As this year comes to a close and we look ahead to the next legislative session, I'm optimistic about the exciting things my Republican colleagues and I will bring to the table. Most importantly will be approving the state budget. More to come on that, so stay tuned.
Every legislative session, I like to hit the reset button and begin anew and invite every elected official in the state capitol to do the same. Instead of name-calling and personal attacks, we can bring back civility in politics.
We must work harder to lead by example to show that ideals other than our own are not evil. Debate and discussion should be encouraged to better understand our neighbors, not hate them.
Every session since I was speaker, more than 90% of bills approved received bipartisan support, and this year should be no different.
My three big priorities to address this session that I believe can and should be a bipartisan effort are:
Learning loss - 2/3 of kids since 2019 are doing worse and don't have an adequate level of math or reading for their grade level. We know with the massive amount of federal money that came in, more money isn't the simple answer to help deal with this learning loss.
Demographic challenges - We see a net migration out of the state and a graying population. We have to find ways to keep more people in Wisconsin. When I look at our tax climate, I see that all around us is a flat tax – in Iowa, Michigan, Illinois, a Republican state, a Democrat state, and a newly turned Democrat state. Discussing our tax burden can help with our demographic challenges.
Innovation - Wisconsin was the invention capital of the United States. Everything from malted milk to garbage disposals was invented here. I'd love for us to once again be the leader in innovation and be a place where new ideas thrive.
I feel privileged to have the opportunity to represent the great people of the 63rd Assembly District, and I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year!