Room 307 West
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708
Phone: (608) 266-5780
Toll Free: (888) 534-0095
Connect with me on social
Love Your Neighbor
Opportunity for all neighborhood associations to get
together and enjoy fun activities. Activities include kid's games,
crafts, food and drink, hiking tours, and live music by Hans Mayer.
Date: Sunday, March 29 Time: 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Location:
Myrick Park, Eco Park Building
La Crosse Public
(Joint Listening Session with Sen. Shilling and Rep. Doyle)
Date: Monday, March 30
Time: 5:00 p.m – 6:30 p.m.
Location: Logan High School, Weiss Theater
1500 Ranger Dr.
Thoreau and Transcendentalism
Henry David Thoreau was an environmentalist who was also a
believed that the world, particularly the natural world, is infused with
the Divine and
that one way to find God is to go to nature. Richard, a retired history
Wiscorps school nature program naturalist, will talk about Thoreau and
movement. Thoreau caution to the wind!
Wednesday, April 1 and 7
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Myrick Park
It's March Madness
season, and the chance of a UW win has badgers all over the state and
Every year, NCAA fans
place bets on their favorite teams through the "bracket challenge." It
seems simple to fill out, but the odds of winning are shockingly tough.
odds of having a "perfect" bracket - with every game outcome predicted
correctly - is 1 in 9 quintillion!
View this e-mail in your web browser.
Friends and Neighbors,
Wisconsin is moving
This week, numbers
from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics put our state at 38th in job
growth nationally. This is a 7-point slip from an earlier 31st ranking.
This figure, combined with a looming $2.2 billion budget deficit makes
clear that, economically, the Republican-controlled government in our
state is not making the right choices.
As we discuss Gov.
Walker's budget proposals, we hear more of the same policies that caused
our concerning economic state: cut, trim, consolidate. What are some
words we aren't hearing? Grow, invest, sustain.
Are we to assume that
if we continue on this same path, that somehow our state will achieve
prosperity? I, and many of the people I've talked to from my district
are strongly opposed to the path legislative Republicans are attempting
to take us down again.
In the following
articles, I discuss the most concerning proposals facing us today, as
well as ways you can add your voice to the discussion.
95th Assembly District
There's Still Time to Register Your Opinion on Walker's
I hosted a public hearing in La Crosse
on Monday, March 16 with Senator Jennifer Shilling. The
community turnout was wonderful, and we heard a lot of
informed questions and comments from concerned people in
La Crosse. Many of those who attended mentioned that
cuts to education, SeniorCare, Stewardship, BadgerCare
and more would be detrimental to our community. I have
truly appreciated hearing from constituents. It is good
to see our community actively taking a stance on a
budget proposal that affects the future of WI.
The next budget listening session I
will be hosting with Senator Jennifer Shilling and
Representative Steve Doyle, is this coming Monday, March
This listening session will focus on
public education, featuring a presentation from Jeff
Pertl, senior policy advisor for the Wisconsin
Department of Public Instruction. Important topics
concerning Wisconsin education will be discussed at the
forum, including the current state of Wisconsin public
schools, the impact of Gov. Walker's proposed budget
cuts on La Crosse public schools, and other foreseeable
issues in public education.
Time for comment from the public will
also be available, and comments regarding all portions
if the proposed budget will be accepted.
La Crosse Public Education Hearing
(Joint Listening Session with Sen. Shilling and Rep.
Monday, March 30
5:00 p.m – 6:30 p.m.
Logan High School, Weiss Theater
1500 Ranger Dr.
Budget Public Hearings Ongoing
The Joint Finance committee (JFC) will
hold its final public hearing today in Reedsburg
Wisconsin from 9:30am-4:00pm at Reedsburg High School.
This is the last of 4 public hearings held throughout
the hearings public testimony has been heard by
committee members—and the majority of citizens
testifying do not support the proposed budget. Now, it
is up to the members of JFC to go through and make
changes to the Governor’s budget. These meetings will
begin the second week of April. I hope that the majority
party responds to the testimony of the public and makes
significant changes to the budget that Governor Walker
While official JFC public hearings will conclude today,
JFC Democrats will still be holding public hearings
throughout the state.
The dates and times are as follows:
Saturday, March 28 (10:00 a.m. to 2:00
Menomonie Public Library, Meeting Room
600 Wolske Bay Rd.
Saturday, March 28 (12:00 p.m. to 4:00
Common Council Chambers
75 N. Bonson St.
Monday, March 30 (4:00 p.m. to 7:00
UW-Oshkosh, Reeve Union Room 213
800 Algoma Blvd.
Tuesday, March 31 (5:00 p.m. to 8:00
Dodgeville Common Council Chambers
100 E. Fountain St.
In all the following e-updates,
I will feature a piece of the state budget. This week, I
will focus on changes to public education.
Gov. Walker's budget proposal not only
features cuts to public education, but suggests a
partial re-structuring of the public school system.
