Official Government Communication

Week of Jan. 22nd - Jan. 26th

Dear Friend,

There is a lot happening at the State Capitol and it is my hope that this email will help you stay in touch with your government. As your Senator, I truly believe in public service. If there is anything my office can do to assist you, please feel free to contact us.

Here to serve,      

Sen. Lena Taylor

4th District

1st Senate Session of the Year Tuesday, the first State Session of 2018 was held. I co-authored 4 bills in total, 3 of which were passed in the Senate (SB 48, 159 and 404). SB 159 and SB 404 specifically are bills tailored to helping our youth. SB 159 expands the instruction of nutrition within public schools to include the nutritive value of foods and the important role of a nutritious diet in maintaining health. SB 404 exempts student entrepreneurs enrolled in a post-secondary institution from the $130 filing fee to form a limited liability corporation. Both SB 159 and SB 404 are bills that help our youth reach their full potential. The instruction provided by SB 159 allows our youth to live a healthy lifestyle that will positively impact their ability to succeed. SB 404 encourages our future leaders to expand their horizons and pursue their passions without money blocking that path. It’s important to support youth in their endeavors by providing them with the best means to do so; SB 159 and SB 404 gives them such an opportunity.

In addition, the State Senate on Tuesday rejected the confirmation of Ethics administrator Brian Bell and Election administrator Mike Haas. Republicans questioned Bell and Haas’s involvement in the John Doe investigation that targeted corruption committed by aides in the Walker administration. This rejection of the confirmation is just another Republican attempt to rewrite their corrupt political history. There is no reason that Brian Bell and Mike Haas should not be confirmed as administrators of the Ethics and Election committees. Neither has been accused of any wrongdoing, and Mr. Haas has even been commended by clerks all over Wisconsin who trust his leadership and expertise. Republicans need to focus more on improving Wisconsin; rejecting the confirmation of Brian Bell and Mike Haas is not the way to do so.

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Human trafficking has been correctly called modern day slavery, and it is one of the most wide-spread human rights violations in the world today. The International Labor Organization has estimated that there are nearly 21 million victims of human trafficking around the world. When people think of Human Trafficking, the first images that come to mind are often something like the sickening videos that surfaced in Libya last November, which showed a modern day slave auction taking place in public with refugees from other countries for sale. This, of course, is a humanitarian disaster that needs to be dealt in the most immediate manner possible. But it is also important to remember that the United States is currently far from an example for the world in terms of dealing with human trafficking in our own country.  Human trafficking is alive in every state in our union, and most of its victims are vulnerable youth who are forced and coerced into lives of silent servitude in the darkest corners of our society.

Right here in Wisconsin, human trafficking has been reported in all 72 counties. A particularly disturbing statistic is that from 2011-2015, Milwaukee ranked among the top five worst cities in the country in terms of the number of human trafficking victims recovered. This is unacceptable and unconscionable. Legislatively, I am working to empower the fight against human trafficking in our state, but the most effective combatants will always be ourselves as community members. I encourage everyone to engage with organizations such as the Human Trafficking Task Force of Greater Milwaukee and Polaris, to increase awareness of what trafficking and exploitation look like in the community, and take action.

Government Shutdown Jan. 20th, the federal government shut down for the thirteenth time since 1981. What made last Saturday’s shutdown different was it was first time in US history that a shutdown has taken place while a single party has control of both houses of Congress. It is truly unbelievable that the party that prides itself so thoroughly on being fiscally responsible and rooted in our countries founding values could forget that our founders passed down a sworn and fundamental duty to “insure domestic tranquility” and “promote the general welfare”. Though a stopgap measure was passed on Jan. 22nd, it only provides for three weeks of spending, meaning we will be back to facing a federal shutdown all over again on Feb. 16th if a longer-term spending plan cannot be agreed upon.  Of course, Congressional Democrats have been blamed, despite the fact that it is numerically impossible for a united Republican vote to be blocked!

