What Don believes in
and fights for
High Speed Internet
Over the past few years, more and more of our society has come to rely on the internet for communication, education, and business. Even farmers and small businesses need access to broadband in order to be successful.
Too often, rural communities are left behind in this new world. That is why I am supportive of broadband expansion in our state.
I have co-sponsored seven bills with Republicans and Democrats which would improve and expand high-speed internet in rural Wisconsin. While we have made a lot of progress, there is still a long road ahead. High speed internet will continue to be a priority for me if re-elected to the Wisconsin Assembly.
Support for Fair Maps
In my first term in the Legislature, I authored Assembly Bill 33 to fix the redistricting mess. The bill takes politicians out of the equation when drawing legislative districts, delegating that task to the non-partisan Legislative Reference Bureau. The maps would reflect demographic changes instead of party affiliation. The bill did not pass, but I will continue to support this and similar legislation going forward.
Legislative districts that are more balanced between Democratic and Republican voters will require candidates to be more sensitive to all of their constituents. I believe this will lead to more collaboration and bipartisanship from our legislatures.
Increased Funding for Rural EMS
The pandemic put an increased strain on our emergency services in Wisconsin, a strain felt most of all in our rural communities. Long distances and sparsely populated coverage areas increase the time for personnel to travel when compared to urban areas. In many cases, such as a drug overdose, this travel time can prove fatal.
Wisconsin offers some grant funding to help with personnel shortages, but this funding is not enough. Additional funds would provide life saving equipment, additional EMS locations, and fund new training. Our state needs to prioritize our Emergency Medical Services in rural communities, the lives of our neighbors depends on it.
All workers have a right to living wages, good benefits and safe, clean workplaces. The ability of a worker to join a union and bargain collectively is imperative if we want Wisconsin to have a robust middle class.
We need to ensure that pensions and other retirement accounts are managed responsibly so people can feel secure in their retirement.
One of Wisconsin’s most valuable assets is our public schools. Increasing government funding and financial aid is essential for all levels of Wisconsin public education.
Continuing to divert resources away from public schools to expand private school vouchers is hurting our public schools. Revenue caps on school districts have taken away local control from our elected officials.
Fair compensation for teachers and support staff is a must to continue attracting great teachers to our schools.
For a strong Wisconsin, we need an economic policy that pays a fair wage for a hard day’s work. Family sustaining jobs must be made a priority in order to support and grow our middle class.
We need to encourage small-business creation and continue supporting the ones we already have. It is time to stop supporting companies who use Wisconsin dollars to ship jobs overseas.
We need to continuing supporting agriculture programs in our local schools and increase funding for UW-system ag research.
Finding new uses for farm commodities and developing alternative crops will preserve Wisconsin’s agricultural legacy and ensure agriculture will continue to play a major role in our economy moving forward.
Violence in our schools is one of the greatest challenges facing our country, that is why I support school resource officers. As a teacher in Milton, I saw first hand the value of police in our schools. Not only are they a first of line of defense for our students, but they also help build a relationship with the police and the students. They showed that police are a valuable resource in our community, and not something to be feared.
I also support allocating more money for school social workers to address the growing need for mental health care, and to identify at-risk students.
Fair Taxes for Small Businesses
I support repealing the personal property tax on small businesses, which taxes personal equipment necessary to carry out their work. At a time when businesses around the country are struggling, tax relief is one of the easiest ways our government can help keep our communities afloat.
I am proud to have received the Wisconsin Taxpayers Association (WTA) award for my legislation repealing the personal property tax. WTA provides research and policy analysis and assist members in dealing with local property tax issues and questions related to assessments, property tax exemptions, and state laws.
Affordable Healthcare Close to Home
Everyone should have affordable access to healthcare. Many rural communities around our state are seeing their hometown hospitals close down. We need to keep these hospitals thriving my making sure that they have adequate federal Medicaid funds.
But access to specialized healthcare is sometimes not available even within hometown hospitals. That is why I support expanding telemedicine, making specialized healthcare available from your home.