On the financial side, Gov. Walker's
proposed budget includes cutting funding by $150 per
pupil this year, which would amount to a $990,150 loss
in state funding to La Crosse alone. Per pupil cuts of
this magnitude will severely limit the resources
available to our kids and the quality of education they
Furthermore, not only does Governor Walker cut state aid
to local school districts, but he increases
funding to private voucher schools. Governor
Walker's budget completely lifts the caps of enrollment
to private voucher schools increasing funding for
unaccountable private schools. This is one part of
Governor Walker's budget that I truly don't support. The
share of the state budget spent on K-12 public education
is as at a 20-year low, and instead of giving our
communities the tools to adequately educate our
children, Gov. Walker's budget gives more money to
private, unaccountable voucher schools.
Additionally, the Governor's budget
incorporates a number of contentious proposals from
Assembly Bill 1 (AB1) -- a hotly debated proposal put
forth by Republican leadership at the beginning of the
legislative session. Assembly Bill 1 was so divisive
that it faced a complete re-draft. Even after the
re-draft, provisions of the bill were so controversial
that the bill remains in limbo.
Given the strong bipartisan opposition
to AB1, one would assume Governor Walker would not
attempt to add parts of the bill into this budget.
However, Gov. Walker's budget includes the creation of a
Charter Oversight Board to limit local school boards'
control of "failing" public - turned charter schools.
This proposal could have negative
consequences for a number of reasons. First, related to
the grading system applied to schools, which is also
mandated in the budget. Applying a "D" or "F" to a
public school will not spur growth. Instead, it will
create yet another arbitrary measurement of schools that
doesn't account for what we need to know.
In education, Walker has set forth a
number of misguided proposals which could severely hurt
our public education and our students in the long term.
I am hopeful that, as budget discussions continue, Gov.
Walker and legislative Republicans will recognize the
value of our educational system and restore funding to
our public schools.
ID Adopted in WI
week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected to review a
challenge the Wisconsin Voter ID law. By not
considering this challenge the voter ID requirements
will officially become law in Wisconsin.
Thankfully the Attorney General has
decided not to enforce the law for the April 7 election,
which is two weeks away. Anyone who votes in the
upcoming (April 7) election will not need a photo ID to
vote. Those who have already voted in-person
absentee will not be affected by the Voter ID decision.
I am disappointed that our nation's
highest court would not even consider overturning a law
that violates Americans' most basic right to vote.
Research shows that, when the voter ID law goes into
effect, nearly 300,000 Wisconsinites will be
However, we must move forward from
this setback. Even one person who is prevented from
exercising their constitutional right to vote is too
many, and I will continue to do everything possible to
encourage people to vote and make voting accessible to
Women's History Month celebrates the women
throughout history who have advanced and advocated for women's rights.
Women's History Month was first recognized in 1988 by President Ronald
Reagan who said, "We should be proud and grateful as we celebrate
Women's History Month."
How are organizations in our state celebrating this
Women's History Month?
Medical College of Wisconsin
In honor of Women’s History Month, the Medical College
of Wisconsin has created a series of video vignettes and stories that
will be posted online during the month of March. The vignettes highlight
some of their women faculty, staff and students and the contributions
they have made. The stories also highlight MCW programs that improve
women’s health or help develop female students, physicians, researchers,
educators and leaders.
All of the vignettes and stories will be added to the
MCW Honoring Diversity Web page as they are published.
For Women's History Month, is highlighting the history
of female reproductive health in the United States, as well as its own
history. Since 1993, Options Clinic has been providing confidential
reproductive health services to women in Wisconsin. However, creating a
family planning clinic in La Crosse was first discussed in the early
Click here to read more on the history of Options Clinic.
La Crosse Tribune
Over the past month the La Crosse Tribune has been
featuring a daily series, sponsored by the La Crosse Branch of the
American Association of Women, about an influential woman in history.
The stories feature prominent suffragettes, as well as authors,
politicians, researchers, and more.
Click here to read pieces from the series.
Submissions to the SeniorCare petition will be accepted
through the end of this week!
To date, we have received a number of positive responses
to the Save SeniorCare petition -- add your name and voice to this
Our SeniorCare is under attack, and we need Wisconsinites like you to
stand up for our seniors' rights! The SeniorCare petition is still open,
and I encourage all to sign on and support our seniors.
Over the past few months, you may have
heard about Governor Walker's rejection of federal Medicaid dollars,
which would have saved Wisconsin an estimated $206 million over the next
two years. Throughout the state budget, and especially in health care,
we can see the effects of healthcare funding rejection. Under this
proposal, SeniorCare would be cut by $15 million -- a 40 percent cut.
Additionally, seniors would be forced to apply for Medicare part D,
which would cause them to pay more out of pocket expenses on
prescription drug costs.
SeniorCare in Wisconsin is once again
Sign the petition!