Proposed Air National Guard Fighter Jets draw concerns

Contacting My Office

My capitol office is here to help you with general inquiries as well as questions and concerns regarding legislative matters. Feel free to contact me or my staff. We are always ready to assist you in your needs. Please visit my website for press releases and other Capitol updates.