May 20, 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












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.



5K Walk/Run for Project Concern

May 21 at 7 a.m.
Cudahy High School’s Environmental Sciences class is hosting this event to benefit Project
Concern of Cudahy/St. Francis, a local charity that provides food, clothing, and other supplies to low income families in the Cudahy and St. Francis community. Registration begins at 7 a.m. and the walk/run starts at 9 a.m. Registration costs $15. CLICK HERE to register.


Sheridan Park (MAP)

4800 S. Lake Drive

Cudahy, WI 53110

(414) 339-5457



Historical Society Yard Sale

May 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Join the Bay View Historical Society as they host their annual yard sale! Shop the bookstore, boutique and gift shop both inside and outside the historic house. Refreshments will also be available for purchase on the grounds. Yard sale donations will be accepted at the garage behind the house on Friday, May 20, as well as the morning of the sale. Please pre-price your items; no clothing, shoes or holiday items. All proceeds benefit the society's programs and ownership of the Beulah Brinton House.


Beulah Brinton House (MAP)

2590 S. Superior Street

Milwaukee, WI 53207


Storytime at Humboldt Park

May 21 at 10 a.m.
Partake in an adaptation of an African fairy tale showcasing young Milwaukee actors.
Sponsored by The Park People and Pink Banana Theatre Company. Admission is $5 for
children, although children of Park People members enter free. CLICK HERE for more information and to reserve your spot.


Humboldt Park Pavillion(MAP)

3000 S. Howell Avenue

Milwaukee, WI 53207
(414) 257-7275


Bradford Beach Jam
May 21 at 10 a.m.

Start your summer with a day on the beach! Bradford Beach opens with a day of beach volleyball competition. For more information, please CLICK HERE.

Bradford Beach (MAP)
2400 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53211
(414) 962-8809

Mini-Golf for a Major Cause
May 22 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Participate in a day of golf to raise funds for the St. Bernard Project in New Orleans, whose mission is to rebuild the homes and lives of survivors of Hurricane Katrina. St. Matthew's Lutheran is hosting this events. Admission is $7 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under. All admission proceeds will be donated directly to the St. Bernard Project


Gastrau's Golf Center (MAP)

1300 E. Rawson Avenue

Oak Creek, WI 53154



Peanut Day in Cudahy

May 21, all day at various locations
Members of the Kiwanis Club of Cudahy-St. Francis will dress in orange Peanut Day vests and
stand at busy intersections and businesses. Key Club members from St. Thomas More and Cudahy High School will join them in distributing specially packaged shelled peanuts and accepting donations for the packages. All proceeds support the Club’s community

Donate Used Books, Music and Movies

Now Through July 31

The Friends of the Oak Creek Public Library are seeking donations for their annual book sale. They will be accepting adult and children's hardcover and paperback books, CD's, DVD's, video cassettes and audio cassettes. Label your materials "Friends Book Sale" and drop them off at the library.


Oak Creek Public Library (MAP)

8620 S. Howell Avenue
Oak Creek, WI 53154
(414) 764-4400



























































































































































Dear Friend,

This week we look at the passage of legislation to increase restrictions on Wisconsin voters as well as a very important update on the SeniorCare program.


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




Senate Republicans Pass Bill to Increase Restrictions on Wisconsin Voters

This week, Senate Republicans passed Assembly Bill 7, one of the most restrictive voter suppression bills in the nation, despite objections from Senate Democrats that doing so would restrict constitutional voting rights of hundreds of thousands of eligible Wisconsin voters. Republicans limited debate on the bill to one hour on Thursday. Over half of the Democratic Senators' opposition votes were not counted, when the Republican Senate Leader abruptly adjourned after violating Senate Rules and breaking his word that Senators would have 15 minutes to record votes and offer closing motions.


In addition to creating extra hurdles for those wishing to cast their vote in our democracy, Assembly Bill 7 increases the residency requirement from 10 days to 28 consecutive days, and eliminates straight-party voting. This legislation also comes with a price tag of over $7 million at a time when vital services such as local schools, public transit and vital health care programs are facing devastating cuts.

A 2005 University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee study found that over 175,000 adults in Wisconsin over the age of 65 currently do not have a state issued driver’s license or identification card. As passed, Assembly Bill 7 will have a significant negative impact on these and other eligible voting populations including students, minorities, people with disabilities and new residents.


