For the past eight years, I have had the privilege of representing you in the Wisconsin state Senate.

I am truly humbled by the trust you’ve placed in me as you’ve invited me into your lives and the lives of your communities. Your thoughts and concerns have never been far from my mind as I’ve worked to improve life in our area and bring your concerns to Madison.

When I was first elected to the Senate, Wisconsin faced billion-dollar deficits, record unemployment and double-digit tax increases. In just a few years, we’ve turned Wisconsin around. Today, businesses are expanding, budgets are balanced, taxes are down and unemployment is the lowest in our state’s history.

We’re preparing our kids for the future with record investments in K-12 education, freezing tuition at UW System schools for the sixth straight year and providing the most need-based grants for college and tech school in Wisconsin history. More people in Wisconsin are working than ever before and we’re leading the nation in welfare reform.

Accomplishing all of this hasn’t been easy. Good governance, balanced budgets and a growing economy don’t happen by accident. They require tough decisions that don’t please everyone. But I took on this job with a simple goal — giving our kids and grandkids a Wisconsin that has less debt, more opportunity and a future that’s brighter than ever.

Reflecting on these past eight years, I am reminded of the many bills I personally authored that have been signed into law. So many of these laws started as ideas that folks across the 23rd Senate District shared with me at listening sessions, community events or a chance run-in at the grocery store.

Together we’ve cut red tape to make it easier to open and run a small business. We’ve kept kids out of the foster care system by allowing a trusted family friend to take them in. We’re getting more and more young people outdoors to hunt, fish and trap. We’re extending hope to those with terminal illnesses and defending the lives of the unborn. And, with your help, we’ve created a permanent way for legislators on both sides of the aisle to come together around our shared love of Wisconsin’s outdoors.

I am so proud of just how much we’ve accomplished together.

During my time as your senator, I’ve traveled all over our area, hearing your thoughts, celebrating your successes and sharing your struggles. Today, I’m more convinced than ever that the people in our area are some of the best in the world. There are none better suited to take on the challenges that come with embracing opportunity and none more ready to fight for our bright future than you.

Though my time as your senator has come to an end, I look forward to continuing to work together as your neighbor and friend to strengthen our communities and make a bright future for our kids.

Former state Sen. Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls, opted not to run for a third term.