State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
We have declared 2014 as the Year of A Better Bottom Line: Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities because we want to recognize the benefits of employing people with disabilities. We’re also increasing investments in programs, which integrate persons with disabilities into the workforce. I frequently hear from employers that their employees with unique abilities are among the most dedicated, dependable members of their staff. This is not about charity. This is about recognizing each person’s unique abilities and finding a place for them in our communities and our workplaces.
Part of our Blueprint for Prosperity is an expansion of Project SEARCH. Project SEARCH is a program that helps students with disabilities transition from high school to the workplace. The expansion will increase the number of participating businesses by 20, up from seven, over the next three years.
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation assists people with disabilities with getting job training, so they can enter the workforce. Last year, I signed legislation increasing the number of people served by the Division by some 6,000, which will allow the state to reduce or eliminate the waiting list of people seeking assistance from the DVR.
Every person who wants to work, should be able to work, and enjoy the freedom, independence, and sense of pride that comes from doing a good job. Throughout the year, I’ll be traveling to businesses and events to talk about the year of A Better Bottom Line. Everyone has talents to offer, and I look forward to working with employers and communities to recognize the abilities of all individuals.
The state partnered with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association to produce and distribute a brief radio address once a week. Audio files and a written transcript of this radio address can be accessed on http://www.wi-broadcasters.org and http://walker.wi.gov/media/weekly-radio-addresses.