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Dear Friends and Neighbors,


The Assembly was in session this week to vote on a number of legislative proposals before our upcoming vote on the state budget. 

Read on for the latest update on the budget process, details about this week’s legislative sessions, including a well-deserved Hometown Hero award ceremony, information about the Adoption Task Force, and a fun Wisconsin fact relating to Pride 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 Week's Update:

Budget Update

Session Highlights

Adoption Task Force

Hometown Heroes

Justice Abrahamson

Fun Wisconsin Fact

Whats Happening?

Contact Me:

109 North, 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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Budget Update

Last week, the Joint Committee on Finance completed its work on the state budget and submitted its version of the budget to the full Legislature. The Assembly and Senate intend to vote on the budget next week, possibly after adding amendments. If it passes both houses of the Legislature, Governor Evers will have the chance to sign it into law, veto the budget in its entirety, or use his partial veto power to eliminate or change specific provisions of the budget. 

Governor Evers’s budget proposal made the robust investments in health care, education, and transportation that Wisconsin needs, placing our state on a more progressive path after eight years of failed policies. The Governor’s proposal resonated with people across the state who called their legislators, came to listening sessions, emailed, or knocked doors in support of his budget. As a result of the people making their voices heard, Republicans moved closer to the Governor’s proposal, but the Republican budget still falls far short of the investments our state needs.

Republicans have created a budget of missed opportunities. Perhaps the largest missed opportunity was their failure to expand Medicaid, save taxpayers $324 million, and draw down $1.6 billion in federal dollars to invest in improving the health care system for everyone. Republicans’ continued partisan obstruction is fiscally and morally irresponsible.

Republicans also missed the opportunity to significantly increase special education funding, something school administrators, parents, and educators across the state will tell you is desperately needed. They missed the opportunity to address the water quality crisis our state is facing on multiple fronts, from lead pipes in older homes to polluted wells in rural communities. Finally, they missed the opportunity (for the 5th budget in a row) to find a long-term, sustainable solution to our transportation funding crisis.

The Republican budget forces Wisconsinites to pay more for healthcare and more to fund our roads, while offering a smaller tax cut for the middle class and preserving a tax giveaway for millionaires. The budget process is not yet over, and there is still time for positive changes to be made. I stand with Governor Evers and my Democratic colleagues in support of making the bold, aggressive investments Wisconsin needs.


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Session Highlights

This week, the Assembly was in session on Tuesday and Thursday to vote on a number of bills and resolutions. Many of these bills were bipartisan in nature, including some proposals relating to drunk driving and the licensing and regulation of sign language interpreters.

Two bills strengthening Wisconsin’s laws relating to drunk driving passed the Assembly unanimously on Thursday. One of the bills would require a person accused of drunk driving to appear in court. Another addresses a shortcoming in current Wisconsin law, in which there is no mandatory minimum prison sentence for a drunk driver convicted of causing a fatal crash. This bill would send the driver to prison for at least five years. The bills are currently awaiting action in the State Senate.

Another bipartisan proposal, Assembly Bill 250, addresses licensing and regulation of sign language interpreters. The bill creates appropriate tiers of sign language interpreters, intermediate and advanced, with different requirements and scopes of practice for each. The bill aims to ensure high-quality, advanced interpretation services for deaf individuals in cases where an interpreter with an advanced level of knowledge or experience in a technical field is necessary. The bill passed with all legislators voting in favor, and awaits a vote in the State Senate.

For information about all the resolutions and bills considered in this week’s sessions, see here.


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Adoption Task Force

On Wednesday, the Speaker’s Task Force on Adoption held its first informational hearing. I have the honor of serving as Vice Chair of this task force, which was created to gather information and make policy recommendations, and will focus on addressing the barriers facing biological and adoptive parents in the adoption process. 

Wednesday’s informational hearing included testimony from the Department of Children and Families, Bethany Christian Services of Wisconsin, the Coalition for Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Hospital of WI, and Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Testimony from these groups included information about various types of adoptions (public, private, international) and the costs associated with each, how much the opioid and methamphetamine epidemics continue to put strain on the foster care system, and licensing barriers for fostering/adopting older youth. If you would like to watch any part of the proceedings, follow this link to the WisconsinEye website.

The taskforce will be traveling the state in July and August to hear from stakeholders and members of the public across Wisconsin. Dates will be announced on the taskforce website and my Facebook page. If you are not able to attend one of these sessions, I encourage you to submit your feedback and stories on the taskforce website under the “Share Your Story” tab. I am looking forward to hearing and reading them. 



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Hometown Heroes

On Tuesday, I had the honor of presenting Matt Phair, Connie Phair, and Alec Lewis with the State Assembly’s highest award of citizen recognition, the Hometown Hero award. This special ceremony occurred at the beginning of Tuesday’s Assembly floor session. The three Madison residents were recognized for their heroic efforts to save the occupants of a vehicle that was trapped by flood waters during the flooding that occurred in Madison last August. 

