Official Government Communication

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

Session Debrief- Taylor Sends 8 Bills for Governor's Signature

My greatest passion is being able to serve the wonderful people of the 4th District of Wisconsin. That is why I am so excited to have watched the Assembly vote to pass nine bills that I have co-authored when they were in Session on Thursday. Unfortunately, Assembly Republicans added a last minute amendment to SB 48. Both houses need to pass equivalent versions of the bill, meaning SB 48 will not make it to the Governor's desk. Below is a summary of the bills that I co-authored that were heard in Assembly on Thursday.

  • Senate Bill 48 – (Lead Service Line Replacement) would provide financial assistance for the replacement of a service line containing lead.
  • Senate Bill 108 – (Cosmetology and Barbering Licensure Requirements) removes the continuing education requirement for cosmetologists, barbers and related professions, and eliminates the condition that licensed professionals from another jurisdiction must have 4000 hours of experience to gain a reciprocal license.
  • 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 eliminates the stipulation that individuals must be granted a certificate by DSPS in order to teach their profession.
  • Senate Bill 299 – (Montessori Teaching License) would expand teacher education programs that satisfy a requirement for obtaining an initial teaching license to include teacher education programs approved by the Association Montessori Internationale.
  • Senate Bill 300 – (Soliciting Intimate Representation from a Child) makes it a crime to solicit a sexually explicit photograph, recording, or other representation from a person who is under the age of 18.
  • Senate Bill 308 – (Patronizing a Prostitute) increases the penalty for the crime of patronizing a prostitute from a Class-A misdemeanor to a Class-I felony if the person has been previously convicted of that crime at least two times.
  • Senate Bill 339 – (Huber Release) allows a probationer who is confined in a county jail or other county facility for a probation violation to participate in Huber release, provided that his or her probation is due to a misdemeanor conviction and the probation violation for which he or she is confined is not a crime.
  • Senate Bill 385 – (Therapeutic Diets) certifies dietitians to prescribe therapeutic diets to residents of a long term care facility.
  • Senate Bill 396 – (Patronizing a Child) increases the penalty to a Class-I felony for patronizing a person who is under the age of 18.

These bills, having already been in the Senate, will now be placed upon the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. I am thrilled with the progress we have been making on so many fronts even as the minority party in Madison.


AB 501 Expands Access to Healthy Options

Assembly Bill 501, a bill I have co-authored, passed in Assembly this week and is currently awaiting a vote in the Senate. I am particularly excited about this bill, which aims to provide assistance to those in our communities who need it most. This bill, amongst many other things, offers discounts to certain low-income residents and discounts on healthy foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables. According to a study by the US National Institute of Health, those in the lowest income group were three times more likely to be impacted by poor health than those in the highest income group. While there are many factors that account for this discrepancy, access to healthy food plays a large role. In fact, if residents in every county in Wisconsin had the same opportunities for healthy options, there would be 12,000 fewer violent crimes and 41,000 fewer unemployed Wisconsinites.

In Milwaukee, many of my constituents live in food deserts with very little access to fresh foods. Having such nutritious food available has proven a key component to living a long life and can contribute to success in academics and career. Legislation such as this will help bridge the health gap among the wealthy and those living in poverty. Not only will it strengthen our communities, but it will also reduce the cost of healthcare to our taxpayers. By providing our residents with attainable healthy food options, we are investing in our state’s future and overall well-being.

GOP's latest bills- high-risk, little reward

On Tuesday, the GOP passed bills that are irresponsible. The first is the “Prove it First” mining bill, which would take away the requirement that a company who wishes to mine for sulfide prove there won’t be significant environmental effects. Sulfide mining is very dangerous and releases arsenic, mercury and lead into our environment. This will contaminate our water, and absolve mining companies of basic environmental accountability that protects all of us from the dangers of pollution. In a time where we are seeing the devastating effects of climate change across our country and around the world, environmental protection needs to be an utmost priority. The second piece of legislation that the GOP has been pushing eliminates age limitations for hunting, effectively allowing those under 10 years old to shoot deadly weapons. Grade schoolers and toddlers should not be handling deadly weapons, as it will undoubtedly lead to more gun-related accidents and deaths. While I am disappointed by this legislation, I am not surprised that it is being pushed here in our state, as 3 of the top 20 NRA backed lawmakers are from Wisconsin, including Governor Walker.

Republicans also succeeded in passing a number of bills associated with limiting due process from our judicial system.

