Official Government Communication

Week of Dec. 10th - Dec. 16th

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

Open Enrollment Ends TONIGHT! is the last night to open enroll for an Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plan for 2018! Access to health care is of the utmost importance, and the ACA marketplace is a great resource to compare plans and meet your health care needs. Last year, Milwaukee enrolled the most individuals for new ACA plans, winning the national “Healthy Communities Challenge.”

For a brief refresher of what the ACA did, the major components of the ACA for patients include: (1) protection for Americans with pre-existing conditions, (2) an end to the practice of taking away coverage for sick patients, (3) allowing youth up to age 26 to remain on their parents’ health insurance plan, (4) subsidies and tax credits to assist with premium costs, and (5) creating baseline standards of what an insurance plan must offer.

The impact of the ACA cannot be disputed. The number of uninsured Americans has decreased from 48 million in 2010 to 28.6 million in 2016, with uninsured rates declining sharply among low-income families and younger adult households. Minimal standards of coverage have also allowed more people to seek preventative care – making our workforce healthier and more productive – and decreasing our long-run expenses on health care from reduced emergency room visits and decreased risk of families having to pay catastrophic medical costs. Families are more financially secure, as the number of personal bankruptcies (often from medical bills) has fallen from 1.5 million in 2010 to 766,000 in 2016, reversing the trend of increasing bankruptcies that has persisted since the 1980s.

I encourage everyone in the community and across the state to check out to review your health care options.


Senate Committee Hears Student Entrepreneurship Legislation Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Revenue, Financial Institutions, and Rural Issues heard testimony on Senate Bill 404. This bipartisan bill, which I co-authored with Sen. Patrick Testin, exempts the $130 application fee to form a limited liability company for university and college students. I believe that we need to invest in our young people and encourage entrepreneurship. After all, entrepreneurs drive small and startup businesses that make up the backbone of our state’s economy. For instance, in 2014, small businesses employed 1.2 million Wisconsinites – making up over half of our private sector workforce. Despite the importance of these companies, Wisconsin lags behind the nation in business startup activity.  For the third straight year, Wisconsin ranked dead last in the nation for business startup activity under rankings by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. This trend hurts our state’s ability to attract and inspire entrepreneurs. Senate Bill 404, will not only provide needed assistance for our student entrepreneurs, but it will help Wisconsin attract and retain a sustainable workforce capable of growing and moving the state forward.


Three More Taylor Bills Become Law Friday, Governor Walker signed three bills that I co-authored into law. The bills, Senate Bills 396, 300, and 308, seek to address the ongoing issues around human and sex trafficking. Wisconsin’s sex trafficking problem reaches both rural and urban areas. Research suggests that the average age of sex-trafficked individuals is between 12 and 14 years old. Unfortunately, there are adults right here in our own state who prey on these youth.  These bills reflect the need to change our approach to address the solicitors/buyers of minors forced into sex trafficking, rather than re-traumatizing the individuals who are often victims themselves. I am proud to work across the aisle to get these bills done, and would like to share a brief summary of each legislation below:

·         Senate Bill 396 – This bill increases the penalty for patronizing a prostitute if the prostitute is under the age of 18. It is Act 128.

·         Senate Bill 300 – This bill creates a crime for individuals over age 18 to solicit sexually explicit material from an individual they have reason to believe is less than 18 years of age. It is Act 129.

·         Senate Bill 308 – This bill increases the penalty for patronizing a prostitute to a Class I felony if an individual has been convicted of that crime at least two times. It is Act 131.


President’s Administration Guts Consumer Internet Protections Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal net neutrality consumer protections. Net neutrality is the concept that internet service providers should provide the networks that consumers pay for without picking and choosing which content to speed up, block, and slow down. These protections were put forth in 2015 by the FCC following calls from millions of Americans to preserve an open internet. With Thursday’s vote, the FCC opened the door to creating different tiers of content allowance. Providers can speed up content that groups pay for, eliminate content that they do not agree with, or package certain content into “premium” packages, leading to a more costly and restrictive internet. Even more disturbing is that the FCC voted to repeal these protections without a single public hearing, ignored a study demonstrating thousands of pro-repeal comments were fake, and ignored a poll showing 83 percent of voters support net neutrality. Thursday’s vote is the latest in a series of steps that the 45th President’s FCC has taken to reduce choice and increase costs for consumers. Previous actions taken by the FCC include cutting back on assistance for low-income families to afford broadband and easing caps on how much providers can charge business customers – hurting entrepreneurs and small businesses.


Wisconsin Graduate Students Engaged on the Issues Saturday, I was gratified to speak at a rally organized by a non-partisan coalition of graduate students from across Southeast Wisconsin to voice their concerns regarding legislative actions recently taken on the federal level that would have a detrimental impact on students in our state.  Congress has passed tax reform bills that include:  Considering graduate student tuition waivers as income by eliminating IRS Code 117(d)(5); Taxing employer-provided tuition reimbursement through changes in Section 127; Eliminating the deduction for student loan interest payments and Eliminating the ability for teachers to deduct school supplies.  The students gathered at Pere Marquette Park before walking to U.S. Senator Ron Johnson's office.  Many of the provisions they were protesting will adversely affect education and have harmful consequences on generations to come.  I applaud these students for their civic engagement, willingness to raise awareness and work to fight these policy actions.









Events and Opportunities



Community Brainstorming Conference

 December 16th



Saint Matthews C.M.E. Church

2944 North 9th St.

Milwaukee, WI


View event details



Winter Solstice Candlelight Walk  Saturday,

December 16th



Urban Ecology Center

1500 E. Park Place

Milwaukee, WI


See details here



Deck the Streets of Old Milwaukee  Sunday,

December 17th


11:00am - 5:00pm

 800 W. Wells St.

Milwaukee, WI



See details here






 Quote of the Week:

"As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children. And we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics."

-Former President Barack Obama, on Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting

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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