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Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7

Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7

Chris Larson (D) is the Wisconsin State Senator from the 7th District in Milwaukee.

Irresponsible Republican Bill Proposes Arming Teens

Posted by Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7
Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7
Chris Larson (D) is the Wisconsin State Senator from the 7th District in Milwauk
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 29 March 2017
in Wisconsin

gun-control-debatesRepublicans are not willing to stand up to rich gun manufacturers looking for profits at any costs, even our kids’ safety.


MADISON - Republican legislators here have made a decision to blindly ignore public safety concerns by introducing legislation to put more handguns into the hands of teenagers; circumvent safety training for concealed carry; and open the door for more guns in school zones, school grounds, and even directly in our schools.

In the wake of recent, tragic shootings that devastated several Wisconsin communities, this bill is a slap in the face to our neighbors that are demanding real solutions to our state’s gun violence public health crisis.

Wisconsin should be focusing on making our communities safer with laws that are both proven and have widespread public support. One such policy is having stronger background check laws, which has support from 85% of Wisconsin voters. In the 19 states and Washington, D.C., who have universal background checks, 47% fewer women are killed by their intimate partners, and 53% fewer law enforcement officers are shot and killed in the line of duty. Additionally, the majority of Wisconsin voters – 65% – oppose allowing guns near our schools. With 26,252 gun-related deaths nationally in 2015, this proposal takes Wisconsin in the wrong direction. Republicans are rejecting common sense and logic by ignoring public safety and the needs of our community.

We have the solutions and public support to make our communities safer. Unfortunately, Republicans are not willing to stand up to rich gun manufacturers looking for profits at any costs, even our kids’ safety. Instead of fighting this public health crisis, Republicans in control of the Legislature are proposing to give guns to teens with no training – an idea that is unwarranted, absurd, and dangerous.

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Drunk Driving Prevention Act Needed

Posted by Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7
Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7
Chris Larson (D) is the Wisconsin State Senator from the 7th District in Milwauk
User is currently offline
on Monday, 23 November 2015
in Wisconsin

drunk-drivingMADISON, WI – On Christmas Eve 1998, I woke up to find out that my good friend and classmate at Thomas More High School, Jennie, had been killed by a drunk driver the night before. It was a devastating blow to each of her friends and everyone who knew her. It was a horrible, preventable tragedy and something that shaped each of our lives going forward. If I could have done something to bring my friend back, I would have. Unfortunately, stories like this are not uncommon in Wisconsin.

Sadly, seventeen years later, stories like Jennie’s are still happening because Wisconsin’s laws are woefully inadequate in addressing and preventing drunk driving in Wisconsin. With nearly 26% of adults admitting to driving while intoxicated, Wisconsin continues to top the national charts with the highest rate of drunk driving. More alarmingly, first-time OWI offenders are estimated to have driven under the influence at least 80 times before their initial conviction.

The use of ignition interlock devices (IIDs) has shown to be successful in changing offenders’ behavior. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention IIDs reduce drunk driving recidivism by 67%. These devices separate drinking from driving, and are proven effective in stopping drunk driving.

Today, I circulated the Drunk Driving Prevention Act (LRB 3902) for co-sponsorship which would require ignition interlock devices (IIDs) for all first-time OWI offenders. This legislation will catch us up to the modern world, reduce drunk driving, and ensure there will be a clear, personal consequence when someone is convicted of driving under the influence.

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We Need to Ensure Wisconsin Workers Receive Fair Wages

Posted by Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7
Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7
Chris Larson (D) is the Wisconsin State Senator from the 7th District in Milwauk
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 10 November 2015
in Wisconsin

homeless-youthMADISON - Wisconsin was once a state that protected and prioritized its workers.

Under Walker’s Wisconsin we are seeing stagnant wages, a shrinking middle class, and businesses fleeing our state. What’s more, we are one of the bottom 15 states in the nation that have a minimum wage at the federal minimum. Hardworking Wisconsinites are the economic engine for successful local businesses and vibrant communities. The Fight for 15 is the frontline battle for economic justice of our day.

Wisconsin families should not have to choose between paying for housing, putting food on their table, or caring for their family. No one should be working a 40-hour week and still be living in poverty.

For these reasons, I am a co-sponsor of Assembly Bill 264, which would raise our state’s minimum wage to a livable wage of $15. Making sure our Wisconsin neighbors earn a fair day’s pay for an honest day’s work is a win-win for our state as it strengthens our local economy and businesses. My Democratic colleagues and I are committed to working towards a future that invests in our neighbors and creates family-supporting opportunities in our local communities.

