April 6, 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.

Lions Easter Egg Hunt
Date: Saturday, April 8, 8:30 a.m.

Location: South Milwaukee
Description: Hosted by the South Milwaukee Lions and Friends of the Mill Pond. Pancake and French Toast Breakfast 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
FREE Egg Hunt at 10:30 a.m.
Bags will be supplied for Egg Hunt.
Breakfast: $6 per person. Children 5 to 11 $4  (age four and under FREE). Bring your own cameras for a picture with the Easter Bunny! CLICK HERE for more information.


Grobschmidt Senior Center

2424 15th Ave. South Milwaukee, WI 53172

Humboldt Park Friends and Milwaukee County Parks 17th annual Easter Egg Hunt

Date: Saturday, April 8 at 11 a.m.

Location: Bay View


Egg hunt will take place at Humboldt Park on the West side of the Pavilion. This free event will feature more eggs than ever and designated areas for each age group, among other exciting enhancements, so hop on over and join in the fun! The Easter Egg Hunt will begin at 11 a.m., rain or shine, and welcomes children ranging from toddler-age to 12 years old. Humboldt Park Friends (HPF) will have four thousand candy-filled plastic eggs hidden throughout the park in five designated areas broken down by age group. CLICK HERE for more information.


Humboldt Park


3000 South Howell

Milwaukee, WI 53207


Craft and Vendor Fair
Date: April 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Cudahy
Description: The Friends of Cudahy Library will be sponsoring a spring craft and vendor fair. Come shop for your favorite products while supporting the library. Come hungry! The Cudahy Lions Club will be offering a brat fry. Free drawing for a $100 Visa card! CLICK HERE for more information!

Cudahy Family Library

3500 Library Ave
Cudahy, WI 53110

CHI Franciscan Villa Childcare Easter Bunny Event
Thursday, April 13, 5:30 p.m. 7 p.m.
Location: South Milwaukee
Description: Take a picture with the Easter bunny, dye an Easter egg, decorate an Easter cookie & more!
Call Stacy for questions at: 414-570-5410.

CHI Franciscan Villa Child Day Care Center

3601 S Chicago Ave
South Milwaukee, WI 53172

13th Annual Eggs-travaganza
Date: Sat., April 15 at 9 a.m.
Location: Milwaukee
Description: Join the fun at the 13th Annual Spring Eggs-travaganza scheduled in the children's play area of Riverside Park. Meet at Oakland Ave and Newberry Blvd. Bring your containers, cameras, smiles, kids and grandkids for our annual egg hunt.
Several thousand eggs are "hidden" for the hunt, including traditional colored eggs, plastic eggs filled with candy, and special ceramic and paper mache eggs produced by the artists at Murray Hill Pottery. The Eggs-travaganza is sponsored by the Murray Hill Neighborhood Association, Murray Hill Pottery Works, Walgreens and the Upper East Side Business Improvement District. CLICK HERE for more information!

Riverside Park

1500 E. Park Place
Milwaukee, WI 53211


Egg Day at Milwaukee County Zoo

Date: Saturday, April 15 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Location: Milwaukee
Description: Springtime is near. Soon enough the snow will be melted, winter jackets will be stuffed back into closets, shovels stored away, the sun will shine bright in the sky and the grass will be green again. At the Milwaukee County Zoo, it'll be a perfect time to hop on over with your family to enjoy Easter festivities on Egg Day. Kids can meet the Easter Bunny and participate in the egg scavenger hunt at the Lake Evinrude Deck. Throughout the day, visit the Stearns Family Apes of Africa building to get your face painted with a bunny nose and whiskers. At 2 p.m., take part in the parade, which begins at the Northwestern Mutual Family Farm. Make it a hoppy day.

CLICK HERE for more information.


Milwaukee County



10001 W. Bluemound Rd.

Milwaukee, WI 53226



Climate Change 101
Date: Saturday, April 23 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Franklin
Description: Climate change is real and we are already seeing it's impact at Wehr Nature Center. Join naturalist, Bev Bryant, to explore the scientific evidence and discuss the impacts on our local community. We will learn about the importance of phenology in recording changes to our climate, and go on a short walk to record spring natural history events. Bring your questions and curiosity to this interactive session!
Fees: $12 for Non-Residents; $10 for Milwaukee County Residents;$7 for Friends of Wehr
$3 Regular parking fee in effect. FREE parking for FOW Members
Pre-registration required 2 days prior to program.
Please call 414-425-8550 to register.

