Official Government Communication

Dear Friend,

Welcome to my email newsletter. 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

Walker turns back on pardon duty        

The Wisconsin Constitution states, “The governor shall have power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, after conviction…” Yet, the only person in the entire state who has the power to grant a pardon, Governor Scott Walker, has  refused to do so. It is appalling that someone who has taken an oath to honor the constitution would deliberately evade their responsibilities as the leader of our state.

 Republican Governor Tommy Thompson issued 148 pardons during his years in office. Democratic Governor Jim Doyle issued nearly 300 pardons. But it's not about how many people get a pardon. It's about the principle. The duty of the government is to serve its people first and foremost, and we cannot do that without first lending our ears. If we do not even listen to those who have served their sentence and repented their crimes, we deny them an opportunity for full rehabilitation and restoration of their citizenship.

I have recently introduced a bill to create an independent pardon council. This bill would create a panel of nine judges from around the state to consider each application for a pardon and make recommendations to the governor and the legislature. Although Walker has been neglectful to his people, this bill would allow hundreds to have their voice heard and allow them to get another chance.  

The ongoing fight for student loan relief

Since Republicans came into power, Wisconsin’s public schools, universities and technical schools have lost more than $2 billion in state funding. Yet, Republicans have repeatedly rejected a popular Democratic plan that would provide genuine relief to the one million Wisconsinites burdened with student loan debt. In response to public backlash, Republicans recently introduced watered-down legislation that targets only an extremely small number of people and fails to lower monthly payments for the average borrower by even a penny. Time and time again, Republicans have displayed where their priorities lay and it is not in the best interest of Wisconsinites. If Republicans were serious about addressing the student loan crisis, they would take up the "Higher Ed, Lower Debt" bill that would allow people to refinance their student loan debt.

Substitute teacher pay equity act

From kindergarten to graduation, the average student will spend an entire year under the supervisor of a substitute teacher. Nationwide, 77 percent of school districts offer no training whatsoever to new substitute teachers.

Though a lot of states require no professional training or certification to become a substitute teacher other than being of age and passing a background check, Wisconsin has a rather extensive application process and relatively high requirements. We rely heavily on our substitute teachers, yet they remain extremely under compensated. Substitute teachers make an average of $55-$65 daily with no benefits. Compare that to a full-time teacher’s wage of approximately $130 a day, which is about $55,000 annually plus benefits.

Substitute teachers do more than just push the play button on movie day. We expect substitutes to execute lesson plans and in many cases, fill in for more than a month in the same classroom. This bill would mandate that substitute teachers serving an assignment of 30 or more days be compensated by a salary equal to a full-time instructor. This legislation would ensure the financial security long-term substitute teachers.

Further attempts to reduce gun violence

The number of tragic and senseless gun violence is appalling within our community and across our country. For years, law enforcement agencies have grappled with the difficult and often daunting task of ballistic identification – matching the gun with the bullet casings found at a particular crime scene.  Microstamping represents a quantum leap in ballistic identification, which can greatly assist law enforcement agencies in their ongoing efforts to reduce crime and curb gun violence. President Obama released a series of executive orders including more research on smart gun technology.  He said, “If we can set it up so you can’t unlock your phone unless you’ve got the right fingerprint, why can’t we do the same thing for our guns?” This bill will put our state a step closer to safer environments for children and families everywhere.




Stay in touch:


    Milwaukee:  414-342-7176

    Madison:     608-266-5810




Community Events:

Valentine Ice Cream Social: Saturday February 13, enjoy Betty Brinn Children's Museum & an ice cream social included with paid admission to the museum. For more details: here

Singathon 2016: Presented by Milwaukee Children's Choir at Bayshore Town Center on February 13th. Admission is free. More information here

Employment and Volunteer Open House: Presented by Old World Wisconsin on February 27 beginning at 10am. Admission is free. Details here

Bijinga: Picturing Women in Japanese Prints: January 21-May 22 at the Haggerty Museum of Art- Marquette University. Free admission and details here





 Quote of the Week:

 "We condemn the use of Twitter to promote terrorism. As the nature of the terrorist threat has changed, so has our ongoing work in this area."

-- Twitter said in a press release after suspending 125,000 accounts promoting terrorism.

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.