December 8, 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. 

Fill the Shelves: A Benefit for the Milwaukee Public Library
Now through December 31

Help raise money for the Milwaukee Public Library at the annual Fill The Shelves benefit. The Boswell Book Company will provide books to purchase for donation at the Katie Gingrass Gallery. Purchase a book this holiday season to fill the shelves of the Milwaukee Public Library and give the gift of a great read.

Katie Gingrass Fine Art Gallery
241 N. Broadway Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 289-0855



European Holiday Village Comes Alive
December 9 at 10 a.m. to December 10 at 3 p.m.

Through the Alive! series at the Milwaukee Public Museum, visitors of all ages can explore the museum's vast collection with an array of interactive activities. Learn about European holiday traditions of a century past, while gaining a new perspective on some traditions that are still in existence today. Please CLICK HERE for more information about this family-friendly event.

Milwaukee Public Museum (MAP)
800 W. Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 278-2702


Indoor Christmas Market

December 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Attend this neighborhood event featuring more than 40 vendors of arts, crafts, organics, baked goods and other prepared food. Live music will also be performed by local artists. Please CLICK HERE for additional information.


Caterpillar’s Heritage Building and Museum (MAP)

1970 10th Avenue

South Milwaukee, WI 53172


Cocoa with the Clauses
December 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Stop by this outdoor event that offers families a free photo opportunity with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Just bring your camera and enjoy an afternoon of free hot cocoa and cookies, plus goodie bags for all children while supplies last. Kid-friendly menus will also be available at several neighboring restaurants. Attendees are  encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to donate. Additional information can be found by CLICKING HERE.

Cathedral Square Park (MAP)
520 E. Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 257-8005



HoneyBee Jamboree
December 10 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Bring the family to enjoy treats from the hive. Beekeepers and artisans will lead demonstrations, have bee-sourced items for sale and honey to sample. This is a great opportunity for the whole family to learn about bees and the many things they offer us. You can also get some local treats for the holidays. CLICK HERE for more information.

Urban Ecology Center (MAP)
1500 E. Park Place
Milwaukee, WI 53211

Candlelight Walk
December 16 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Celebrate the winter solstice and explore Riverside Park by candlelight with a guided walk, accompanied by poetry and readings of the season. After the walk, return to the center to warm yourself by the fire with apple cider, snacks and music by Regina Gallero. Walks leave every 15 minutes starting at 7 p.m. Admission is free for all ages. Call (414) 964-8505 to register. For additional information, please CLICK HERE.

Urban Ecology Center (MAP)
1500 E. Park Place
Milwaukee, WI 53211
(414) 964-8505
































































































































































































Dear Friend,


Legislation was recently introduced that threatens the very ability of Wisconsinites to use family planning methods and resources, including common forms of birth control. Please continue reading for more information on this damaging legislation.

As usual, please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or opinions you may have about our community or our state.


Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7




Another Attack on Women's Health

Republican legislators have resumed their assault on women's health by recently introducing Assembly Joint Resolution 77. This resolution would change Wisconsin’s Constitution by providing full legal rights to an egg from the moment it is fertilized by sperm.


The repercussions of this amendment would have devastating consequences for women’s health as it could prevent a woman with a life-threatening pregnancy from getting the care she needs, allow the government to intrude into private doctor-patient relationships, and criminalize even common forms of birth control, such as the pill and IUDs. It will also devastate stem cell research in Wisconsin, which has blossomed into a billion dollar industry that helps drive our economy.

Limiting Women's Health

Family planning services are vital to our state and have proven to be effective by saving Wisconsin over $500,000 annually by helping to prevent unintended pregnancies. Furthermore, investing in basic reproductive health care and family planning services shows a commitment to Wisconsin's working families.


This resolution would end many of our state's existing family planning services, by making even common forms of birth control, such as the pill and IUDs illegal and thus inaccessible to women across the state. Furthermore, this resolution would also ban abortion in the case of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.


The government should not have the right to intrude on family planning matters as this is a very personal issue and is different for every family. Unfortunately, this is what all families should expect if Assembly Joint Resolution 77 is adopted.


