I’m so grateful for the opportunity to represent Portage County in the State Assembly. You can always count on me to work tirelessly for you.
During the 2019-20 legislative session, I introduced more original bills than any other member of the State Assembly, ⅔ of which were bipartisan, and I’ve successfully gotten bills signed into law under both Democratic and Republican governors. I’ve also been recognized by numerous nonpartisan organizations for my work.
Check out the information below to learn about some of the issues I’ve been proudest to work on, and which I intend to continue championing if re-elected!
Supporting Wisconsinites Through the Covid-19 Pandemic
- I’ve been on weekly calls with local, state, and federal leaders to keep informed on the latest developments and resources in order to best serve our community.
- In April, I was glad to vote for 2019 Wisconsin Act 185, comprehensive bipartisan legislation to help support Wisconsin families and businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic.
- I’ve coauthored bipartisan legislation to support our local businesses through the pandemic, and am committed to fighting for our Main Street businesses’ sustainability and resiliency. I am proud to be endorsed by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association and will do all I can to help small business owners succeed.
- I introduced an eight-bill legislative package to speed up unemployment benefit payments.
- I was proud to join my colleagues in introducing the Healthcare Heroes Act – legislation to support our essential healthcare workers by providing hazard pay, personal protective equipment, fully paid medical leave, and state-funded COVID-19 testing and treatment for those who are uninsured. This is why SEIU, our health care workers, have endorsed my campaign.
Protecting Our Natural Resources & Sporting Heritage
- Protecting our state’s shared natural resources has always been one of my top priorities, and that’s why I serve on the Assembly Committee on the Environment and Assembly Committee on Sporting Heritage. I have been endorsed by several of our state’s main conservation organizations for my leadership on these issues, including the Sierra Club, Wisconsin Conservation Voters, and Clean Wisconsin Action Fund. In addition, I’ve been named Conservation Legislator of the Year by the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation and Friend of Conservation by Wisconsin Land + Water.
- Water Quality: This session, I served as the Vice Chair of the bipartisan and bicameral Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality. Together, we traveled around the state, hosting 14 public hearings to listen to people in diverse communities about their water quality issues. We introduced 10 bipartisan bills to help address Wisconsin’s water quality challenges, which all passed the State Assembly unanimously.
- I also introduced over a dozen other original bills to protect our groundwater and help ensure that everyone has access to clean, safe drinking water at their taps.
- Climate Change & Renewable Energy: I recognize the serious threats posed by climate change, and am committed to tackling them. I worked for the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) before I was elected, was the first legislator in Wisconsin to attend the Clean Energy Legislative Academy, and I’ve introduced clean energy legislation every session since to help move us towards a more sustainable future. That’s why RENEW Wisconsin, a clean energy nonprofit, recently gave me a legislative leadership award.
- Honoring our Sporting Heritage: As a hunter and avid outdoor enthusiast, our wildlife and sporting heritage are important to me. I introduced the “Healthy Herd, Healthy Hunt” legislative package to help tackle the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) by investing in carcass dumpsters, CWD testing kiosks, and CWD research and management at the Department of Natural Resources.
Ensuring Access to Affordable, Quality Healthcare
- Health care should be high quality, affordable, and accessible for all Wisconsinites. I have coauthored legislation to expand BadgerCare, reduce racial disparities in health outcomes, end surprise medical bills, and lower the cost of prescription drugs for all Wisconsinites.
- Life-saving medication shouldn’t be out of reach – which is why I introduced legislation to cap the price of a month’s worth of insulin at $100.
- I’m also proud to be the author of the 12-Month Contraceptive Care Act, legislation to open up access to a 12-month supply of contraceptives at a time.
- I’ve also introduced legislation to legalize medical cannabis.
Advocating for Good-Paying, Family-Supporting Jobs
- I worked with colleagues from both parties to change the law to help Skyward stay in Wisconsin when state law unfairly affected their business. Because of this work, they have doubled their workforce and invested $20 million in their global headquarters here in Stevens Point.
- I authored and passed legislation to help people with disabilities get access to long-term, meaningful employment, a bill which Governor Walker highlighted in his Blueprint for Prosperity agenda and signed into law.
- When the Portage County Health Care Center needed financial support, I stepped up to help them and even changed the law to make it easier for them in the future. That not only supports local jobs, but it also ensures access to high-quality nursing care here in Portage County.
- As the Vice Chair of the Legislative Paper Caucus, I have advocated for our local union paper jobs and have been an active member in the Wisconsin Rapids Together Task Force to ensure we find a buyer for the Verso mill in Wisconsin Rapids. I’ve coauthored legislation to support our paper mills and ensure UW-Stevens Point’s paper science program continues to be the premier program in the state, and that’s why I was named Legislator of the Year by the Wisconsin Paper Council.
- As the ranking member on the Assembly Committee on Workforce Development and a member of the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment, I have appreciated the opportunity to advocate for good-paying, family-supporting jobs throughout our state.
- I also appreciate the strength and importance of organized labor, and have been endorsed by many of Wisconsin’s major labor groups.
Ensuring Access to a High-Quality Education
- I introduced the six-bill, bipartisan “Reaching Higher for Higher Education” package to provide support to our UW System and Technical College schools while easing the financial burden on students.
- I participate in bimonthly calls with all of the school districts in the 71st Assembly District and support our local public schools. I recently coauthored the Pandemic School Stability Package to provide them the resources they need for our kids and their health.
- As the ranking member of the Assembly Committee on Colleges & Universities, I am a constant advocate for our higher education institutions and all who work and study at them.
- That’s why educators trust me and WEAC, AFT, and SPARC have endorsed me.
Fighting for Central Wisconsin
- Reliable internet access is vital to folks’ education, livelihoods, commerce, and more, especially now. I introduced legislation this session to prioritize farms in the state’s broadband expansion grants and invest $100 million in rural broadband expansion, in addition to serving on the Public Service Commission’s Broadband Stakeholders Workgroup.
- I care deeply about the success of our agricultural community, and have worked closely with local farmers to advocate for them. In addition to the conservation bills I’ve collaborated with farmers to introduce, I also supported the new $50 million state Farm Support Program, and advocated to ensure small farmers were included.
- I’ve received the Friend of the Family Farmer Award from the Wisconsin Farmers Union, and am endorsed by both the Wisconsin Farm Bureau and the Dairy Business Association because they know I can always be counted on to advocate for our farmers in the Legislature.
Advocating for Good Government
- I believe that people deserve a government that truly represents them and which is accountable to the people it serves. I am a 2020 Fair Maps Pledged Candidate, am endorsed by the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, and I’ve always coauthored legislation to create a non-partisan redistricting process so that Wisconsin voters are able to choose their representatives – not the other way around.
- I have coauthored campaign finance reform legislation and bills to strengthen Wisconsin’s open records law, and I am a strong proponent of clean, transparent, and accountable government.
- I’ve also supported legislation to close the Dark Store Loophole, and I recently passed 2019 Wisconsin Act 126 into law to support our local governments by simplifying our state’s referendum law.
Supporting Public Safety
- I have been endorsed by the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, Stevens Point IAFF Local 484, the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, the Amherst Fire Chief, and the Portage County District Attorney for my role in supporting first responders in the Legislature, including by introducing a bill to protect all first responders from reckless drivers.
- I worked with our local district attorney and sheriff to keep violent sex offenders out of our community. When a judge tried to move a sexually violent criminal to rural Portage County, I helped try to stop it, testifying in court. I have passed two bipartisan bills to prevent the state from moving sexually violent people into our backyard.