During the 2021-22 Session, the Legislature passed 25 bills I authored which empower parents, restore confidence in our electoral process, and reform health care. Fifteen were signed into law. Unfortunately, Governor Evers vetoed 10 common-sense and needed education and election reforms. 

We also stopped a $1 billion tax hike during the pandemic from Governor Evers and instead delivered the largest tax cut in state history. 


Education

I’m a former teacher. I understand the importance of education. Regardless of background or zip code, every child must have access to quality education. I’ve heard from education leaders that we need more quality teachers in our state. I’ve worked with them to attract qualified teachers to their classrooms.

 

Empowering Parents

 

Wisconsin has a reputation for reform. It’s time we regain our status as a national leader and innovator for education reform. We are putting parents and their children first, we are going to increase transparency and accountability, and we will be funding students, not systems. I authored and co-authored six bills that protect parental rights and make sure every child in Wisconsin has the opportunity for a quality education.

Parental Bill of Rights - Establishes several parental rights relating to decisions regarding a child's religion, medical care, records, and education, and creates a cause of action for the violation of these rights. Allows a parent to bring a suit if those rights are violated.
School Accountability Reports – Establishes uniform standards for school accountability reports. Our state’s educational accountability system relies heavily on the state school and district report card. This bill improves the accountability reports to provide a consistent assessment of student success. 
Milwaukee Public School Reform – Establishes a new commission made up of elected officials with a vested interest in the community, including the Mayor of Milwaukee, the Governor, and the State Superintendent by 2024, MPS will be divided into smaller community districts that are more manageable and accountable to parents and their communities. The new community district boundaries will be developed by the commission.
High-Performing Charter Replication and Creation of Statewide Charter Board – Charter schools are public schools that operate with less red tape. This bill will streamline replication for the highest performing charter schools in our state and will increase opportunities for more students and families statewide.
School Choice for All - Opens school choice to all Wisconsin families by removing state enrollment caps, family income limits, and grade entry points – marking the beginning of true school choice for all our students and families.
Election Protections

Whether you vote in Milwaukee or Manitowoc, the process should be the same in Wisconsin. That’s why I authored more than a dozen common-sense election reforms to make sure everyone’s vote is fair and equal.

 

Tax Relief

During my time on the budget committee, I voted to lower the tax burden in Wisconsin by more than $20 billion. At the same time, we made historic investments in education, protected key services like Medicaid and SeniorCare, and invested in fixing our roads. We delivered balanced budgets on time and prevented more than $1 billion in tax hikes and unaffordable spending from Governor Evers.

 

Protecting Your Health Care

Wisconsin is one of the top-ranked states in the nation for health care quality. I am fighting to keep us there.

I believe we also need to ensure our seniors have access to a high quality of life. That means funding programs like Medicare, SeniorCare, and other long-term care services for the elderly of our state. In my time in the legislature, I have continually worked to ensure quality care for seniors.

As a breast cancer survivor, I know how important it is to get regular mammograms. I authored a Breast Density Notification Law that provides women with density information and empowers them to take control of their healthcare.

I’ve gone toe-to-toe for you against insurance companies. I made sure they had to cover life-saving oral chemotherapy treatments. I passed a law to reform Step-Therapy which is a series of hurdles insurance companies put between patients and doctors. It forces patients to try lower-cost alternatives, even when they are likely to fail. My law means doctors will be able to prescribe treatments that work and patients will get the prescriptions they need quicker and cheaper.

Free and charitable clinics are an important safety net for the uninsured and under-insured. I authored two laws that will improve care and increase access to free and charitable clinics in Wisconsin.

There are nearly 200,000 home care professionals, but we need more. That's why in the state budget, I fought to provide more funding to keep and retain home healthcare workers.

After my husband Bill passed away from complications due to diabetes, I have used his legacy to promote legislation to save more lives from the toll of this disease. I have passed legislation to promote organ donations, and recently passed the Diabetes Action Plan. It requires the Department of Health Services and the Employee Trust Fund to create a Diabetes Action Plan for Wisconsin. The plan will recommend ways to reduce the impact of diabetes in the state.

I believe every citizen should have access to our high-quality health care without breaking the bank. That’s why I have fought hard in the Legislature to ensure that our insurance market stays competitive so that your premiums stay low. I will continue to work hard for you to have a sustainable, healthy Wisconsin.

 

Keeping You and Your Family Safe

Governments need to provide a safe environment for its citizens. I have worked to make sure that here in Wisconsin, we have the highest quality of life. I will never vote to defund the police. However, I am working to make sure our state’s police officers are better trained for their job and I supported legislation that made Wisconsin the first state in the nation to require an independent and outside investigation officer involved shootings.

As crime continues to spiral out of control, I supported several bills that will support police and help get and keep criminals behind bars. I co-authored legislation that will help stop mass retail theft, tougher penalties for violent rioters and vandals, and prevent communities from defunding their police forces. Unfortunately, Governor Evers vetoed those needed changes.

Not only have I worked to end the backlog of sexual assault kits, I authored a new law that allows victims to track the status of their kits. Victims have the right to know if and when their kit is being processed or stored and isn't lost or backlogged. It’s my hope this will give them some comfort during a very difficult time.

My commitment to public safety has led to authoring legislation such as the state’s Sexual Predator Law, Sex Offender Registry, Internet Predator Law, and anti-drunk-driving legislation. All of these initiatives had one thing in mind: keeping you and your family safe.

I also voted to protect our schools from violence. I also authored a law to keep firearms out of the hands of violent repeat offenders. It creates criminal penalties for “straw purchasers,” individuals who purchase a firearm for someone who cannot legally own one, and “human holsters,” individuals who hold a gun for an individual who cannot legally have one. The bill also creates a four-year mandatory minimum sentence for habitual criminals who commit a crime using a firearm. (Act 145)

I made sure parents, coaches, and athletes were informed about the dangers of concussions in sports with the Sidelined for Safety Act. The bill empowers parents and student-athletes while keeping sports safe and fun.

To battle the opioid crisis in our state, I authored more than 30 bills in the HOPE Agenda, with near-unanimous support, to help people break the cycle of addiction. Part of the agenda is to keep families together when possible. That’s why I created the structure for statewide systems of family drug treatment courts. Family courts focus on treatment to keep families together when possible.

Our state is also facing a mental health crisis, especially among our youth. That’s why I doubled funding for mental health. I fought to create the Child Psychiatry Consultation Program (CPCP). This innovative program connects primary care physicians with child psychiatrists to help overcome mental health shortages and help educate doctors on how to treat kids with mental health concerns. I didn't stop there. I also led the way to expand the CPCP and create a school-based pilot consultation program.