During the torrential rain storms that pummeled Dane County last August, Matt and Connie Phair took advantage of a break in the downpour to survey the damage in their neighborhood and look for ways they could help. After spotting a car stuck in a stormwater ditch, Matt and Connie waded through the water to help the people trapped inside. They were joined by a third bystander, Alec Lewis, who joined them in their lifesaving efforts. Matt, Connie, and Alec were able to pull two passengers of the car to safety, although the driver of the car, James Sewell, tragically lost his life despite their heroic efforts.

It was my privilege to present Matt, Connie, and Alec with their well-deserved Hometown Hero award. Our community takes pride in the true act of heroism they displayed when they took lifesaving action last August. If not for the selfless actions of Matt, Connie, and Alec, the tragedy and loss of life that day could have been so much greater. Their lifesaving efforts serve as examples of the highest form of citizenship.

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Reception Honoring Justice Abrahamson

On Tuesday, I was honored to attend a farewell ceremony in the Capitol honoring Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson. The event featured former Supreme Court justices Janine Geske and Diane Sykes, as well as Governor Tony Evers and former governor Jim Doyle.

The daughter of two first generation Jewish immigrants from Poland, Abrahamson told her parents she wanted to be a lawyer at age six. Pursuing this dream, she went on to graduate from New York University in 1953, and then graduated from the University of Indiana Law School in 1956, finishing first in her class. After practicing law for 14 years in Madison, Democratic Governor Patrick Lucey appointed Abrahamson to the court in 1976.  In 1996 Abrahamson became Chief Justice, a position she held until 2015. During her 43 years on the court, Abrahamson authored more than 530 majority opinions, 490 dissents, and 325 concurring opinions. Abrahamson was the first female justice to serve on Wisconsin’s highest court, and the longest serving judge on a state court in Wisconsin history. 

In a recorded video message, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg congratulated Abrahamson, saying “Justice Abrahamson has contributed enormously to the advancement of women’s opportunities and well-being in the legal profession.”  Both Ginsburg and Abrahamson made Bill Clinton’s short list of justices to appoint to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the two remain close.

Over the course of Shirley Abrahamson’s remarkable career, she has made a tremendous positive impact on Wisconsin. I wish her the best as she goes into retirement at the end of July.



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Fun Wisconsin Fact

Since June is Pride Month, I would like to highlight some important moments in Wisconsin’s history relating to LGBT rights. The Madison Alliance for Homosexual Equality (MAHE), Wisconsin’s first LGBT organization, was founded in the fall of 1969. MAHE soon organized the first public gay meetings, dances, media appearances of openly gay individuals, workshops, and phone hotline for the community. Changing its name to the Gay Liberation Front (GLF), the organization lobbied to promote solidarity and raise awareness of the injustices faced by the community.

After a decade of lobbying from gay-liberation organizations in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin made history. On February 25th, 1982, Wisconsin became the first state in the nation to pass nondiscrimination protections for gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals. On this day Republican governor Lee S. Dreyfus signed Assembly Bill 70, a bill that made it illegal for private businesses and the state to discriminate against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation for employment and housing. Prior to this landmark legislation, LGBT individuals were routinely denied jobs available to heterosexual people, and were at risk of losing their homes if they were open about their sexuality. As pride celebrations occur across the country, it is important to remember Wisconsin’s progress, while keeping in mind the work that still needs to be done.


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Things happening in the district & around Madison:

Dane County Farmers' Market
Saturday, June 21

6:15 am - 1:45 pm
Capitol Square

Located around Capitol Square, the Saturday Dane County Farmers’ Market allows local farmers to sell vegetables, honey, maple syrup, cheeses, flowers, and more! This Madison tradition occurs each Saturday through November 16th, 2019.

Get Creative with Crafts
Saturday, June 21

6 - 8 pm
Alicia Ashman Library

Fun projects for adults and children, free admission at the library.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
June 21-22 at 7:30, June 23 at 2:00, June 27-29 at 7:30
Verona Area High School PAC

300 Richard St, Verona



Come see VACT’s amazing performance of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!  Tickets are $12 for students and $17 for adults.  For more info and tickets, go to www.vact.org

Art Cart
Sunday, June 22

10 am - 7:30 pm

Locations vary across parks, playgrounds, and beaches in Dane County


Come find Madison’s Art Cart at parks, playgrounds, and beaches across Dane County.  Art Cart is an amazing opportunity for kids to complete projects and show their creative side!  The full schedule can be found at https://www.mmoca.org/learn/for-kids .

UW Lakeshore Nature Preserve Work Day
Sunday, June 23

9 am
Picnic Point, 2004 University Bay Drive

Join volunteers to care for the Lakeshore Nature preserve.  Provided there is not steady precipitation or other severe weather, volunteers will meet at the entrance to Picnic Point to help remove invasive plants, plant native plugs, collect seeds, maintain trails, and collect trash.  Tools and gloves are provided, but volunteers should dress to work outdoors.  Come help clean up Madison green spaces!

First to Ratify
Sunday, June 23

12 pm - 2 pm
Capitol Square, State Street corner

Come celebrate the 100th anniversary of Wisconsin’s ratification of the 19th Amendment at the Forward statue on Capitol Square.  After the program there will be a march around Capitol Square led by Girl Scouts and accompanied by the Raging Grannies.  Family and friends are encouraged to wear white in honor of the suffragists, and enjoy free frozen vanilla custard!


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