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In This Edition:

2018 Christmas Video Message: Inspired by true events, Representative Allen sends you a Christmas story...

Coffee With Scott A Continued Success:  Earlier this month, Representative Allen hosted another Coffee with Scott at Sunset Family...

Extraordinary Developments In Special Session:  Over the last four years, as a legislature, (and the four years before that which preceded my term) we have worked to put certain reforms in...

2018 Christmas Message

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Coffee With Scott A Continued Success

Earlier this month, Representative Allen hosted another Coffee with Scott at Sunset Family Restaurant in Waukesha. Six constituents met with the Representative to discuss their issues of concern. Some of the topics discussed included affordable housing, delayed prosecution agreements, local revenue limits, mandatory vaccinations, and school bus stop light regulations to name a few.

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Extraordinary Developments In Special Session

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Over the last four years, as a legislature (and the four years before that which preceded my term) we have worked to put certain reforms in place. We acted this December to protect those legislative reforms. “The will of the people must be respected” is what I am being told by those critical of the actions of the legislature in the extraordinary session. The people of the 97th district reelected me and the people of the state reelected a Republican legislature. My job is to listen to and understand the desires of the people of the 97th district. In this recent election, nearly 60% of the voters in the 97th district chose Scott Walker. That indicates to me that most people in the district like the reforms that we as a legislature have passed and Governor Walker has signed into law. Those reforms that were protected include:

· Codifying administrative rules in statutes for Voter ID which has been successful for consecutive elections since 2015,

· Ensuring the continuation of Fast Forward Training grants to facilitate getting people into the workforce,

· Continuing the HealthCare Stability Act to help individuals with high premiums on the exchange,

· Locking in work requirements for childless adult recipients of BadgerCare health insurance,

· Continuing the work search requirement and federal waivers for those receiving unemployment insurance,

· Keeping drug testing in place for the food share employment training program, and

· Providing for the continued operation of the public-private economic development agency that has contributed greatly to Wisconsin’s economic recovery over the last eight years.

I understand that those people who disagree with those reforms probably voted for Tony Evers and they do not like the actions of the legislature. Maybe they wanted these reforms to go away. To suggest, however, that I, as a representative, am not listening to the will of the people is hyperbolic grand standing. By their votes, a significant majority of people of the 97th assembly district have shown that they support the reforms put in place during the Walker era and would like to see them continue. Am I to ignore the will of those people just because Dane county had an extraordinarily high turnout of liberal-minded voters?

In regard to power, we need to think about where we want to go as a country. Whether it is in the State of Wisconsin or in Washington D.C. we have, over the course of decades, been increasingly pushing power to the executive branch of government. This has been done through Republican and Democrat administrations and legislatures.

The advantage of legislative power is that legislators are closest to the people. An assembly district is comprised of roughly 57,000 people. People can meet with legislators at town hall sessions or coffee meetings in the district. They can have real conversations with their representatives to voice their opinions.

In contrast the Governor is to represent over 5.7 million diverse people. How can that person truly know the “will of the people?” To run the government the governor appoints unelected bureaucrats who make decisions that impact the daily lives of people across the state.

Our founders envisioned a government of co-equal branches of government, meaning that power is shared. If power has tended to accumulate in the executive or judicial branches, then it is incumbent upon legislative bodies to aggressively reassert their power through the legislative process.

Some question the timing of our legislative actions. I understand. When would be a good time for a power struggle between branches? The Wisconsin legislature had its best opportunity to reassert its power in the present circumstance with a departing, friendly governor who might be interested in protecting his significant reforms.
Executives have egos. That is as true about our departing governor as our incoming governor. Our incoming governor will have an agenda that was formulated during the course of his campaign. Naturally he will be inclined to advance that agenda and would likely not be inclined to relinquish any power.

Rare is the leader who will set aside ideology or personal legacy for the sake of process or the shared, long-term benefit of good governance.

While I am not happy with how our legislative leaders set the table or prepared the menu for the recent extraordinary session, I do appreciate the vision of reasserting legislative power and their intuitive sense of seizing the moment.

I will endeavor to represent the people of the 97th to the best of my ability. Sometimes supporting the actions of legislative leadership and sometimes opposing. I will listen to opposing perspectives, but never abandon my core beliefs in freedom and economic opportunity. No amount of criticism, threats, or name-calling will dissuade me.