State Senator Van Wanggaard's eNewsletter 2019
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Governor Signs 3 Wanggaard Bills
Hallelujah! The Tax is dead!

Wednesday was a great day for taxpayers in southeastern Wisconsin and especially Racine County. As someone who has been working to end the tax for the last 9 years, I’m glad that we now have a certain end date for the tax – August 31, 2020. Hallelujah! The tax is dead!
I am hopeful that with this chapter behind us everyone, including those that vehemently opposed the tax and even Cubs fans, can enjoy the Brewers product on the field, rather than focusing on who is paying for the field.

The Governor also signed Assembly Bill 426 and Assembly Bill 235, which I am also the Senate author.  

In 2015, we passed legislation that provides criminal penalties for individuals who intentionally damage or unlawfully enter property of an energy provider. Inadvertently, that law did not include language covering the energy infrastructure provided by the water utilities, oil, petroleum, and renewable fuel industries, leaving a significant portion of the energy industry unprotected under the new law. Assembly Bill 426 corrects this omission by incorporating and giving these types of critical infrastructure the same protections as electric and natural gas infrastructure.

Assembly Bill 235, helping the Village of Pleasant Prairie and Kenosha County maintain their existing level of services in light of the closure of the Pleasant Prairie Power Plant. Pleasant Prairie is in the midst of tremendous growth. The shuttering of the power plant and loss of utility aid could have stymied that growth and harmed the quality of life. I’m glad that this bill is now law so that Pleasant Prairie can continue to thrive.

17th Annual Holiday Book Giveaway- Cops 'N Kids

Julia Witherspoon- founder and Executive Director of Cops 'N Kids Reading Center, Inc. 
In 1997, then police officer, Julia Burney (Witherspoon), responded to a burglary call that led her to a warehouse full of children's books. Julia realized these books should be in the hands of the disadvantaged children she served every day.

The first batch of books was distributed from the trunks of police cars. Within weeks, children were gathering around officers who often stopped to read a colorful book or two. What Julia discovered, was a unique way to respond to children in need; children who lacked the essential tools for successful learning.

Before becoming a Racine Police Officer, Julia worked for Racine Unified School District as a teacher's assistant and school worker.  She also worked for Goodwill Industries Future Bound Program as both a case manager and she eventually became program supervisor.

Cops 'N Kids assembles community members to share the responsibility of social and educational development, ensuring that all children have the opportunity to explore their full potential.

This simple and effective plan grew into the Cops 'N Kids Reading Center.  There are now over 115 Cops 'N Kids Reading Centers throughout the United States as well as Australia, South Africa, Venezuela, and the Philippines.

Julia has been recognized by countless organizations, including being named "Person of the Year" by ABC World News Tonight with Charles Gibson, she was featured in Oprah's Angel Network, as well as having received the "Hometown Hero Award" by the Wisconsin State Assembly.

In 2002, Cops 'N Kids started the first annual holiday book giveaway.  On Saturday, December 21st, the 17th Annual Holiday Book Giveaway will be held at Festival Hall in Racine from 9-11am.

New and gently used books and all other donations may be sent to:

Cops 'N Kids Reading Center
800 Villa Street
Racine, WI 53403

Becky St. Martin (262) 939-0107

More information about the event can be found: Click

RUSD School Choice Fair


Racine Unified School District is hosting a School Choice Fair on December 7th at Case High School (7345 Washington Ave, Racine) from 9am-noon. Attendees will learn more about their school options including Montessori, early learning programs, fine arts, international baccalaureate, virtual learning and more! Applications will be accepted at the event or can be submitted from December 1st through January 15th. More information about the Choice Fair can be found: Click Here.

Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin- Food Drive

The season of giving is upon us. The Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin and Hockey Locker are sponsoring a food drive to support homeless and at-risk veterans. They are collecting non-perishable breakfast food items. More information can be found at:

Executive Residence Holiday Tours


The Executive Residence is open for Holiday Tours (hours listed below).  Tours are free and street parking is available. 

Warm winter items are being collected in support of the Department of Tourism's Big Bundle Up Campaign. 

Wisconsin businesses sponsor the decorations. This year there are none from our neck of the woods, but we've had several in years past. 

The Executive Residence is located at: 99 Cambridge Road in Madison. Tours are held between 11am-2pm.
  • Tuesday, December 3
  • Thursday, December 5
  • Saturday, December 7
  • Wednesday, December 11
  • Saturday, December 14
  • Thursday, December 19
For additional information contact Charlene Malueg or call (608) 246-5501.
Issue 154
November 22, 2019
Photo with my beautiful wife in front of the Capitol Christmas tree last year.

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

Kenosha Winter HarborMarket
Every Saturday until May 8th
Kenosha Masonic Center

Burlington Christmas Parade
December 6th
Downtown Burlington

UW-Parkside Winter Arts and Crafts Fair
November 23rd

Kenosha Harbor Holiday International Market & Festival
December 7 & 8
Museums Campus, Kenosha

RUSD School Choice Fair
December 7th
Case High School

17th Annual Book Giveaway for Cop 'N Kids
December 21st
Festival Hall

If you would like to add an event to the Local Events calendar, please send information to:
Copyright © 2019 Senator Van Wanggaard, All rights reserved.

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