Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you had a pleasant Thanksgiving weekend. As we move into December, I am enjoying the holiday decorations popping up around the Capitol. November was an eventful month in the Wisconsin State Capitol. On November 11th, the legislative maps put forth by legislative leaders passed along party lines in the Assembly. I voted against these maps because I believe that they disenfranchise the people of Wisconsin. (Read my full statement on the passage of the maps HERE, and watch a clip of my floor speech HERE). Governor Evers then vetoed the maps passed by the Legislature on November 18th. (Read Governor Evers' full statement HERE). Following the veto, the Wisconsin Supreme Court (SCOWIS) took up a redistricting case. On November 30th, SCOWIS decided to follow a "least change" approach for new district maps. This decision will bake in the gerrymander that the people have been fighting against for the next ten years.

I am frustrated and disappointed by this decision, as it ignores the will of the people and puts partisanship first. Additionally, a "least change" approach for new district maps has no basis in law and  found nowhere in redistricting criteria. With this decision the conservative majority of the Wisconsin Supreme Court is actively engaging in partisan gerrymandering.
This order does not change the fact that the people of Wisconsin want fair maps in order to hold their elected officials accountable. As I have done since I was elected in 2014, I promise to continue to advocate for fair maps in Wisconsin.

As always, please contact my office if you have any questions or concerns. Continue reading for updates on newly introduced legislation, grant programs, the COVID-19 vaccine, and more.


The holiday tree was decorated this week and will get lit in the lighting ceremony this Friday.

Mental Healthcare is Healthcare Package

I am proud to be a co-author of the Mental Healthcare is Healthcare bill package with fellow Democratic members of the Assembly Committee on Mental Health: Rep. Robyn Vining, Rep. Supreme Moore Omokunde, and Rep. Jonathan Brostoff. This package was introduced in November and includes five bills to support mental healthcare access for K-12 students, UW students, and veterans. 

These Bills Include:

  • Senate Bill 735 invests an additional $500,000 for school mental health training. The Department of Public Instruction provides training to school districts so that teachers know how to address student mental health. 
  • Senate Bill 731 would expand the mental health collaboration program in order to meet the mental health needs of students.  Many schools currently have a very high ratio of students to school counselor or student to school psychologist. In the 2019-2020 school year, Wisconsin’s student-to-school counselor ratio was 403-1, whereas the recommendation by the American School Counselor Association is a ratio of 250-1.
  • Under Senate Bill 732 school districts, independent charter schools, and private schools participating in one of the private school choice programs would be eligible for reimbursement of any expenditures made to employ, hire, or retain pupil services professionals, rather than only 50% of the increase in expenditures to employ, hire, or retain school social workers. In addition, under current law this funding can only be used for social worker related expenses. This bill changes the language so that expenses related to any pupil service professional can be reimbursed. 
  • Senate Bill 734 would provide an additional 7 FTE positions to the Veterans Outreach and Recovery Program (VORP). These additional positions would allow VORP to reach more veterans in underserved communities and also increase the services they provide to include suicide prevention services, among other assistance. Without funding additional staffing, we are missing out on an important opportunity to help our veterans through these difficult times. 
  • Senate Bill 733 would invest $10 million over the biennium to fund additional and improved mental and behavioral health services to the University of Wisconsin System. In 2017, the University of Wisconsin-Madison completed a Healthy Minds Study which determined that 21% of students who responded to the survey screened positively for depression overall, 16% screened positively for an anxiety disorder, 9% indicated they experienced suicide ideation in the last year, and 27% have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder during their lifetime. 

It’s time to invest in the health and wellbeing of Wisconsinites. Mental healthcare is healthcare.

Forward on Climate Package

On November 15th, Wisconsin Democrats released the Forward on Climate Bill Package, which includes 22 bills designed to fight climate change and to make Wisconsin more resilient and sustainable. I am proud to co-author 2 bills in this package:

  • LRB 3473 - Creates a regional biodigester grant program.
  • LRB 3472 - Creates and funds 2 agriculture and climate change research positions at UW- Madison Extension.

I am also a co-sponsor of many of the other bills in this package including:

  • LRB 3734 - Creates a grant program to fund weatherization and energy efficiency updates in Wisconsin’s public schools.
  • LRB 0240 - Creates a grant program for farmers who practice sustainable farming.
  • LRB 0630 - Requires that the state creates a long-range transportation plan with a vison of low-carbon transit, electrification of the transportation sector, cost-effective charging infrastructure, and more. 
  • LRB 2013 - Requires bikeways and pedestrian paths to be constructed in all new highway projects.
  • LRB 3394 - Expands the duties that county conservation staff can engage in to include work associated with climate change and provides additional funding for these positions.
  • LRB 3675 - Establishes a program under which a public utility may set up financing for green energy improvements at a specific dwelling. This would allow residential customers to pay for green energy improvements on their energy bill. 
We must take bold action against climate change! It is my hope that this legislation is taken seriously by my colleagues. 

