As a lifelong resident of the 89th Assembly District, John is uniquely qualified to represent the needs of northeastern Wisconsin in the Legislature. Since 2006, he has worked hard to hold state government accountable and make Wisconsin a great place to live, work, and play.
As Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Finance, which is responsible for writing the state budget, and Co-Chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse, John is a strong advocate for northeastern Wisconsin. Although he has been able to accomplish much for the region and state, he believes there is still more work to do. His proudest accomplishments are working with his neighbors to solve the most pressing issues facing the district and he looks forward to continuing this work.
Read below for more detailed information about his accomplishments and what he hopes to continue to work on.
In 2018, the Wisconsin Association of School Boards said of John: “It’s hard to imagine one lawmaker being involved in more positive developments for public schools than Rep. Nygren was this session.”
As Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Finance, John was instrumental in passing a state budget that invested over $630 million in public schools. At the same time, property taxes are lower than they were in 2010.
On top of one of the largest investments in public education in the state’s history, John authored legislation that will target more resources to low spending and rural school districts. Act 141, which passed this session, will target almost $130 million to schools that need it most over the next six years.
Since 2011, funding for public schools has increased every year and Wisconsin’s school funding system has been rated as one of the most equitable and sufficient in the nation.
As State Representative, John will continue to advocate for rural schools and strategic investments that ensure all students have access to a quality education.
All across Wisconsin, communities and families have been ravaged by the grips of addiction. John knows this issue all too well and has drawn from his personal experiences to help lead the state’s charge against substance abuse. As Co-Chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse, he has been at the forefront of this battle, authoring 30 bipartisan bills aimed at providing help for those suffering from addiction while also cracking down on the flow of drugs into our communities.
The good news is, the hard work is paying off. Since 2015, opioid prescriptions have declined by 30%. This means less of our neighbors are becoming addicted to these harmful drugs. Despite this progress, there is still more to do. As long as our family, friends, and neighbors are still held prisoner to substance abuse, John will work to provide opportunity and help.
Tax dollars belong to you, not state government in Madison. When the state takes in surplus revenue that exceeds our obligations, John has made it a priority to return it to you.
Since 2011, John has voted cut taxes by over $8 billion. The result is a tax burden that is the lowest it has been in over 50 years.
And it doesn’t end there. John voted to eliminate the final state portion of the property tax and property taxes this year will be at their lowest level since 2010.
In the last state budget, John helped eliminate three total taxes and repealed a significant portion of the personal property tax, something businesses have cited as being a large burden.
When it was discovered that the state took in more tax revenue than anticipated, John joined Governor Scott Walker in a one-time sales tax holiday in mid-August to aid in back-to-school purchases as well as returned dollars to families through a $100 per child tax credit.
As your state representative, John will continue to work to streamline state government so that you can keep more of your hard earned money.
Wisconsin is home to one of the strongest University systems in the country. John’s work in the Legislature has supported our 4-year institutions and positioned our technical colleges to meet employers’ demands for a skilled workforce.
In the last session, John supported increased funding for need-based scholarships, which are now funded at the highest level in our state’s history. These scholarships help make college affordable for everyone.
On top of increased funding for scholarships, John voted for another two years of frozen tuition at UW institutions. Tuition has now been frozen for six consecutive years, saving thousands of dollars for hardworking families.
John also secured $5 million in the last state budget for a STEM Center of Innovation on the campus of UW-Green Bay. This facility, coupled with the new engineering degree program, which John was also pivotal in getting approved, will position UW-Green Bay to meet employers’ needs for skilled workers in the manufacturing and engineering fields.
John will continue to work with the UW System and Technical College System to ensure they are able to produce a highly skilled workforce.
A strong infrastructure is critical to a thriving economy. Recognizing this, John voted to increase transportation funding in the 2017-19 biennial state budget. Additionally, the Local Bridge Improvement Fund was fully funded, the Local Roads Improvement Fund was increased by $10 million, and the State Highway Rehabilitation Program was allotted additional funding as a result of excess federal revenues.
In addition to increasing appropriations for transportation, John has led the charge to enact a series of reforms to reduce costs at the Department of Transportation. Freeing up precious resources will maximize available funding for road projects and ensure accountable use of taxpayer resources.
Reforming DOT alone will not address the funding shortfall our state faces. We need sustainable revenue streams to build the high-quality transportation infrastructure our state needs. John has been an advocate for finding sustainable revenues for transportation infrastructure and will continue to do so in the next legislative session and the 2019-21 state budget.
With unemployment at a record low of 2.9%, it is clear that Wisconsin is in the midst of strong economic growth. With this growth comes the pressure of finding skilled workers. Employers across the state have voiced the need for Wisconsin to produce more skilled workers.
That’s why John joined his colleagues time again to increase funding for workforce development programs. Funding has been doubled for Fab Labs (high-tech workshops in high schools), funding for apprenticeships was increased by over $10 million in the last budget alone, and funding for Career and Technical Education grants was also increased.
In addition to training the next generation of workers, John has worked to help move individuals from government programs to employment. He supported reforms to welfare programs that provide a hand-up to those who have fallen on hard times. He also supported increased funding for worker training for incarcerated offenders so that they are prepared to re-enter the workforce upon release.
John will continue to support programs and increased funding for worker training programs that supply our employers with the skilled workforce they need to grow and expand.
Protecting Our State’s Natural Resources
Families today are opting to live in communities that not only have great paying jobs, but also offer a great place to play and raise a family. The 89th Assembly District offers some of Wisconsin’s most beautiful natural environments. This, coupled with a thriving economy, makes northeastern Wisconsin a great place to raise a family.
Not only do our natural resources provide a great place to live, they are also an important segment of our economy. Tourism is a critical piece of our local economy and we depend on a strong environment to provide economic opportunity.
That’s why John led the charge to protect our environment from harmful chemicals like PFAS. He also supported putting local units of government in charge of regulating mining. By placing control at the most local level, individual communities are able to decide what is best.
In the last budget, John also worked to ensure that the Forestry Account is held accountable and used only to protect our state’s forests, not as a slush fund for Madison bureaucrats. Because of this work, northern Wisconsin will have forests that provide a space to enjoy the outdoors and revenue from sustainable management practices.