As Thanksgiving approaches, now is a perfect time to reflect on all there is to be thankful for in our lives. It is no secret that the past 18 months have been incredibly challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is all of you, the good people of western Wisconsin, that I am so humbly grateful for this holiday season. Your insight, expertise, and devotion to putting others first is my most valuable resource in a time of need — both as your state representative and neighbor.
Western Wisconsin’s selflessness and longstanding commitment to helping others in a time of need is like no other. From supporting family-owned businesses throughout the pandemic and holiday seasons, to devoting valuable time to helping neighbors throughout the community, you have displayed what can be accomplished when we all work together.
In fact, in 2020, Wisconsinites set aside 164 million hours to volunteer in their local communities — the 11th most in the nation.
This commitment to teamwork stretches across the state and even into our work on your behalf at our state capitol in Madison. This year, a bipartisan budget was signed into law that prioritizes and recognizes the needs of western Wisconsinites.
This budget included historic tax cuts that totaled billions of dollars and made significant investments in our state’s workforce by supporting the youth apprenticeship program.
We also made record-breaking investments in our schools by both restoring our state’s promise of two-thirds state funding while increasing funding for mental health services in our schools.
We, as a legislature, took what you said was most important to you, worked together diligently, and at the end of the day, we were able to produce a budget that reflected your needs, concerns and values.
As we all begin to plan our Thanksgiving feasts — which will hopefully begin to look more normal than last year as we continue to heal from the pandemic -- let us all thank the incredible people that make these feasts (and our everyday meals) possible: our farmers. Our farmers work tirelessly to ensure that we have access to nutritious and tasty food every single day. Thank you, farmers, for all that you do.
I am extremely thankful to have the honor and privilege to serve the people of western Wisconsin. May God continue to bless us, everyone.