Official Government Communication

Week of Nov. 26th - Dec. 2nd

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


Seven Taylor Bills Become Law Monday and Thursday, Governor Scott Walker signed seven bills that I co-authored into law. I am excited to work across the aisle to address the issues that matter to our communities. With runaway mass incarceration and an education system that suffers from racial and geographical disparities, we need reforms to make our state the best that it can be. Some of my bills passed this week are steps that move us forward. The bills pertain to the issues of corrections, licensing, healthcare, and education. A brief summary of each bill is provided below.

·         Assembly Bill 283 – (Savings Prize Promotions) permits banks and other financial institutions to conduct saving promotion programs using prizes. This bill is Act 72.

·         Senate Bill 108 – (Cosmetology and Barbering Licensure Requirements) removes the continuing education requirement for cosmetologists, barbers and related professions, and eliminates the stipulation that licensed professionals from another jurisdiction must have 4000 hours of experience to gain a reciprocal license. This bill is Act 81.

·         Senate Bill 109 – (Regulating Cosmetology and Barbering Managers) would allow cosmetologists, barbers and related professions to practice in a non-licensed facility as long as they are the owner, manager or employed by the facility. It also removes the requirement that managers need special licensure to be designated a manager, and it eliminates the stipulation that individuals must be granted a certificate by DSPS in order to teach their profession. This bill is Act 82.

·         Assembly Bill 345 – (DOC Inmate Work Release) permits individuals confined in county and tribal jails to participate in employment related activities. This bill is Act 89.

·         Assembly Bill 280 – (Financial Literacy in Schools) incorporates instruction of financial literacy into K-12 curriculum. This bill is Act 94.

·         Senate Bill 385 – (Therapeutic Diets) allows certified dietitians to prescribe therapeutic diets to residents of a long-term care facility. This bill is Act 101.

·         Senate Bill 299 – (Montessori Teaching License) would expand teacher education programs that satisfy a requirement for obtaining an initial teaching license under the alternative teacher licensure path to include teacher education programs approved by the Association Montessori Internationale. This bill is Act 106.

Brainstorming at NBSCL Conference Thursday, I traveled to Indianapolis to attend the annual legislative conference for the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. At these conferences, hundreds of black legislators, advocates, community leaders and policy experts come together to address the issues facing the black community nationally. Just this year, Wisconsin ranked dead last in the areas of racial equality. Most research note the extreme racial disparities in healthcare, incarceration, education and household wealth. These issues hit close to home, as in my district, we have the most incarcerated zip code in the nation. The mass incarceration of black men for non-violent offenses is not only expensive to our taxpayers, but also hurtful to our economy, community and families. That is why I have introduced legislation in line with best-practices that focus on treatment, rehabilitation, and proactive approaches – such as addressing poverty and education – that helps reduce crime through prevention.


While mass incarceration and racial disparities in the corrections system are huge issues for black Americans, they are just some of the issues we face and must address. Health, education, and workforce development are all important, and these areas can impact each other. For instance, a child that goes to sleep hungry each night will have decreased focus at school and, as a result, fall behind their peers in academic achievement. An individual who does not have the necessary workforce skills is less likely to get a job that provides health insurance benefits; without insurance, there is a greater chance that this individual will skip out on preventative medical care – creating costly medical expenses in the future and a lesser quality of life.

I hope to share my LOVE and FAITH model with my colleagues at the conference and with you. LOVE and FAITH is a health and wealth model that seeks to create efficiency through collaboration and hubs. For individuals who seek assistance, there are often multiple issues that need to be addressed. By bringing stakeholders together and creating a one-stop shop for people to connect to services, we are addressing all the issues, collecting and sharing data to see what works, and maximizing our reach through efficient use of resources. I am excited to share this model and discuss the short- and long- run benefits from LOVE and FAITH.

