The Sargent Voice Issue #111                                          October 17, 2019

Friends and Neighbors,

With just six floor days held so far this session, the rumor around the Capitol building is, thanks to Speaker Robin Vos and GOP lawmakers’ inaction, that we have just a few days left in this biennium to be on the Assembly Floor and to pass meaningful legislation for our state. 

In lieu of Republican stunts and gimmicks, Assembly and Senate Democrats joined together to announce our priorities for the fall legislative session and for moving our state forward. These policy priorities include quality and affordable healthcare, investing in our schools, ensuring safe and clean drinking water, lifting up working families, and creating safe communities including through firearm reform and suicide prevention. 

As state legislators, we have an obligation to listen to the people of our state— to hear their cries for a better Wisconsin, and to enact policies that allow all Wisconsinites to prosper and live out their dreams.

We know that 80% of our state’s residents desperately want comprehensive firearm reform, including Universal Background Checks and Extreme Risk Protection orders. We know that over 80% of Wisconsinites want to see cannabis legalized. We know that over 70% of our state wants to accept Medicaid expansion, and bring our Wisconsin dollars home. Wisconsinites demand pragmatic solutions to the egregious issues facing our state, yet Republicans refuse to give these policies any consideration. The simple fact is, these numbers have higher approval ratings than most of my Republican colleagues here in the State Legislature.

While the Republican controlled state legislature refuses to take a stand on the issues that Wisconsinites demand, the people of Wisconsin are being left behind. Although these issues are supported by a majority of Wisconsinites, GOP lawmakers continue their inaction, in turn directly hurting the hardworking people our very government is supposed to work on behalf of. This is unacceptable.

Through years of Republican antics and egregious power grabs, Wisconsin’s democracy has been attacked and scarred. It is past time for this body to put aside politics, to put aside partisanship, and to come together to hear the will of the people of this great state and work collectively on behalf of all of the people. 

Quite frankly, it is time to get to work, and I am proud to stand with my fellow Democratic colleagues to work for policies that will truly move Wisconsin forward.

I am dedicated to rolling up our sleeves, and continuing to fight for my friends and neighbors here in the Wisconsin State Assembly. I am proud to stand with my Democratic colleagues in demanding the change that Wisconsin needs, and I urge my colleagues, regardless of their political stripes, to work together on these crucial policies for the betterment of our state.

When we work together, we can build a Wisconsin that works for the many, instead of the few. Together, we can move Wisconsin forward. 


In Service,

Melissa Sargent
State Representative
48th Assembly District


101019 1st Responder Senate Parlor #45.jpg10/10/19: Rep. Melissa Sargent presents David Dexheimer with a Hometown Hero award after recognizing him as the First Responder of the Year for the 48th Assembly District on the Assembly Floor.

Our Democracy Initiatives 


Your Voice Matters!

Upcoming Listening Sessions

It’s my job to be your voice here at the State Capitol, and to hear what’s important to you in order to be able to best represent you. Face-to-face conversations provide the perfect occasion to do some listening and to find out what’s on your mind! As such, I hope you can join me at one of my upcoming listening session dates: 


Manna Cafe & Bakery

611 N Sherman Ave

Friday, October 18th



Karben4 Brewing

3698 Kinsman Blvd

Thursday, October 24th 



What's Happening in 11-North?

Legislative Doors

My office has been busy out in the 48th Assembly District doing doors in order to hear from people like you! It has been my pleasure to bring along a whole team, including my staff members and some of our office’s hardworking interns. Meeting and hearing from the voices of people in our District is the most important duty and honor that I have as an elected official, and I am glad to share this experience with my office. Further, if you or someone you know would be interested in tagging along and knocking on doors, please contact my office. We’d love to have you join us!

Keep an eye out for Team Melissa in your neighborhood! In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office to set up a time to chat, or to share what’s on your mind, at (608)-266-0960 or at Rep.Sargent@legis.wisconsin.gov. Of course if you’re ever here in the Capitol, please do not hesitate to stop in and say hi! I truly value hearing from you.

