Our state motto is: FORWARD! Not, "sit back and wait and see what happens."
People should decide for themselves how they want to live, not lobbyists and partisan policy hacks. That requires a VOICE! The 49th Assembly has been silent for far too long. With your vote, I can voice what really matters to the people living in Southwest Wisconsin .
Almost a half million Wisconsin residents lack access to affordable medical care. Our small business owners and farmers should not have to sell off assets in order to get good medical coverage. There are numerous ideas that just need to be debated, such as the Wisconsin Health Security Act that would ensure health care coverage for every resident of Wisconsin, the current AFL-CIO plan and the Wisconsin Health Plan. We need to get those ideas on the table so we can start working on a solution.
- Action Plan for Affordable Heath Care , which mandates that the legislature pass reform to cover at least 98% of Wisconsin citizens while reducing costs by at least 15% by 2008.
- Senior Care for seniors as an option versus the messed up Medicare plan D
- Expansion of Family Care to give more seniors the chance to receive care in their homes and not in the nursing home
- Badger Care Plus Initiative, Governor Doyle's effort to ensure that every child under 18 has medical coverage
- Patients' right to obtain their prescriptions
- Patients' right to accurate information about their treatment options
I'm tired of hearing the Governor and the Republicans argue over who can freeze property taxes more effectively. How about lowering them instead of settling for freezing them?
- Home Owner's Property Exemption (HOPE), which would exempt the first $60,000 in property value for every homeowner in Wisconsin. This will provide an average of $500 in needed tax relief for every homeowner. It would especially help residents on fixed incomes and young families while ending the cycle of pitting schools against property taxpayers. It would be paid for by ending the "Nevada" corporate tax loophole, which allows big business to avoid paying their fair share. Thirty years ago, homeowners paid 50% of all property taxes collected in the state. Today it's 69%. During the same period, corporate income taxes have plummeted from 14% of the state' s income to 6%.
I oppose TABOR , TPA or whatever they're calling the plan to put spending caps on local services. I believe that local governments should be in charge of local decisions. We don't need our local governments tied up with referendums like our school districts.
I believe in our public schools. I find it disturbing that our school districts constantly have to go through referendums just to survive. I believe the way we fund our schools needs to be evaluated and overhauled. I believe in local control for our local schools.
- Free and quality public K-12 education that receives 2/3 funding from the state. The State of Wisconsin should honor its commitment to fund public education.
I oppose risky voucher schemes and all attempts to privatize our educational system.
Building a stronger economy in Wisconsin is essential to the long-term future of the state. Economic growth relies heavily on the ability of business owners to provide affordable health care to their employees and families; having a better health care system and an affordable higher education system is essential to any rebound in our economy. Local business development will keep young people in our communities where they will invest in the future and call southwest Wisconsin home.
Keeping families on the farm and allowing for more beginning farmers to compete is vital to maintaining the fabric of our local communities.
- Wisconsin's family farmers. I support the development of grants for beginning farmers for start-up and expansion plans. I will give farmers increased options for medical coverage. Catastrophic, basic, and dental coverage should be available at reasonable costs for every family farmer.
Every law-abiding citizen of Wisconsin has t he right to hunt and fish. A clean environment is essential to those rights.
- Smart Growth , which allows our communities to grow while at the same time keeping our environmental needs front and center. I oppose the low tipping fees, which allow our state to become the dumping ground for Illinois and Minnesota's garbage.
- Expanded use of ethanol and bio diesel . The state legislature turned into cowards when it came to debating the ethanol mandate. They lost their nerve when confronted by big oil lobbyists and Milwaukee conservative talk radio. I have no fear of facing big oil, and I'll march right through Milwaukee by myself if I have to and convince them they are wrong. Renewable fuels are right for Wisconsin and right for America. It takes far fewer troops to guard an American cornfield than it does a Mid East oil field. Biomass, wind energy, and solar power are worthy of our best efforts.
- Protection of our air and water.
As a result of tuition increases and budget cuts, many families have been priced out of attending college. We need to make it easier, not harder, for Wisconsin residents to improve their own quality of life through education. It's a sad commentary when a college graduate feels "lucky to be only $25,000 in debt." Public universities lead the way in research and new technology that drive our economy. Increasing the number of Wisconsin residents with a college degree is paramount to creating and sustaining family supporting jobs in Wisconsin.
- Wisconsin Covenant, an idea which gives students access to all the financial assistance they need to go to college or tech school, as long as they take required core classes, maintain a B average, and stay out of trouble.
It is our moral obligation to use the medical technology at our disposal to help our families, friends, and neighbors.
- Harnessing the research power of the University of Wisconsin-Madison to increase stem cell research and develop cures for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other diseases that affect millions of Americans.
Ethics in State Government
We've sent a handful of legislators to prison in the last few years. Wisconsin used to be known nationally as an example of good, clean government. Not anymore. We are a laughingstock. Lobbyists write the bills, buy the bills, and benefit by the bills. The people are shut out of their own government. Money and connections rule in Madison. W e need to change that. I want publicly financed elections that take all the money out of politics.
- Ethics reform and meaningful oversight of legislators. Our current Assembly representatives in southwest Wisconsin are members of the "Jensen Ten," a group of ten Assemblymen who benefited from Scott Jensen's illegal campaign activities. In voting against an ethics bill in the last session, t hey voted to protect politician s rather than the people of Wisconsin.
Rights of Wisconsinites
I intend to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Wisconsin State Constitution.
- The Bill of Rights including the 2nd Amendment, the right to bear arms.
I oppose efforts to write discrimination in our State Constitution.