Larson Report 
NEWSLETTER

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A Capitol Update from State Senator Chris Larson 

Dear Wisconsin Neighbor,

 

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It's hard to believe that 2018 is already at a close. Thankfully, there are still a few precious days to finish last minute shopping and maybe even to knock out a few resolutions from 2018 before the new year starts. In this rush around the holidays, time never seems to slow down the way I want it to. Still, I hope that each of you get a break to spend more time with your friends, family, and neighbors.

I am looking forward to 2019 which I hope will usher in a new opportunity to move Wisconsin forward. There are big issues Wisconsin must tackle and to do that, we must find common ground. In this next session, I am hopeful that the appetite is finally there to change our drunk driving laws so that we don't continue to have the worst laws in the country and stop ranking at the bottom of states in terms of drunk driving statistics. We can and must do more to save lives and make our shared roads safe. It has been exactly 20 years since I lost a high school classmate to a repeat drunk driver. Since then, families have continued to needlessly lose loved ones every year since. I will not rest until we change our culture around drinking and driving. In the meantime, I encourage you to please drive safe wherever you are going these holidays and, if you're going out drinking, have a plan to get home safely.

I'll also try to work together to come up with common ground solutions to the school funding problem. We can no longer afford to be a state that devalues its public education and expects our local communities to pick up the slack. We cannot continue to ask taxpayers to pay for two separate school systems (public and private/voucher) when we can barely afford one.

There are many other issues and problems that we will tackle in the next legislative session, like the terrible conditions of our local roads, ensuring that those suffering with illness have access to quality and affordable healthcare, and cultivating family supporting jobs without sacrificing our shared environment.

I am hopeful going into next year because I know Wisconsin can work better when we all work together. In 2019, we have our first opportunity in a very long time to truly do that.

  

In Service, 

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Chris Larson 
State Senator
7th District

Keep Your Pets Safe This Winter

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It is important to remember this time of year that our pets require some extra attention and precautions to keep them safe all winter long. Because of their fur coats, it can be easy to forget that our pets are as accustomed to warm shelter as we are and can get as cold as we do. Pets are valued members of our families and we should keep their needs in mind over the cold winter months. 

There are many tips when it comes to caring for your pets in the winter and it is always good to review them as a reminder. 

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As the Temperatures Fall, and Weather Turns Bad, Remember to be Safe!
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On the Road:

As many of you know from past winters, road conditions can deteriorate and become dangerous rather quickly. Every winter in Wisconsin there are avoidable crashes, injuries, and folks getting caught in bad weather without the proper supplies. It is important to winterize your vehicle and make sure that you check your battery before the weather gets too cold. 

Take time this year to make a winter storm survival kit and place it in the back seat of your car. In especially severe conditions, you could find yourself stuck on the road for hours before a storm subsides. These items will help make sure that you have everything you need to be safe on our roads this winter.

The storm survival kit includes:

  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Extra clothing, like hats, socks, and mittens
  • A flashlight with extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Shovel, tools, jumper cables, and windshield scraper
  • High-calorie, non-perishable food such as protein bars
  • Sand or cat litter to use for traction
  • Cell phone adapter

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) also provides many other great TIPS.  Also, be sure to check the DOT 511 Traffic Alert System to get the most updated traffic information and incidents.

 

Remember to drive sober this holiday season and if a friend or family member is about to drink and drive take away their keys! 

 

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Severe winter weather can come on quickly and can cause a loss of heat, power, telephone, and internet. To ensure that you have the supplies you need in a time of emergency, it is suggested that you put together a disaster survival kit for the home as well.

Disaster survival kits should contain the following:

  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio and a commercial radio
  • Bottled water and non-perishable food
  • First-aid supplies
  • Fire extinguisher, smoke detector, and carbon monoxide detector
  • If needed, extra medications and baby items
  • Proper ventilation for an emergency heating source, such as a fireplace or space heater
  • Temporary shelter and plenty of food and water for pets

Keeping all of these items in an accessible location in your home can prevent many of the unforeseen effects of severe weather.

