Chris Larson

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This article is about the Wisconsin politician. For the Bahamian footballer, see Christopher Larson. For the Michigan politician, see United States House of Representatives elections in Michigan, 2010.
Chris Larson
Chris Larson 2010.jpg
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 7th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Jeffrey Plale
Personal details
Born (1980-11-12) November 12, 1980 (age 33)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater University of Wisconsin,
Milwaukee

Christopher J. “Chris” Larson (born November 12, 1980) is a Democratic member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 7th District since 2011. He was previously a member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors from 2008 through 2010. As of the 2013-2014 Legislative Session, he is the minority leader of the Wisconsin State Senate.

Early years[edit]

Larson was born and raised in Milwaukee County. He graduated from Thomas More High School in Milwaukee in 1999 and earned a Bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, with a minor in political science. During his freshman year at UWM, the 19-year-old was ticketed for shoplifting food from a Milwaukee grocery store. As part of a plea bargain, Larson agreed to take a course in exchange for having the charges dropped.[1] Before entering politics, Larson was business manager of a sporting goods store, which enabled him to become attuned to the needs of local businesses.[2]

Milwaukee County Board[edit]

In April 2008, Larson successfully ran for Milwaukee County supervisor on a platform of improving his local community by adequately investing in the area’s shared parks and transit system.[3] He sought to restore jobs at General Mitchell Field that had been cut out of the county budget by Walker;[4] helped found the Coalition to Save the Hoan Bridge;[5][6] wrote a bill (which did not pass) to reduce fare costs to mass transit passengers; and authored legislation to create a community garden site at 6th & Howard Avenue, which passed on February 3, 2010; the gardens have since expanded, and still are operating as of August 2014.[7]

Wisconsin Senate[edit]

On September 14, 2010, Larson defeated incumbent Senator Jeffrey Plale in the Wisconsin Democratic primary election,[8] contending that Plale, an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) member, was far too conservative for the district.[9] Larson won by 7,962 (60.7%) to 5,148 (39.3%) for Plale.[10]

Larson subsequently defeated Republican Jesse Ripp with 57.11 percent of the vote[11] on November 2, 2010.[12] He turned 30 the week after the election, and was the youngest member of the Senate.[13]

Larson currently represents the cities of Cudahy, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee, and St. Francis, and parts of Franklin and Milwaukee.[14] Less than two years into Larson’s first term and a day after turning 32, he was elected by his colleagues to serve as Senate Democratic Leader for the 2013-2014 Legislative Session. This selection made Larson the youngest Senate leader since 1937, when Maurice Coakley was chosen at only 30 years old.[15][16][17] It was also the fastest ascent to leader since Warren Knowles was selected in 1942 after also serving only two years in the Senate.[18][19][20] In May 2014, Larson was named in the Washington Post’s list of top 40 political rising stars under 40 years old.[21]

During Larson's Senate career PolitiFact Wisconsin has ruled on eight of Larson's statements for accuracy. PolitiFact has ruled Larson Mostly False on six of his statements, False on one and Pants On Fire false on one.[22]

Legislative positions[edit]

In the 2011-2012 legislative session, funding for local public schools were cut by $1.6 billion.,[23] and during the 2013-2014 session 50% of Wisconsin school districts received less state money than they did under the previous session.[24] Larson supported initiatives to fully restore funding for local public schools.[25][26]

In February 2013, Larson and his Democratic colleagues introduced a package of six jobs bills, which included funding for technical colleges and required state agencies, as well as state and local governments, to buy from Wisconsin businesses.[27][28][29][30][31][32][33]

Larson fought to accept federal health care money through the Affordable Care Act to strengthen Wisconsin’s BadgerCare program[34][35] since, according to Wisconsin’s nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, strengthening BadgerCare would expand health care coverage to 85,000 more Wisconsinites, save the state $119 million over the biennium, and create over 10,000 Wisconsin jobs.[36][37]

Larson and his Democratic colleagues all signed on to a proposed constitutional amendment (2013 SJR 74) to reverse Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage.[38]

Larson co-sponsored legislation to reinstate laws to prevent workplace discrimination against women, which had been removed from Wisconsin statutes during the 2011-2012 legislative session.[39]

