Issues

Issues

Good Government
Protecting Wisconsin’s longstanding tradition of clean, transparent government has always been one of my top priorities.  I have authored many good government initiatives, including:

  • Restoring funding mechanism for public financing of elections
  • Restoring public financing for Wisconsin Supreme Court elections
  • Comprehensive overhaul of Wisconsin’s judicial recusal and discipline laws to ensure fair courts for all Wisconsinites, not just those who can afford to make big political donations
  • Protecting the political independence of the Government Accountability Board (GAB) so that it can remain an effective government watchdog
  • Fought against destroying the nonpartisan GAB and against turning it into two partisan agencies
Environment

This past session I fought hard to protect Wisconsin’s valuable natural resources. I introduced legislation that would restore environmental standards that were rolled back to appease one singular mining company that has since left the state. I was in favor of bills that would protect shoreland, restore funding for recycling programs, and preserving farmland. I voted against weakening natural resource protections in state forests, allowing over pumping of groundwater, and preventing state agencies from enforcing Clean Air standards. The Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters has named me a “Conservation Champion” for the 2005-06, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2013-14, and 2015-16 sessions.

Veterans

I have the utmost respect for those who have bravely served our country.  In the past, I have fought to protect their rights and ensure that the Legislature promotes policies that truly honor their service, such as

  • Helping lead the opposition to 2013 Wisconsin Act 154, which will greatly undermine the rights of veterans suffering from asbestos exposure as a result of their military service to receive adequate compensation in our court system.
  • Authoring legislation to allow post-Vietnam War era veterans to receive retirement credit under the Wisconsin Retirement System

Criminal Justice Reform

I also authored legislation that would help improve the effectiveness and fairness of our criminal justices system by:

  • Performing a comprehensive review of Wisconsin’s drunk-driving laws and create an research clearinghouse to make recommendations to the Legislature regarding implementation of policies that will effectively punish and reduce drunk driving
  • Providing adequate compensation and social services for people who were wrongfully imprisoned

Protecting Consumers

In past legislative sessions, I have authored bipartisan pieces of consumer protection legislation that were signed into law. I was proud to work across the aisle to pass these much-needed bills. Some of those initiatives include:

  • 2013 Wisconsin Act 247 cracks down on unethical businesses sending misleading solicitations to homeowners that falsely claim the homeowner must significantly overpay for a copy of the deed to their house. This act requires important disclosures and prohibitions on business practices that protect unsuspecting consumers.
  • The Child Credit Protection Act allows parents or legal guardians to freeze their child’s credit record so that anyone seeking to open a new credit account in the child’s name cannot access the credit report. Children are frequent targets of identity theft because they often have a clean credit record, one that is rarely accessed by the parent or child, potentially allowing an identity thief to cause tremendous damage to the child’s credit rating. This law provides an important tool to protect children from identity theft.
  • Protecting consumer contract rights
  • Strengthening the effectiveness of Wisconsin’s “no-call” list