“The blessings of a free government can only be maintained by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.”

–The 1848 Wisconsin State Constitution, Article 1, Section 22

What an exciting seven-plus years of Wisconsin State Government reform there have been since I was first elected as State Representative to the Wisconsin 93rd Assembly District in 2010!  The responsible spending reductions and corrections made by the Legislature have proven themselves, year after year, to be fiscally sound, necessary, frugal, and prudent.  The positive financial and economic results now occurring in Wisconsin speak much louder than any partisan rhetoric.

Today, Wisconsin’s Fiscal House is in order!

Just seven years ago, our Legislature faced the enormous challenge of eliminating a $3.6 billion projected structural budget deficit.  Mission accomplished!  My campaign pledge remains this:  I will continue working diligently on budgets that reduce spending and unnecessary regulations rather than raise burdensome taxes and rules on hard-working families and business owners.

The economic freedoms and flexibilities we legislatively granted to local governments and schools have resulted in merely $6 billion of State taxpayer savings!

Crafting a State Government environment that encourages the investment of capital, vision, and risk-taking efforts by private business owners to create family-sustaining jobs will prepare us to survive and prosper into the future.  Thanks to the reforms made, we are sustaining the journey toward a healthy and vibrant State economy.  There is much work ahead as I continue talking with citizens, business owners, workers, educators, and entrepreneurs regarding how best to realize our goal of creating a climate of economic certainty, confidence, and stability.  This requires collaboration, sacrifice, patience, and cooperation from each of us.  We are finding long-term solutions that are strengthening and sustaining the future of Wisconsin K-12 education, local governments, veterans, corrections, universities, and medical assistance programs by finding prudent spending reduction measures, creating efficiencies, and eliminating duplication and waste.   As your Representative, my Assembly work has been, and will remain, based on a total commitment to our State’s economic health and fiscal well-being.

My former liberal opponent supported former Governor Doyle’s failed and misguided budgeting policies while he was in the Assembly. This resulted in four years of out-of-control spending, billions of dollars in tax hikes, accounting gimmicks, excessive borrowing, increasing debt, one-time Federal stimulus fund injections, and raiding of the segregated transportation fund.

When you elected me, I and my Conservative colleagues finally said, “Enough!  No more spending beyond our means.”

Our wise fiscal decisions have resulted in Wisconsin’s ability to:
  • Eliminate the $3.6 billion structural deficit and turn it into a surplus
  • Payback hundreds of millions of dollars in debts from the previous administration’s actions that we owed to the State of Minnesota and also the illegally-raided Wisconsin Patients Compensation Fund
  • Create the first-ever permanent State property tax freeze
  • Reduce State borrowing to its lowest levels in decades
  • Return billions of dollars in overpaid tax dollars to you, the citizens of Wisconsin
  • Have our lowest unemployment rate since 2008
  • Provide healthcare for every person in Wisconsin who lives in poverty
  • Help the private sector create over 200,000 jobs and 18,000 new businesses
  • Allow local governments more flexibility and freedom to control their budgets
  • Boost employer confidence and certainty
  • Invest the most money ($11.5 billion this past budget) in State history into our K-12 schools, keeping education our number one budget priority. We increased school sparsity aid, increased funding to low revenue schools, invested more money into school Fabrication Labs than any other State in the U.S., increased funding for special education and school mental health services, and increased funding for Youth Apprenticeships,
  • Freeze State University tuition for 6 years in a row resulting in a savings of an average $6,000 per student
  • Craft welfare reforms which help get people off government assistance and into our workforce by promoting accountability, encouraging personal responsibility, and preventing fraud and abuse.
  • Enact hundreds of positive economic, tax, and regulatory reforms

Wisconsin is literally working better than ever before in our history! Just a few highlights include:

  • Wisconsin is 1st the nation in manufacturing jobs added in 2018 year-to-date.
  • Our state ranked 2nd in the nation in one-month construction job gains, and we are 1st in the Midwest.
  • Wisconsin’s addition of 8,900 private sector jobs in March 2018 ranked 4th nationally and 2nd in the Midwest.
  • Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate of 68.7 percent ranked 5th nationally and the 0.1 percent increase over the month ranked tied for 4th nationally.
  • More people are working today in Wisconsin than ever before in our history!
  • The Assembly approved a Rural Economic Development fund that allocates $1 billion over the next 20 years to help rural communities address economic development issues, including workforce development.
These and many other accomplishments are what “Economic Common Sense” looks like when we choose to work within the wise parameters of “moderation and frugality” prescribed by our State’s Constitution.

Many states, including Illinois and Minnesota, are increasingly unable to pay their workers, repay their creditors, or meet their salary and pension obligations.  They are instead choosing to ignore daunting deficits and are unwisely raising taxes and taking on even more debt, leading them toward impending financial disaster.  Meanwhile, here in Wisconsin, we kept our State workers employed, improved our bond rating, and are making the long-term financial decisions that are helping provide solid economic growth and more family-sustaining jobs.

You sent me to Madison in 2010 to make the difficult choices that today are providing us with a more fiscally healthy, more responsible, and more future-focused State government.  To not change the failed fiscal policies of the past simply was, and is, not an option.  We cannot afford to worry only about what is best for one political party or one special interest group, on either side of the debate.  My primary concern will continue to be focused on constructively eliminating the unsustainable status quo brought about by the actions of irresponsible, over-spending, and over-promising previously-elected State officials.

Four main themes were and will continue to be among my top priorities:

  1. Encourage Economic Development – remove barriers to growth; attract more workers to our state; increase rural career opportunities
  2. Support Our Schools – increase aid to rural schools; review of the school funding system; investing in the safety of our children
  3. Reform Welfare System – promote independence; help individuals enter the workforce
  4. Promote Healthy Families – expand H.O.P.E. (Heroin and Opiate Prevention and Education); improve foster care; expand Alzheimer’s and dementia treatment; foster women’s health care improvements

I love Wisconsin and its amazingly talented and creative people.  It is my joy and blessing to meet, converse, listen, and share ideas with hundreds of people like you every week.  Every day I am thankful for the honor and opportunity of serving as your State Representative.  Your insights and encouragements keep me very optimistic regarding a bright and prosperous future for you and your children.  Thank you for granting me this incredible privilege of being a public servant for you in the Wisconsin State Legislature.

May God bless each of you and your families, may God bless Wisconsin, may God bless our Military service men and women and their families, and may God continue to bless this exceptional, wonderful, and highly-successful experiment in human freedom and individual responsibility we proudly call home…The United States of America!

Please vote for my re-election as State Representative to the 93rd Wisconsin Assembly District on Tuesday, November 6, 2018

 (The 93rd Assembly District includes portions of Eau Claire, Dunn, Pierce, Pepin, St. Croix, and Buffalo Counties)