I believe in being transparent which means everyone has the right to know where I stand on issues and topics that matter to them. The items listed below are not in any particular order. If you do not see a topic you wish to know my view on, please contact me and I would love to add it or respond to your request.
Wisconsin Families First
I will work tirelessly to ensure that Wisconsin families remain healthy and that families in need have the support to make it through the most difficult of times. By expanding our public-private partnerships we can make a difference in the communities that need it most. Our country will be facing an economic crisis following our current health crisis and we need to look out for the businesses and workforce in Wisconsin so that families needs are still met during our next recession. The people of Wisconsin are resilient and we will overcome any crisis we encounter.
The coronavirus pandemic must be managed to avoid economic collapse and loss of life. We need to have a strategic tiered plan that can be implemented when certain thresholds are met. This plan should include local control, county control, regional control, and statewide control. Wisconsin Emergency Management should be involved, they have the expertise and experience with broad range planning for significant events. We must ensure that anyone who needs health care during this time is able to get the care needed without delay. This is an ever changing pandemic that will require us to constantly adapt so we are not causing undue financial hardships for Wisconsin families and businesses as well as maintaining our healthcare system needs. Restrictions should be carefully considered as well as the effects that restrictions can have. Planning during this must be collaborative between healthcare experts, emergency management, and government officials. All mandates and restrictions must be done legally. We must also consider other ramifications of this pandemic including mental health among Wisconsin residents and the possible deterioration of our public education system. (Read More)
I want Wisconsin's economy to thrive. To ensure that will happen I plan to meet regularly with business owners, industry leaders, and local government economic development directors to ensure that our legislation is not creating more hurdles for Wisconsin businesses to thrive. A shut down because of covid-19 showed us just how fragile our economy can be. It is important we keep businesses open and employees working. We can and will do this safely. The lasting affects of a plummeting economy will far more destructive consequences that the current pandemic we are facing. We need to ensure that businesses have the tools and resources to rebuild and begin thriving again.
Public Health and Safety
Communities deserve to know that their police, fire, ems, and health departments have the needed resources and funding to keep them safe and respond in a timely manner. Supporting public health and safety is an absolute must for me. With the recent coronavirus pandemic, we have all realized how important it is to ensure that our healthcare system is capable of managing another pandemic and I will support providing the funding and resources to ensure that Wisconsin is ready for anything.
Law enforcement agencies across the country have come under attack by citizens and local leaders, I stand up for the law enforcement agencies. Many agencies are under staffed, under funded, and lack true support from local officials to improve services and yet they still provide communities with a much needed quality service. If an agency is struggling to meet the needs of the community I believe the last thing that will help is to cut their budget, if anything that situation calls for additional funding and a comprehensive review of the department to see where the deficiency is coming from. Suggesting a defunding of law enforcement is a radical idea that will not help any communities.
Along with that we must ensure that our first responders are taken care of, they take on an enormous amount of risk everyday and then when the days is done they are left with the psychological affects of the job. More first responders die each year from suicide than from physical injuries on the job. We must take care of the people taking care of us.
It is imperative that we maintain our states infrastructure. Our basic way of everyday life depends on it, the movement of goods to keep commerce going depends on it. Wisconsin needs to invest in infrastructure. Certain infrastructure improvements can also lead to things like cleaner drinking water for communities with aging water systems and bring reliable internet to more communities across our state. Supporting infrastructure also means you are supporting construction and utilities industries which means more people working.
I agree that our minimum wage is low. Minimum wage jobs are usually entry level which leaves room for an employee to grow within the business. I would like to see minimum wage increased in gradual steps to avoid job loss that can happen because of sudden large increases in pay. Raising minimum wage can also drive the cost of living up which would leave employees in the same financial struggle. We need solutions that will work and I am very open minded to working with other legislators, find common ground, and do what is best for Wisconsin.
Supporting our K-12 public school system is imperative and more importantly ensuring our kids safety in schools needs to be an absolute priority. Our teachers have a tough job and I am willing to support giving them the funding and resources needed to regain control of the classroom to boost education of all students. I am a proponent of school choice, our current process if followed properly ensures that funds are transferred from one school district to the other when a student is open enrolled outside their district. Every parent deserves the opportunity to choose the school that is the best fit for their child. Supporting trade schools and technical colleges should also be a priority. Many jobs in Wisconsin go unfilled because of a lack of qualified candidates. Too many students attend a four year university and graduate with no job prospects in their field of study. All while great paying jobs in manufacturing and skilled trades go unfilled. Partnering with training centers and other trade schools and union training centers would benefit our state immensely. Investing in our UW system is also a priority as I see it as an overall investment in our Wisconsin economy and provides a quality education to thousands of students each year.