Wehr Nature Center

9701 W College Ave
Franklin, WI 53132


Dear Wisconsin Neighbor,

Wisconsinites are getting ready to celebrate Earth Day in just two weeks. This day is a way to celebrate our natural heritage by recommitting to safeguarding our shared lands and waters for all.

Unfortunately, just this week, Senate Republicans jammed through a bill (Senate Bill 76) that makes it easier for bad actors to deplete our natural water in Wisconsin. We will lay out the dangers of this betrayal of our constitution below.

While legislative Republicans are attempting to demolish over 150 years of our heritage, you can join me in showing a commitment to progressive efforts towards a greener planet by attending our upcoming water listening session as well as checking out some of the Earth Day events across Wisconsin and in our neighborhood.

At the request of neighbors, I also introduced some bills that have gotten some attention. Additionally, Senate Democrats highlighted a dangerous change in who can access your private internet history. We highlight these stories under our In Case You Missed It section. Let me know if there's anything we missed.


In Service,

Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7


Democrats Stand Up for Our Neighbors against Water Overuse

This week, Democrats in the State Legislature stood up for farmers, neighbors, outdoor enthusiasts, and those who depend on clean well water to live. Republicans betrayed the public by siding with special interests bent on profiting from controlling access to Wisconsin waters.

Senate Bill 76 passed the Senate on Wednesday, April 5, creating high-capacity well permits with no consideration of future negative impacts. 

This Republican water grab will end over 150 years of water predictability. The founding vision of the public trust doctrine led to our shared waters shaping our state's traditions, economy, recreation, and identity. Our rich history has been shaped by the deep value that we have a fundamental right to clean water. This is true for all, from the small farmer to the child enjoying a cool beach on a hot Wisconsin summer day. Each of our neighbors deserves the predictability of fair access to our shared, public waters and that they will remain accessible for generations to come.

Senate Bill 76 was rushed to passage and comes after the alarming news last summer that Walker's Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources quietly moved to ignore the public trust doctrine, using the political opinion of Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel to cease evaluating the negative cumulative impacts of drilling new high capacity wells. Further, under Walker's administration, there have been no high-capacity well permits denied.

High Capacity Wells Threaten Water Sustainability
Wisconsin has over 13,000 high capacity wells, over half of which are used in commercial farming operations. Negative effects from these wells have been seen throughout our state, but the Central Sands region -- a six-county region in Central Wisconsin -- has especially begun to show what the future holds if we continue allowing businesses to use our water largely unregulated.

High capacity wells, which can each suck out more than 100,000 gallons of water per day, have had a significant negative impact on bodies of water throughout the Central Sands region. Long Lake is a stark example. Once a trophy largemouth bass fishing lake, Wisconsin's Long Lake has gone from having cool water depths of 20 feet to now being barely more than a chain of puddles. The good fishing is no more and property values have plummeted. The Little Plover River Study, commissioned to study the impacts of high capacity wells found shocking results. Since the proliferation of these wells began, the Little Plover River and surrounding waters have dropped anywhere from two to six feet and 80% of the water that flows through them is now used for irrigation.

The passage of the destructive Senate Bill 76 is a painful reminder that while Democrats are fighting for greater opportunity for our neighbors and communities, like those in the Central Sands region, Republicans are giving away our future.

Democrats Offered Responsible Solutions
My Democratic colleagues and I offered commonsense amendments to Senate Bill 76 that would have allowed for opportunity and fairness when dealing with high-capacity well permits. For instance, in order to preserve our heritage and constitutional duties, Democrats offered a substitute amendment to Senate Bill 76 that would have done the following:

  • Set up a science-based designation process for areas that have groundwater sustainability issues. A subcommittee of the Groundwater Coordinating Council -- made up of state agency secretaries, the president of the University of Wisconsin System, the state geologist, and a person to represent the governor -- would look at areas of the state and determine if an area should be designated a Groundwater Management Area.

  • Require the Wisconsin Department of Natural (DNR) Resources to develop a management plan for designated areas, with input from experts and the public.

