Official Government Communication

Week of Feb. 5th - 11th

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

Judiciary Passes Two Taylor Bills Tuesday, the Judiciary committee passed two bipartisan bills during executive session that I co-authored: SB 344 and SB 652. SB 344 will make it so that someone under the age of 18 cannot be prosecuted for committing an act of prostitution. It also eliminates the option for someone under the age of 18 to enter a consent decree, or a deferred prosecution agreement if they had committed an act of prostitution. This bill eliminates the unfair punishment of minors who have been exploited under the current law, and offers more protection for those who have been taken advantage of. The bill has the support of many organizations including: Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Association of Family & Children's Agencies, and Wisconsin Coalition Against  Sexual Assault. SB 652 will change the grounds for an involuntary termination of parental rights based on a child’s continuing need for protection or services (CHIPS). This bill will remove the existing requirement of showing that there is a substantial likelihood that a parent will fail to meet the conditions for safe return of the child to the home. Instead, the bill requires that a petitioner must show that if a child has been removed from the home under a CHIPS order for less than 15 of the past 22 months, there is a substantial likelihood that the parent will not meet the conditions established for the safe return of the child to the home. This bill will provide a more definitive standard, while also being more timely for parents and establishing permanency for the child if appropriate.

During the public hearing I also voiced my support for SB 704, a bipartisan piece of legislation that increases victim advocacy. The bill will provide an additional layer of protection for victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse by making changes to the address confidentiality program that is administered by the Department of Justice. It is important that those who have been attacked, or abused get the protection they need so they can receive the justice that they deserve.


Recognizing Black History Month United States has recognized black history annually since February 12, 1926, first as “Negro History Week" and later as “Black History Month".  The observance was created by noted Harvard scholar and historian Dr. Carter C. Woodson, who chose the month of February to honor the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass (February 14) and Abraham Lincoln (February 12). Woodson felt that these two men had done much to advance the cause of Africans in America. 

Understanding the inception of the observance is the easy part.  The challenge remains in helping people, from within and outside of the African-American community, and understanding the continued significance and depth of this history. It is that history that frames my work in the legislature and drives my commitment to build upon the efforts of black men and women whose culture and contributions are intimately woven into the fabric of American society. It is critical to appreciate, both past and present, the long list of contributions of so many who sacrificed, marched, supported, educated, and died so that we could occupy the schools, positions, and homes that far too many take for granted. Black History Month gives Wisconsinites, and the world, an occasion to recognize the significant influence people of African heritage have made, and continue to make, in the areas of medicine, art, politics, human rights, education, sports, economic development; and so much more.  It is a reminder to actively seek out this history, share your findings, and educate one another.


Sexual Harassment in the UW-System week, multiple allegations of sexual harassment against faculty at numerous universities within the University of Wisconsin System were discovered. At UW-Green Bay, a swim instructor was accused of forcing students to wear two-piece swimsuits. UW-Oshkosh is currently investigating whether a teacher had a consensual relationship with a student. These accusations have caused the UW system to re-examine the amount of sexual assault cases on campuses across the UW system, ultimately finding that at 13 4-year colleges and 13 two-year colleges, there have been nearly 100 complaints of employee sexual harassment that have been investigated since 2014.

College campuses are environments in which students should feel safe and welcome. The disturbing number complaints of sexual harassment destroys that environment. In order to foster such a welcoming space, we have to work together as a community to put a stop to this harassment. One of the key ways of doing so is creating a space in which victims feel safe enough to report the crimes. The findings suggested that the sexual harassment is underreported on campuses; if UW campuses want to put an end to sexual harassment on their campuses, they must start by giving victims the opportunity and freedom to report their crimes and not feel alone in the process. In turn, these allegations cannot be ignored or dismissed. They must be taken seriously if college campuses want to make an environment in which students feel safe.  

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, call 800-656-HOPE or visit for more information.


