Hello, I am State Senator Rob Stafsholt. I want to wish all my constituents in the 10th Senate District a Happy New Year! It has been an honor to represent some of the best people in the state this past year, and what a year it has been!
The beginning of 2023 marks the end of my first two-year legislative session as your State Senator. I have spent some time thinking back on what happened over the last legislative session. It’s important to go over accomplishments and failures so I can come up with new goals for this upcoming legislative session.
The first year as your Senator was a budget year. I spent many months working with my colleagues to pass a two-year state budget. The budget included over $3 billion in tax cuts, invested in education and healthcare, and left the state with a balance surplus. While no budget will ever be perfect, I am still confident that my vote reflected the will and wishes of the people I represent.
One of my proudest moments as your State Senator came after the Wisconsin Department of Revenue issued guidance for businesses using Paycheck Protection Program loans that would result in $431 million in unexpected taxes over the next four years on thousands of already struggling small businesses. I was not willing to let our small businesses be punished by DOR with a surprise tax, so I drafted and introduced an amendment that started the process of eliminating those unexpected taxes.
I often hear “why can’t you guys work together?” I was actually able to have a lot of bipartisan success. Nine bills that I authored received bipartisan support and were signed into law by the Governor. Those bills focused on things like mental health, consumer protections, personal property rights, limiting government, sporting heritage and natural resources. I am proud of that and I hope to continue that success this legislative session.
Last summer, I was appointed Chair of the Study Committee on Occupational Licenses. The study committee was created with the goal of finding solutions to the problems plaguing the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) so current and future license holders can be licensed in a timely manner. My fellow members and I spent months working diligently in a bipartisan manner to pass nine bills through the committee that will streamline the licensure process and ease the current backlog at DSPS. I look forward to continuing to work those bills through the legislative process this new session.
On that note, it is important that we continue to work together, especially in the overly political world that we find ourselves in nowadays. No matter your political views, I always welcome people's thoughts and ideas on current issues and legislation. Please feel free to reach out so that I can do my best to represent you. Being your State Senator truly is an honor and I remain committed to being your voice down in Madison.