  • Ensure the DNR looks at cumulative impacts of wells and any adverse environmental impacts on all of our waters in Wisconsin.

  • Put in place a 10-year permit timeline for all high-capacity wells. There is currently no expiration of these permits, making it difficult to address problems that come up due to over-pumping.

Wisconsin Republicans chose to reject the Democratic amendments and continue to play pay-off politics with our water, allowing for a flood of high-capacity well permits to be approved. Senate Bill 76 will leave our water depleted and unprotected and eliminates a crucial check and favors whoever has the most money to dig the deepest well. Wisconsin must reclaim our tradition of protecting our shared lands and waters.

This bill now heads to the Assembly for debate and possible passage. Call your state representative at (800) 362-9472 today and tell them to vote "no" on Senate Bill 76. You can also find your state representative, here.


Safeguarding our Shared, Public Lands, and Water for Future Generations

As stated, Wisconsin has historically been a leader in spearheading efforts to protect our environment and be good conservation stewards. This includes the founding of Earth Day by former Wisconsin Governor and U.S. Senators Gaylord Nelson.

As winter continues to fade away, our Wisconsin neighbors are starting to head outdoors again to enjoy picnics in the park and hike and bike Wisconsin's plentiful trails. As such, many in our communities are looking to do their fair share to keep our beaches, parks, and other public lands clean.

With Earth Day coming up, I wanted to remind you of some great opportunities to get involved and celebrate the holiday. There are numerous groups in our community and around the state organizing ways to get involved. For our neighbors who live outside of the Milwaukee area, Friends of Wisconsin State Parks is sponsoring Work*Play*Earth Day events around the state from April 21 until May 6.

Find an event near you, here.

Below are just some of the things going on in the Milwaukee area for Earth Day. You may just see my family at one of these important events.

Earth Day Fun Run with Brooks -- Oak Creek PRO
Date: Tuesday, April 25, 6 p.m.
Location: Oak Creek
Description: In the spirit of Earth Day, head outside with PRO and Brooks for an evening run on the Oak Leaf Trail and give back to the Friends of Milwaukee County Parks. Come test out the new Caldera, Brooks' newest trail shoe, Ravenna 8, Ghost 9, or Adrenaline GTS 16 in Oak Creek on a 3-5 mile route. Shoes available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Donations will be collected at the event to benefit the Friends of the Milwaukee County Parks, who strive to enhance and protect Milwaukee County Parks, including the Milwaukee County Trails. Donate $5 or more to receive a Brooks branded Moscow Mule. Join us for additional festivities following the run. CLICK HERE for more information.

Performance Running Outfitters
7956 S Main Street, Oak Creek, WI 53154

Rock the Green's 6th Annual Earth Day Celebration
Date: Saturday, April 22, Noon to 2 p.m.
Location: Milwaukee
Description: Join Rock the Green for the 6th Annual (and FREE) Earth Day Celebration Presented by Milwaukee Riverkeeper at Picnic Area 8 in Estabrook Park, Milwaukee. The Celebration is a great way to learn about eco-friendly opportunities and support the community in its environmental efforts. Milwaukee Riverkeeper is proudly hosting their 22nd Annual Spring River Cleanup with nearly 4,000 volunteers joining together across the Milwaukee River Basin to pick up trash, get outdoors, and help to achieve swimmable, fishable rivers. Clean up Volunteers and the Community may join the free 6th Annual Earth Day Celebration Presented by Milwaukee Riverkeeper. CLICK HERE for more information.

Estabrook Park
Picnic Area 8
Milwaukee, WI 53217

Earth Day
Date: April 29th
Location: South Milwaukee
Description: On Saturday, April 29, take part in a day-long Earth Day celebration. There will be a community-wide clean up, shredding sponsored by the South Milwaukee Lions Club, and electronic recycle sponsored by CASBRO Recycling, among other events. The day-long celebration will begin and end at various locations around the city. CLICK HERE for more information.

Earth Day of Service
Date: Saturday, April 22, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Milwaukee
Description: Join fellow alumni and families for a family-friendly morning of service projects at the Riverside location of the Urban Ecology Center, including park clean up, working on the gardens, garlic mustard removal and building tree protectors, followed by a cookout for all volunteers starting at noon. All ages are welcome. Adults bringing children to participate must supervise them throughout the project. CLICK HERE for more information.