I look forward to meeting and hearing from many more individuals in the weeks to come!


Constituent Services                                                                                       

With the 2019-20 legislative session well under way, new items are now available for Wisconsinites to take advantage of, including: 

  1. 2019-2020 Wisconsin Blue Book (Newly arrived!) 
  2. Wisconsin Road Map, laminated
  3. 2019-2020 Wisconsin Road Maps, folded for travel
  4. How a Bill Becomes a Law, a workbook guide to law-making in Wisconsin

If you are interested in any of these complimentary items, please contact my office by replying to this email, or give us a call at (608)-266-0960!


Rotunda Report

East Wing Update

Recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day

This past week, Governor Evers designated the second Monday of October as Indigenous People’s Day here in Wisconsin, to recognize the resilient history of Indigenous communities in Wisconsin. The collective identity and landscape of the 48th Assembly district has been deeply shaped by our Indigenous friends and neighbors.

The diverse landscape and history of the 48th Assembly District started thousands of years ago as the region and native tribes thrived due to the ample natural resources of water, diverse species of plants, and extensive hunting and wild game. Today, in addition to the many significant societal contributions of Native Wisconsinites each and every day, we can still see the physical symbols of indigenous power with the holy effigy mounds located in the District, which were created to pay tribute to ancestors and represent deeply rooted spiritual traditions.

I am so proud to stand with a Governor who truly cares about lifting up the voices of marginalized Wisconsin communities, while recognizing years of fundamental injustices.


 First Pardons Issued in 9 Years

On Monday October 9th, Governor Evers pardoned four individuals, which happened to be the first time in 9 years that a Wisconsin Governor used this privilege to advance the lives of some of our crucial community members. In his eight years as governor, Scott Walker did not issue a single pardon. These pardon’s do not erase the conviction, but rather grant official forgiveness that restores certain fundamental rights, including gun ownership, ability to serve on a jury, hold public office, and hold certain professional license. We are absolutely not defined by our biggest mistakes, and I applaud Governor Ever’s use of pardon and willingness to forgive to benefit valuable Wisconsinites.


Legislative Agenda

It has been a busy few weeks here in the Wisconsin State Legislature!

Last week, the State Senate met for the first floor session of the fall. I was honored to have three key pieces of legislation I have been working on be heard and passed by the Senate, as well as other crucial pieces of legislation such as a bill to improve and update regulations for our Wisconsin hemp industry.

First, two bills (SB-200/AB-214 and SB-332/AB-358) changing how Wisconsin processes sexual assault kits and thus working to prevent egregious backlogs in our state and stand up for survivors of sexual violence, both passed by unanimous voice votes. While the Assembly has yet to schedule these bills for a vote, this is a critical step towards providing pathways to justice for survivors in Wisconsin.

Next, SB-170/AB-186, permitting minors to operate temporary stands without a permit or license, was passed by the Senate. This bill closes a loophole in our statutes that prevents children from operating temporary stands-- such as a Lemonade stand-- in our communities without a licence. The bill was also heard and passed Assembly, meaning its next step is on the desk of Governor Tony Evers to be signed! 

Finally, SB-217/AB-238, creating a diabetes care and prevention plan in Wisconsin, passed as well. This legislation takes important steps to reduce instances of diabetes in our state, improve diabetes care, and control the complications associated with diabetes, along with requiring reporting to the state legislature so that we may take action-- a pragmatic life and cost saving decision for our state.

I am proud to work on these important issues, and to see the State Senate pass these imperative pieces of legislation.

While the Assembly was also in session last week, the pieces of legislation that Speaker Vos chose to bring to the floor for a vote were anemic in comparison. In addition, Assembly Republican’s chose to play politics with a partisan power grab in “exchange” for reasonable accommodations for Representative Jimmy Anderson, rather than taking up meaningful pieces of legislation for the betterment of our state. 

I urge the Assembly to hear these bills, and so many other crucial pieces of legislation, in the near future.


Committee Hearings

Speaker’s Task Force on Suiciede Prevention

On September 25th the Speaker’s Task Force on Suicide Prevention released their legislative recommendations. Myself and many of my Democratic colleagues who were members of the taskforce rated the Task Force as receiving a grade “I” for incomplete. 