My Democratic colleagues and I offered 29 amendments and a substitute amendment to curb the all-out attack on the rights of eligible voters, each of which were tabled by Senate Republicans. Some of the introduced amendments would have ensured that DMV centers offer extended hours prior to an election, provided an appropriation for public information efforts, and eliminated the fees for identification cards and the documents needed to obtain identification cards for qualified electors.


I have heard from hundreds of neighbors on this legislation over the phone, via email, at two town halls meetings, and numerous listening sessions, and our community was largely against these proposed restrictions.


I oppose this voter restriction bill because it attacks one of our most fundamental constitutional rights by creating additional barriers intended to restrict eligible voters from participating in our elections. The passage of this legislation seeks to send Wisconsin backwards decades to the days of poll taxes and literacy tests. We should be making it easier for people to participate in democracy, not harder.  


CLICK HERE to view a copy of Assembly Bill 7 as amended. You can also view a summary of the adopted changes by CLICKING HERE.




Dirty Drinking Water Bill Passes

Legislation passed in the Senate this week, Assembly Bill 23, overturning current laws that allow the Department of Natural resources to enforce their safe drinking water program by requiring municipalities to continuously disinfect their drinking water. This legislative change will likely lead to an increase of contaminated water and illnesses in Wisconsin.


Research has shown that public water systems can often contain viruses from leaking sanitary systems, which can make people sick. For example, a study done by the Marshfield Clinic Foundation tested the drinking water in 14 communities between 2005 and 2007 and found that 34 of the 36 wells tested positive for viruses. None of these communities used chlorine to disinfect their drinking water. Other research has also indicated that there is a correlation between the amount of viruses present in a water supply and the overall health of the impacted communities.


I could not ignore the dramatic health implications that could result with the passage of this bill, which is why I voted against it. Without these regulations to protect water quality across Wisconsin, sewerage waste, toxic chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides could make their way into our drinking water, which can significantly harm the health of our families and communities.

To view a copy of Assembly Bill 23, please CLICK HERE.




Creating Jobs in...Canada?

On Tuesday, a bill that will hinder job creation in Wisconsin passed through the Senate. Senate Bill 81 will allow large hydroelectric energy produced by a Canadian company to be used in order for Wisconsin to comply with state renewable energy requirements. Under these requirements, Wisconsin's goal is to have 10% of Wisconsin’s power come from renewable sources by 2015.


Currently, Wisconsin's renewable energy standards allow for the purchasing of only a small amount of energy from out-of-state hydroelectric companies. Our state previously adopted these policies in order to promote more opportunities for in-state renewable energy production. Senate Bill 81 significantly increases the amounts of out-of-state hydroelectric energy that can be purchased and used towards Wisconsin's renewable energy requirements.

Job creation needs to be one of our state's top priorities. This legislation runs counter to that goal as it sends money and jobs outside of not only the state, but also the country. Our state should be looking to increase renewable energy jobs right here in our communities, rather than outsourcing such jobs to Canada. This bill also ensures that  Wisconsin will continue to be reliant on foreign countries for our energy needs. Because of all of these concerns, I could not support Senate Bill 81.


CLICK HERE to view a copy of Senate Bill 81.




Protecting SeniorCare

Democratic lawmakers and advocates for the senior community announced this past Wednesday that they had collected more than 14,000 signatures from neighbors after a five-week petition drive urging the Legislature to save the popular SeniorCare program.


Under the proposed changes to SeniorCare, over 79,000 seniors currently utilizing SeniorCare would be forced to switch to Medicaid Part D. However, it appears the petition may be successful, as GOP leaders announced later on Wednesday that they intend to preserve the current SeniorCare program.


SeniorCare is a vital state health care program that provides life-saving medication to seniors over age 65 at a price they can afford. The program first went into effect in 2002, and has served more that 150,000 seniors across Wisconsin.


SeniorCare is often a better option for our seniors compared to the federal Medicare Part D because it is easier to apply for and understand, provides reliable coverage at a lower cost, and costs taxpayers less than half of what Medicare Part D does. In contrast, the Medicare Part D benefit is a bureaucratic maze with dozens of plans to sort through, high out-of-pocket expenses, and holes in coverage that can be devastating to our seniors.

The program has earned widespread support because it meets the test of serving the health care needs of seniors in a way that makes the best possible use of scarce state and federal funds.




