August 11, 2011



Please feel free to contact me with any concerns or opinions you might have.

Office Phone: (608) 266-7505
Toll-free Phone: (800) 361-5487



Mailing Address:

State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707


Web Site:












Supporting our neighbors and being involved in our community is of the utmost importance. Some community events that might be of interest to you and your family are listed below. 


Bay Viewers: Tell Your Story

August 6 and August 13

Visit the Beulah Brinton House to preserve and share your Bay View stories, photos and artifacts. Bay View High School students will be available between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. both Saturdays to record your Bay View stories, photograph Bay Viewers and document any Bay View artifacts or photos. This is the perfect opportunity for neighbors to be a part of our community's history. For more information about the event, please CLICK HERE.

Beulah Brinton House (MAP)

2590 S. Superior Street
Milwaukee, WI 53207

Milwaukee Wine Festival
August 12 at 4 p.m. until August 13 at 9 p.m.
Enjoy sampling from more than 200 wines outside along Milwaukee's lakefront. Also, take in cooking demos by chefs from The Capital Grille and other eateries, expert-led wine seminars, and food from some great local restaurants. This event will feature live music as well. A portion of every ticket will help fund Friends of Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum's volunteer organization. The festival runs from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is $27 in advance or $35 at the door. Designated drivers pay only $10. CLICK HERE for more information.

Milwaukee Art Museum (MAP)
700 N. Art Museum Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 224-3200



Irish Fest
August 18 at 5 p.m. through August 21 at 10 p.m.
For more than three decades, Milwaukee's Irish festival offers an experience that can only be rivaled by visiting the Emerald Isle. Attendees can enjoy musical performances, traditional Irish dance, authentic cuisine, a dog show, Gaelic poetry readings, theater events, and more. The festival is open Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from noon to midnight, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is $5 on Thursday. Friday through Sunday, adults are $15, seniors (60 and up) pay $10, and kids 12 and under are free. CLICK HERE for more information including an entertainment line-up and admission deals.

Henry Maier Festival Park (MAP)
200 N. Harbor Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 273-3378







































































































Dear Friend,

Here are some updates on how my colleagues and I have been working together to protect the constitutional right of Wisconsin's citizens to participate and vote in our democratic elections.


Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7




Democrats Introduce Bill to Protect Voting Rights

Last week, my Democratic colleagues and I introduced legislation to help ensure voters are given proper information when applying for an identification card for voting purposes. Senate Bill 162, if passed, would require the DMV to notify Wisconsin citizens, on both the application for a state identification card and verbally, that a new, renewed or reinstated ID for voting purposes is free of charge.

Currently, the law requires the state to provide Wisconsin citizens who will be at least 18 years old on the date of the next election with free identification cards. However, the DMV is only required to give out free IDs if the person states that it is to be used for voting purposes. Many legislative offices have received complaints of neighbors being charged the $28 fee when applying for and ID. Voting is a constitutional right and this bill would guarantee that Wisconsin voters are provided with adequate information regarding free IDs for voting purposes so that our family, friends and neighbors are not consequently charged a poll taxed.


The passage of 2011 Wisconsin Act 23, the voter suppression bill, created significant barriers to eligible voting populations including seniors, students, minorities, people with disabilities and new residents. Many neighbors within these populations currently do not have a state issued driverís license or state identification card, including 175,000 people over the age of 65 according to a 2005 study.

As a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 162, I support this bill, which will ensure that all of our neighbors are getting adequate and clear information regarding their voting rights. I encourage my colleagues on both sides to join me in supporting this legislation.


CLICK HERE to view a copy of Senate Bill 162.




DMV Centers to Remain Open

Governor Scott Walker announced a plan last month that would close 16 Department of Motor Vehicle offices, while extending hours in other locations. This decision appeared to place partisan politics above the constitutional rights of Wisconsin voters as the offices targeted for closing were in Democratic-leaning districts, while the offices that were to have extended hours were in Republican-leaning districts.

The budget requires that DMV service centers in all 72 Wisconsin counties be open at least 20 hours each week so that Wisconsin citizens may obtain a state driver's license or identification card before the ID requirement for voters goes into effect. Currently, only 30 counties statewide have at least one DMV location that is open 20 hours each week and three counties have no DMV service center at all.

