Madison – State Senator Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) announced today that he will not seek re-election in November and will retire at the end of this year. Senator Olsen was first elected to the State Senate in 2004, after representing the 41st Assembly District for 10 years.

“For the last 26 years, I have walked into the Capitol building and admired its beauty and history and reflected on the responsibility I have as an elected official. It has been an honor to serve in the state legislature, but there comes a time in life when it’s time to move on,” Senator Olsen explained. “Throughout my career, I have tried to be thoughtful, compassionate, and reasonable and have looked for long-term solutions to problems, rather than relying on quick fixes.”

Senator Olsen served as the chair of the Education Committees in both the State Senate and State Assembly. Currently, he is the vice-chair of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee and serves on a number of legislative committees, state and national boards.

“I have had the opportunity to work with so many talented people in the legislature, state agencies, interest groups, and on the national stage. I am confident these people will continue to work to improve education, promote good and efficient government, and look for the best ways to tackle tomorrow’s challenges,” Olsen said.

Senator Olsen’s legislative interests have prioritized education, local government, small businesses and children. His focus on education includes introducing bills relating to school finance, teacher licensure, truancy, and open enrollment. He has advocated for businesses in his district by authoring laws relating to rental units, wineries, and mobile homes and has worked with local governments to update state laws to allow them to find efficiencies through the use of modern technologies. Finally, he was the author of the state’s Graduated Driver’s License law, which changed the way teenagers get their driver’s license.

“I could not have served in the legislature without the support and encouragement of my family, especially my wife Joan. I look forward to spending more time with them, watching my grandchildren grow up, and riding my Harley.”

I would like to thank the people of the 14th Senate District for your continued confidence in me and your willingness to reach out to me to share your ideas and concerns. Together, I believe we made Wisconsin a better place to live,” Olsen said.

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