January 26, 2012



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. 


Danceworks Studio Theatre: The Sequel!
Now through January 29

The choreographers of Danceworks Performance Company are hosting another performance inspired by the movies. In this fast-paced feature historic battles ensue, dramas entrance, lovers swoon, hostages are taken and superheroes save the day. Do not miss the twists and turns of The Sequel. CLICK HERE for more information or to purchase tickets.

Danceworks, Inc. (MAP)

1661 N. Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 277-8480


Working Legacies: The Death and (After) Life of Post-Industrial Milwaukee
Now through February 6
Stop by this exhibition featuring the photos and histories of David Schalliol and Michael Carriere. This exhibition explores the legacy of work in Milwaukee through documentary photographs and site histories of former and current industrial facilities in the city, keeping an eye on their present use and local context. The result is a document of Milwaukee’s industrial past and present, and the hopeful groundwork for its future. From the manufacturing of wind turbines to tech-savvy urban farms, the demise of a working Milwaukee has been greatly exaggerated. CLICK HERE for more information about this event.

Milwaukee School of Engineering (MAP)
1025 N. Broadway
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(800) 332-6763

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
Now through March
Three phenomenal actors, armed with an outrageous assortment of outerwear and props, cram the Bard’s entire canon of plays and sonnets into 90 minutes of high-speed, over-the-top hilarity. The whole family will love this endearingly irreverent and lightning-paced romp through the greatest plays of all time. CLICK HERE for more information or to purchase tickets.

Milwaukee Repertory Theater (MAP)
108 E. Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 224-9490



A Wrinkle in Time

January 27-February 19

She is an outcast at school, her father is missing and the town thinks her brother is some sort of freak. Meg Murry is angry at a world that makes no sense to her. But when a strange visitor arrives at her family’s home on a dark and stormy night, she embarks on a wild journey through space and time to rescue her father from the evil forces that hold him prisoner on another planet. Do not miss this production sure to propel your imagination on the journey of a lifetime.
Based on the book by Madeleine L'Engle. CLICK HERE for more information or to purchase tickets.


Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (MAP)

325 W. Walnut Street Milwaukee, WI 53212












































































































































































Dear Friend,


This week we review the policies laid out in Governor Walker's state of the state address by examining not only what was said, but also what was ignored.


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




The State of the State is Divided

A pivotal opportunity was missed in the governor's State of the State address delivered this past Wednesday to honestly speak to the problems plaguing Wisconsin and admit that the divisive policies that have been pursued have failed. Unfortunately, instead of taking responsibility for dragging our state in the wrong direction, Governor Walker's speech reinforced that he is clearly out of touch with the reality most Wisconsinites are experiencing and has every intention of continuing to create division in our state through his extreme ideological agenda.


While the governor may continue painting the picture that everything is rosy in the state of Wisconsin, the numbers do not lie. If you have any doubt that Wisconsin is headed down a dangerous path, just take a look at our monthly job losses. Wisconsin has experienced six consecutive months of job loss for a total loss of over 35,000 jobs, while neighboring states that have worked in less divisive ways have seen job gains.

In his address, Governor Walker promised to double down on his failed divisive policies that pit neighbor against neighbor. In response, Democrats asked the governor to instead bet on reprioritizing, upholding promises, and focusing on truly bipartisan action.


Listed below is what we need from our governor in order to get our state moving forward:

  • Instead of just talking about prioritizing education, we need to prove it is valuable by investing real resources in our schools. Wisconsin cannot afford Governor Walker's choice to cut our children's education funding in order to pay $2.3 billion for corporate tax breaks and special interest giveaways.

  •  Instead of just talking about bipartisanship through citing a sparse handful of examples where Democrats crossed the partisan line to vote for Republican proposals, we need to prove it is a priority by forming 50/50 bipartisan action committees empowered to tackle crisis issues, including education, housing, health care, and most importantly building family-supporting jobs in Wisconsin to turn our economy around.

  • Instead of just talking about waste, fraud and abuse in state government, we need to prove we are serious about taking real steps to increase accountability and transparency to end this administrations culture of secrecy and public exclusion.

The state of the state is divided. Wisconsin deserves better. Traditionally, it has been the Wisconsin way to put our partisanship aside in troubled times to get things done. We need our governor to join us in reviving this tradition.


Getting Wisconsinites to Work

My Democratic colleagues and I will soon be introducing the Workforce Mobility Act, legislation to provide workers in communities across Wisconsin reliable, accessible transportation to their jobs.

In his budget, Governor Walker chose to decrease funding for public transit by 10 percent and eliminate $77 million from shared revenue to local governments in order to fund $2.3 billion in tax breaks for large corporations. As a result, local governments have been forced to shift funding, raise fares, change or eliminate routes, and reduce vital services.


Many of these changes will be seen by riders in our own community this month. On January 1 of this year, the Milwaukee County Transit System was forced to increase fares for TransitPlus users by 75 cents, raising the cost of each bus ticket to $4. The system will see even bigger changes on Sunday, January 29, when some bus stops will be eliminated and other bus routes will be renamed.

