• Governor Evers' Budget 
  • R-word Bill 
  • Flood Safety
  • WI Builders Association
  • Step Therapy

Governor Evers' Budget

Governor Evers’ proposed budget has been getting a lot of press this week, and not in a good way. The more I research the Governor’s proposed budget the more troubled I am by what it contains. I find it concerning that, despite his campaign promises to not raise taxes, Governor Evers’ proposed budget would raise taxes by $1.3 billion. The governor downplayed these increases by saying his budget contained “small tax increases” and was “pretty close” to keeping taxes flat.

I found his comment disingenuous and rather bizarre. I don’t know about you but, to me, a $1.3 billion increase isn’t “pretty close” to not raising taxes.

My colleagues and I are optimistic that compromises can be reached with regards to the budget and we remain committed to responsible budgeting, which includes not raising taxes on Wisconsin citizens and small businesses.

Earlier in the week I issued a statement expressing my disappointment that the Governor’s proposed budget would grant illegal immigrants in-state tuition two years earlier than our state’s veterans receive it. Veterans can receive in-state tuition if they prove qualifying military service, have lived in the state for five years and they must maintain a C average while in school. I am appalled that the Governor has chosen to treat illegal immigrants better than the men and women who have served our country.

R-Word Bill Moves Forward

Despite our differences on the state’s budget, Governor Evers and I have found common ground in eliminating the r-word from state code. Earlier this week the Governor issued an executive order eliminating the words “mental retardation” and all its derivatives from state code. I was pleasantly surprised by the Governor’s announcement and am glad he is championing an issue brought forward by Senator Fitzgerald and me. The execution of an executive order through the rules process can take years. Executive orders can also be undone by future governors.

Because of that, we will continue with our legislation to ensure a permanent change. Assembly Bill 20 had a hearing in the Assembly Committee on State Affairs this week, click here to view part of my testimony. And here is a story of one of the families that testified at the hearing about why the change is important to them.

Flood Safety

 As the snow (finally!) begins to melt there is an increased risk of flooding. Our prayers are with those in De Forest who were encouraged to evacuate Thursday evening, others under a mandatory curfew until Friday morning. Click here to be re-directed to the National Weather Service, where you will find information on what to do before, during and after a flood as well as information on what to do if you are driving and hit a flooded area.

WI Builders Association

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It was great to be a part of the Wisconsin Builders Association’s day at the Capitol. As chair of the housing and real estate committee, I and Senate chair of the utilities and housing committee Devin LeMahieu gave them an update on the upcoming session.

Step Therapy

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The Arthritis Foundation sent two advocates to discuss step therapy – thank you for stopping in! Click here to read more about the bill I co-sponsored.