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


Conversations in the Community

Thank you to those that came out to the Cudahy Family library last week to hear about the governor's proposed budget. I know that life can be busy, and I appreciate seeing so many of you come and take the time to talk with your fellow neighbors about important state and community issues.

During our discussion, a lot of concerns were brought up about the state of public education in Wisconsin and the negative impact unaccountable voucher schools have on our communities. All of us benefit when we have a strong education system and successful schools. Not only do good schools prepare our future generations and enable our children to reach their full potential, they also have broader benefits, like increasing property values and attracting businesses. Pumping more and more money into unaccountable voucher schools drains needed resources from our traditional public schools and hurts us all.

In addition, there were many concerns raised over the governor's proposal to increase borrowing to shore up the woefully mismanaged transportation budget.

I appreciate the feedback from our neighbors and encourage everyone to contact the members of the Joint Finance Committee as the budget process continues. In addition to attending a JFC public hearing or emailing the committee members directly, you can submit written testimony to JFC at

Save Our Water Listening Session
I also wanted to make sure you saw this important opportunity to join a discussion and presentation from water experts on the health and threats facing our shared waters.

We live in perilous times where climate change, invasive species, overuse, pollution, and privatization are growing threats to our waters here at home and across the nation and world.

This listening session is an opportunity to highlight some of those threats and explore ideas and solution to protect the quality of our waters.

Last session, Republican legislators pushed for a bill that, while hampering the public's ability to stop the sale, would allow out-of-state, for-profit companies to come into Wisconsin and buy up our public water utilities. While the bill passed the State Assembly, it never received a vote in the state Senate and did not become law. Representative Amanda Stuck and I introduced anti-privatization legislation in response and have recently reintroduced that legislation with Rep. Jonathan Brostoff.

Clean drinking water is a basic human right, and control of our shared waters by profit seekers is undemocratic and jeopardizes our health, freedom, and prosperity.

The Save Our Water Act affirms that our drinking water should not be a profit source for corporations. Along with the introduction of the Save Our Water Act, we will be holding listening sessions and other opportunities for public input on water issues in communities across the state. Information for the Save Our Water Tour -- Milwaukee Listening Session is below. We hope you are able to attend!

Date: Thursday, April 20, 2017
Time: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences
600 E Greenfield Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53204

Let us know you are coming to the listening session, and share the event with your friends, here.


Take Action: Speak Up About our Conservation Values

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced the 2017 Conservation Congress Spring Hearings, where neighbors will have an opportunity to provide their input to the DNR, Natural Resources Board, and the Conservation Congress on proposed rule changes and advisory questions relating to fish and wildlife management and stewardship of our natural resources in Wisconsin.

This year the Spring Hearings questionnaire will include 88 questions, such as questions concerning the DNR's compliance with the Clean Water Act. In addition to the questionnaire, neighbors like you will have the opportunity to run for a seat on the Conservative Congress or vote for delegates that will represent our county opinions on natural resources.

You'll also have the option to get involved in the citizen resolution process, where new statewide conservation issues are introduced to the Conservation Congress.

Date: Monday, April 10
Time: 7 p.m.
Location (Milwaukee County hearing):
West Allis Central High
8516 W. Lincoln Avenue
West Allis, WI 53214


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 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:
  • Arming Our Teens with Guns
    Republican legislators recently circulated legislation to put more handguns into the hands of teenagers; circumvent safety training for concealed carry; and open the door for more guns in school zones, school grounds, and even directly in our schools.

    In the wake of recent, tragic shootings that devastated several Wisconsin communities, this bill is a slap in the face to our neighbors that are demanding real solutions to our state's gun violence public health crisis.

    Wisconsin should be focusing on making our communities safer with laws that are both proven and have widespread public support. One such policy is having stronger background check laws, which has support from 85% of Wisconsin voters. In the 19 states and Washington, D.C., who have universal background checks, 47% fewer women are killed by their intimate partners, and 53% fewer law enforcement officers are shot and killed in the line of duty. Additionally, the majority of Wisconsin voters -- 65% -- oppose allowing guns near our schools. With 26,252 gun-related deaths nationally in 2015, this proposal takes Wisconsin in the wrong direction. Republicans are rejecting common sense and logic by ignoring public safety and the needs of our community.

