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Governor Walker signed his $100 million School Safety Plan, Juvenile Justice Reform Plan, and 41 additional bills into law this week.

He also met with Wisconsin Vietnam War veterans for Vietnam Veterans Day; received the Wisconsin Boy Scouts Annual Report from Eagle Scouts from throughout the state; and attended the graduation ceremony for the latest class of Wisconsin State Patrol officers.

Finally, we continue to see more evidence of Wisconsin’s growing economy, with unemployment decreasing in all 72 counties between February 2017-2018, the state’s entrepreneurial culture growing, and adult wages increasing.

Our reforms are working and winning for Wisconsin!

1. $100 Million School Safety Bill Becomes Law

Governor Walker signed AB 843 into law at Victor Haen Elementary School in Kaukauna. The bill includes Governor Walker’s $100 million School Safety Plan, which creates a grant program for school districts to enhance school safety resources. Every Wisconsin school is eligible for the grant program.

“Our $100 million School Safety Plan will help ensure that every student, parent, and teacher feels safe at school. This bill provides important grant funding that will allow districts to invest in safety measures that will help protect against all threats. This will help protect our students and their future.” – Governor Walker

Governor Walker’s School Safety Plan:

  • Creates an Office of School Safety within the Wisconsin Department of Justice to work with law enforcement and schools to establish best practices for school safety and provide training opportunities and other relevant resources to schools.
  • Provides $100 million to fund a new grant program for security upgrades to school buildings and other eligible costs.
  • Mandates reporting for any threats of school violence.
  • Allows grant funding to implement Trauma-Informed Care and Adverse Childhood Experiences in Schools.
  • Strengthens school safety plan requirements by requiring all schools to consult with local law enforcement and conduct on-site assessments of all pupil occupied areas.

2. Juvenile Justice Reform in Wisconsin

This week, Governor Walker also signed Assembly Bill 953 into law at the Milwaukee County Courthouse. The bill, which received unanimous support in both the Assembly and Senate, includes measures to create new juvenile correctional facilities across the state, expands the Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center which provides mental and behavioral health services, and it repurposes the Lincoln Hills & Copper Lake juvenile detention facilities into an adult facility.

3. 41 Bills Signed into Law

Forty-one bills were signed into law this week at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Governor Walker also issued a partial veto to Assembly Bill 539.

For a full list of these bills, see our press release.

4. Vietnam War Commemoration

Governor Walker honored Wisconsin Vietnam veterans by proclaiming March 29th, 2018 as Vietnam Veterans Day in Wisconsin.

He attended “Welcome Home: A Vietnam War Commemoration,” a ceremony to honor Vietnam veterans, the fallen, the wounded, those unaccounted for, former prisoners of war, their families and all who served. The ceremony was hosted by The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the US Post 305 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) Secretary Daniel J. Zimmerman, and Major General Donald P. Dunbar, Wisconsin’s Adjutant General of the Wisconsin National Guard.

Governor Walker said:

“Men and women from across Wisconsin bravely served our nation in the Vietnam War, putting their lives on the line to protect others. The sacrifices of all those who served must always be remembered, especially those who never returned home. Many of our Vietnam War veterans never received the welcome home they deserved, but today and every day we can work to make up for this by honoring their service and recognizing the sacrifice they made for our country.”

5. Boy Scouts of America Share Annual Report

Eagle Scouts from across the State of Wisconsin met with Governor Walker in the Wisconsin State Capitol to present the Boy Scouts Annual Report.

Wisconsin welcomed 881 new Eagle Scouts to its ranks this year and completed more than 139,385 hours of service as a group while completing their Eagle Scout projects.

In a statement, the Governor commented:

“Wisconsin’s Scouts are role models in our communities, serving as an example of hard work and dedication to public service. As an Eagle Scout myself, I understand the sense of pride and commitment that comes with scouting and the positive impact it can have on the future of our state’s scouts and their families.”

6. New Wisconsin State Patrol Graduates

The recent graduates have been assigned to work from one of the State Patrol’s five regional posts across the state. A total of 29 will begin their service as troopers with eight working as inspectors. Six of the new officers are military veterans and three are women. Troopers generally patrol highways to enforce traffic safety and criminal laws while inspectors help enforce state and federal motor carrier safety regulations that impact large trucks, buses and other commercial motor vehicles.

7. Unemployment Falls in All 71 Wisconsin Counties

The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates of unemployment and employment statistics for metro areas, major cities, and counties in Wisconsin. Preliminary February 2018 unemployment rates declined in all of Wisconsin's 72 counties when compared over the year to February 2017.

Additional highlights of the statewide release include:

  • Wisconsin ranked in the top 5 nationally in one-month manufacturing job gains and 2nd in the Midwest.
  • Wisconsin ranked 2nd nationally in manufacturing jobs gained over a 3-month period, from December 2017 through February 2018.
  • Wisconsin ranked 4th nationally in year over year manufacturing job gains.
  • Wisconsin's record-setting unemployment rate of 2.9 percent ranked 6th nationally, while the month over month drop of 0.2 percent was tied for 1st nationally.
  • Wisconsin's labor force participation rate of 68.6 percent ranked 5th nationally, while the month over month increase in Wisconsin's labor force participation rate was 4th best nationally.

8. More Evidence of Wisconsin’s Growing Economy

In addition to the state’s historically low 2.9% unemployment rate, Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial culture continues to grow and economic data shows Wisconsin families saw solid wage growth last year.

Wisconsin’s economy is booming and taxpayers are winning!