Olsen Honored For Work On Behalf Of Kids

Madison…At a ceremony in Madison, Senator Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) was recognized by the YMCA for his advocacy on issues that impact children and for authoring legislation to allow 15-year-olds to become certified lifeguards. Senator Olsen received the Wisconsin Y State Alliance Legislative Champion Award.


“It’s an honor to be recognized by YMCAs from around the state. YMCAs play a critical role in our communities providing education and recreation opportunities for children and families,” Olsen explained.


Senator Olsen introduced Assembly Bill 326 (AB 326), along with Representative Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) to bring state lifeguard certification laws in line with federal guidelines. Under current law, a 15-year-old can take the lifeguard training class, but cannot be certified or employed as a lifeguard until they turn 16. “The YMCA has one of the most popular lifeguard training programs in the state. They have been training lifeguards since 1912, and I appreciate their help getting this bill passed” Olsen said. “We heard from pools and waterparks that they have a hard time finding enough lifeguards for the swim season. This bill lets more young people become lifeguards, helping to fill the shortage.” AB 326 has been approved by both houses of the Wisconsin State Legislature and is waiting for Governor Scott Walker’s signature to become law.


As the chair of the Senate Education Committee, former chair of the Assembly Education Committee and vice-chair of the Joint Finance Committee, Senator Olsen has advocated for school children and has worked to ensure they are prepared for college and the workforce. “Allowing 15-year-olds to get jobs as lifeguards gives them important work experience and teaches them the skills they will need to succeed in life,” said Senator Luther Olsen.