Larson introduced legislative proposals during the 2013-2014 Legislative Session to reform Wisconsin's jobs agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, which has seen numerous scandals since it was created in 2011, including losing track of $56 million in loans, misuse of taxpayer funds, exaggerated jobs claims, and lack of basic oversight, according to a national report by Good Jobs First.[40][41][42][43][44]

2011 Wisconsin protests[edit]

During the protests in Wisconsin, Larson, along with the 13 other Democratic State Senators, left the state to deny the state Senate a quorum on Governor Scott Walker's controversial "Budget Repair" legislation. All 14 State Senators returned on March 12.[45]

Legislative committee membership[edit]

During the 2011-2012 legislative session, Larson served as co-chair of the Joint Committee on Review of Administrative Rules, and as a member of the Joint Committees on Finance, Audit, and Information Policy and Technology; on the Senate Committees on Education; Education and Corrections; Natural Resources and Environment; Housing and Insurance; and Environment, Natural Resources and Tourism. He also served on the Governor's Commission on Waste, Fraud, and Abuse; and the Special Task Force on University of Wisconsin Restructuring and Operational Flexibilities.[46]

Larson is currently serving on the Committee on Senate Organization, the Joint Legislative Council, and the Joint Committees on Employment Relations, and on Legislative Organization.[47]

Nomination of his aide[edit]

In the August 2014 Democratic primary Jonathan Brostoff, a Larson aide and long-time ally (they had been leaders of the College Democrats at UW-Milwaukee during their college years) won nomination in a tough four-way primary contest for the 19th Wisconsin State Assembly district, which includes the UW-M campus. Brostoff faces only token opposition from a Pirate Party candidate in this heavily-Democratic area, and is expected to take the general election with ease.[48]

Personal life[edit]

Larson owns a house in Bay View with his wife, Jessica, and their son, Atticus. They announced in August 2014 that another child, a daughter, is expected soon[49]

An avid runner, he has completed 25 marathons and has a long-term goal of running a marathon in every state.[50]