    We have the solutions and public support to make our communities safer. Unfortunately, Republicans are not willing to stand up to rich gun manufacturers looking for profits at any costs, even our kids' safety. Instead of fighting this public health crisis, Republicans in control of the Legislature are proposing to give guns to teens with no training -- an idea that is unwarranted, absurd, and dangerous. Read this Associated Press article for more.

  • Protecting Your Privacy
    In modern society, our neighbors spend a significant amount of time online. For instance, they pay bills, look up items of interest, and stay in touch with friends. While they do this, there is a reasonable expectation that their private actions will be kept private.
    Democrats believe in a right to privacy. With more of our neighbors' lives being intertwined with their activities online, it's critical that they have firm control over who has access to what they are doing online.

    Unfortunately, Congressional Republicans caved to corporate interests and voted to pull the curtain of privacy on every Internet user in the country. They passed a bill to allow the sale of data collected by Internet providers without notifying users and without limits on who can purchase this private data. While the public was still absorbing what this change in law could mean, President Donald Trump hastily signed the measure into law behind closed doors and without explanation.

    In response to this breach of trust, Democrats introduced an amendment to Senate Bill 49 to protect online privacy for our Wisconsin neighbors.

    While this amendment was a significant step in the right direction, the issue of privacy concerns is not going away. All of us in the State Legislature were elected to protect our communities and safeguard our neighbors and their personal information. To ensure that promise, I am working on additional legislation to protect our neighbors' privacy as well as their control over their private information. Read more about this issue, here.
  • Recognizing Cesar Chavez
    Cesar Chavez stood up in 1962 and formed the National Farm Workers Association, later the United Farm Workers Union, to demand fair treatment, wages, and respect for Latino farm workers. On March 31, I was honored to be able to recognize his commitment to workers and stand with State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa in supporting legislation to create a state holiday remembering his contribution. Read more by clicking, here.
  • Ensuring Transparency when Investigating an Inmate's Death
    Recently, I circulated for co-sponsorship the Jail Death Transparency Act with my colleagues Senator Risser, Representative Crowley, and Representative Bowen.

    In 2014, the State Legislature passed an accountability and transparency measure to ensure justice for individuals killed by law enforcement officers. Unfortunately, current law is only applicable to law enforcement officers and does not hold correctional officers in city, county, and state correctional facilities to the same investigatory standards. This legislation would extend the current, bipartisan, transparency standards to correction officer-involved deaths.

    Currently, deaths occurring in our jailing facilities have been handled internally by correctional facilities 40% of the time, and this legislation establishes a clear standard of transparency after an inmate's death.

    These investigations can serve as a way to assess policies and procedures at facilities and improve mental health screenings, expose poor medical care and response times, as well as root out ineffective or over-zealous correctional officers.
    It is our intent to provide clear standards across the state regarding the investigation of jail deaths as a way to provide a level of transparency for the public.

    We hope that this nonpartisan legislation will gain traction and serve as a tool to continue to move Wisconsin forward. Read this Wisconsin Public Radio article for more.
  • Fighting for Health Care Access
    According to a new Marquette Law School Poll, a majority of Wisconsin voters want our federal elected officials to keep the Affordable Care Act.

    That said, it's no wonder that despite their threats, Speaker Paul Ryan and Trump Republicans failed to twist enough arms force through their plan to kick people off of lifesaving health care.

    Recently, I sent a letter to Wisconsin's Congressional delegation sharing my serious concerns over the failed Republican scheme that would cause insurance premiums to skyrocket and force 24 million Americans to lose their health insurance. Read the letter, here.
  • Crippling Our Constitution
    A Wisconsin Senate Committee recently held a public hearing on resolutions that would force Wisconsin to join the dangerous ultra-conservative scheme to cripple the strength, resilience, and flexibility of our national government. Apparently, Wisconsin Republicans do not trust their president or party and want to tie their hands fiscally.

    Republicans fail to realize that it's not just borrowing they would kill, but the world's investment in American democracy. To watch an archive of the public hearing, click here.

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