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Dear Neighbors:

I want to continue as your representative from the 44th Assembly District.

I was elected to the Assembly in 2012 after promising to do my best to find ways to produce jobs and help the economy.  I wanted to help struggling families and middle class people get better access to health care.

I wanted to be a voice for education, especially for our public schools.

During my first campaign I came out against providing more tax cuts and giveaways to corporation paid for by more cuts to education and to health care.

I knew going in that the Republicans controlled the legislative agenda and I vowed to work with them whenever possible. I was able to accomplish some things.

I helped write bipartisan bills designed to address the mental health system.  My bill to help clinics that provide free health care to people without insurance was passed and became law.  Getting a bill passed that started with a Democrat was extremely difficult in the 2013-14 session.

As a member of the Workforce Development Committee, I helped craft bills to help industry find workers and workers find jobs.

But Wisconsin continues to trail the Midwest and the nation in new jobs and economic development.  Once again, Democratic jobs bills died in Republican-controlled committees.  Public education took more hits and our state turned away tens of millions in federal health care dollars.

Frankly, I want to continue to raise my voice against the Republican strategy that has benefited wealthy donors at the expense of families.  I want to try to block further attempts to keep eligible people from voting.  I want to advocate for a rational health care policy and I want to fight the continued assault on education.

I want to continue to talk about and work for good, clean government.

I came out early with a bill to force both parties to end the practice of deciding issues behind closed doors.  I am one of the original sponsors of a bill to put a non-partisan panel in charge of redistricting.  The system in place now allows politicians to choose their own voters.  The result of that is that the will of the majority of voters is often defeated.

I am a primary author of a bill that would have made the burden of student loan debt more manageable.  The current rules on student debt tend to keep former students poor and unable to really contribute to the economy.

I am running because I think that I can be of service.  I have found ways to work with the other side when possible.  I have been a consistent voice in opposition to bills and policies that clearly don’t work.

I have been a voice for Janesville in Madison, and I want to continue working to make our city and state better places to live, work and raise families.

I am asking for your vote in the general election in November because I remain committed to helping my community.

Sincerely,

Deb Kolste