In This Edition

  • Crime Reporting
  • Giving Choice
  • Border Crisis
  • I-94 Construction
  • Blue Books

Helpful Links

Legislation Tracker

Monitor bills and topics in the legislature at the Wisconsin Bill Tracker website.

Crime Reporting

Two legislative sessions ago, I introduced legislation that would have given the public access to crime statistics on school property.

Instead, a similar but vastly smaller bill in scope was passed (2015 Senate Bill 492). It was a pilot program that would have 3 schools collect crime data and report their findings. After checking with the Dept. of Public Instruction (DPI) it was discovered that the Tony Evers run agency never conducted the pilot program and failed to comply with the legislation.

Last week, I authored legislation that will direct public and choice high schools to keep, track, and report to DPI certain crimes that happen on school grounds, transportation provided by the school, and during school sanctioned events. DPI will then include these statistics on the annual school and school district accountability report.

My goal for this legislation is not to punish or embarrass schools, but rather provide more transparency for parents who have the right to know what kinds of situations their child may face on a given day.

Giving Choice

Many of our communities have been rocked by school board decisions to issue mandates or not on masking students. I don't believe in a one size fits all approach and believe both sides to this discussion should be given the freedom to put their child in a school that is the best fit for them. Unfortunately, when it comes to education, many parents around Wisconsin don't have that luxury and are forced to place their child in a school that may be approaching COVID in a way they do not approve. To give parents greater control over the education of their child, I along with Rep. Barb Dittrich have introduced legislation that would expand the open enrollment and the school choice program for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years.

Parents would be able to send their child it a different school based on the mitigation efforts of the school their child attends. Whether it's decisions made for academic or health reasons, I believe parents should have the final say, not a school board or administrator.

Border Crisis

Border Patrol encountered 458,088 people attempting to cross into America illegally in 2020. This year, that number has jumped up to more than 1.1. million. Of these people coming into the United States, 90 percent never report back to Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE) within the required 60-day window.

While states cannot stop the flow of illegal immigrants, they can work with ICE to make sure any bad actors they take into custody are transferred into federal custody.

I have co-authored legislation with Sen. Julian Bradley which would ensure local or state law enforcement check with the appropriate federal agencies to ensure the lawful residency of criminals who cannot provide proof of lawful residency. It also requires law enforcement to work with the appropriate federal agency to detain a criminal found to be here illegally until he or she can be sent into federal custody. Lastly the bill requires a semiannual report compiled by the Department of Justice to create transparency about the number of illegal immigrants who commit crimes in Wisconsin. 

I-94 Construction

Starting 7 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 21), the WIS 26 ramp to I-94 westbound in Johnson Creek will be closed until mid-October – weather dependent. Motorists should follow the signed detour route via I-94 eastbound to the Jefferson County F interchange (Exit 275) to turn around and travel west on I-94. Access remains open to the businesses in the WIS 26 interchange area; however, there will be no re-entry to I-94 westbound. 

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Published biennially, the Wisconsin Blue Book is a valuable source for information about the State of Wisconsin. First published in 1853 as a manual for legislators, the Blue Book has evolved into a useful tool for the state’s residents, as well as a historical record of Wisconsin state government. The Blue Book’s mission is to furnish the legislature and the public with information on state officers and governmental organization, along with statistical information and articles of general interest. If you are interested in receiving one or more, just respond to this email with your contact information and they will be sent out as soon as they become available.