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Dear Friends and Neighbors,


In this week’s newsletter, you can read about some recent developments in the Capitol, including Governor Evers’ proposals relating to marijuana, reducing infant mortality rates, and a $15 minimum wage. Also read on for information about the benefits of integrated employment for people with disabilities and a fun Wisconsin fact relating to Black History Month.

If you have any questions or need assistance with any matter, please feel free to contact my office.

Lisa Subeck
State Representative
78th Assembly District

In This Weeks Update:

It's Time for Common Sense Reform on Marijuana

The Fight for $15

Healthy Women, Healthy Babies


Caregiving Taskforce

Fun Wisconsin Fact

Whats Happening?

Contact Me:

322 West, State Capitol

P.O. Box 8953

Madison, WI 53708

Phone: (608) 266-7521

Toll-Free: (888) 534-0078

Fax: (608) 282-3690

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It’s Time for Common Sense Reform on Marijuana


On Monday, Governor Evers announced a plan to legalize medical marijuana and decriminalize small-scale marijuana use. Under his proposal, a physician could prescribe medical marijuana to combat symptoms of illnesses like cancer, glaucoma, chronic pain, or seizures. The plan would also decriminalize the use of small amounts of marijuana and establish an expungement procedure for individuals who have completed their sentence.   

Our current system of marijuana prohibition is simply failed policy. It is costly, ineffective, and exacerbates socioeconomic and racial inequalities. It is especially absurd that we treat sick Wisconsinites and their families like criminals for seeking relief through the use of medical marijuana.

Instead of criminalizing the use of marijuana, we should look at how we can keep our communities safer by regulating its use and taxing its sale. Wisconsin currently spends millions of taxpayer dollars arresting and incarcerating individuals for non-violent drug related crimes, leaving us with some of the worst racial disparities in the nation. African-Americans are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than Caucasians despite nearly identical usage rates. In Madison, the ratio is a staggering twelve to one.

Ending marijuana prohibition is not only responsible and equitable – it’s also wildly popular! Last November, nearly a million voters in 16 counties and cities answered yes on referenda asking if marijuana should be legal for medicinal or recreational use. A recent Marquette poll found that the great majority of Wisconsinites favor marijuana legalization. It is long past time for policymakers to listen to the will of the people and reform our outdated marijuana laws.


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The Fight for $15


Governor Evers announced this week that his upcoming budget will include steps toward raising the state’s minimum wage to $15/hour. For many Wisconsin workers, this change is both long overdue and badly needed. Currently, Wisconsin’s statewide minimum wage is $7.25/hour, the same as the federal minimum. It has not been raised since 2009. 

A Center on Wisconsin Strategy report found that in 2018, the wage necessary to stay out of poverty was $11.95/hour. More than 675,000 Wisconsin workers made below the poverty wage last year, meaning that they could work full time all year and still be unable to provide for their families’ basic needs. These hardworking Wisconsinites need and deserve a raise.

It is unconscionable that anyone could work a full time job and yet still live in poverty. Low-wage workers are providing significant profits for their employers – they deserve a fair wage that allows them to pay the bills and put food on the table. A $15 minimum wage would put money in the pockets of hundreds of thousands of working families throughout Wisconsin, who would then spend that money on goods and services. This would boost the entire economy, creating jobs and providing more opportunity across our state.

I strongly support the Governor’s decision to include a minimum wage increase in his budget, and I look forward to working with him and my colleagues to ensure economic opportunity and fairness for all Wisconsinites.

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Healthy Women, Healthy Babies

This week, Governor Evers unveiled his “Healthy Women, Healthy Babies” plan, a proposal that would expand access to women’s health care, reduce infant mortality rates, and address racial disparities. The plan includes the creation of an Infant Mortality Prevention Program, an expansion of post-partum Medicaid coverage for mothers, and an expansion of the home nurse visiting program to serve more mothers living in poverty. The Governor’s plan also reinstates funding for comprehensive reproductive health services and preventative screenings.

Before becoming a state legislator, I worked in early childhood education and helped launch a transitional housing program for young mothers of infants and toddlers. I know firsthand that you can’t have healthy communities without healthy mothers and healthy babies.

We also know that Wisconsin has one of the worst racial disparities for infant mortality in the nation. The horrible truth is that a black infant in our state is two to three times more likely than a white infant to die in their first year of life. This is a tragic, brutal injustice, one that Wisconsin can’t continue to tolerate. It’s refreshing to have a Governor who agrees, and I stand with him in his efforts to make Wisconsin a more just and equitable state for all communities.



