November 3, 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. 


Now through November 20

The legendary coach comes home to Wisconsin in this post-Broadway regional premiere production. Although football’s Super Bowl trophy is named for him, few know the real story of Lombardi or his inspirations, his passions and his ability to drive people to achieve more than they ever thought possible. Exploring his relationship with his wife, Marie, and three of his legendary players Paul Hornung, Jim Taylor and Dave Robinson, this family-friendly tribute takes you into the life and times of one of Wisconsin and America’s most inspirational personalities.
CLICK HERE for more information.

Milwaukee Repertory Theater (MAP)
108 E. Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202



Don't Tell Me I Can't Fly

Now through November 13
Attend this world premiere production offering an inspiring and engaging look at family life. This family-friendly play paints the humorous yet inspirational portrait of the life of 9-year-old Tonia, seeking to contain her intelligence and creativity in order to adapt to her family’s lifestyle. When her attempts do not work out as planned, Tonia harnesses her artistic soul – and finds her family, friends and the world begin to appreciate her uniqueness. Discover with Tonia and her family that the best you can be is yourself. For more information or to purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.

First Stage Children's Theater (MAP)
325 W. Walnut Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212

(414) 267-2929



Oak Creek Salvation Army Fall Rummage and Bake Sale
November 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Browse and buy from a variety of individual vendors selling clothing, books, electronics, crafts, baked goods and more. Lunch items will also be available for purchase.


Oak Creek Salvation Army

8853 S. Howell Avenue

Oak Creek, WI 53154



Family Free Day at Zoo

November 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
All visitors receive free admission to the Milwaukee County Zoo on this day, although the parking fee remains in effect.


Milwaukee County Zoo (MAP)

10001 W. Blue Mound Road

Milwaukee, WI 53226

(414) 256-5466


Children's Art in the Garden Exhibition
November 6 through December 4

Join the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum for a vibrant exhibition of children’s art inspired by the Villa’s Renaissance Garden and created by students from Milwaukee-area schools. There will be an opening reception on Sunday, November 6 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and the exhibit will be on display until December 4. Children’s Art in the Garden is free with paid admission to the Museum, which costs $5 for adults; $3 for students, seniors, and veterans; and is free for members, children under 12, and active military. CLICK HERE for more information.


Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum (MAP)

2220 N. Terrace Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 271-3656


Holiday Bazaar

November 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
FREE admission. Attend this family-friendly event featuring baked goods, homemade crafts, raffle items, white elephant exchange, rummage sale, and lunch items available for purchase. Admission to this neighborhood event is free.


Grobschmidt Center (MAP)

2424 15th Avenue

South Milwaukee, WI 53172

(414) 768-8045























































































































































































































































Dear Friend,

Take time to remember the brave men and women that served our country this weekend as we celebrate Veterans Day in our community.


Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7




Special Session Focus is...Trespassers?

This past Wednesday, the Senate met in Special Session to take up two bills. Unfortunately, neither of these bills were aimed at creating jobs in our state or improving Wisconsin's overall economic prosperity. The first of these two bills, Special Session Senate Bill 14, decreases the incentive for businesses to pay civil judgments awarded to consumers. The second bill taken up, Special Session Senate Bill 22, removes liability from property owners for injuries trespassers receive on the property.


I am concerned that the focus of this Special Session is drifting further away each week from its intended purpose of creating jobs for dislocated workers in our state. Proposals that do not create jobs need to go through the regular legislative session on their merits, instead of being rushed through by Senate Republicans simply to hastily fulfill a special interest wish-list.


To view a copy of Special Session Senate Bill 14, please CLICK HERE.


To view a copy of Special Session Senate Bill 22, please CLICK HERE.



Divisive Youth Disinformation Bill Passes the Senate

For the last two weeks, Senate Republicans have pushed legislation that seeks to deny Wisconsin’s youth vital education and health information regarding contraceptives and sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention. Yesterday they succeeded in passing it through the Senate. Senate Bill 237 overturns the Healthy Youth Act, which ensures that all young adults in Wisconsin have access to comprehensive, age appropriate, and medically accurate human growth and development classes.


I have strongly advocated for the continuation of comprehensive sex education in neighborhood schools and also introduced common sense amendments to try and improve this divisive legislation. Thus far it has been nearly impossible to get any Democratic amendment passed in this extreme Legislature as they tend to fall on deaf ears.