 

Thank You to Everyone Who Attended My Town Hall Events!

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Senator Larson and Representative Brostoff hearing the concerns of constituents

Hearing from friends and neighbors is the most important part of my job and it helps me to best represent the entire district.

In the beginning of December, I held four listening sessions throughout the 7th Senate District. In those sessions, the insight offered by our neighbors has clearly demonstrated that the people of Wisconsin are ready to move our state forward on public education, local road improvements, legalizing marijuana, and increasing openness and transparency in our state government.

As I strive to be as accessible as possible, I will be announcing more public events at the start of the new legislative session. 

Take Action

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Now is the time of year when legislators are beginning to think about their legislative agenda for the next two-year session. I know, that for me, hearing from the constituents of the 7th District has a great impact on the things I take up.

One of the most effective ways to ensure you are being well represented in Madison is to reach out. So, if you live in the 7th Senate District you can respond to this email and let me know what issues matter most to you. Or, if you don't know who represents you in the legislature Click Here and enter your address in the top right.

Issue Areas:

  • Public Schools
  • Ensuring access to healthcare
  • Criminal justice reform
  • Protecting our environment
  • Public safety 
  • Senior Issues
  • Gun reform

Of course, these are just suggestions and this list is not exhaustive. You should always feel comfortable to reach out to your elected representatives about any issues that are important to you. We are accountable to you and value your input.

I have a convenient online form for contacting me. Or as always, feel free to email me at sen.larson@legis.Wisconsin.gov. You can also call my office at 608-266-7505 with any thoughts or concerns.    

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The Larson Report strives to provide up-to-date, in-depth information to you. Between editions, a lot happens in Madison and around the country. I want to make sure you know the most pressing issues facing our neighbors and friends across the nation. Below are some of the top stories from the past couple of weeks.

Kremlin Agent Maria Butina to Plead Guilty

The Russian gun rights activist that was photographed with Governor Scott Walker during his failed presidential run  is poised to plead guilty in a case alleging that she worked as an agent for the Kremlin

Butina has been suspected of working to push Russia's agenda by forming bonds with the National Rifle Association, conservative leaders, and presidential candidates in 2016.

The evidence of Russian election espionage and interference in the 2016 cycle can no longer be denied. With so many bad-actors, both here in America and in Russia, either being indicted or copping plea deals, the only question left is: how high does this go?

 

 TIME Magazine's Person of the Year: The Guardians 

This year, as we have continued to see attacks on the truth and on journalists from the highest levels of government, TIME Magazine chose the guardians of truth as their collective person of the year.

The journalists featured on the four separate covers have all fought for truth at great personal peril to themselves. Jamal Khashoggi, the murdered Saudi columnist whose death has brought the US relationship with Saudi Arabia into question is highlighted. Also featured are the journalists from the Capital Gazette who put out a paper the very next day after a gunman carried out a mass-shooting in their offices.

The selection of the guardians of truth as Person of the Year highlights the important role that journalists play in all of our lives. It also draws a stark contrast to the dangerous rhetoric that falsely labels journalists the "enemy of the people."

 

Republican Power Grab in Wisconsin

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Senator Larson debating against lame duck session bills

Never before in our state's rich 170 year history has a lame duck session been used to grab power from an incoming Governor. And, the national news media took notice. In story...   After story... After story... the GOP in Wisconsin were accurately painted as sore losers and power grabbers. It got so bad that even the satirical newspaper The Onion took shots at Wisconsin's Republicans.

It is clear that Republican's who control Wisconsin's legislature would rather burn the house down than let Democrats in. It is just a shame that this embarrassment has painted our legislature in such a negative light on such a grand stage. It is my hope that when Governor-elect Evers take over in January, we can start making some positive headlines again. 

 

December 25, 2018 11 a.m. - 2_30 p.m. Doors open at 10_30 a.m. Wisconsin Center 400 W Wisconsin Ave Milwaukee, WI 53203 Hosted by The Salvation Army,.png