January 12, 2017




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




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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.

33rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration
Date: January 15 at 1 p.m.
Location: Milwaukee
Description: The only cities to celebrate Dr. King's Birthday annually since 1984 are Atlanta, Georgia and Milwaukee, Wisconsin! Always taking place in the month of January, this event focuses on keeping the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. alive. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration highlights the youth in our community who every year interpret Dr. King's words through art, speech and writing contest. The theme this year is, "We Shall Overcome."
CLICK HERE to learn more.

Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
929 N. Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202



Melodies and Memories: 200 Years of Milwaukee Music Exhibit
Date: January 16-26 from 9 a.m. to 5p.m.
Location: Milwaukee
Description: The Milwaukee County Historical Society will present its feature exhibit Melodies and Memories: 200 Years of Milwaukee Music as the cornerstone of a year that celebrates Milwaukee's music heritage! This comprehensive exhibit will explore styles, people, organizations, businesses, and places that were, and continue to be, central to Milwaukee music. Visitors can explore the Milwaukee scene ranging from its earliest days through modern day, encompassing diverse genres such as classical, ethnic and sacred music, pop, jazz, and opera.
For more information, including ticket pricing, CLICK HERE.

Milwaukee County Historical Society
910 N. Old World Third Street
Milwaukee, WI 53203


Winterfest at Boerner Botanical Gardens
Date: January 22
Location: Hales Corners
Description: The Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens invite you and your family to come out and conquer your cabin fever! Activities planned for the day include special winter nature walks, indoor and outdoor games, hot drinks, and family fun! CLICK HERE for more information.


Boerner Botanical Gardens
9400 Boerner Drive
Hales Corners, WI 53130


Momentum: MBII@SMPAC
Date: January 28

Location: South Milwaukee Performances at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Description: In the crowning show of their season, Milwaukee Ballet II (MBII) dancers showcase their technique, artistry and athleticism in a diverse display of dance. The program features three world premieres by choreographers Thom Dancy (an MBII graduate), Tania Bolivia Vergara from Cuba and Rolando Yanes (Director of Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy and MBII) with piano accompaniment by Milwaukee Ballet Company's Daniel Boudewyns. Drama, beauty, grace and power -- this show is entertaining and exciting and has something for everyone. Both shows will be followed by a talkback with the artists. For more information, including ticket pricing, CLICK HERE.

South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center


901 15th Ave

South Milwaukee, 53172



Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market
Date: Now through April 8, 2017
Location: Milwaukee
Description: Formerly known as the "Milwaukee County Winter Famers Market," the "Milwaukee Winter Famers Market" takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday in the Greenhouse Annex at the Mitchell Park Domes. In its 8th year, the almost 50 weekly vendors gather each Saturday to promote fresh, local food, varying from fruit and vegetables, to various meats and poultry, to freshly baked goods, to our community. CLICK HERE for more information.

Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory

524 S. Layton Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53215

The Pfister Afternoon Tea
Date: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 12:30, 1:00, 1:30, and 2:00 p.m. through April 2
Location: Milwaukee
Description: Enjoy the Pfister Afternoon Tea experience on the 23rd floor-lounge of the Pfister Hotel, where you have a panoramic view of Milwaukee and Lake Michigan. You can stay relaxed in the lounge by drinking Rishi Tea, a popular tea that's headquartered right here in Milwaukee! CLICK HERE for more information, including how to make reservations.

The Pfister Hotel

424 E Wisconsin Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53202



Dear Wisconsin Neighbor,


I hope you were able to relax and enjoy the holidays. A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks: new legislators took the Oath of Office, the 2017-2018 Legislative Session began, Walker gave his latest State of the State address, and President Obama gave a remarkable and historic farewell address. Keep reading for more information about each of these important topics.


In Service,

Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7


State of the State
In Walker's latest State of the State speech, we again saw that he would rather talk about the hard work and success of our Packers than explain his own dismal record. The shared values of our neighbors continue to be betrayed, and Walker's bleak approval rating shows that our neighbors are ready for a change. If we are to ensure prosperity and opportunity in our state, the partisan politics and out-of-touch policies of the past must come to an end.

