State Senator Van Wanggaard's eNewsletter 2022
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Action on Illegal Ballot Drop Boxes 

On Thursday, a Waukesha County judge ruled that the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) overstepped their authority when they authorized the use of “ballot drop boxes” in the 2020 elections. In so doing, the judge stated that there are only two ways under Wisconsin law to return an absentee ballot – in-person and through the mail. The ruling also prohibits ballot harvesting. The ruling will almost certainly be appealed.
Also this week, the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules demanded that WEC promulgate administrative rules if they are going to go beyond the scope of the law in their guidance related to drop boxes. It is unclear at this time if WEC will comply with the demand.
You’ve probably seen people claiming that this is the end of democracy. One Democratic State Representative said the judge was “F***** taking your ballot box away.” It’s important to remember that this is how elections took place in this country for 239 years.
Elections were just fine before drop boxes were illegally authorized last year. Elections will be just fine without them this year.

Fentanyl Test Strips Can Save Lives


Yesterday, I held a committee hearing discussing the use of fentanyl testing strips in Wisconsin. 
Fentanyl testing strips are little pieces of paper that identify the presence of fentanyl in injectable drugs, powders, and pills. In Wisconsin, these strips are considered drug paraphernalia, making them illegal to possess. My bill would change that, and allow anyone to possess them.
As we all know, the overall number of overdose deaths involving opioids has risen due the skyrocketing availability and use of synthetic opioids, mainly fentanyl. Sadly, a large number of the people that overdose on fentanyl have no idea that they are actually ingesting it. It's important to understand that not only are illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and heroin are being laced with fentanyl, but prescription drugs like Xanax and Oxycodone are as well.
A study was done in 2018 where 81 young adults, who reported using illicit drugs in the past 30 days, were provided testing strips. Of those, 31 of them received at least one positive result. Participants that received a positive result reported that they would be less likely to engage in risky behavior. There is no question that this bill will save lives.

DMV Extends Drivers License Renewal for 60+

Because of the elevated health risks to drivers 60 and over due to COVID-19, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is extending renewal deadlines for this age group.

Licensed drivers who are 60 and over and who have a license scheduled to expire in January, February or March 2022, will now have until March 31, 2022 to visit a DMV to renew with no late fee.

Driver records are automatically updated, and the new expiration date will be visible to law enforcement. Customers can check the status of their license, including the adjusted expiration date, at

Appointments for a driver license renewal can be scheduled online ( Applications can also be completed online and submitted electronically. Questions are quickly answered by email or phone.

To make in-person customer visits safer, and reduce the time in the DMV lobby, DMV Customer Services Centers are using safety protocols that include cleaning throughout the day and arranging space to provide safe social distancing.

In-person visits at DMV Customer Services Centers are only available for:
  • Driver license renewals and original products
  • ID to vote
  • New residents to obtain identification
​All DMV vehicle transactions can be done online (

Online driver license renewal an option for ages under 65

Drivers ages 18 to 64, who are U.S. citizens with an unrestricted driver license, and who have not had a change in medical conditions, and who do not need an original REAL ID, may renew their driver license online (

Traditionally, DMV customers only needed to visit a DMV once every eight years to take a new photo and renew their driver license. Now, online driver license renewal is available through a pilot program which began in May 2020 which allows 16 years to pass between visits.

Tourism Grants Available for Local Organizations


The Wisconsin Department of Tourism is offering tourism grants for organizations and communities across the state. Check out the Tourism grant programs we offer and deadlines coming up in the next six months: 
  • Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) Program – JEM grants offer funding to make a promotion or event come to fruition. The grant reimburses Wisconsin nonprofit organizations for qualified promotional costs. There are five unique categories of the JEM grant to fit an organization’s needs (New Event, Existing Event, Sales Promotion, One-Time Project and Destination Marketing). Upcoming deadlines: February 1 (Event JEMs only), April 1 (Destination Marketing and Event JEMs) 
  • Tourist Information Center (TIC) Grant Program – TIC grants are open to nonprofit tourism organizations, municipalities or Native American tribes who operate a regional tourist information center. Deadline: July 1 
  • Ready, Set, Go! (RSG) Grant Program – RSG grants assist destinations in securing competitive sporting events that require an upfront cash or financial commitment. Deadline:  April 1  
  • Meetings Mean Business (MMB) Grant Program – MMB grants help potential Wisconsin destinations by providing financial assistance for facility costs or host destination expenses as they bid for regional and national meetings or conventions. Deadline: April 1
Issue 251
January 14, 2022
Pictured with current intern Anna Carroll.

Connect with Van:


State Senator Van
21st Senate District 

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