Punishing Couples Who Cannot Conventionally Conceive

In addition to directly affect women's health, Assembly Joint Resolution 77 would also punish couples struggling with infertility. Infertility is a growing issue that many couples face. It currently affect 6.1 million American couples, which is 10% of American couples of childbearing age. As a result of this increasingly common problem, many couples are turning to technology, such as In Vitro Fertilization, to make their dreams of a family a reality.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, there are generally five steps associated with In Vitro Fertilization:

1. The woman takes fertility medications to increase egg production

2. Eggs are retrieved from the woman

3. Sperm are acquired from the man

4. The sperm and egg are combined and placed in incubators to enable fertilization creating embryos

5. On average, no more than four embryos are then transferred into the woman's uterus


This process can often result in excess embryos being created as a contingency has to be made to account for the fact that not all eggs retrieved from the woman will actually reach fertilization and it is dangerous to place more than four embryos into a woman's uterus. Therefore, current processes used to assist couples that are unable to conceive conventionally may be considered illegal and in violation of the constitution if this resolution were to pass.

Prohibiting Life-Saving Research, Damaging Our Economy

Another area that would be adversely affected by Assembly Joint Resolution 77 is Wisconsin's research and development sector. Wisconsin has grown to become a leader in the companion fields of stem cell research and regenerative medicine. This road to success began in 1995 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with the first successful culturing of embryonic stem cells from non-human primates, and later with the isolation of the world’s first human embryonic stem cells.


According to the National Institutes of Health, stems cells may be the key to curing many degenerative diseases, including cancer, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries. Through its research, UW-Madison aims to treat debilitating diseases by discovering new medicines and uncovering the fundamental processes that lead to such diseases. As a result, many people across the state, throughout the country and around the world who are or know someone suffering from one of these diseases are counting on Wisconsin's continued progress in this field.


In addition to making landmark discoveries, Wisconsin has lead the way in transforming cutting edge research into high-paying jobs. Experts predict the
stem cell industry sector will reach in excess of $10 billion over the next ten years.


Moving Wisconsin in the Wrong Direction

Assembly Joint Resolution 77 is moving our state in the wrong direction. Thus, if this legislation comes to the Senate, I will vote in a way that reflects Wisconsin’s commitment to women’s health, privacy, and freedom. This legislation is so extreme that I am even joined in opposing this joint resolution by our state’s largest anti-abortion group, Wisconsin Right to Life, which has publicly stated that "a personhood amendment strategy is not necessary, risky —and just plain wrong for Wisconsin."

CLICK HERE to view a copy of Assembly Joint Resolution 77.




Special Session Adjourned, Special Interests Not Jobs the Focus

The second special session of the year was abruptly adjourned today. A number of bills were passed as Christmas presents to special interests and big corporations, but despite public pressure job creation was largely ignored. I will discuss this issue in greater detail next week, but I think we can agree that Governor Walker's special session on jobs will go down in history as a failure that moved Wisconsin backwards.




 Mining Legislation Unearthed

Earlier today Republican legislators introduced a bill related to allowing additional mining in Wisconsin. In an unprecedented maneuver, the Assembly Natural Resources Committee was not assigned the proposal as was expected. Instead, the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economy and Small Business has scheduled a public hearing for next week on the bill. The public hearing will begin at 10 a.m. and will be held at State Fair Park in West Allis. The Senate is not expected to take up the bill until January.


Although rumors have been indicating this bill's unveiling, I, like the rest of the public, am just now getting a chance to review this 183-page proposal. I will be sure to keep you updated on this issue as information becomes available. In the meantime, if you wish to view a copy of this bill, please CLICK HERE.



Community Cooperation to Save Taxpayer Dollars

I am supporting legislation that will help to make highway improvement projects by counties more cost-effective for tax payers. LRB 3492 will overturn provisions in the Republican Budget that prohibited counties and municipalities to contract with each other for highway improvement projects.