Fortunately, this time around Republicans headed some of our concerns and accepted an amendment I authored. This amendment will ensure that all of Wisconsin’s youth, even those in school districts that adopt an abstinence-only curriculum, are provided information about the Human papillomavirus (HPV) and the Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). With the passage of this amendment, our youth will have access to adequate information about these preventable and deadly diseases and will not be forced to rely on the information provided to them by a Google search.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. Currently, 20 million Americans are infected with HPV and this virus affects at least 50% of sexually active people, both men and women, at some time in their life. HPV is also the leading cause of cervical cancer among women. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 12,200 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually, almost all of which are HPV-related.

Our children do not live in a Peter Pan Neverland. They live in the real world where they do eventually grow up. We should want these future adults to be as informed as possible about how to prevent life-threatening health problems.


To view a copy of this bill, please CLICK HERE.



Milwaukee Parental Choice Tax Levy Increases by 22.6%

The tax levy for the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) will increase by 22.6% for the 2011-2012 school year, according to information recently released by the Department of Public Instruction. This drastic increase will fall onto the shoulders of City of Milwaukee property tax payers who will now be responsible for covering the nearly $55.4 million to MPCP.


MPCP enrollment has increased from 20,300 students in the 2010-2011 school year, to 22,400 in the 2011-2012 school year. At 22,400 students, MPCP enrollment trails only that of the Milwaukee, Madison and Kenosha school districts making it the fourth highest student enrollment in the state.


Ensuring Truth on Our Property Tax Bill

These recently announced tax increases illustrate the need for greater transparency on our property tax bills. One month ago, my Milwaukee legislative colleagues and I sent a letter to the Milwaukee Common Council, Mayor Barrett, Treasurer Whittow and Comptroller Morics requesting that they make the annual tax notices more transparent by separating the tax levy associated with MPCP from the tax levy for Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). Milwaukee’s taxpayers deserve to know how much of their money is going to fund private and religious schools through the MPCP. Inclusion of this information assumes greater transparency in government.

In 2010, state law compelled MPS to levy over $50 million in taxes to subsidize the private and religious schools that make up the voucher program, over which MPS has no authority or control. This amounts to 17% of the total MPS tax levy going to non-MPS schools. New legislation at the state level has expanded the voucher program in Milwaukee to allow private schools outside Milwaukee to participate, while also removing all enrollment caps on the program and raising the income limits on participants. Due to these policy changes in the state’s 2011-2013 biennial budget, the cost of the MPCP rose significantly exceeding the state’s official 2012 estimate and increasing the financial responsibility of taxpayers by 22.6%.

All of these changes come at a time when our public schools statewide are forced to make do with $1.6 billion less in state aide over the next two years, while spending on programs like the MPCP continues to balloon. In truth, Milwaukee taxpayers are now being billed for both the largest school district in the state, MPS, and the fourth largest, which is what the MPCP has grown to be with 22,400 students. The tax levy for the MPCP already exceeds the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) by nearly $10 million and is expected to exceed that of Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) in the next few years.

Milwaukee's taxpayers deserve to know which programs are being funded with their hard-earned money. This is matter of public accountability, transparency and good government, which is why I remain committed to the request that local government separately displays the tax levy associated with the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program separately from the tax levy for Milwaukee Public Schools on all annual tax documents sent to taxpayers.

To view a copy of the letter on property tax transparency submitted to the City of Milwaukee, please CLICK HERE.



Remembering Our Nation's Veterans

Next Friday, November 11 is Veterans Day, also known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day. This federal holiday honoring military veterans is celebrated every year on the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. Join in honoring the brave men and women that fought for our country to preserve our nation's freedom.


There are several community events taking place during the weekend and next week to honor our neighbors who served. You can find the information for these events listed below:


City of Oak Creek Veterans Day Celebration

Saturday, November 5 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Remember those that served by stopping by the Oak Creek Veterans Memorial this Saturday, November 5 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.


Veterans Day Parade

Saturday, November 5 at 11 a.m.

Attend the 48th annual Veterans Day Parade and Day of Honor this Saturday in Downtown Milwaukee. The parade kicks-off off at 11a.m. from 4th and Kilbourn and heads east to the War Memorial via Wells Street. There will be a memorial service at the War Memorial immediately following the parade. For more information, please CLICK HERE.


War Memorial Center (MAP)

750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive

Milwaukee, WI 53202


Remembering Veterans Day in St. Francis

Saturday, November 5 at 1:30 p.m.

Join seniors at the Howard Village Retirement Community in honoring the armed forces and our community's veterans with a Veterans Day Ceremony this Saturday. This heartfelt program is sure to inspire as Mayor Al Richards, area veterans and special guests come together to celebrate, honor and remember. The ceremony will conclude with a flag raising, multi-gun salute outside and refreshments to follow. The community is welcome. Please RSVP by calling (414) 489-1400.

