State Senator Van Wanggaard's eNewsletter 2021
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Senate Passes COVID-19 Relief Bill

This week, the State Senate amended Assembly Bill 1 (AB 1), the COVID-19 relief bill. 

Like many of you, I want Wisconsin opened back up for business, prayer and education. I understand your frustrations, even outrage, with the Evers' administration. Unfortunately, because the Republicans don't have a veto-proof majority in the Legislature, we need to pass a bill that Governor Evers will sign.

Neither AB 1, nor the amendment, is a perfect piece of legislation. Both fall short of what I wish could become law. AB 1, as amended by the State Senate, provides critical relief to Wisconsin residents, businesses and healthcare facilities. It also gives much-needed legal protections to churches, non-profit organizations, schools, and small businesses allowing them more flexibility to open and serve the public.

I feel that I also need to emphasize that before I supported the amendment, I confirmed with Wisconsin's non-partisan legislative attorneys that the existing state and federal protections against forced vaccinations for personal or religious reasons still apply to the COVID vaccine. 

2021 State of the State
Backwards-looking, depressing and divisive SOS address


In my three terms in the State Senate, I have never seen a more backwards-looking, depressing, and divisive State of the State address. Instead of looking towards a brighter future, it focused on the negatives of the past. It was void of new ideas and full of blame.  This was just ‘blah blah blah’.
Evers spent half of his speech saying how Coronavirus devastated our state. And then he spent literally only one sentence talking about distributing the vaccine to ease that devastation. No details about his plan to roll out the vaccine or who gets what, when. It just proves he has no vaccine plan, leaving vaccines on the shelf while people suffer and essential workers go unprotected. 
Evers still doesn’t get it. This was just a rehash of last year’s speech, showing that the Governor hasn’t learned from his mistakes, or grown in office. Like last year’s speech it was full of huge spending increases, cheap partisan shots, and blaming others for his own inaction. At least I’m glad he is finally addressing his disastrous handling of the unemployment situation.  
No matter what Governor Evers does or says, I continue to be focused on improving our jobs climate, reopening Wisconsin safely, cutting taxes, and growing our economy.

To read the State of the State address: Click.

Evers Repeating Same Mistakes with Vaccines as with Unemployment Claims 


Governor Evers and his administration continue to lag behind other states in their distribution and administration of COVID vaccines. According to data released today, Wisconsin has distributed less than one third of its vaccination allocation. Barely 135,000 people have been given the COVID vaccine. That leaves almost 300,000, or 70% of Wisconsin’s vaccine doses unused literally sitting on the shelf.
Given that Evers had months to prepare an effective vaccination plan, the lack of vaccination progress is inexcusable.  It reminds me of the comedy “Groundhog Day”, but it’s not funny. The same administration is showing the same inability to help Wisconsinites. But this isn’t a movie where you have the opportunity to continually “redo” the day before in order to fix mistake after mistake. This is real life. Wisconsinites are dying.
Evers’ transparent attempt to distract Wisconsinites from his ineptness by sending a letter to the federal government claiming Wisconsin has not received enough vaccine is laughable and extremely disingenuous. There are hundreds of thousands of vaccines literally sitting on the shelf.  Evers’ inability to distribute this life-saving vaccine is shockingly similar to the continuing train wreck occurring with unemployment benefits. The incompetence has remained constant. This isn’t a movie and Evers’ isn’t Bill Murray. He doesn’t get a “mulligan” or do-over every day to try and make-up for continued missteps and failures.
To date, the Evers administration hasn’t provided a plan to effectively distribute the vaccine, to prioritize individuals receiving the vaccine, or inform citizens approximately when they will receive the vaccine. Meaning we will see Governor Evers make the same mistakes again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again...


This is unbelievable. Ten months saying the system is broken, hundreds of thousands of people waiting months to receive benefits…
And his ‘plan’ to fix the unemployment fiasco asks the Legislature for $5 million to start and places a mandate on employers to file online. We waited ten months for this? Good grief.
I do support updating the computer system, though.

Link to Governor's Order.

Lowest Tax Burden in 50 Years!

After years of Republican reforms, the Wisconsin Policy Forum announced last week that the average tax burden for Wisconsin taxpayers was the lowest in their 50 years of taking records!

For decades, Wisconsin was one of the highest taxed states in the country, consistently ranking in the top 10 highest taxed states as a percentage of income and per capita. As recently as 2011 Wisconsin was ranked #10. Every session I’ve been in Madison, I’ve supported and voted for tax cuts – property, income, and otherwise. After the tax cuts my colleagues and I have enacted, Wisconsin now ranks #23, and the second lowest rate in the Midwest!
You can read more here.

Free Fishing Weekend 

January 16-17th

Interested in giving fishing a try? Next weekend is the perfect time to do so. Anglers of all ages and experience levels are encouraged to explore the outdoors during Free Fishing Weekend. You can fish almost anywhere in Wisconsin without a license or trout stamp Jan. 16-17, 2021.

Most Wisconsin waters are included in this event, except for spring ponds. Before you go, review information about the early trout season and the trout regulations. If you see a season date listed for a specific body of water, you're free to fish there, although some waters may be catch-and-release only.

All other inland waters and Wisconsin's side of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River are open for you to test your skills and try your luck. Remember: All regulations and seasonal restrictions are still in force.

Looking for kid-friendly fishing locations? Check out our guide.

Local COVID-19 Testing Sites 2021

Kenosha County Testing locations can be found here: Click.
Issue 209
January 15th, 2021
Inauguration 2018

Connect with Van:


State Senator Van
21st Senate District 

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