Under Governor Walker's budget, a county is restricted from using its own workforce for a highway improvement project that is either under the jurisdiction of another county or in a municipality that is located in a different county. The budget also forbids counties from doing most work for municipalities within their jurisdiction if the city's population is over 5,000 people.

Local officials have had a long-standing, common sense practice of sharing equipment and personnel with surrounding counties, which allowed for the efficient utilization of equipment and crews and saved taxpayers money. The passage of the Republican Budget forced the end of these cooperative arrangements between our local counties and municipalities.


The legislation I am co-sponsoring, LRB 3429, will eliminate the restrictions that the current budget imposes on county workforces, reinstating the ability of counties and municipalities to work together on highway improvement projects. This option of collaborating on projects will help communities make the most efficient use of tax dollars.

CLICK HERE to view a copy of this bill.



Restoring Wisconsin's Child Labor Laws

I am co-sponsoring legislation that would help keep our children safe by restoring child labor laws in Wisconsin. Governor Walker's Budget stripped numerous child labor laws from the books, placing our children at risk.

This bill would eliminate the effects of the budget and restore Wisconsin’s child labor laws to their previous state. Under LRB 2711, any minor, with the exception of minors employed in domestic service, farm labor, or service as an elections inspector, would be restricted from working more than eight hours per day and six days per week. Additionally, minors 16 and older can work no more than 40 hours per week and minors under 16 can work no more than 24 hours per week. The bill would also allow the Department of Workforce Development to once again issue standards for hours of employment for minors.


CLICK HERE to view a copy of this legislation.




Holiday Festivities in Our Community

Thank you to those that were able to attend this year's Local Gift Fair and Bay View Tree Lighting. It was great to see so many neighbors come together to participate in these family-friendly holiday events. I'll be sure to keep you updated on a slew of other holiday as they get closer.



Intern at the Capitol

I currently have an opening for a legislative intern in my Madison office. A legislative internship is a great opportunity for students and recent graduates to learn more about the legislative process while gaining practical work experience.

Intern responsibilities vary, but include policy research, summarizing proposed legislation, and responding to constituent inquires. All interns also assist with general office operations, including answering the phone.

Applicants must be able to work during normal business hours, and dedicate a minimum of 10 hours each week to the internship. All intern positions are unpaid.

To apply for an internship, please submit a cover letter and resume electronically to or mail them to Wisconsin State Capitol, P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707.




Attention High School Juniors and Seniors: Apply to Senate Scholars Today

The Senate Scholars Program is an intensive week-long education program offered by the Wisconsin State Senate. This is a wonderful opportunity for Wisconsin youth to view the role of the Legislature in democracy first-hand and gain experience in the areas of policy development, constituent relations and processing legislation. Senate Scholars will also have the change to work closely with senators, legislative staff and University of Wisconsin faculty. Admission to the program is highly competitive and limited to 33 academically exceptional high school juniors and seniors from across the state. Applications are due on January 2, 2012.


2012 Senate Scholar Sessions:

January 22-27

February 12-17

February 19-24


If you have additional questions about the program or the application process, I encourage you to call the Legislative Training Officer in charge of the program, Jacob Clark, at (608) 266-2610. You can also visit the Senate Scholar Program's Web site for more information by CLICKING HERE.




See You in the Neighborhood

I created a survey that I am distributing to neighbors asking about various issues that are important to them, our community and our state. I have been distributing the survey door-to-door throughout our community and will continue doing so through December. To return the survey, simply fold it, tape it, and affix a stamp.

To save a stamp and take the survey online, please CLICK HERE.

You can also CLICK HERE to download and print a copy of this survey, which you can return to my office via mail, email or fax upon completion.


I look forward to hearing your views on these important issues. Hope to see you in the neighborhood soon!




Know Your Voting Rights

Scott Walker and Republican legislators recently enacted some of the most restrictive ID requirements for voters in the country. While they have been working to silence Wisconsin's voters, I have been working hard to keep Wisconsin's voters informed of their rights. I have created a simple handout answering some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding Wisconsin's new voter restrictions.


To view this handout please CLICK HERE or visit my Web site, You can also CLICK HERE to view the same PDF in Spanish.




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