State Senator Van Wanggaard's eNewsletter 2016
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New Legislative Session Begins

Tuesday marked the beginning of the 2017-18 legislative session. Four new senators were inaugurated among the 16 senators who stood for election this session. The start of the new session is always exciting. Everyone is full of hope and optimism that we will tackle the issues facing the state in a positive manner.
This session, I was honored to be re-appointed as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety. As with last session, this committee will tackle most legal and criminal bills that come before the Senate. I look forward to working with committee members to address the “crime crisis” that is holding back economic growth in some areas of the state. I also intend to continue working on domestic violence, victim’s rights and second amendment issues.
In addition, I will again serve as the vice-chair of the Labor and Regulatory Reform Committee, and as a member of the Elections and Utilities Committee.
I am eager to get to work this session to make Racine and Kenosha Counties even more prosperous. 

Remembering Chief Polzin

It is with a heavy heart I write about a true gentleman who, throughout his life, truly loved the Racine community and understood the importance of building positive relationships. The victim of a sudden, unexpected heart attack, Chief Richard Polzin’s life of 74 years came to an end earlier this week. I first met Dick, when I was assigned as a new patrol officer on the Racine Police Department. He was my squad Sergeant.  

Dick was absolutely awesome; he was a colleague, mentor, teacher, role model, boss, husband, father and more importantly, a true friend throughout the years. Dick understood the importance of positive recognition in building relationships and integrity at all costs. Not a big man physically, we all looked up to him. He truly cared and walked the talk!  

Dick’s journey through life was one of a problem solver and always a “we can do attitude” with a servant's heart. Retirement, it never really happened, as there was always more to be done.  Dick continued to be an integral participant in the “COP” neighborhood program he founded in the early 1990’s resulting in today’s (6) six “COP” neighborhood houses. 

I am blessed to have had this man in my life for the past 46 years, and while he will be greatly missed, he will never be forgotten, as I am only one of the many thousands of individuals who was touched by his spirit  and  became a better person because of it. Dick reinforced the philosophy that life was not measured in years, months, weeks, hours or minutes but made up of “moments.”  So it is not goodbye but we will meet again.  

Veterans Grant Awarded to Local Group

This week, the Wisconsin Department of Veteran's Affairs awarded $250,000 in grants to 42 nonprofit organizations that serve veterans and their families. The grant money will go toward funding for services such as emergency financial assistance, transitional housing, and service dogs for veterans with disabilities.

I am proud that one of our very own organizations, Stepping Stone Farms of Franksville, received a $4,999 grant for their work helping servicemen and women. Stepping Stone will put the grant toward helping veterans suffering from PTSD through their Equine Assisted Therapy Program.

Our state is blessed to have so many organizations serving Wisconsin Veterans, and I am grateful to Stepping Stone and all those who are making a difference for these deserving men and women. Thank you, and congratulations on your well-deserved grant, Stepping Stone Farms!
Connect with Van:


State Senator Van
21st Senate District 

Wisconsin State Capitol 
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, Wisconsin 53707
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Local Events

2017 Miss Racine Pageant
Preservation Hall
740 Lake Ave., Racine
January 7, 7 - 9 pm

Wilmot Mountain Grand
Re-Opening Celebration
11931 Fox River Road, Wilmot
January 7,10 am - close

Holiday Train Display
Kenosha Public Museum
5500 First Ave., Kenosha
Now through January 8

Racine Zoo
2131 North Main St.
9 am - 6 pm

If you would like to add an event to the Local Events calendar, please send information to: Colleen.Moran@legis.wi.gov
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