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Speaker Robin Vos: Delivering on the right priorities
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Speaker Robin Vos: Delivering on the right priorities

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Like businesses across the country that file annual reports, it’s important that state representatives update their constituents in a similar way. It was a productive year in the Assembly and I’m proud of all that we’ve accomplished. Wisconsin has a conservative budget, historic investments in education and roads, tax cuts for the middle class and increased access to quality health care. We continue to respond to the needs of the state while celebrating the people who make it so great.

Thanks to eight years of Republican reforms, Wisconsin is on solid financial ground. The state’s credit ratings continue to improve, our state pension is fully funded and the rainy day fund is at its highest level in Wisconsin history. The economy continues to grow as illustrated by the increased revenues coming into the state, even with the more than $400 million in tax cuts in this budget alone. Because of our commitment to reducing taxes, the tax burden on Wisconsin families is at its lowest level in nearly 50 years.

Wisconsin’s current spending plan sets the right priorities without increasing taxes on citizens or job creators. In fact, Republicans stopped the governor’s proposal to hike taxes by more than $1 billion. The budget that was signed into law increases spending by $604 per student over two years and provides a 10% increase in local road aids. The budget also gives additional funds to special education and doubles mental health funding in schools. It freezes UW System tuition for two more years, invests more in our technical schools and gives a raise to state and university employees.

One of our top priorities has been to provide access to affordable, high-quality health care without expanding welfare. Republicans exceeded the governor’s health care request by increasing dollars for nursing homes, personal care workers and direct caregivers. We’ve reinvested in the Healthcare Stability Plan to help drive down health insurance premiums on the federal health care exchange. We’re taking care of our most vulnerable citizens by providing resources to children impacted by the substance abuse epidemic, an effort that was absent from the governor’s plan.

During this time of divided government, our goal has been to focus on issues that bring people together. The Assembly approved a package of bills to combat homelessness as well as legislation from the bipartisan Task Force on Adoption and Suicide Prevention. The legislative recommendations from the Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality will be taken up next month. In addition, we’ll address ways to make our communities safer as well as expand our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic with the HOPE Agenda.

I’m extremely proud that the Assembly continues to honor our local heroes. It was my privilege to name Burlington Police Officer Bryan Wangnoss a Hometown Hero for his dedication to the community and contributions to the Special Olympics. The Assembly also named 99 First Responders of the Year. The 63rd Assembly District recipient was the late Racine Police Officer John Hetland for his bravery and service. In addition, the Assembly honored Wisconsin National Guard members for protecting our nation’s borders.

However, the most important part of my job is responding to my constituents. In the past year, we’ve had nearly 3,000 constituent contacts, written more than 1,200 direct emails, and awarded 46 legislative citations. I’ve personally made more than 400 phone calls to constituents and welcomed nearly 300 new businesses and more than 500 new families to the area. These are exciting times for Racine County and I couldn’t be more proud to serve as your state representative. I look forward to another productive year ahead and will continue to update you on our progress in moving Wisconsin forward.

During this time of divided government, our goal has been to focus on issues that bring people together. The Assembly approved a package of bills to combat homelessness as well as legislation from the bipartisan Task Force on Adoption and Suicide Prevention.

State Rep. Robin Vos is the state Assembly speaker. He represents the 63rd Assembly District in Racine County.

During this time of divided government, our goal has been to focus on issues that bring people together. The Assembly approved a package of bills to combat homelessness as well as legislation from the bipartisan Task Force on Adoption and Suicide Prevention.

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