State Senator Van Wanggaard's eNewsletter 2019
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Investing in the UW System, DNR and Criminal Justice
Keeping UW Affordable and Right-Sizing the DNR

This week, the Joint Committee on Finance tackled the UW System (UW), the Department of Natural Resoruces (DNR), District Attorneys and Public Defenders.
Republicans in the legislature have voted to keep UW affordable for state students by continuing the tuition freeze for another two years. This will be years 7 & 8 of the freeze. We also invested $57 million in UW, and another $36 million for pay increases for UW employees. These new investments are on top of the $83 million increase that UW is getting from non-frozen tuition. All told, UW will have over $176 million in new revenue next year, while keeping tuition frozen for in-state residents.
At the DNR, rather than build the bureaucracy as proposed by Governor Evers, Republicans made targeted investments in clean water, pollution management and research into PFAS. PFAS is a firefighting foam that may have an effect on water quality and the environment.
Finally, the Joint Finance Committee also addressed critical needs in our criminal justice system by increasing pay for Public Defenders and hiring new District Attorneys.

Miller Park Bill Passes out of Senate Committee

Wanggaard bill would end the five county Miller Park tax on March 31, 2020

On Thursday, May 30th, I testified in support of Senate Bill 67, a bill I co-authored with Rep. Wittke which would end the Miller Park tax once and for all. On Friday it passed out of committee.

After 23 years and roughly 5 months of collecting the tax, more than $580 million has been collected from Southeastern Wisconsin taxpayers to pay for that initial $160 million debt. Let me say that a different way, because it gets to the heart of the matter. Southeastern Wisconsin taxpayers have paid for their share of Miller Park three times over. It is time to end the Miller Park tax.

Both the Assembly and Senate version have passed through their respective committees. This legislation is tentatively scheduled to be voted on by the full Legislature next week before it heads to the Governor.

Wisconsin's 171st Birthday

Wisconsin joined the union as the 30th State on May 29, 1848.  

In 1634, French explorer Jean Nicolet landed at Green Bay, becoming the first European to visit the lake-heavy northern region that would later become Wisconsin. In 1763, at the conclusion of the French and Indian Wars, the region, a major center of the American fur trade, passed into British control. Two decades later, at the end of the American Revolution, the region came under U.S. rule and was governed as part of the Northwest Territory. However, British fur traders continued to dominate Wisconsin from across the Canadian border and it was not until the end of the War of 1812 that the region fell firmly under American control.

In the first decades of the 19th century, settlers began arriving via the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes to exploit Wisconsin’s agricultural potential, and in 1832 the Black Hawk War ended Native American resistance to white settlement. In 1836, after several decades of governance as part of other territories, Wisconsin was made a separate entity, with Madison, located midway between Milwaukee and the western centers of population, marked as the territorial capital. By 1840, population in Wisconsin had risen above 130,000, but the people voted against statehood four times, fearing the higher taxes that would come with a stronger central government. Finally, in 1848, Wisconsin citizens, envious of the prosperity that federal programs brought to neighboring Midwestern states, voted to approve statehood. Wisconsin entered the Union the next May.
(Information from

In the District


On Friday, May 24th, I participated as an emcee and demonstrator at Burlington Chocolate Fest.  Arlene Runkel, Channel TMJ4’s Meteorologist Jesse Ritka and I baked Nestles Toll House cookies as S’mores and ice cream sandwiches.

On Memorial Day, I joined Congressman Bryan Steil, Representative Robin Vos and Bob Kordus with the Knights of Columbus at the Burlington Veteran's Memorial Day Parade.  It was great to see so many people honoring service members at both the Burlington and Rochester parades and programs.

On Tuesday, May 28th I visited Racine Lutheran High School.  It's always nice to visit with staff and students at my alma matter.
Issue 134
Friday, May 31, 2019
Photo with my lovely bride, Mary Jo and our daughter Kathleen at the Memorial Day Parade 2019.

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

Burlington Farmers Market
Wehmhoff Square Park
3-7pm every Thursday

Family Fun Day
June 1st
Burlington United Methodist Church

Monument Square Art Festival
June 1 and 2
10am-5pm Saturday/ 10am-4pm Sunday
Monument Square, Racine

Union Grove Lions BBQ Chicken Dinner and Car Show
June 2nd
Racine County Fairgrounds

Cheese Making
June 6th
Burlington Public Library

June Dairy Days
June 11th
Burlington Public Library

Kenosha County Dairy Breakfast
June 15th
Mighty Grand Dairy Farm

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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