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On Thursday, I had the pleasure of participating in a walking tour of Madison businesses that employ people with developmental disabilities. Last year, Wisconsin enacted “Employment First” legislation, requiring state agencies to make integrated employment a priority. Many employers in Dane County and across the state have found great value in hiring people with disabilities. These employees receive cost-effective services that allow them to earn wages in a job that is personalized to their abilities and interests, while meeting their employer’s needs.

I enjoyed the chance to meet employers and employees participating in this program, and I’m very grateful to the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities, the Arc Wisconsin, and the Dane County Department of Human Services for hosting the tour.

Everyone has something to contribute, and integrated employment is good for businesses and great for our communities.


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Caregiving Taskforce

Caregivers for the elderly or disabled are cornerstones of families and communities across our state. Whether caregivers are part of the direct care workforce or unpaid family members looking after a loved one, they are unsung heroes doing crucially important work.

That’s why I was glad to see Governor Evers sign an executive order creating a Governor’s Task Force on Caregiving in Wisconsin. The Task Force is charged with finding strategies to attract and retain a strong direct care workforce and support families providing caregiving services.

Wisconsin needs to do more to support paid and unpaid caregivers. I intend to work with the Governor and my colleagues on this critical issue in the months ahead.



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Fun Wisconsin Fact

To commemorate Black History Month, I’d like to highlight some black Wisconsinites who had a major impact on our state’s history. One such lesser-known Wisconsinite was William T. Green (1860-1911), an attorney and civil rights activist.

Green was born in Canada in 1860 and came to Wisconsin in 1884, quickly becoming a prominent leader in Milwaukee’s growing black community. Green was the first black graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1892, and until his death was the only black member of the Wisconsin Bar Association.

Green helped organize a civil rights convention that created the Union League of Wisconsin and played a role in drafting the state’s first civil rights law in 1891. The law, which passed in 1895, became the foundation for modern civil rights laws in our state.

It’s appropriate to honor trailblazers and activists like William T. Green, not only during Black History Month but throughout the year. We should also honor the lives of people like Green by continuing their work to make Wisconsin a more equitable place for everyone.   


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Things happening in the district & around Madison:

Friday Night Feature Film: Annihilation
Friday, February 22

6 pm - 8 pm
Alicia Ashman Library

Free and open to the public - A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition into a mysterious zone where the laws of nature don't apply. (Rated R) 

Robot-o-thon! A Very Bubbler Saturday
Saturday, February 23

1 pm - 2 pm
Sequoya Library

Combine your craft skills with your coding chops to make a robot. We will have different kinds of robots, including Lego compatible Meeperbots, to play with along with art supplies so that you can create your very own personal droid. 

Sunday Jazz - Caravan Gypsy Swing Duo
Sunday, February 24

2 pm - 4 pm

Sequoya Library

Caravan Gypsy Swing Duo is an acoustic jazz group. Expect a range of tunes from the "Hot Swing" repertoire, originals, and standards done in uniquely arranged styles.

Full Tax Assistance
Tuesday, February 26

10 am - 2:30 pm
Sequoya Library

Please call 266-6385 to schedule an appointment.

NewBridge Movie Program: Saturday Night Fever
Wednesday, February 27

1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Alicia Ashman Library

Free and open to the public - Anxious about his future after high school, a 19 year old Italian American from Brooklyn tries to escape the harsh reality of his bleak family life by dominating the dance floor at the local disco. (Rated R) 

Pierogi: Traditional Dumplings with Chef Paul Tseng
Wednesday, February 27

6:15 pm - 7:45 pm
Meadowridge Library

Join Chef Paul to explore and celebrate the beauty of making these classic Eastern European dumplings from scratch. Register online or call 288-6160.

Thursday Book Group Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
Thursday, February 28

1 pm - 2:30 pm
Sequoya Library

Sequoya's Thursday Book Group hosts a discussion of Warlight by Michael Ondaatje. New members always welcome. Copies of the current book are available at the Ask Here Desk while supplies last. 

Read to A Dog
Thursday, February 28

4 pm - 5:30 pm
Alicia Ashman Library

Bring a favorite book (or find one at the library!) and read aloud to a furry friend. Time slots available on a first come, first served basis.


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