After receiving pressure from legislators, advocacy groups, and neighbors, Governor Walker has backed down from his initial plan. Instead, four new DMV offices will be opened and all existing offices will be maintained to establish 92 DMV offices across the state. Additionally, the number of hours all offices are open will be expanded by 620 hours weekly or 32,000 annually. I encourage all Wisconsinites to continue fighting for their constitutional right to vote in our state.




Legislators Seek Unemployment Interest Waiver

This week, colleagues on both sides of the aisle signed onto a letter requesting that President Barack Obama and the Secretary of U.S. Department of Labor Hilda Solis grant a second waiver for interest payments due on loans made by the federal government to our Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund.

In February of 2009, the state of Wisconsinís UI Trust Fund was exhausted during the worst economic recession our nation has seen since the Great Depression. Like many states, Wisconsin borrowed much-needed funds from the U.S. Treasury so that families in Wisconsin could continue to pay for their mortgages, car payments, feed their families, and cover costs for other crucial living expenses.

Interest began to accrue on these loans at the beginning of this year after being waived for a grace period that extended from February 2009 through December 2010, which was put in effect by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This month, Wisconsin employers, both large and small, whose taxable 2010 payrolls exceeded $25,000 were issued Special Assessment billing notices from the Department of Workforce Development. Currently, the due date for employers to pay these assessments is set for September 9, 2011.

This bipartisan request is an effort to provide Wisconsin employers a second grace period for UI interest. Wisconsinís economy is still unstable and this grace period would help our stateís employers to continue moving their businesses to a more secure and solid position, which would foster increased job creation.

It is my hope that our request for a second waiver on UI interest payments is given prompt consideration so that Wisconsinís economy can move forward.




DOT Listening Session

Tuesday, August 16 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Make your voice heard regarding the expansion of WIS 241 (S. 27th Street, the six mile segment from County Line Road to College Avenue) by being part of the discussion and attending the last S. 27th Street public information meeting.


The meeting will be an informal open house-style meeting that allows citizens to stop in anytime to meet with Wisconsin Department of Transportation project staff. Exhibits and information will be available regarding preferred roadway and intersection alternatives, changes to median openings and driveways, and the right way of impact. For more information CLICK HERE and enter S. 27th Street in the search box.

St. James Church Hall (MAP)
7219 S. 27th Street
Franklin, WI 53132


Celebrate Wisconsin Tradition at the 160th Annual State Fair

The Wisconsin State Fair starts this week, marking 160 years of family-friendly entertainment and countless Wisconsin customs. Fairgoers will flock to the State Fair Grounds in West Allis starting August 4 through August 14 to enjoy and take part in this proud Wisconsin tradition.

The State Fair attracts over 800,000 fairgoers annually, giving people the opportunity to enjoy 30 stages of free, live entertainment, pay tribute to Wisconsinís famous agriculture industry through barn tours and auctions, admire ribbon-winning fair items such as pies and textiles, and savor Wisconsinís Official Dessert--the cream puff.

This year, fairgoers can expect to enjoy a selection of unique indulgent or deep-fried foods both on and off sticks in true fair custom. Among the new items are the deep-fried beer, deep-fried butter, breaded deep-fried oysters on a stick, and a bacon sundae.

The State Fair is important to Wisconsinís economy by providing residents much-needed jobs in these tough economic times. The Fair will employ more than 1,400 people. Additionally, surrounding communities benefit economically from the fair by providing parking to out of town fairgoers and increasing business for neighborhood restaurants and bars.

For more information on the activities, musical line-ups and food options for this yearís Wisconsin State Fair, please CLICK HERE.




Changes to Voting Laws in Wisconsin

General and special elections are now upon us. Given the recent changes to Wisconsin's voting laws, I have included a handout to provide you with updated information on voting procedures for this summer's elections. Please contact me if you have any questions.


CLICK HERE to view the changes to Wisconsin's voting laws.




Summer Activities in Our Community

Our community offers a wide variety of summer activities for families, children and adults. Below is just one of many activities that you can take part in this summer.


Point Fish Fry and a Flick
Enjoy a Friday night fish fry with an outdoor movie on Milwaukee's lakefront this summer at Discovery World. Each night features a tasty fish fry and a variety of food options from many of the city's favorite food carts. Point Brewery will also offer an expansive beer and spirits selection. Movie admission is free of charge. CLICK HERE for more information and a schedule of upcoming featured flicks.

Discovery World (MAP)
500 N. Harbor Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 765-9966



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