Expanding Forestry's Reach

This past Tuesday, I met with the City of Milwaukee, Wudeward Urban Forest Products and Hoppe Tree service about workforce development and apprenticeship programs in sustainable forestry. In Wisconsin, the forest products industry plays a huge role in the economy, second only to manufactured goods. For over 50 years we have been the number one paper producer in the nation. The benefits from forestry are not limited to rural and non-urban areas. For instance, Milwaukee County is developing the largest urban organic fruit orchard in the nation. Orchards can provide workforce and health benefits, as the fruit produced can be distributed to food deserts – where residents have limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables. From a previous meeting with Northwood School instructors, there is also potential to incorporate forestry into an opportunity for students to gain skills while receiving academic credit. I am excited to work with partners around Milwaukee and the state to bring forestry’s benefits to Milwaukee.


Administration's Disrespect Shows Need for Indigenous Peoples' Day Monday, the White House hosted Navajo Code Talkers at an event to celebrate National Indian American Heritage month. However, the 45th President turned this historically and culturally important event into something disgraceful when he indecently referred to Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) as “Pocahontas.” Beyond slurs, the President chose to host this important event in front of a prominent portrait of President Andrew Jackson. Andrew Jackson is infamously known for the 1830 Indian Removal Act, which led to the deaths of thousands of Native Americans during the Trail of Tears.

The Navajo Code Talkers were essential in war time. From 1941-1942, the Marine Corps officially started recruiting Navajo Code Talkers to create a secret code based on their language so soldiers could communicate with one another without the enemy knowing. As World War II progressed, the original 29 members grew to 400 code talkers. This program was instrumental in obtaining victory at World War II battles, especially at the Battle of Iwo Jima. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan officially declared August 14th as National Navajo Code Talkers Day to honor these brave veterans. Currently, there are 13 surviving Code Talkers living within the United States.

The 45th President’s questionable decision-making represents insensitivity at best, and given his track record on veterans and racial issues, raises questions on what his intentions were during this event. By officially celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we are staying true to the history of our nation. Christopher Columbus never stepped foot in North America, but rather Hispaniola, which now contains the nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Just as the Navajo Code Talkers are recognized for their importance in the war, all native people of the United States deserve the same appreciation and respect for their experiences in this country; making Indigenous Peoples’ Day a recognized holiday is one of the primary ways we can show such gratitude.


Entrepreneurial Grant Bill Gets Public Hearing

On Thursday, one of my bills – Assembly Bill 40 - was heard during a public hearing. The bill, would provide grants to new businesses that hire students for paid internships. Providing entrepreneurial assistance is crucial toward driving small business and startup growth. As we all know, small and startup businesses are the backbone of our economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses employed over 1.2 million Wisconsinites in 2014 – over half our state’s private workforce. In the same year, data from the agency showed that Wisconsin had 440,763 small businesses, which accounted for 97.7 percent of all Wisconsin businesses. Despite the importance of small businesses, Wisconsin lags behind the nation in business startup activity. In fact, 2017 represented the third straight year that Wisconsin ranked dead last in the nation for startup activity under rankings by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. That is unacceptable, and it hurts our state’s ability to attract and inspire entrepreneurs. Assembly Bill 40 will not only provide needed assistance for our startup businesses, it will help students get work experience in their field while being paid. This will not only help students get relevant work experience that is paid and in their field, it will help businesses develop and train potential future employees. I am excited for the potential of this bill to help our businesses, students, and ultimately – our economy.





Events and Opportunities



Christmas in the Third Ward


 December 1st



Tree Lighting Ceremony

Historic Third Ward

Milwaukee, WI


View event details



Kohl's Art Generation Family Sunday,

December 3rd



Milwaukee Art Museum

700 N. Art Museum Dr.

Milwaukee, WI


See details here



Holiday Train in Tosa Village Sunday,

December 3rd



The Village

in Wauwatosa

 State St & Harwood Ave.

Wauwatosa, WI



See the holiday train & donate food for local pantries across the U.S.



Honoring Those

We Lost-

Tree Trimming

Saturday, December 9th



Atkinson Library

Capitol Dr., Atkinson St. & 20th St.

Milwaukee, WI






 Quote of the Week:

"Republicans are handing corporations the tax plan of their dreams. And the rest of us will be paying for their joy ride."

-Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) about the GOP Tax Plan

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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