Larson is a member of numerous neighborhood groups, including the League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, Bay View Historical Society, Bay View Lions Club, Thomas More Alumni Club, and Arbor Day Foundation.[51]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bice, Daniel. "Candidate's old shoplifting bust surfaces." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel March 16, 2008
  2. ^ Wisconsin State Blue Book 2013-2014. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. 2013. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-9752820-6-9. 
  3. ^ "Wisconsin 7th State Senate District Q & A". Bay View Compass. August 30, 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Milwaukee’s Aerotropolis project moves forward". BizTimes.com. October 1, 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "South Side coalition seeks to save the Hoan Bridge". OnMilwaukee.com. August 7, 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Rovito, Rich (July 29, 2010). "County Board vote will restore airport maintenance positions". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "Special Meeting on the Committee of the Parks, Energy and Environment". Milwaukee County Web Site. Committee of the Parks, Energy and Environment. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  8. ^ Stein, Jason. "Larson unseats Plale in state Senate race: He will face Republican Ripp in general election in 7th District" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel September 14, 2010
  9. ^ Fortis, Louis and Lisa Kaiser. "And the Candidates Are…: A preview of the September primary matchups" Shepherd Express July 21, 2010
  10. ^ "Fall 2010 primary election results" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel September 14, 2010
  11. ^ Maichle, Kyle (August 2, 2013). "Highlighting the 2014 State Senate Contests". Wisconsin Election Watch. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  12. ^ Stein, Jason and Annysa Johnson. "Republicans take over state Senate, Assembly: It's first time one party wins both houses since 1938" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel November 3, 2010
  13. ^ Tolan, Tom. "Larson wins 7th Senate District race." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel November 2, 2010
  14. ^ "State of Wisconsin Senate District 7 Act 43". Wisconsin State Legislature. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  15. ^ The 1935 Wisconsin Blue Book. Madison, Wisconsin: Democratic Printing Company. 1935. pp. 195, 261. 
  16. ^ The 1927 Wisconsin Blue Book. Madison, Wisconsin: The State Printing Board. 1927. p. 654. 
  17. ^ State of Wisconsin Blue Book. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. 2013. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-975-2820-6-9. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  18. ^ "Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame Inducts Warren P. Knowles". Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  19. ^ The 1927 Wisconsin Blue Book. Madison, Wisconsin: The State Printing Board. 1927. p. 654. 
  20. ^ State of Wisconsin Blue Book. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. 2013. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-975-2820-6-9. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  21. ^ Blake, Aaron (May 20, 2014). "The Fix's 40 Under 40". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  22. ^ "Chris Larson's Polifact file:"
  23. ^ DeFour, Matthew (January 27, 2013). "Cash-strapped Wisconsin school districts brace for Walker's second budget proposal". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  24. ^ "13-14 July 1 Estimate vs. 12-13 Final Aid Eligibility". State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's Web Site. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  25. ^ "Senate Amendment 2 to 2011 Assembly Bill 40". Wisconsin State Legislature Web Site. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  26. ^ "Senate Amendment 9 to Assembly Bill 40". Wisconsin State Legislature Web Site. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  27. ^ Sexton, Riley (September 26, 2013). "Walker announces $100M workforce development plan". The Badger Herald. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  28. ^ "2013 Senate Bill 42". Wisconsin State Legislature Web Site. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  29. ^ "2013 Senate Bill 43". Wisconsin State Legislature Web Site. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  30. ^ "2013 Senate Bill 44". Wisconsin State Legislature Web Site. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  31. ^ "2013 Senate Bill 74". Wisconsin State Legislature Web Site. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  32. ^ "2013 Senate Bill 25". Wisconsin State Legislature Web Site. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  33. ^ "2013 Senate Bill 88". Wisconsin State Legislature Web Site. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  34. ^ "Senate Amendment 10 to Assembly Bill 40". Wisconsin State Legislature Web Site. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  35. ^ "Senate Substitute Amendment 1 to 2013 Assembly Bill 1". Wisconsin State Legislature Web Site. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  36. ^ Wahlberg, David (May 29, 2013). "Full Medicaid expansion would save money and cover more, fiscal bureau says". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  37. ^ Tighe, Mike (February 5, 2013). "Area lawmakers implore Walker to expand BadgerCare". La Crosse Tribune. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  38. ^ "2013 Senate Joint Resolution 74". Wisconsin State Legislature Web Site. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  39. ^ "2013 Senate Bill 143". Wisconsin State Legislature Web Site. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  40. ^ Stein, Jason (November 30, 2012). "Neglected WEDC taxpayer-financed loans grow to $12.2 million". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  41. ^ Ivey, Mike (October 24, 2013). "WEDC cited in national report on how not to spend taxpayer dollars on economic development Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/writers/mike_ivey/wedc-cited-in-national-report-on-how-not-to-spend/article_463bee10-3c27-11e3-8245-001a4bcf887a.html#ixzz3AlPXF8EL". The Cap Times. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  42. ^ "Senate Amendment 6 to Senate Bill 205". Wisconsin State Legislature. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  43. ^ [2. https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2013/related/amendments/sb205/sa7_sb205 "Senate Amendment 7 to Senate Bill 205"]. Wisconsin State Legislature Web Site. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  44. ^ [3. https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2013/related/amendments/sb205/sa8_sb205 "Senate Amendment 8 to Senate Bill 205"]. Wisconsin State Legislature Web Site. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  45. ^ "Wisconsin Democrats could stay away for weeks" WRAL-TV February 18, 2011
  46. ^ State of Wisconsin Blue Book. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. 2013. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-975-2820-6-9. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  47. ^ "Senator Chris Larson 2013-2014 Committee Assignments". Wisconsin State Legislature. Office of the Wisconsin State Senate Chief Clerk. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  48. ^ Bergquist, Lee. "Election 2014: Allen, Brostoff, Wanggaard, Bowen win legislative primaries" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel August 13, 2014
  49. ^ Larson, Chris. "It's a girl!" Facebook August 25, 2014
  50. ^ "Senator Larson Legislative Homepage". senatorchrislarson.com. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  51. ^ State of Wisconsin Blue Book. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. 2013. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-975-2820-6-9. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 

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