  • Senate Bill 52 – (Serious Juvenile Offender Program) removes the three year limit that the Department of Corrections may place a juvenile offender in the Serious Juvenile Offender Program in a Type 1 juvenile facility, allowing the individual to be placed there up until they turn 25.
  • Senate Bill 54 – (Revocation of Parole, Probation, Extended Supervision) revokes parole, probation or extended supervision if a person is only charged with a crime while on parole, probation or extended supervision.
  • Senate Bill 55 – (Mandatory Minimums) increases the mandatory minimum sentencing for felony murder, second degree intentional homicide or crime punishable by life imprisonment to 5 years and adds more crimes to the list of mandatory minimum sentencing, including first degree or second degree reckless homicide, taking hostages and kidnapping.
  • Senate Bill 56 – (Mandatory Minimum Incarceration Period Following Illegal Possession of a fire arm) imposes the 3 year incarceration period on those who illegally possessed a firearm during their probation, parole, extended supervision or conditional release of a prisoner for commission of a prior felony or violent misdemeanor, broadening the scope of the initial minimum incarceration period.

These bills are harmful to the residents of Wisconsin and will have negative repercussions, showing the carelessness of the GOP.

Constitutional Convention

On Tuesday, Republicans in the Senate voted to pass a set of resolutions that allows them to call for a Constitutional Convention based on Article V of the US Constitution. The last time a Constitutional Convention was called, the delegates decided that slaves were to be counted as three-fifths of a person. This convention would allow delegates, instead of elected officials, to add or take out what they want in the Constitution. This system can simply not compare to the tried and true method of amending the Constitution that has been in place for hundreds of years. The calls for a Constitutional Convention now are based on a naïve understanding of the US budget. Supporters of this so called “balanced budget” amendment want to add a stipulation to the Constitution to say that the US government should not be allowed to spend more money than it takes in every year. This would completely limit the ability of the government to do its job. It would create significant problems for Social Security and Medicare Part A. During a time of economic downturn, policymakers would be forced to raise taxes and cut spending. Additionally, it would bar the federal government from borrowing to make worthy investments even if they have substantial future pay-offs. It is unnecessary to vote into law the possibility of substantial detrimental changes to our Constitution for the reason of an amendment that would be this hurtful to Americans.

The traditional amendment process, which requires a two-thirds vote from elected federal representatives in both houses of Congress, is better for our democracy. We have been able to pass amendments that ended slavery, granted equal voting rights and many, many others through the process we have now. The idea of amending the Constitution through a constitutional convention is one that presents too many possibilities for the mismanagement of the democracy that we value so much in our country. The GOP has just opened the door to the dismantlement of our rights and liberties with these resolutions.

Expunging Previous Mistakes

SB 53 passed the Senate on Tuesday. The bill would allow for individuals to petition the courts to remove certain criminal offenses that were committed before the age of 25. Under the current system, in order for a crime to be expunged from an individual’s record, the possibility for expungement had to have been granted at the sentencing hearing. This bill would allow low-level offenders to ask for expungement even if this initial possibility had not been granted during sentencing. Crimes committed at a young age should not dictate a person’s ability to get a job and reintegrate into society as a productive citizen years later. By making it easier for these offenses to be cleared from permanent records, we are taking yet another small, but productive step forward to improving Wisconsin corrections. SB 53 will bring about much needed change to the operation of our criminal justice system. In order for the bill to pass, the Assembly must schedule and pass the legislation. I am enthusiastic about the bill’s progress to this point and am eagerly awaiting the Assembly’s session.

Corrections Updates

In the 4th district, about one in eight black men have spent time in prison, mostly for nonviolent drug offenses. Upon their release, they also face a struggle in finding full-time employment and keeping up with their prescription medication, which are factors that all too often lead to further offenses. In June of 2016, I was appointed to the Recidivism Reduction Committee, where I made a set of recommendations to address this issue. These include providing four weeks of prescription medication to released individuals, expanding the Windows to Work program to aid these individuals in their transition back into society, and supporting the work of Integrated Reentry & Employment Strategies. Not only would these recommendations reduce the costly price of recidivism for taxpayers, but they would also strengthen our communities.

In women’s prisons in Wisconsin, we face a whole other set of issues. I’ve heard too many horrifying stories of pregnant women being shackled during childbirth, putting both mother and child in harm’s way. My anti-shackling legislation, which unanimously passed committee, would provide guidelines for the shackling of pregnant women and prohibit the use of shackles during childbirth. Although this bill failed to be scheduled this session, I fully intend to see it scheduled for the next. I will not stop fighting for all of these vulnerable members who are making every attempt to re-enter society.






Events and Opportunities




Veterans' Day Appreciation


 November 10-12th



Harley Davidson Museum

44 Canal Street

Milwaukee, WI

Free admission for active military, veterans and their families.




Story Time in the Galleries


Saturday, November 11th

10:30 am

Milwaukee Art Museum


Learn more.




Neighborhood Night



November 16th



Betty Brinn Children's Museum

929 E. Wisconsin Ave

Milwaukee, WI

Click here to find out more!




Family Skate Night



November 17th



Neighborhood House of Milwaukee

2819 W. Richardson

Milwaukee, WI

Free event with the donation of two non-perishable food items.

Find out more!








 Quote of the Week:

"There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism."

-Alexander Hamilton

In honor of Veterans' Day, thank you to all who have served our nation.

Your sacrifice has not gone unnoticed.

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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