Healthy Herd, Healthy Hunt Package

On November 17th, 3 bills were introduced for co-sponsorship that I co-authored. The Healthy Herd, Healthy Hunt package seeks to support the Wisconsin deer population by increasing research, management & education about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

  • LRB 4874 provides funding for CWD research & management.
  • LRB 4875 increases funding for CWD testing kiosks.
  • LRB 4876 provides funding for CWD carcass dumpster sites in addition to providing education materials to hunters about CWD.

As a hunter, I know how important this legislation is for the health of the deer in our state. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services recently announced that all Wisconsinites ages 18+ are eligible for a booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine following the completion of their primary series. I received my booster last month and I feel more protected against a COVID-19 infection.

  • If you got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you may get the booster 6 months after your second dose.
  • If you got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you may get your booster 2 months after your single dose.
  • Find a location to get your booster at or call 211

Find more information about boosters HERE.

Emergency Funds Available to Domestic Violence Survivors and Homeless

On November 16th, Governor Evers announced that the state has allocated $6 million to supports individuals experiencing homelessness and domestic violence survivors. These funds will be used to ensure safe shelter for individuals experiencing short or long-term housing instability during the winter months. $4 million will go to the Safe Shelter Subsidy Grant Program and $2 million will be allocated via the Department of Children and Families (DCF). The funding was made available by the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Read Governor Evers' full statement HERE.

Dairy Processor Grant Applications Open

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) invites Wisconsin dairy processors to apply for dairy processor grants through January 7th, 2021. These grants seek to help dairy processing facilities by fostering innovation, improving profitability, and sustaining long-term viability of dairy operations in the state. To apply, you must operate a licensed dairy processing plant in Wisconsin that is engaged in pasteurizing, processing, or manufacturing milk or dairy products. Grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded, with a 20% matching requirement. 

Read more about the grant program HERE.

Tips to Avoid Scams this Holiday Season

DATCP recently released tips to avoid scams this holiday season. Here are some warning signs of a scam:

  • When shopping online, if you find a deal that appears to be to-good-to-be-true, proceed with caution, because that probably is the case. Watch out for fake websites and suspicious social media messages.
  • Watch out for phony surveys that promise a gift card. When purchasing a gift card, always buy them directly from the retailer or an authorized merchant.
  • Watch out for emails or texts that warn you about a problem with a delivery or request account information for security purposes. Often times scammers use spoof web addresses.

Read the full press release from DATCP HERE.

Happy Hanukkah

To all who celebrate: I wish a you a happy Hanukkah! This holiday commemorates the time of the second temple in Jerusalem when a Jewish group called the Maccabees fended off the Greek army who sought to overthrow Jewish rule in the city and prohibit the practice of Jewish customs. While the battle went on, there was only enough oil to keep the eternal flame lit in the temple for one night, but the oil lasted for 8 days and 8 nights. This is why families light menorahs each night of the holiday to remember this miracle!

Trans Day of Remembrance

I am a proud co-sponsor of Assembly Joint Resolution 72 which designates November 20th as Trans Day of Remembrance in Wisconsin. This day seeks to uplift trans people and other diverse gender identity individuals and to remember the struggles they have endured in the past. Although Wisconsin was the first state to pass anti sexual orientation discrimination laws in 1982, we are still one of 27 states that does not protect against gender identity discrimination. Although today many trans people are doing increasingly better than the generations that came before them, there is still much work to be done. I am committed to continue to advocate for legislation to help improve the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals in Wisconsin.

Below is a list of organizations in Wisconsin that both accept volunteers and offer aid:

Blue Books

Our office still has many blue books. Please contact us at if you would like one!

DNR Update

Wisconsin State Park and forest admission passes for 2022 are now on sale! Find more information on pricing, the design, and more HERE. These passes are available for purchase online and at state parks. 

In other news, the first barn owl nest in 20 years was documented in Wisconsin. The nest was found when a baby barn owl fell out of a tree in La Crosse and a resident spotted it. To support the barn owl population, report observations HERE. In addition, leaving up dead trees and refraining from spraying them with pesticides or rodenticides helps provide barn owls with a home. 

Source: iStockPhoto


If you need assistance, call 211. They provide support in many areas such as paying your bills, mental health resources, and more. 211 is a resource managed by the United Way of Wisconsin. Call 2-1-1 or visit their website.

Office of Crime Victim Services

End Abuse Wisconsin 

National Domestic Violence Hotline: Call 1-800-799-7233, text LOVEIS to 22522, or go to for free and confidential support.

Disaster Distress Hotline 

Coping Resources for Kids and Parents Amidst COVID-19 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Veterans Crisis Line 

Vets for Warriors 

Military One Source 

Resilient Wisconsin

Department of Corrections Helpline: The call center can be reached by members of the public Monday through Friday from 7:45am–4:30pm at (608) 240-5700.

Wisconsin Farm Center 

24/7 Farmer Wellness Hotline

LGBTQ Crisis Line 

HopeLine Text Service 

Wisconsin Elder Abuse Hotline 

Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline 

I encourage you to reach out to my office with any questions or concerns during this time. It is important to me to hear from you on issues at the state level.