State Senator Van Wanggaard's eNewsletter 2021
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State Budget Passes


On Wednesday, the Legislature gave final approval to the biennial budget. It now goes to Governor Evers for his signature, veto, or line-item vetoes.
Putting together a budget is never easy, and it’s a large document. Ultimately, my decision on the budget rests on whether or not I believe the budget is financially responsible, invests prudently in the needs of Wisconsin, and puts Wisconsin on the right path. As you’ll read below, I believe this budget does that. No budget is perfect, and inevitably there will be individual items that I wish were or were not included in the budget. But on the whole, this budget is good for Racine and Kenosha counties, and Wisconsin.


The budget contains over $3 billion in tax relief – most of it comes from reducing income taxes. The average family will see $954 in tax relief this year. The median family home will see a property tax cut of $214 over the next two years. If you make over $24,000/individual or $32,000/family you will see tax relief soon!  Your property taxes will also be cut reduced by $214 on a median family home. 

The budget takes advantage of over $2.8 billion in federal money to fund education. Across the 21st Senate District, the average district will receive an increase of $1,578 - ranging from a low of $781/pupil to $5,138/pupil. In addition, the state freed up additional spending authority, by increasing Special Education Funding to 30% of costs. The state will also once again fund two-thirds of state school costs, actually funding a record 68% of school aids. And school mental health grants will increase by $19 million.
Health care is also improved in this budget by increasing nursing home rates by $250 million or 12%. Health care worker funding will also increase by $182 million. Alzheimer’s and dementia family caregivers will also see a $4 million increase.

Importantly, the budget also maintains Wisconsin’s strong financial footing for future budgets. A small structural deficit, no GAAP deficit, and leaves $450 million in the account at the end of the budget – the largest amount in 25 years. Our Rainy Day Fund will be over $2 billion. Ten years ago, it was virtually zero!

Democrats Trying to Rewrite History of Kenosha Riots


It’s shocking to see area Democratic elected officials attempt to rewrite the history of last summer’s riots in Kenosha, and trying to absolve Governor Tony Evers of his role in the tragic events. Thankfully, the historical record is clear.

It was Governor Evers and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, who used their initial statements to fan the flames of unrest, rather than seek to calm the situation.1

It was Governor Evers who only called up 125 Wisconsin National Guard (WNG) members the night after the first riots, while thousands were destroying Kenosha. Twice in writing in one day, and through many phone calls, we begged Governor Evers to increase the overwhelmed WNG members.2,3 Our efforts, and then-President Trump’s efforts to help save Kenosha were rebuffed when Governor Evers publicly rejected President Trump’s offer of help, asking for COVID help instead.4

It was only after a third night of violent destruction, after two people were killed, and another was shot, and after members of the Kenosha County Board pleaded for more help5, that Governor Evers realized his mistake and changed his mind.6

I don’t issue write this to rehash or relive the devastating events of last summer. That serves no productive purpose. But I will not sit by while some try to rewrite the history of August 2020 for political cover. The people of Kenosha and Wisconsin know what happened, and history will too.

Among the lessons I learned following this tragedy is that we must be willing to work better together to improve the lives of all citizens. As I  have in the past, I remain committed to doing so. Kenosha and Wisconsin will be better because of it.

Celebrating Freedom

This weekend, we celebrate our nation's independence and the cornerstone of what makes America the greatest country in the world - freedom. As I look forward to celebrating with friends and family this weekend, I am filled with thankfulness for the many blessings we enjoy in this great country and deep gratitude for the brave men and women who have fought to protect it. 

I hope you all have a safe and spectacular Fourth of July, and enjoy some of the wonderful events in our community this weekend. Be sure to look below for a list of fun events and festivities in your area. Happy Independence Day!

Fourth of July Events

Don't miss the chance to enjoy these great local events with family and friends this weekend!

Raymond July 4 Celebration
Where: Raymond, WI
When: July 4, 10am- 10pm
What: This holiday celebration includes live music, food, beverages, parade, auction and more. Don't miss the children's parade at 12:45 on Saturday from the festival grounds followed by the main parade "Bold Stripes and Bright Stars" at 1:45pm. A holiday festival follows with auctions, children's games, pie auction and live music. The day will be capped off with a fireworks show at 9:30 pm.

Where: Lance Park, Twin Lakes
When: July 3, noon - July 4, midnight
What: Libertyfest features live music, Twin Lakes Idol Contest, children's games, parade, fireworks and more. The Grand Parade begins at 11:00 am on Saturday and goes from Legion park to Lance Park. 

Celebrate America
Where: Harbor Park, Kenosha
When: July 2 - July 4
What: Two days of live entertainment at the lakefront July 3-4 lead up to Kenosha's Festival Foods Fireworks at dusk on July 4. Live music, and a dog jumping contest kick off the festivities at 11am on July 3.

Racine Fourth Fest
Where: 555 Main Street, Racine
When: July 5, 8:30 am - 6:00 pm 
What: Midwest's largest July 4th Parade. This year's theme is "United We Stand." More than 100 parade entries including live replicas of national monuments, servicemen and servicewomen, clowns, horses, bands, floats, entertainers and more. Pre-parade featuring antique cars starts at 8:30 a.m. A spectacular 40-minute fireworks show begins around 9:20 and can be viewed from the shore of Lake Michigan. 

Somers Independence Day Celebration
Where: Town of Somers
When: July 4, 2:00 pm 
What: Mark your calendar for the Somers Parade and Independence Day Celebration this Saturday at 2:00 pm. Bring the family, a few lawn chairs, and get ready for a treat! This year, Somers is celebrating with the theme "A Good Ol’ Hometown Parade!”
Union Grove 4th of July Parade
Where: Union Grove
When: July 5, 9:15 am 
What: This year's Union Grove 4th of July parade, “Party Like its 1776” features almost 120 entries with a Kiddie parade beginning at 9:00.

Watertown 4th of July Celebration
Where: Riverside Park, Watertown
When: July 3-4, 9am
What: Celebration Friday night includes a food and beverage tent, and live music. The parade kicks off at 10:00 am on Sunday and includes bands, floats, fly overs, clowns dance teams and special Veteran groups. Fireworks at 9:30 pm.
Venetian Fest
Where: Fischer Park, Burlington
When: July 3rd, 9am-10pm
What: Kayak and paddleboard excursions, boat parade, ski show, and live music. Fireworks at 9:30 pm.
City of Burlington Fireworks
Where: Festival Grounds on Maryland Ave.
When: July 4, 9:30pm
Backyard Blast at Kemper Center
Where: Kemper Center, Kenosha
When: July 4, 11am – 10pm
What: Join us in our backyard to celebrate Independence Day 2021 sponsored by Snap-On! This year we are hosting a family fun event that will end with a spectacular City of Kenosha fireworks watch party in the soccer field between the Kemper Center and the Anderson Arts Center. The City’s colorful fireworks display will begin at approximately 9:30pm. Bring your own blankets and lawn chairs and camp out all day. Seating will be first come first served.
Food and drinks will be available for purchase starting at 11am and a live performance by GROOVELINE will begin at 6:30pm.
Issue 232
July 1st, 2021
Photo from a past 4th of July Parade with Rep. Kerkman, Congressman Paul Ryan, and Caledonia Trustee Kevin Wanggaard.

Connect with Van:


State Senator Van
21st Senate District 

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