See the full text of Walker's State of the State speech, here.

Throughout Wisconsin, our neighbors are bearing the brunt of the intentionally irresponsible agenda carried out by Walker and legislative Republicans. While the governor painted a picture using a broad brush and wearing his rose colored glasses, we know the truth of was hidden behind what was not said. In fact, Walker has a track record of handing out millions of our scarce public resources to a handful of millionaires and campaign contributors and has flung open the floodgates to political collusion and corruption.

Here are some of the ways Wisconsin has been betrayed by Walker and legislative Republicans:

  • Our neighbors have suffered under Walker. For 20 consecutive quarters -- or five full years -- Wisconsin has lagged behind most of our Midwestern neighbors in terms of job growth. Our state has the most diminished middle class in the country, in the last couple years Wisconsin poverty rates hit the highest level in 30 years, and we are dead last in the nation for small business start-up activity.
  • While the hardworking people of Wisconsin have been left behind by Walker, the wealthiest in our state have cashed in. On the books for 2017 is a big GOP giveaway -- approved in the Republican state budget -- that is estimated to cost $284 million, a disgustingly disproportionate amount of which is being handed to wealthy millionaires. In fact, $21 million is going to individuals making over $35 million annually.
  • Not only have everyday Wisconsinites been left behind in order to favor Walker and the GOP's campaign friends, but state agencies have been grossly mismanaged by the governor. In fact, under Governor Walker's watch, shocking allegations about the treatment of veteran residents at the King nursing home facility have come to light in recent weeks. Staff shortages, neglected urine-soaked carpeting, and dirty drinking water are just some of the horrific conditions described by workers, veterans, and family members. It's an American value that our veterans deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, especially when it comes to their quality of life and care. Sadly, this value has not been honored by the Walker administration.
  • Misplaced Republican budget priorities jeopardizes workplace safety and we've seen major problems at Wisconsin's correctional institutions as a result. Serious and disturbing information regarding abuse at the Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls came to light, resulting in a federal investigation. Despite these critical concerns, Governor Walker admitted recently that he has not visited any of our state correctional facilities since being in office -- even though he knew of the allegations of abuse and neglect since 2012.

My Democratic colleagues and I are ready to take the lead on ensuring economic security and the freedom to pursue the American Dream for each of our neighbors. We have been listening to the concerns -- and hopes -- of our fellow citizens who want to see Wisconsin return to being a leader in supporting our neighborhood schools, protecting and enhancing health care access, safeguarding our public lands and waters, and creating safer communities.

Walker's speech was a storm of empty words and false promises. We must do better.

Obama's Farewell, A Stark Contrast from What We Heard From Walker
Walker and Trump alike do not keep their promises. The uncertainty and angst generated by their dangerous and tired rhetoric are toxic for our communities and our democracy. Listening to the governor's message was very different than what we heard from Obama as he addressed the nation one last time as president. Where Walker's legacy is one of division and bullying, Obama gave us hope -- just as he did eight years ago -- as he assured each of us that even the deepest ideological divides can and must be bridged.

The president also reminded us of the incredible strides we've made as a country to ensure a life of prosperity and opportunity for us all. More people have access to affordable health care coverage, our nation is working with other countries to reduce the damages of climate change, and honest conversations about privilege and respect have taken form in ways they had not previously. Our shared values are rooted in principles that know no party affiliation. As Walker, Trump, and other GOP politicians continue their tactic of divide and conquer politics, it is most important for us to reach out to our neighbors -- even those who disagree with our political values -- and have in-depth, constructive conversations in an effort to protect the immense gains we have made as a community and nation.

Obama encompassed this sentiment in one of his closing remarks by stating, "America is not a fragile thing, but the gains of our long journey to freedom are not assured."

See President Obama's speech, here.