Remembering Our Nation's Soldiers

Memorial Day is fast-approaching. Join in honoring the brave men and women that fought for our country and died to preserve our nation's freedom. There are several community events taking place during the Memorial Day weekend to honor the soldiers that made the ultimate sacrifice while serving. You can find the information for these events listed below:


Milwaukee Memorial Day Parade

Monday, May 30 at 2 p.m.

Attend Milwaukee's 125th annual Memorial Day Parade. The parade will feature about 100 groups including color guards, bands, marching units, vehicles and VIP dignitaries. It will start at 4th Street and Wisconsin Avenue proceeding east on Wisconsin to the War Memorial Center, ending at the Veterans Park on lakefront. There will also be a memorial wreath-laying ceremony immediately following the parade at 3:30 p.m. and a ceremony at the Reflecting Pool on Fitch Plaza in the War Memorial Center featuring the Metropolitan Community Band.


Bay View Memorial Day Parade
Monday, May 30 at 9 a.m.

The parade begins near Burdick School at East Bolivar Avenue and South Taylor, and travels to Woodlawn Cemetery at 614 E. Howard Avenue. Once at Woodlawn, an invocation, presentation of the memorial wreath and the singing of the National Anthem will take place.


South Milwaukee Memorial Day Parade
Monday, May 30 at 10 a.m.

Meet at Old St. Mary Church on 13th and Manitoba for the beginning of the parade, which continues to Veterans Memorial Park on 10th Avenue.




May is Mental Health Awareness Month

This past Tuesday, the Senate and Assembly passed Senate Joint Resolution 40, a proposal to recognize May as Mental Health Awareness Month.


Mental health conditions are pervasive, affecting 1 in four members of our community and accounting for four of the 10 leading causes of disability in the United States. Unfortunately, fewer than one-third of adults and one-half of children living with a diagnosable mental disorder receive mental health services.


Addressing mental health issues should be a bipartisan effort. By working together, we can help to increase awareness about this far-reaching issue and promote access to the vital health and community services that are desperately needed by our neighbors living with mental health conditions.


Please CLICK HERE to view a copy of this proposal.




Eastside Senior Services

Eastside Senior Services offers many opportunities and resources to help our seniors. They assist seniors with activities such as providing rides to the doctor, picking up groceries and helping with season house clean-up. Eastside Senior Services can also organize phone calls and house visits to check in on seniors in the community. If you or someone you know is a senior that would like to take advantage of these services, please contact Eastside Senior Services by phone at (414) 961-0661 or via email at




Summer Activities in Our Community

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


Chill on the Hill 2011
The line-up for Chill on the Hill is now available! Voted best outdoor concert series, Chill on the Hill features local bands and vendors every Tuesday night at Humboldt Park's band shell throughout the summer. Opening acts start at 6 p.m. while main acts play between 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Please CLICK HERE for this summer's line-up.


Play in the Park

The YMCA, Northwestern Mutual Foundation and the Milwaukee County Parks sponsor this new program offered at our local parks. Bring the whole family to participating local parks for a fun, active experience everyone can enjoy. CLICK HERE to view the calendar of dates, times and locations of this event.


Summer Classes at Danceworks

Danceworks offers a wide array of summer dance classes for children and adults, including ballroom, tap, ballet, African, hip-hop, contemporary and yoga among others. Register early to receive 20% off the full summer session (June 6-August 27) of any class of your choice at the Water Street location. Registration and full payment are required by June 1 in order to receive the discounted rate. To visit the Danceworks Web site for more information, please CLICK HERE.



Meet for Coffee in Milwaukee

Wednesday, June 1 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

We will have office hours open to the public at Roast Coffee Company near the UW Campus in Milwaukee. This is your chance to talk in person about any questions, concerns or opinions you might have about our community or state. No appointment necessary. Feel free to call my office for additional information. CLICK HERE to view their Web site.

Roast Coffee Company (MAP)
2132 E Locust St
Milwaukee, WI 53211




Web Site Now Available!

My State Senate Web site is now available! On this site you will be able to track legislation, view community and state updates, and access local resources. The Web site also provides another way for you to communicate with me directly about any questions, comments or concerns you may have about our community or state.


I will continue to update this site frequently and appreciate any feedback you might have to make the site as user-friendly as possible.


To visit my new Web site, please CLICK HERE.



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