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Forward

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Staff Update

Ellen Schutt from Darien in Walworth County is the new Legislative Aide in my Madison office. Ellen is a recent graduate of UW-Madison and has interned in my office for the last two years while pursuing her degree in Political Science.  Ellen will be responsible for scheduling and administrative duties, and will assist with policy research and constituent support. I'm excited to have Ellen as a part of our team and also to announce that Danielle Zimmerman has been promoted to the position of Chief of Staff! 

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Loudenbeck Legislation Moving Forward

The spring floor period is officially underway and I have authored several important bills that I hope to have signed into law before the end of the 2017-2018 legislative session. I am pleased to report favorable committee action on four of my bills during the past two weeks. I also introduced a new bill related to emergency mental health treatment for unaccompanied and homeless minors.  Finally, I am putting the finishing touches on another bill related to student completion awards for certain public safety certifications at the request of Governor Scott Walker. Both new bills have strong bipartisan support. I look forward to sharing more information about these proposals and how they will serve to provide students with opportunities to be healthy and successful in Wisconsin! 

Emergency Youth Mental Health Treatment  

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), recent studies have shown that runaway and homeless youth have experienced high rates of traumatic events that should be treated by mental health professionals. For example, 46% have reported being physically abused, 38% reported being emotionally abused, and 17% reported being forced into unwanted sexual activity by a family or household member. 

Advocates for unaccompanied and homeless youth in Wisconsin have indicated that additional flexibility is needed in order for vulnerable youth to access mental health treatment services in a timely fashion, particularly when harm may come to the minor if treatment is not initiated before written consent is obtained. 

Under current law a minor who is 14 or older may petition a mental health review officer (MHRO) to review a parent’s refusal or inability to consent to the minor’s mental health treatment. This is a quasi-judicial process that can take several weeks to complete. My office has been working with local advocates and stakeholders to increase the use of the MHRO process, but concerns remain regarding the health and well-being of an unaccompanied minor in between the time of referral and the determination of the MHRO. 

This week I introduced LRB-5104 which would waive the requirement for informed consent for outpatient mental health treatment of minors in emergency situations or where time and distance requirements preclude obtaining written consent before beginning treatment and a determination is made that potential harm may come to the patient or others before written consent is obtained. LRB-5104 requires that before this waiver could be used, the provider must have made an effort to obtain written consent from a parent or guardian of a minor patient. Additionally, under the provisions of LRB-5104 the waiver is limited to a period of 30 days, during which time informed consent shall be obtained in writing or the MHRO process shall be initiated.  

LRB-5104 specifically prohibits the health care provider from admitting a minor to an inpatient facility or an inpatient treatment facility and prohibits the health care provider from prescribing medications to a minor seeking treatment for a mental health condition without the consent of a parent or guardian.

 

More detailed information about the following bills was in my last e-update. Click here to read about them.

TIF Bill Assembly Bill 659 is scheduled for a vote in the Assembly next week, and is available for scheduling for a vote in the Senate.

DOR Bill Assembly Bill 735 is available for scheduling for a vote in the Assembly, and is scheduled for a committee executive session in the Senate. 

WHEDA Bill Assembly Bill 809 is scheduled for a vote in the Assembly next week, and is waiting for a committee public hearing in the Senate.

Burial Sites Bill Assembly Bill 118 has passed the Assembly, and is waiting to be scheduled for a vote in the Senate.

Wisconsin's Human Trafficking Report Card

Wisconsin citizens can be proud of the work being done in our state to effectively respond to the crime of human trafficking. It is important to recognize that significant progress has been made, while acknowledging that work remains. We can look to the Protected Innocence Challenge state Report Cards for Wisconsin as a point of reference. In 2011, Wisconsin received a grade of “D” and a score of 65 on the first Report Card issued by the Protected Innocence Challenge. In 2017, Wisconsin received a grade of “B” and a score of 89.5, just a half point away from an “A” score. I am confident that Wisconsin is well on the way to an “A” score with the recent enactment of 2017 Wisconsin Acts 128, 129, and 131 and the work that many of my colleagues in the legislature, along with Attorney General Brad Schimel and Governor Scott Walker, are doing.

The Protected Innocence Challenge is a comprehensive study of existing state laws designed to inspire and equip advocates launched by Shared Hope in 2011. Under the Challenge, every state receives a Report Card that grades the state on 41 key legislative components that must be addressed in a state’s laws in order to effectively respond to the crime of domestic minor sex trafficking. In addition, each state receives a complete analysis of this 41-component review and practical recommendations for improvement.

I am proud of my record of legislative success and the dramatic improvement in Wisconsin’s anti-human trafficking efforts. I introduced my first bill to combat human trafficking in 2011 and have authored numerous anti-human trafficking bills that have been signed into law which have provided critical tools for prosecutors and law enforcement, imposed stricter penalties for traffickers, raised public awareness, increased access to victim services and resources, and enhanced procedures in the child welfare system to better identify and serve vulnerable youth.

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Pictured Above: The Elkhorn Rotary Club, Sugar Creek Lutheran Church, and the Walworth County UW-Extension hosted an event on January 11, 2018 to encourage the public to “Join the Movement” on Human Trafficking Awareness Day.  I served on a panel after the event and was able to share some important information regarding what is being done in Wisconsin to combat human trafficking.  

Session Update

Earlier this week, Speaker Robin Vos outlined the Assembly Republican policy agenda for the remaining 2018 session.

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Encourage economic development: remove barriers to growth, attract more workers to the state, grow rural jobs

Support our schools: Increase assistance to rural schools, thorough review of funding system

Reform welfare system: Promote independence, help individuals enter the workforce

Promote healthy families: Fight opioid epidemic, improve foster care, combat Alzheimer’s disease

 ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

WNLA Celebrates 100 Years: Click here to read the story

Beloit Body Cameras: Click here to read the story

Elkhorn Human Trafficking Event: Click here to read the story

My capitol office is here to help you with general inquiries as well as questions and concerns regarding legislative matters. Feel free to contact me or my staff. We are always ready to assist you in your needs. Please visit my website for press releases and other Capitol updates.

 If you have any comments regarding the subject of this E-Update, please feel free to contact me.   


Rep. Amy Loudenbeck 
State Capitol, Room 304 East
PO Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

Toll-Free (888) 529-0031 or (608) 266-9967
Rep.Loudenbeck@legis.wi.gov| |