The Workforce Mobility Act seeks to prevent further cuts by reinvesting in our state’s public transit infrastructure to ensure that our family, friends and neighbors are able to commute to and from work. According to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, a recent re-estimate of the transportation fund indicates that an additional $32.9 million remains available for use. This bill would use $9.6 million of this funding to restore the cuts to our mass transit systems ensuring that our workforce can get to their jobs each day.

Having a well-supported public transit system is vital to maintaining and creating jobs in our community. According to the Milwaukee County Transit systems, on average 140,000 rides are provided daily. Of these, 39% are commuters traveling to and from work, another 5% are heading to job interviews, and 11% are students making their way to classes to learn valuable skills for their future careers.


Click here to view a copy of the Workforce Mobility Act.


New Bus Routes
The Milwaukee County Transit System is a vital service to the community, providing 44 million rides each year to jobs, schools, shopping, healthcare and recreation in Milwaukee County. Beginning January 29, 2012, the Milwaukee County Transit System will be offering three new MetroEXpress Routes in our community as we were awarded a Federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grant by the federal government. These new routes--the BlueLine, RedLine and GreenLine--will operate every day of the week in high ridership corridors.


I look forward to attending the kick-off for the new MetroEXpress routes on Saturday, January 28 at 11 a.m. at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Student Union.


Click here for additional information about these new routes.


Bill Limits Justice for Lead-Poisoned Kids

Earlier this month, legislation was introduced that would significantly decrease the ability of lead paint poisoning victims to seek justice for their injuries. Senate Bill 373 would change current laws regarding product liability, sacrificing the rights of victims for the profits of corporations.

Under current law, a degree of flexibility is provided to Wisconsinites seeking damages for injuries from lead paint. When an individual cannot identify the producer of the paint that caused his or her injuries, he or she may sue a group of lead paint manufacturers. Since lead paint was banned from residential use in 1978, identifying the specific manufacturer of the paint responsible for a specific injury is difficult or often impossible. Therefore, in lead paint lawsuits the burden of proof falls on each lead paint company to prove it could not have been responsible for the damage, as each is assumed to have contributed to the risk faced by the individual.

Senate Bill 373 rejects this logic and instead maintains that an individual can only bring a complaint against a single defendant. This means an injured individual must prove which specific company manufactured the lead paint. Senate Bill 373 is a continuation of anti-consumer protection policies pursued by Governor Walker and Republican legislators during the January Special Session. However, this bill goes further than legislation passed at that time, as it applies not just to future but ongoing legal cases. The passage of this bill could potentially void all lawsuits currently pending against lead paint manufacturers filed on behalf of 173 Wisconsin children poisoned by lead paint.

Senate Bill 373 is simply bad for Wisconsin. Not only is lead paint a significant threat to Wisconsin's children but the responsibility placed on injured individuals by this bill would make it nearly impossible for these young victims to obtain justice in court.

Wisconsin children are uniquely at risk for lead poisoning, which can lead to a lifetime of medical complications. One-fourth of Wisconsin residences were built before 1950, meaning they have an increased likelihood of containing lead paint. In fact, from 1996 to 2006, more than 40,000 children were diagnosed with lead poisoning in Wisconsin. In Milwaukee alone, 4.4% of children tested in 2009 had lead levels higher than those recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This bill is one in a continuing series of initiatives to protect big corporations over the rights of individuals. If passed, Senate Bill 373 would reverse legal precedence and deny victims compensation and justice.


Click here to view a copy of Senate Bill 373.



New Election Transparency Measures

Many neighbors have called with questions about the process in place for verifying signatures in recall elections. Therefore, I wanted to direct you to a Web site that helps to increase transparency in the process. The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board has posted a Recall Webcam, which allows neighbors to watch the staff process the more than 309,000 petition pages that were filed on January 17 of this year.


You will likely see workers on camera scanning petition pages so that electronic copies can be provided to the incumbents and made available to the public. Work is currently proceeding during two shifts from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. During break times there may be less activity within view of the camera. The camera is generally fixed in one position and is not controlled remotely or otherwise adjusted during the course of the day. It may move occasionally as staff moves furniture and equipment in the room. When the scanning process is complete it will be repositioned to show other sections of the room where signature review will occur. The audio is turned off.

Click here to view the Recall Webcam live.




100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts

This past Tuesday, my Senate colleagues and I passed a resolution honoring the 100th Anniversary of the formation of the Girl Scouts.


The Girl Scouts began with a group of just 18 girls from Savannah, Georgia on March 12, 1912, with a mission to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Since then, the organization has grown substantially. Currently, there are over 75,000 Girl Scouts in Wisconsin alone.


Girl Scout members are given the opportunity to make friends and learn leadership skills that will serve them later in life. The organization also works to advocate for policies that will increase the quality of life for girls across Wisconsin.


Please click here for more information about the Girl Scouts organization in our community.




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 throughout the current legislative session. To return the survey, simply fold it, tape it, and affix a stamp.

Click here to save a stamp and take the survey online.

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.


Click here to view this handout or visit my Web site,


Click here to view the same PDF in Spanish.




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