Today, I again call on Governor Walker and legislative Republicans to raise the minimum wage in order to support building an economy that works for all of us, not just corporate interests and wealthiest 1%.

It is time to put an end to backroom favors for big dollar donors and special interests and return to our state’s traditional values of prioritizing and rewarding our real profit creators: Wisconsin workers.

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No New Revenue for State Budget a Problem for Republicans

Posted by Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7
Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7
Chris Larson (D) is the Wisconsin State Senator from the 7th District in Milwauk
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 07 May 2015
in Wisconsin

madison_capitolRepublicans need to look past ideology and work with Democrats to fix Wisconsin’s budget crisis.


MADISON - On Wednesday, a memo from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau indicated that, despite promises of windfalls, there will be no new revenue to salvage Walker’s sinking economy.

Despite a national growing economy nationally and significant revenue growth in neighboring Midwestern states like Minnesota, which is expecting a $2 billion surplus, Wisconsin continues to fall further behind because of extreme GOP policies. Instead, they have created a self-inflicted $2.2 billion deficit.

Instead of focusing on Wisconsin’s traditional shared values over the past five years, currently the Republicans in power have been consumed with historic slashes to education funding and denying our neighbors access to basic health services and family-supporting jobs, while at the same time widening tax loopholes for the wealthy and corporations.

On one hand, Minnesota is flush with cash and reaping the benefits because they have invested in their public schools, raised wages for families, and expanded access to affordable health care. On the other hand, Republicans in Wisconsin have been busy selling out our state to the lowest bidder.

Now is the time for a course correction. Governor Walker must put his personal ambitions on hold and Republicans in the legislature must look past their extreme ideology and work with Democrats to start investing in pro-growth policies that represent the shared values of the state and our citizens to get us out of this budget crisis.

We can do this by moving forward with accepting the federal Medicaid expansion and by pausing the costly Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit.

It is time to end the regressive era in Wisconsin politics and get the state moving forward again.

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GOP Lawmakers Pushing Bill to Repeal the State Prevailing Wage Law

Posted by Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7
Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7
Chris Larson (D) is the Wisconsin State Senator from the 7th District in Milwauk
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 06 May 2015
in Wisconsin

rtw-hearingRepublicans push for lower pay and less skill for Wisconsin workers and their families.


MADISON - On Tuesday, Republican leaders in the Wisconsin legislature held a hearing on the repeal of our prevailing wage law.

After hours of testimony, it is crystal clear Wisconsin workers and businesses do not support dismantling yet another protection for Wisconsin’s middle class, our prevailing wage law, which has been critical in creating a top-notch construction industry in our state since the 1930s. This system is effective in delivering quality work, by a well-trained Wisconsin workforce, at a price that is mindful of our shared, public investments.

Hardworking Wisconsinites are already struggling under the failed policies of the governor and his Republican allies in the Legislature. Recently, it was unveiled that Wisconsin ranks the worst among all 50 states in terms of a shrinking middle class. Instead of facing this reality, we are talking about repealing a law that helps ensure jobs go to local workers whose families shop in local businesses, thus strengthening local communities. At the same time, just down the hall from the hearing, legislators on the Joint Finance Committee are discussing a budget that spends and borrows more money than at any point in state history.

In addition to workers, we heard from an expert who has studied the construction industry for over 20 years, Dr. Peter Philips. Dr. Philip’s posed a crucial question to lawmakers: ‘Do you want this to be a high-wage, high-skill industry or a low-wage, low-skill industry?’

The facts from other states show, repealing prevailing wage will drive down wages, promote the outsourcing of workers, lower productivity levels, decrease workplace safety, and restrict access to health care. It will ultimately prevent people from being part of the middle class and reaching the American Dream – an already increasingly rare commodity in our state.

Prevailing wage laws ensure we have well-trained, skilled workers, who give the taxpayers the best deal by doing high-quality work, efficiently. In fact, under the prevailing wage law, Wisconsin is the third most productive in the country and even the best in the Midwest in terms of our workers getting things done right and on time. Pulling prevailing wage out by the roots is morally and economically the wrong direction for Wisconsin. As one person who testified put it: ‘this is the kind of bill that will make those who build our bridges, end up living underneath them.’

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