State Senator Van Wanggaard's eNewsletter 2015

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Contact Senator Wanggaard:
State Senator Van Wanggaard
21st Senate District  


Wisconsin State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7882

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Local Events

Chocolate Fest
Chocolate Fest Grounds, Burlington
May 22-25

Veterans Affairs Memorial Day Celebration
Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetary, Union Grove
Sunday, May 24th, 11 am

Sturtevant Memorial Day Program
West Lawn Memorial Park, Sturtevant
Monday, May 25th, 10 am

Rochester Memorial Day Program
Pioneer Park, Rochester
Monday, May 25th, 1:30 pm

Burlington Memorial Service
Echo Park, Burlington
Monday, May 25th, 10:30 am

If you would like to add an event to the Local Events calendar, please send information to: Colleen.Moran@legis.wi.gov
Uncertainty Abounds in Catastrophic Failure at MPD 

I called a public hearing in the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee this week to investigate the catastrophic failure of the Milwaukee Police Department’s video system and the prosecutions potentially compromised by the incident. The crash, which occurred in January, affected thousands of interviews with suspects and witnesses recorded over several months.

The details of the failure given by officials are murky at best, and contradictions abound. For instance, a recent article by the Wisconsin Watchdog points out that the department has yet to explain “the $246,000 in emergency funding it was granted on Feb. 10 for technology to help deal with the crash,” while Milwaukee Police Department Chief Flynn "told reporters his department had spent just $50,000 on the system recently, and only for maintenance.” Chief Flynn was also careful to say only seven criminal cases “have been identified as possibly affected.” However, Wisconsin Watchdog also reported that multiple sources, including several inside the MPD say “the malfunction could have compromised hundreds, if not thousands of cases.” Lastly, Chief Flynn claimed the failure was not due to human error or storage capacity, however the media reported there were “separate failures, going back to at least October of last year, that should have been detected by members of MPD’s integrated technology department.”

I wish we would have been able to ask Chief Flynn about these disturbing discrepancies directly, but unfortunately he refused to testify, even after Representative Kleefisch and I followed up by letter encouraging him to reconsider. I was disappointed that Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern also declined to testify (although Mr. Lovern did offer to answer questions at a later date). I would like to thank Milwaukee Police Association president Michael Crivello for taking the time to come testify on this important issue. I am deeply disappointed that other officials did not show the same dedication to protecting the public.

This data loss could jeopardize hundreds of criminal prosecutions, and it is my firm belief that the public deserves answers as to why this occurred.  At least seven cases have been affected by the loss so far, one of which was a murder case. Leaving the door open to further errors would be simply reprehensible. I am dedicated to getting to the bottom of this issue, and will continue to work to understand why the data loss occurred and how we can prevent future incidents from putting Wisconsinites at risk. 
Republicans Expand Educational Options, Invest in K-12 Education and Lower Taxes

On Wednesday, Republicans listened to our constituents and shaped the future of education by helping every child find their best educational environment. 
Investing almost $200 million in K-12 education: The proposed budget changes would add almost $200 million in K-12 Education by not only filling the proposed cut in aid, but going above and beyond by increasing aid by $100 per student in the second year of the budget.
Expanding school choice and putting the program on a sustainable path: Our changes would remove the cap on the number of students in the statewide program, and fund the program in a way that helps both choice and public schools. Most importantly to me, the Racine program will function as before, with only behind the scenes changes. Stay tuned for some exciting news on this in the coming weeks.

Lowering property taxes: I am proud to say the proposed budget not only includes positive investments in our state, but lowers property taxes as well.
Restructuring the Racine School Board: At my request, my colleagues added a provision to the budget that would reshape the Racine School Board to give suburban communities in the district better representation on the school board. This is aimed at allowing for fair representation and ensuring the voices of the suburban communities are being heard.
I am pleased that we were able to come together to create a budget that marries real reform with powerful, positive impact for Wisconsin. The proposed budget must pass the full Senate and Assembly before it can be signed into law by the Governor.
Honoring Our Fallen Heroes

This holiday weekend, please take time to remember the many brave men and women who have given their lives in dedication to our country. Our freedom comes at a great price, and the debt we owe to our fallen heroes can never be repaid. This Memorial Day, and every day, I am deeply grateful for those soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and offer my sincere thanks to the many men and women who continue to serve our country valiantly. 
In the District

On Monday, May 18th, I was invited to tour CNH Industrial in Mount Pleasant. Thank you to Plant Manager Nate Burgers for allowing us to tour your facility and learn more about the challenges you face. 

On Wednesday, April 29th, I had the pleasure of  attending the Annual Racine Area Manufacturing and Commerce membership dinner which was covered by "master" photographer, Scott Bauer from the Racine Journal Times.
Copyright *2015* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Senator Van Wanggaard
P.O. Box 7882
Room 319 South
Madison, WI 53707

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