State Senator Van Wanggaard's eNewsletter 2015
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Nine Wanggaard Bills Move Forward

Van testifying with Rep. Cody Horlacher in favor of Senate Bill 303 

What a week! It has been a whirlwind at the Capitol this week with nine of my bills taking big steps in the legislative process. As Thomas Edison said, "There is no substitute for hard work," and I am pleased to see these proposals moving forward. I authored these bills to protect and help the public and I hope they will pass the full Legislature this winter. Here is a summary of the bills:

Senate Bill 303: I authored this bill to encourage our courts to address gang-related behavior and to get gang members off the street. The bill increases prison sentences, depending on the severity of the crime, if the crime is found to have been committed to promote or assist a gang. SB 303 passed the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety on Wednesday, December 16.

Senate Bill 409: This bill tightens criteria for placing violent sex offenders on supervised release under the state's Chapter 980 program. SB 409 was drafted in response to inadequacies that came to light this summer when two violent sex offenders were placed in a house less than 200 feet from a residence where 11-year old twins lived. The bill had a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety on Wednesday, December 16.

Assembly Bill 432: This legislation will keep Wisconsin roadways and communities safer from drunk drivers by requiring DOT to permanently revoke the driver's license of a repeat OWI offender after their fifth OWI, or after their third OWI in combination with multiple serious OWI-related vehicular offenses. AB 432 passed the Assembly Committee on Judiciary on Thursday, December 17.

Senate Bill 322: Imagine spending 13 years in prison for a crime you did not commit, only to receive a mere $25,000 for the years lost. Unfortunately, this is a real story and this scenario happens too often in Wisconsin. You can't put a price on freedom, but this bill ensures that exonerees receive the compensation they deserve and the assistance they need to be reintegrated into society after years of wrongful incarceration. SB 322 received public hearings in both the Senate and Assembly on Wednesday, December 16.

Assembly Bill 547: This bill increases penalties for the crime of damaging energy utility property intending to cause disruption of service. AB 547 addresses a growing concern as our electrical grid becomes more interdependent and computerized. These crimes go beyond copper theft, and can lead to cyber crimes and the threat of terrorism. The bill passed the Assembly Committee on Energy and Utilities on Tuesday, December 15.

Assembly Bill 201: This bill was introduced in response to hit-and-run incidents where an injured victim is left after the driver flees the scene. AB 201 requires a driver to stop after striking something with their vehicle to see if there was physical injury or damage caused. The bill passed the Assembly Committee on Judiciary Thursday, December 17.

Senate Bill 406/Assembly Bill 377: These bills close a loophole that allows people to get out of traffic violations merely because the judge does not say seven specific words. SB 406 received a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety on Wednesday, December 16 and AB 377 passed the Assembly Committee on Judiciary on Thursday, December 17.

Assembly Bill 549: This bill allows physical therapists who are licensed in Wisconsin to order X-rays, which will save patients time and money, ensure prompt treatment and avoid a needless referral to another medical provider. AB 549 received a public hearing in the Assembly Committee on Health Wednesday, December 16.

Wishing You a Very Merry Christmas

With only a few days until Christmas, the holiday hustle and bustle is in full swing. This is a beautiful season filled with friends and family, generous giving and that childhood wonder that we all remember.

Even though it's busy, I hope you take time to pause and remember what this holiday is truly about- the birth of our Savior who brought love and joy to all mankind. May we share that joy with everyone we meet this holiday season and throughout the year.

From my family to yours, we wish you a Christmas filled with warmth and love and a joyful New Year! 

 In the District


I had a wonderful time at the Hour of Code last Friday at Gateway Technical College. At the event, I met Claire,  Khaliah and Arieana who are in the 6th grade at 21st Century Prep. These young ladies really know their stuff, and I had a great time learning from them. The event included over 220 students from the area and over 155,000 events around the world! This is really an awesome event that promotes giving every student the opportunity to learn Computer Science.

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

Christmas with the
Danish King

Gethsemane Lutheran Church
December 18, 7:00 - 9:00 pm

Holidays in the Mansion

Racine Masonic Center
December 19 - 20

North Pole Experience
Apple Holler
Weekends, December 5 - 20 

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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