St. John Lutheran School
came to visit me in the State Capitol on February 21st. It
was a pleasure meeting everyone!
Visit the State Capitol
The Capitol is open to the public weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to
6:00 p.m. and weekends and holidays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Free tours are offered daily, year round except on the following
holidays: New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve
and Christmas. Tours start at the information desk Monday
through Saturday at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 a.m. and 1:00, 2:00, 3:00
p.m.; and Sundays at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 p.m. A 4:00 p.m. tour is
offered weekdays (Monday - Friday), excluding holidays, during
Memorial Day through Labor Day. Tours generally last 45-55
minutes. Groups of ten or more can make an on-line reservation
for a tour of the State Capitol or call (608)266-0382.
Focusing on Jobs this Session
During my first three months in office my primary focus has been
on strengthening Wisconsin’s job market. I was proud to
co-sponsor and help guide AB-1/SB-1, also known as the mining
bill, to the Governor's desk. It is exactly the kind of
legislation we need to help boost our economy. It streamlined a
mining permitting process which had become so antiquated that
the state virtually had a mining moratorium in place. The mining
bill will lead to thousands of much needed jobs while keeping
all of our environmental protections in place. It is important
to note that SB 1 itself does not permit a mine. It is the
Department of Natural resources that will ultimately issue any
I also co-sponsored and supported AB-14, also known as
“Fast Forward.” I am confident that this legislation will help
close the skills gap in Wisconsin. Time and time again,
employers in our district have told me they had positions
available, but couldn't find people with the experience needed
to fill them. The bill provides $15 million in worker training
grants and crafts worker training requirements to what employers
say they're looking for. It also creates a website that uses
real-time data to match companies with qualified workers. I am
looking forward to seeing this system in action.
Rep. Jagler's Thoughts on the Milwaukee School Choice Program
"Be careful what you wish for." It's a familiar warning that
often causes us to take a closer look at a topic or think about
something from a different perspective. I spent the week talking
with school administrators and school board members from all
around the 37th Assembly District and it was the message I gave
to them when the topic of school choice came up.
A constituent stopped by my office this week and spoke
passionately about her dislike for giving vouchers to low income
children to attend private schools. She told me if she had a
magic wand, she would wave it and eliminate the Milwaukee
voucher program and return that money to taxpayers.
If she got her wish, hundreds of students currently thriving in
an educational setting that they and their families believe is
best for them would end up returning to failing public schools.
As troubling as that thought was to me, she seemed to be okay
with it. I believe that allowing parents to choose where their
child is educated isn't just good policy-- it's the right thing
to do. Based on her reaction to that statement, it was clear
that we didn't agree.
I decided to turn the conversation to what was important to her:
the money (it clearly wasn't the future of low income kids in
Milwaukee). What would really happen if she got her wish and the
Milwaukee voucher program went away? The truth is that the
students and taxpayers in our district and others all across
Wisconsin would take a dramatic hit.
It's simple math. Last year it cost taxpayers roughly $13,000 to
send a child to a Milwaukee public school. Because the district
is so large, a majority of that money came from the rest of the
state, not just taxpayers from Milwaukee. By comparison,
taxpayers paid $6,400 for voucher students.
So if the choice program was wiped out by her magic wand,
taxpayers would have to pay substantially more and, as a result,
there would be much less money available in our district and the
rest of the state.
That is exactly why Politifact and the Milwaukee
Journal-Sentinel gave Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca a
"False" rating when he said that lawmakers who supported choice
"voted to take funding away from their public schools in their
districts to give it to private Milwaukee voucher schools."
The figures, according to a memo from the non-partisan
Legislative Fiscal Bureau, are staggering. Here is how much
money school districts in the 37th Assembly District would lose
if the Milwaukee Choice Program was eliminated and those
students returned to an MPS school.
Columbus - $325,268
Deforest - $1.005,494
Waterloo - $184,497
Watertown - $933,915
Be careful what you wish for indeed. Eliminating the Milwaukee
School Choice program would leave school districts scrambling
for funds and taxpayers digging deeper into their pockets.
I don't think I was able to convince her on the merits of the
choice program. It's likely we will never agree. But we did find
some common ground. We both believe more money should be
included in the upcoming budget for K-12 public education. I am
committed to finding a way to increase per-pupil spending
without raising property taxes.
It's time all of us -- parents, teachers, administrators,
taxpayers and legislators work together to ensure every child
has access to a great education. Now where's that magic wand?
The Assembly Chamber
DOT March law of the month - Drivers are responsible for
all unbuckled passengers
Like an airline pilot, all drivers must ensure that all their
passengers are buckled up before departing for their destination
whether they’re traveling just down the road or across the
state. In fact, drivers may be charged with a safety belt
violation for each unbuckled passenger.
If a child is unrestrained in a vehicle, the cost to the driver
will increase significantly. A violation of child safety
restraint requirements costs from $150 to $263 depending on the
age of the child and the number of offenses within a three-year
Job Center of Wisconsin
adds new jobs
6,038 new jobs have been added in the last week. 24,609 new jobs
have been added in the last month. Job Center of Wisconsin is a
one stop portal to information about employment, recruitment,
retention and training to help grow and support business. Post
job openings, search for candidates, and access resources to
help recruit and manage employees.
Use These Tips
to Make Tax Filing Easier
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) is urging taxpayers to
electronically file their income tax returns this tax season.
DOR expects about three million tax returns this year and more
than 80 percent of those will be e-filed. DOR is focused on
making taxpaying easier, so here are five tax season tips to
help you file your income tax return:
1. Try e-filing! E-filing is more secure and faster than
filing on paper. DOR offers a free e-file program called
Wisconsin e-file, which is available 24/7 at revenue.wi.gov.
2. Use direct deposit or pay online.
3. Explore the many useful resources on the DOR website –
4. Use local tax filing help. Free tax assistant is
available by calling 211 to find a Volunteer Income Tax
Assistant or Tax Counseling for the Elderly site in the area
5. File by April 15, 2013. The deadline to file your tax
return is Monday, April 15th.