America was built on organized labor. I support workers rights to organize and improve their industry and workforce. I encourage all unions to stick to their core values, improve working conditions for safety, ensuring a fair and honest wage for the work being done, improving quality of work, and allowing the employees voice to be heard. Just as I preach that change must come incrementally in our state budget, the same can sometimes apply to collective bargaining. Incremental changes can be necessary to avoid serious financial strains on a company or government which will eventually trickle down to high cost of goods/services or extended burden on tax payers and the eventual loss of employees. My goal is to have as many people working as possible, unions are able to help find qualified employees, protect the workers rights, and provide necessary job specific training that is needed in todays workforce.
I will always support our second amendment. I will keep Wisconsin's concealed carry law in place. Our country and our state already has thorough back ground checks to buy a firearm from a licensed dealer. So called "common sense" gun laws will not stop bad people from doing bad things. Supporting law enforcement agencies with additional staffing, resources, and funding to get illegal guns and dangerous people off the streets will have a greater impact than passing more laws that criminals do not follow.
Marijuana for Medicinal & Recreational Purposes
I support the legalization of cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes. Legislation should strictly regulate cannabis sales and possession limits as well as hold people accountable for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of cannabis. Our State will also benefit from a reduction of inmates serving time for crimes related to marijuana which is a cost savings. Additionally we could see less families struggling with only one parent or income leading to potentially less families needing government assistance. The Wisconsin Department of Revenue also estimates that our state could see an increase in tax revenue of approximately $165 million annually between excise tax and general sales tax. Money which can go towards priority issues.
Taking care of our veterans is important to me. Individuals that served this country should not be homeless and we should not be losing 22 veterans per day to suicide. They took care of us, now we need to take care of them. Partnering with the VA and other organizations we can make a positive difference in the life of every veteran in Wisconsin. I also want to implement incentives for Wisconsin companies that employ veterans. The health and well being of our veterans cannot be ignored and we must do a better job taking care of our veterans.
I support maintaining people having medical freedom, allowing each person to control what medicines or vaccinations go into their body or their children's body. Also giving people the opportunity to seek alternative treatments for things like PTSD and chronic pain. The government should not infringe on these freedoms and force people to put substances into their body that go against their personal beliefs or religion.
Elections & Voter ID
I believe in-person voting that requires a valid photo ID is the best way to maintain the integrity of our elections. Absentee ballots or any form of mail-in ballots should always require the voter to have a valid photo ID on file with the clerk. Our spring 2020 election faced unprecedented complications and our state needs have plans in place to keep voters safe and healthy without giving in to the requirements of an ID and witness signatures. Many communities did a great job of creating a safe environment for in-person voting and I applaud those efforts. I know that maintaining the electoral college is especially important in deciding who our President is. The electoral college ensures that all voices are heard and not just those of the heavily populated cities and states.
I enjoy fishing, hunting, camping, and boating. I want our state's natural resources to be protected so that generations to come can enjoy them just as I have. This includes preserving the laws that allow fisherman and hunters to harvest fish and animals legally and according to regulations set by the Department of Natural Resources, these harvests are essential to maintaining a balanced ecosystem. Partnering with several private organizations like white tails unlimited, ducks unlimited, pheasants forever, wild turkey federation, sportsman's alliance, rocky mountain elk foundation, and clean lakes alliance we can work together to ensure the preservation of our beautiful state while not putting undue burden on tax payers.
I am proud of Wisconsin's rich history in farming. There are improvements we can work towards such as increasing dairy processing capacity, support programs that promote the use of more conservation practices to protect our water quality, implement fair and sensible regulations to ensure farms of all sizes are working towards protecting our water resources, investing in road projects in rural Wisconsin, and improving marketing practices. Unfortunately Wisconsin is leading the nation in the number of farms filing for bankruptcy. This is unacceptable, we need to work with our leaders in agriculture to implement a plan that will slow or stop the financial crisis that some farms are facing. Agriculture is a vital part of our state and we need to make sure that our farmers have all the resources available to continue operating in the safest, cleanest, and most efficient way possible. Programs that will increase exports for Wisconsin farmers will also help the future of our agriculture industry.
Anyone entering or returning to our country must do so through a legal and well vetted process. Diversity is important to me and I welcome those from other countries that follow the proper procedures for entering the United States of America. Homeland security is extremely important to me and our borders play a huge role in our national security. Local municipalities that consider themselves "sanctuary cities" should have to comply with federal officials handling immigration enforcement within their municipality.
Abortion and Reproductive Healthcare
I know this can be a very sensitive topic for some and I take it very seriously. Even though it is a very small percentage of abortions, victims of sexual assault should never be forced to carry a child of rape. They have been through enough pain and suffering from their attacker(s). An imminent threat to the mother's life or long term health is also another case that abortion should be an option. Because I do believe in saving the vast majority of pregnancies from abortion, I also fully support ensuring that our Department of Children and Families has the funding and resources to ensure that every pregnant mother is aware of all the resources available to her and every child that enters the foster care or adoption system has the opportunity to live the best possible life. We need to make sure that foster parents and those looking to adopt are well vetted to ensure the safety and well being of each child. Women also need and deserve to have options available for quality reproductive healthcare regardless of ability to pay and this includes birth control options.