Lead Water Issue in Wisconsin this legislative session comes to an end, I want to take a moment to highlight the public health issue of lead in our drinking water here in Wisconsin, and the legislation that is being made to correct it. As many in the Milwaukee area may know, lead lateral pipes that connect water mains to homes are serious problem. In Milwaukee, of 26,000 children under the age of six who were tested, 8.6% were found to have elevated lead levels in their blood, which is nearly double the 4.9% found in Flint during their water crisis. Though pocketed areas in Milwaukee, such as Shorewood, where many homes were built before 1951—when plumbing laws changed to forbid the use of lead pipes—are thought of the most, this is a state-wide issue. From 2012 to 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency found that 81 water systems around the state had elevated lead levels.

I introduced Senate Bill 48 in February of last year to provide for municipal utilities to be able to give financial assistance to people who know they are affected by lead in their water. This bill has had a long fight through the legislature that continues today. I am fighting to have it pass before session is over. I have also signed on to Assembly Bill 686, which would up the dollar amount the state DNR is able to provide as a grant to individuals who apply in order to fix a contaminated private well. Water purity is both a public health concern and a state-wide issue. Individuals who receive water from a municipal water system, those who rely on private wells for their family’s water are often in more rural, isolated parts of our state and are not required to have well water tested or purified. It is important that we do not forget to give them the resources necessary to ensure their families access to safe water.


Foxconn Set to Replace Workers with Automation Tuesday this week, the business community learned that Foxconn is set to replace roughly ten thousand workers in a Taiwanese electric display factory by the end of 2018. The move continues the company’s repeatedly stated desire to incorporate robotic engineering and automation into their manufacturing processes. The BBC has previously reported that, in its manufacturing plants across southern China, Foxconn has replaced approximately 50,000 to 60,000 workers with automation in recent years. The latest factory to replace thousands of workers with automated processes in Taiwan produced electronic displays similar to what will be manufactured in its impending Wisconsin plant.

Despite the incredibly valid concerns raised during the Foxconn special session regarding providing protections for Wisconsin workers against automation, the Governor failed to provide any. Foxconn Technologies has for years been a proud proponent of incorporating automation to the highest possible degree into its manufacturing processes, and it has been very successful in doing so. Now there is absolutely nothing stopping the company from automating the plant that the Governor has gifted them 4.5 billion taxpayer dollars to build here. So, the 13,000 jobs that would constituent Foxconn holding up their end of the bargain may well not be around for long. The governor and Republican lawmakers during Foxconn deliberations chose not to care about this deeply troubling aspect of the deal, just like they chose not to care that there is nothing stopping out-of-state works from Illinois coming to fill the Foxconn jobs or about the company’s well-documented history of human rights violations and abrupt layoffs. Instead, they touted it as a bullet-proof, slam dunk for all of us. Hardly.









Events and Opportunities




Neighborhood Night


Feb. 15th

5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Betty Brinn Children's Museum

929 E. Wisconsin Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53202



Event Details Here






MIAD Creativity Series with Jaime Hayon


Feb. 13th

6:00 PM

Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

273 E. Erie Street

 Milwaukee, WI 53202



Event Detail Here





Woolly Bear Festival


February 10th

11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

River Revitalization Foundation

2134 N. Riverboat Road

Milwaukee, WI 53212



Event Details Here



Here We Make Our Home: Cultural Arts Curriculum and Student Group Exhibition


Dec. 1st, 2017 - Feb. 16th, 2018

9:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Latino Arts Gallery

1028 S 9th Street

Milwaukee, WI 53204



Event Details Here



Astrobiology: Life Beyond Earth with Amber Bakkum


February 11th

1:00 PM

Anodyne Coffee

224 W. Bruce Street

Milwaukee, WI 53204



Event Details Here 


Urban Heroes: Urban Wood Art Exhibition

February 16th
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Wisconsin Black Historical Society/Museum
2620 West Center Street
Milwaukee, WI 53206


Event Details Here







 Quote of the Week:

"This isn't about rhetoric, this isn't about just being defensive, this isn't about just trying to say something negative for the Governor. I know that's the things you often say, I don't play that game. What I do is speak truth and speak factually."

-Senator Lena C. Taylor in reference to Governor Walker's earned income tax credit during an executive session for the Joint Committee on Finance


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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