Committee Assignments Announced 

With inauguration last week, the 2017-2018 Legislative Session has officially begun! Members of the Senate were also given their committee assignments recently.

This session, I am looking forward to being a member of the:

  • Senate Committee on Education (ranking Democratic member)
  • Senate Committee on Administrative Rules (ranking Democratic member)
  • Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (ranking Democratic member)
  • Senate Committee on Insurance, Housing, and Trade
  • Senate Committee on Agriculture, Small Business, and Tourism

Watch for the next Larson Report newsletter, where there will be an in-depth look at each of these committees, including notable past legislation and what each of them could take up this session.

View a full list of Senate Committee's, here.

In Case You Missed It
Each week, the Larson Report strives to provide up-to-date, in-depth information to its readers. Between editions, a lot happens in Madison and in our Wisconsin communities. I want to make sure you know the most pressing issues facing our neighborhoods across the state. Below are some of the top stories from the past couple of weeks:
  • As shown by the recent court ruling affirming Wisconsin legislative district maps as unconstitutional, Walker and state Republicans will do anything to hold onto power. It is time we move forward with an unbiased system of redistricting to ensure the voices of all our neighbors can be heard.
    The new legislative session has begun, and it's time for senators and representatives in the State Legislature to work on issues critical to Wisconsin and our shared values. My colleague, Sen. Dave Hansen, circulated a bill for co-sponsorship this week that would be a significant move to strengthen our democracy by creating a nonpartisan redistricting process in our state. Voters should choose their politicians; politicians shouldn't choose their voters. Help me spread the word about this important legislation by share this Facebook post.
  • Are you familiar with Bloater Chubs? This week, in the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules, I voted for a sustainable harvest limit for this Lake Michigan fish. Rejecting science, Republicans pushed through a motion that instead ties the hands of Department of Natural Resource (DNR) wildlife scientists.
    Blind rejection of science in favor of politics reminded me of President Obama's call last night to seek the stability of a middle ground based on facts, science, and reason. Given that our DNR has already removed references to climate change from their website, the environment is an area we can ill afford to ignore the facts. Unfortunately, rather than strengthening our ability to safeguard our shared lands and waters, Republicans are looking to further dismantle and diminish the Department of Natural Resources. It's the wrong direction for Wisconsin. I was glad to see so many immediately speak out against unraveling an agency that needs a comprehensive approach to safeguarding our future, including five former DNR secretaries. Read this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article for more.

  • Opioid addiction continues to be a heartbreaking health crises that plagues our state and nation. The tragic deaths of friends, family, and neighbors to this addiction can be felt in every neighborhood and community in our state. This addiction can strike anyone, and it is our duty as neighbors and state officials to offer lifesaving treatment and resources to those in need. The leadership shown by the Obama Administration, along with Wisconsin's bipartisan Task Force on Opioid Abuse, were vital in prompting the recent call for a special session to move forward with legislation to address the opioid crisis plaguing our state. This problem has continued to grow more deadly in recent years and I'm hopeful that this special legislative session will provide an opportunity to take a hard look at the facts and funding needs, and make the crucial investment needed to save lives. We can ill afford more partisan parlor tricks when real and significant action is so desperately needed.
    I stand ready to work with anyone interested in creating a healthy, more prosperous Wisconsin. Each of our neighbors deserves an opportunity to thrive, and taking action to treat and prevent addiction must be part of this equation. Click here to read more about these bills in a Cap Times article.
  • As Speaker Paul Ryan ramps up his scheme to deny basic health care to women by defunding Planned Parenthood, just in Wisconsin tens of thousands could be left without adequate access to vital, preventive services. In addition to his plot to rip away health care from millions of our neighbors by repealing the Affordable Care Act, he wants to abuse his power to strip away the lifesaving services Planned Parenthood provides to both men and women. Make your voice heard loud and clear by calling Speaker Ryan at 608-752-4050 and telling him Wisconsin needs Planned Parenthood.


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