Howard Village Retirement Community (MAP)

2500 E. Howard Avenue

St. Francis, WI 53235


Cudahy High School's Annual Veterans Day Assembly

Friday, November 11 at 9 a.m.

This event has been described as "one of the best in Southeastern Wisconsin." The assembly will take place on Friday, November 11 at 9:00 a.m. in the school's field house. A moving, dramatic reading of the Cudahy Gold Star List - the names of all the community's men who gave their lives in service to our country during World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam, and Iraqi Freedom will be featured. Many of the names on the list are former Cudahy High School students. The reading is enhanced with photos of those on the Gold Star List being projected on a giant ten-foot screen. Members of the community are invited to attend. If anyone knows of a veteran that would like to be included in this ceremony please contact Principal Christopher Haeger or Secretary Cindy Smith at (414)294-2700.


Cudahy High School (MAP)

4950 S. Lake Drive

Cudahy, WI 53110

Veterans Day Observance at the Cudahy Family Library

Friday, November 11 at 11 a.m.

This ceremony will be held in front of the south entrance of the library on Friday, November 11 at 11 a.m. If you wish to honor a special serviceman or woman on that day, please stop by the library's Reference Desk or call (414) 769-2244 for more information.

Cudahy Family Library (MAP)
3500 Library Drive
Cudahy, WI 53110
(414) 769-2244



Protecting All Neighbors from Radon Exposure

I will be supporting legislation that will be introduced shortly to provide protections for our family, friends and neighbors from being unknowingly exposed to harmful radon.


Radon is a naturally-occurring, odorless gas that is found in the ground. It exists at a higher-than-average rate in Wisconsin and often seeps into buildings where it is inhaled. Between 5-10% of Wisconsin homes have radon levels well above the suggested level of exposure. High radon levels are a particularly concerning problem in Milwaukee County, where the average indoor radon level is three times the national average. 


Excessive exposure to radon can be harmful to our lungs. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. As radon gas decays, its particles become radioactive, causing lung damage. In order to avoid this risk, the EPA has set guidelines to safeguard against harmful radon levels within homes. The more radon located in the home, the more likely an inhabitant is to develop lung cancer or other respiratory health issues.


Under current law, owners selling homes must disclose to prospective buyers any defect relating to unsafe levels of radon in the home. LRB 1660/1 extends the same protections given to prospective home buyers to prospective tenants. This bill ensures that tenants will have knowledge of the potential health risks associated with living in a particular building before entering into a legal agreement with the property owner. Under LRB 1660/1, tenants will be provided the dates and results of any radon testing done on the premises.


I am committed to protecting families throughout our community from such immense health risks as exposure to dangerous radon levels. For this reason I will be wholeheartedly supporting LRB 1660/1.


To view a copy of LRB 1660/1, please CLICK HERE.



November is Aviation History Month

November is Aviation History Month, a time to celebrate the storied history of the aircraft and reflect on the important role aviation has played in our lives. So take time this month to remember American Icons such as the Wright Brothers, Charles Lindbergh and Neil Armstrong who helped shape this country through their contributions to aviation.

The importance of progress in aviation can be seen in our own General Mitchell International Airport, which is one of the 30 fastest-growing airports in the world. General Mitchell is the key to economic vitality in our local community.


Our community will also greatly benefit from constant improvement and growth of our airport, which has spurred the creation of the Milwaukee Gateway Aerotropolis Corporation. Aerotropolis is a non-profit organization that helps harness the economic benefits associated with our local airport. Aerotropolis provides sustainable infrastructure to ensure efficient economic growth in our community, promote a secure business climate and increase jobs for our neighbors.


Public Hearing on Hoan Bridge

Monday, November 14 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) released their feasibility study on including a bike and pedestrian lane as part of the Hoan Bridge reconstruction project just a few hours ago. The study includes different construction plans and cost estimates, which can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.


The DOT will be holding a public hearing on these proposals on Monday, November 14 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the DOT downtown office building located at 1001 West St. Paul Avenue in Milwaukee.


I look forward to attending this meeting to learn more about these various bike lane options and hear what neighbors have to say. In choosing a final project proposal, it is important to keep in mind what the best fit is for the scope and cost of the project, and also what option will ensure safe travel for everybody.




See You in the Neighborhood

I created a new survey that I will be distributing to neighbors asking them about various issues that are important to them, our community and our state. I have started distributing the survey door-to-door throughout our community and will continue doing so for about the next month. To return the survey, simply fold it, tape it, and put a stamp on it.

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. An electronic copy of this survey will be made available on my Web site this Friday.


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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