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

Permitless Carry Advances

This week, the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, of which I am a member, took up a bill regarding permitless carry. Once again, the Wisconsin GOP is not thinking about potential consequences and are going against the wishes of the people. An incredible 91 percent of Wisconsinites support permits, training, and background checks as part of a gun owner’s responsibility to conceal carry into shared public spaces. Permitless carry, under Senate Bill 169, not only removes training and the requirement of permits as a condition to conceal carry, but also eliminates the prohibition against carrying a firearm onto school grounds, jails, and mental health facilities. Instead, the burden is now on schools and other public places to post signage prohibiting firearms.

I voted against the bill and stood with the 91 percent of Wisconsinites who want to keep training and permits as requirements for gun ownership. I understand the duty and the right to carry for protection, recreation, and any other legal purpose. I voted for concealed carry permits back in 2011 and earlier this year, I co-authored a bill to allow high schools to offer an elective course in firearm education. I supported both of these measures because I believe training and education is necessary, responsible, and in accordance with the Second Amendment, which includes the important but often forgotten phrase “well-regulated.” Moving forward, I will continue to fight for legislation that respects the right to bear arms and our duty to ensure public safety.

Huber Release Bill Unanimously Approved

            On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee voted 5-0 in favor of my bill that expands Huber release. Huber release allows for individuals to be temporarily released for “employment-related activities and medical care.” Those eligible for the Huber release should include non-criminal probation violators who were originally convicted of misdemeanors. Our country, and more specifically the state of Wisconsin, is more interested in punishment than corrections. This approach is neither sustainable nor effective, as Wisconsin’s prison population is projected to reach record highs in the next two years. Since 2015, corrections has cost state and local taxpayers around $1.5 billion annually, and we spend more on corrections than our landmark University of Wisconsin System. The Huber release bill has bipartisan support because it’s clear that employment provides opportunities for growth, self-dependency, and reduced recidivism. I hope you all share my excitement in this step towards improving upon our state’s corrections programs.

DOJ Draft Report Leads to More Questions  

Last week, I had an opportunity to address local elected officials regarding the draft report prepared by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) concerning a review of the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD). After members of the community were furious when federal prosecutors declined to charge the MPD officer in the fatal shooting of Dontre Hamilton, Chief Ed Flynn requested the report in 2015, and the findings had been long anticipated. The draft report was filled with questionable practices regarding officer discipline, community policing, and racial inequity in substantiating claims of police misconduct; it was challenged by Chief Flynn for some of its conclusions.  However, we have learned that there may have been multiple drafts of the report.  It is unclear which is the most recent or correct version and we lack of clarity on why there are conflicting results between reports; one had reported on failure to engage in community policing, excessive stop and frisk actions in targeted neighborhoods, and a lack of accountability among MPD policy. Another draft stated there were no major discrepancies in practice found in these areas. 

The DOJ has since halted the review of MPD’s patterns and practices because of the decision to change its program from focusing on improving trust between police and communities to helping law enforcement fight crime. This is the most frustrating part of the situation, as the City of Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin must remain committed to ensuring fair and equal application of the law.  I look forward to the continued work to improve trust, accountability and cooperation between residents and area police.

Page for a Day Experience

Last Tuesday, I was pleased to meet senior Ethan Pankow from Milwaukee St. Lutheran High School, who participated in the “Page for A Day” program sponsored by the State Senate Sergeant at Arms Office. As a part of this program, Ethan had the opportunity to serve as a page during the full Senate session, helping in the delivery of important messages and information to different Senators throughout the Capitol. This program is vital to helping young individuals discover not only more about the democratic and legislative process, but also about how state government functions. Now more than ever, it is critical that all students not only have an understanding of the workings of the government, but also feel that they can participate in the democratic process. By providing this opportunity, we can create a government that is truly by the people, for the people.

Senate Scholars Application Open

I am truly excited to announce the opening of the Senate Scholars 2018 application. Sponsored by the State Senate’s Legislative Education and Outreach Office, the Senate Scholars program is a week-long, educational program in which 33 exceptional high school juniors and seniors have a chance to gain first-hand experience in the legislative process. They have the unique opportunity to staff the Senate floor during session while witnessing legislative debates. Students will also draft their own bills and amendments, create mock committees, and elect mock committee leadership.  This rewarding experience is a highly competitive program designed to engage scholars in state affairs. Previous Senate Scholars have continued their chance to be a part of the political process, returning to the Wisconsin State Capitol to work as interns, pages and staff. In fact, in previous years, Senate Scholars have returned to my office to work as summer interns. For more information regarding this remarkable and educational program, please contact Dr. Tammy Wehrle at (608) 261-0533 or visit

Peer Support to Formerly Incarcerated Citizens:

A representative from my office attended the first Empowerment Learning luncheon, hosted by the Grassroots Empowerment Project. This group is a statewide non-profit organization, dedicated to providing peer support and rehabilitation services for formerly incarcerated citizens. Given my dedication to reducing the negative effects of incarceration, I was very interested in this organization’s goals and issues with the systems currently in place. Guest speaker Dr. Pamela Keye gave a comprehensive idea on the issues that formerly incarcerated citizens face, and that the solutions lie in those closest to the issue. Their dedication to mental health, wellness, and recovery of all kinds is exemplified in their programs and services. For more information about the Grassroots Empowerment Project, visit their website at

HBCU College Fair!

Working on education access has always been one of my main priorities. On October 7th, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities will be hosting a College Fair in the Milwaukee area at Harold S. Vincent High School. This is a great way for students, especially students of color, to explore their future options for continuing their education. There are so many resources to utilize, including panel discussions, FAFSA educational sessions, the College Access Center, the Pre-College Program information, and scholarship information. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) has been serving black communities since 1964 until today, promoting non-discriminatory education access. I encourage all students to use this fair as a resource for learning more about their higher education options. For more information regarding the HBCU College Fair, visit




Events and Opportunities




Harvest Fair

September 22nd-24th

5 to 11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Wisconsin Exposition Center, 8200 W. Greenfield Ave


Plant a Tree- Valley Week 2017

September 25th, 2017

Drop In 9am-noon

Three Bridges Park, Menomonie River Valley


19th Annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

September 24th,  2017

9:15 am

Starts at Milwaukee's Lakefront near the Milwaukee Art Museum


Summer Colors Art Exhibit

September 22nd-23rd, 2017


San Remy Gallery – 207 Buffalo Street, suite 16


China Lights Festival

September 22nd- October 22nd, every night except Monday


Boerner Botanical Gardens in Whitnall Park - 9400 Boerner Dr., Hales Corners




 Quote of the Week:

"Voting is how we participate in a civic society - be it for president, be it for a municipal election. It's the way we teach our children - in school elections - how to be citizens, and the importance of their voice."

-–Loretta Lynch

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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