ADVOCATE & SUPPORT
Focusing on the Issues important to our District
I have advocated for and supported investments in broadband internet access, led initiatives to support our agriculture industry and farmers, supported our veterans and active duty personnel, prioritized getting people back to work after costly government shut-downs, continued to focus on mental health initiatives, and supported a budget that makes substantial investments in improving our local roads and K-12 education, all while striving to keeps taxes low.
2021-2023 State Budget
In 2021 Governor Evers proposed another dangerous financial plan for our state that would have raised taxes on Wisconsinites by over $1 billion and increased spending by over 10%. I was happy to support the responsible financial plans that the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee (JFC) put together. One of the reasons I was happy to support this budget and glad it was signed into law is because of the opportunity for me to again work closely with my colleagues and members of the committee to help make sure that this budget is another good one for the residents of the 70th Assembly District.
The budget that the Legislature put together this session is a responsible spending plan that makes priority investments by the residents of the 70th Assembly District, ranging from investments in local roads aids and agriculture producers to investments in our local healthcare providers to help keep care accessible and offset the disproportionate share of public payee patients that seek our services, to approval of the highest finding levels ever for K-12 education, even more than the already historic funding levels prior to the pandemic.
I'm also pleased to report that allocating ongoing funding for University of Wisconsin - Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) applied researchers that with directly with agricultural producers was included in the budget. That's something I've worked on for multiple legislative sessions with JFC Co-Chairman, Senator Howard Marklein, and I'm happy we were able to get it done.
I was also happy to partner with Senator Patrick Testin to include provisions in the budget designed to help the City of Nekoosa address funding issues that they were experiencing with a previously awarded infrastructure grant from the Department of Natural Resources.
Responsible budgeting allows the state to invest in fundamental priorities for Wisconsin residents, save for the future, and importantly, return more money where it is belongs - to the hard working taxpayers in the 70th Assembly District and throughout the state.
Election Integrity - Restoring Trust in the Process
The Legislature passed multiple measures this session aimed at restoring trust in Wisconsin's election process. This comprehensive package of election reforms will ensure future elections are fair, transparent, and uniform. The package includes, but not limited to, closing voter ID loopholes, standardizing procedures, establishing uniformity, guaranteeing only the voter can correct their own ballot, and keeping out-of-state billionaires from controlling election administration.
Additionally, I co-authored a resolution that would put before the citizens of our state a Constitutional Amendment that addresses a disturbing movement by radical leftists to further loosen voting laws and allow non-citizens to vote in local elections. The resolution, passed by the State Assembly and State Senate, clarifies that ONLY United States citizens can vote in their our state.
Support our Local Law Enforcement - Recruit - Retain - Support - Invest
Law enforcement personnel play an essential role in enforcing our laws, maintaining public order and managing public safety. However, we currently have about 13, 500 law enforcement officers in Wisconsin, the lowest number we've had in decades. A documented rise in violent crime, the malignment of law enforcement officers and the embrace of coddling criminals, by local, state and national Democrat politicians is clearly taking a toll.
I was happy to support a package of bills in the Assembly that invests $25 million of federal funds to recruit, retain, support and invest in Law Enforcement throughout the state. Examples of passed legislation includes:
Providing $5,000 signing bonuses to new officers in Wisconsin.
Requiring the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to collaborate with local law enforcement agencies to recruit and retain officers both in state and from communities outside the state that have sought to reduce funding for law enforcement.
Reimbursing law enforcement academy costs for all officers - not just those sponsored by an agency and ensure this reimbursement is sufficient to cover entire cost - and double state reimbursement for annual re-certification costs.
Requiring two technical colleges to offer a part-time academy program.
Creating a matching grant program for small agencies (like some in the 70th Assembly District) to provide equipment and fulfill pre-employment testing for part-time officers.
Providing free fishing and deer hunting licenses to law enforcement officers and waiving state park camping and admission fees on Memorial Day weekend.