Shutting down the federal government has very real consequence for state programs supported by federal funding, and programs for low- and moderate-income families bear the brunt of the costs. When the federal government shuts down, programs that into into the category of discretionary spending, meaning their budgets are decided on a contiguous basis instead of automatically funded by a previous law, are not funded. Title One High Poverty School Grants, Section Eight Low-Income Housing Vouchers, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children are just a few of the vital programs funded by discretionary federal funding. Congressional Republicans have no excuse for boggling such a fundamental legislative function. I sincerely hope they do not make history twice come February 16th.

Women's March's%20March%20Pic.jpg-Done.jpgMillions of marchers nationwide, buoyed by the continued momentum of the #MeToo movement and opposition to President Trump, took to the streets last weekend in the second iteration of the Women’s March. Showing that last year was no fluke, marchers turned out in cities all across the country; registering their continued opposition to the Trump administration’s regressive policies and unacceptable behavior. A new wrinkle in this years’ demonstrations was the releasing of pent-up anger and frustration stemming from the #MeToo movement, with women feeling more emboldened than ever to speak out against past and current abusers and harassers. I was proud to see over 1,500 women (and men and children) turn out in Milwaukee last Saturday to add their voices on to this growing drumbeat of dissatisfaction with Republican control of Washington; and come together in united opposition to all that Trump represents.

It was my honor to have to opportunity to speak at the Milwaukee Women’s March. We are witnessing something potentially unprecedented in terms of the number and conviction of these women activists who are coming from all ages and walks of life. It makes me ecstatic to see my fellow citizens feeling empowered to turn out and make it known that the status quo will not stand. In a time when the occupier of the White House has disgraced, with inexcusable sexist actions and words, the highest office in the land while Congressional Republicans have refused to denounce his actions, we cannot afford to let our voices go unheard. The power of these millions of women is truly limitless and I am eager to see what their combined force can achieve in this year’s midterms.


Welfare Special Session Jan. 18th, Governor Walker issued Executive Order 271, calling for a special session of the legislature to take up what has been called Wisconsin Works for Everyone welfare reform. But, the ten bills which make up the reform package, authored by Assembly Speaker Vos and Senator Kapenga, do not work for everyone. Many of the bills the Governor has put forward and touted in his State of the State address as common sense reforms are not common sense. They are bills that place needless hurdles in the way of accessing welfare in our state. For example, LRB 5258 would tie work requirements to Medicaid eligibility for certain adults, and does not provide adequate protections for individuals who would be blocked as a consequence of being a primary care give or being a student and unable to stay on a parents plan. Also included in the package are bills that would place unnecessary administrative obstacles in the way of accessing the states Foodshare program and a too much latitude for landlords to drugs screen tenants for access to public housing.

It concerns me that this package of bills is not common sense, but was created to address problems embedded in the false conservative narrative that the people using government assistance are lazy or lesser in character. The result of such misguided legislation is that instead of the state providing the support people need in hard times, they are blocked from accessing that support. It also concerns me that I have written the Governor twice previously to call a special session to immediate address the crisis at Lincoln Hills, but have not even received a response. So, the urgent needs of the youth and staff at Lincoln Hills will continue to be put on the backburner, while legislation that could be detrimental to people in need of state support will be addressed immediately.







Events and Opportunities



Wisconsin Remembers: A Face for Every Name


Feb. 1st


12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

War Memorial Center, Veterans Gallery

750 N. Lincoln Dr.

Milwaukee, WI 53202


Events Details Here



Deck the Streets of Old Milwaukee


Jan. 18th - Jan. 30th


10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Milwaukee Public Museum

800 West Wells St.

Milwaukee, WI 53233


Event Details Here



From Swastika to Jim Crow: Film Screening and Talkback


Feb. 1st


7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Cost: Member-$6


Jewish Museum Milwaukee

1360 N. Prospect Ave.  

Milwaukee, WI




Event Details Here






 Quote of the Week:

“They say behind every great man is a great woman. But it’s about time the great women started standing on their own.”

- Senator Lena C. Taylor

This is an official government communication from Sen. Lena C. Taylor. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, click here to send me an email to unsubscribe.

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