By failing to comprehensively address suicide by firearm, specifically, by completely ignoring the importance of Extreme Risk Protection Orders, the Task Force's work cannot be considered complete. 

At each of the six hearings held throughout the state, legislators heard about the dangers of firearm access for those at risk, and how important it was to the public that the Task Force on Suicide Prevention take meaningful action on the issue. We heard from mothers who lost sons, and sons who lost mothers. We heard from friends who lost friends, and we heard from individuals who were nearly lost themselves. Each and every one of these heartbreaking stories came with a plea– enact meaningful legislation to limit access to lethal means and to prevent these tragic loses from occurring in our state. 

The recommendations released by the Speaker’s Task Force on Suicide Prevention have failed to listen to the will of the people throughout these hearings and throughout our state. By refusing to comprehensively address suicide by firearm, specifically, by completely ignoring the importance of Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO), the Task Force's work cannot be considered complete. 

An incomplete grade is inacceptable for the people of our state. We know that suicide rates are increasing in our state. Further, we know that nearly 50% of all suicide deaths in Wisconsin are committed by firearm. Thanks to legislation passed in many other states, we also know have seen the real results that ERPOs have had in reducing suicide rates by firearm and in saving lives. With the alarming increase of suicide rates here in Wisconsin, it is egregious that the Speaker’s Task Force on Suicide Prevention chose not to move forward with such a critical piece of suicide prevention legislation. 

As elected representatives we have a responsibility to lead, and we, members of the Speaker’s Task Force on Suicide Prevention, call on Speaker Vos, Majority Leader Fitzgerald, and the Wisconsin State Legislature, to consider this life saving piece of legislation and to hold a public hearing without delay– in order to save the lives of Wisconsinites.

Advocacy Group Meetings

One of my favorite parts of my job is to meet with individuals and groups from the 48th Assembly District, and across our state, as they use their voices to advocate on behalf of the issues that matter most to them. 

I would like to personally thank the following organizations for meeting with me to share their stories and to advocate on behalf of causes they’re passionate about, for the betterment of Wisconsin. As always if there is ever a cause or issue you would like to discuss with me, my door at 11-North in the Capitol building is always open!

Thank you to the following advocacy groups for meeting with my team in recent weeks:

  • The American Heart Association
  • A-Team Wisconsin 
  • Wisconsin Cure Advocacy Network & Unite 2 Fight Paralysis 
  • Wisconsin Fraternal Alliance
  • Wisconsin AARP

Rep. Sargent in the News

WPR - October 02, 2019 - Democrats Cite Public Opinion, Renew Push for Gun Control, Medical Marijuana Proposals


Wisconsin State Journal - October 03, 2019 - Assembly approves bill allowing lemonade stands, resolution support F-35 jets at Truax Field


The Daily Cardinal - October 07, 2019 - Evers and Kaul continue pushing to alter gun control legislation


Wisconsin State Journal - October 10, 2019 - Assembly Resolution Honoring Retired Madison Police Chief Mike Koval Never Opened for Local Sponsorship 


Special Highlight!

First Responder of the Year Award

Last week it was my honor to present David Dexheimer, of Madison, with the Hometown Hero Award and to recognize him as the First Responder of the Year for the 48th Assembly District.

Nominated for his 22 years of dedicated commitment to the Northside, David Dexheimer embodies selflessness and community-orientated service to the highest degree.

He has spent his career making efforts to implement innovative programs, strengthen community ties, and create new forms of public engagement through the development of spaces such as “Coffee with a Cop” and “Kickin’ with a Cop”.

I thank him for his many years of impactful service to our community, and commend him for the countless number of hours he has spent, and sacrifices made, dedicated to keeping us all safe.

Thank you David!


Contacting My Office

Team Sargent is here to help you! Please reach out to us with general inquiries, as well as any thoughts, questions, or concerns regarding legislative matters, at 608-266-0960 or via email at rep.sargent@legis.wi.gov

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