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The End of Session

These past few weeks have been very busy with the legislative session coming to an end. I am excited to report that three of my bills were signed into law on Tuesday and three more are awaiting the Governor's signature. Please see below for more information on the school safety package that was recently signed into law, my recent appointment to the Wisconsin State Fair and photos from the bills signings and recent school visits.

School Safety

Last week Governor Walker signed into law 2017 Wisconsin Act 43 which passed with bipartisan support in both the Senate (28-4) and the Assembly (78-8). I was proud to support this package which will provide flexibility and support for schools around the state to help make improvements to meet their individual needs. In the weeks prior to the bill being voted on, I spoke with parents, school board members, administrators, educators and school safety professionals from across our Assembly District and received positive feedback on our efforts to make Wisconsin schools safer. I also heard loud and clear that flexibility was key as each school and district had different needs and priorities.   

2017 Act 43 creates the Office of School Safety within the Department of Justice. Responsibilities for the office include implementing a $100 million grant program for school safety, maintaining blueprints and school safety plans for all schools, and developing model practices of school safety. Additionally, the bill requires mandatory reporting of threats of school violence for certain professions and grant funding to support the integration of trauma-informed care training for school staff. Requirements for school safety plans are strengthened, including adding consultations and site-assessments with local law enforcement of all pupil occupied areas.

Until the formal grant application is finalized, any school that is interested in applying for grant funding may submit a short letter of interest to the DOJ at schoolsafety@doj.state.wi.us, identifying the following information: (1) a single point of contact for the school along with contact information; (2) the type of school safety project you hope to implement; (3) the name of the law enforcement agency that will review and approve your project; (4) an approximate dollar amount of the grant you plan to request; (5) whether your project could be in place for the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, and; (6) when you will be in a position to submit a fully developed application and plan.

State Fair Park Board 

I was recently appointed serve on the Wisconsin State Fair Park Board. The Wisconsin State Fair Park is a fairgrounds and exhibition center situated in both West Allis and Milwaukee. As an agency of the state of Wisconsin, the State Fair Park Board of Directors provides oversight and direction for the Park and to the staff of the Fair Park while day-to-day operation and programming of the venue are the responsibility of the staff. The board is comprised of 13 individuals representing various communities, industries, and members of the state legislature. As a revenue generating agency, the Fair does not receive any direct taxpayer subsidies, although the Fair Park is allocated some benefits and support from the state’s Building Commission for capital improvements and repairs.

As an annual attendee of the Wisconsin State Fair, I’m looking forward to serving on their Board and being part of the decision making process. The State Fair offers so many things to Wisconsin residents and visitors including great food, junior and open show livestock, competitive exhibits, abundant entertainment and genuine family fun. The Wisconsin State Fair will be held on August 2-12, 2018 – click here for more information. Visit the events website for information on of all events at State Fair Park throughout the year.

Three Bills Signed Into Law

This week, Governor Walker signed three bills I championed into law. The first, 2017 Wisconsin Act 222, is a product of the Legislative Study Committee on the Preservation of Burial Sites that I chaired during the summer of 2016. The Study Committee was tasked with reviewing Wisconsin’s current burial sites preservation law to determine whether it adequately balances the interests of scientists, landowners, developers, and others with an interest in a burial site, including those with a kinship interest and those with a general cultural, tribal, or religious affiliation. The committee recommended the advancement of one bill which contained all proposals for which the study committee reached clear majority consensus.

"On behalf of the Ho-Chunk Nation, I would like to provide a special thanks to Rep. Loudenbeck for her tireless leadership and dedication to preserving the heritage, history, culture and spiritual significance of our ancestry. She never wavered from her commitment to see this through and worked well with so many different interests to get the best outcome possible," said Ho-Chunk Nation President Wilfred Cleveland.

Below: Members of the Legislative Study Committee on the Preservation of Burial Sites, The Ho-Chunk Nation and the Wisconsin Historical Society join Rep. Loudenbeck for the bill signing.
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 2017 Wisconsin Act 223 was co-authored with Sen. Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) and removes the disincentive for municipalities to use a subtraction amendment to remove territory from a Tax Incremental Finance District (TID) prior to termination by allowing the same levy limit adjustment to be made for TID territory subtractions as allowed under current law for TID terminations. 

“The League thanks Rep. Loudenbeck and Sen. Petrowski for initiating legislation allowing a municipality to make the same levy limit adjustment when subtracting territory from a TIF district as is currently allowed when a TIF district is closed. Act 223 will encourage communities to do TID territory subtractions when appropriate so that local units of government and taxpayers can benefit from the increase in the tax base,” said Curt Witynski, Deputy Executive Director of the Wisconsin League of Municipalities.  

Below: Rep. Loudenbeck and Sen. Petrowski are joined by the League of Municipalities and the Wisconsin Economic Development Association for the bill signing.
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2017 Wisconsin Act 204 was co-authored with Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills). The bill signing was attended by four constituents who were an active part of the legislative process, including a youth from Beloit and her graduation coach who experienced first-hand the hurdles facing unaccompanied youth attempting to access mental health care. I worked closely with the advocates and the medical and legal community to draft legislation that would allow teens to get the care they need while balancing the rights of parents to be involved in the process.

Act 204 waives 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. Act 204 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 Act 204 the waiver is limited to a period of 30 days, during which time informed consent shall be obtained in writing or the Mental Health Review Officer (MHRO) process shall be initiated. Act 204 specifically prohibits the health care provider from admitting a minor to an inpatient facility and prohibits the health care provider from prescribing medications to a minor seeking treatment for a mental health condition without the consent or a parent or guardian.   

Below: Rep. Loudenbeck is joined by Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) and constituents of the 31st Assembly District for the bill signing.

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School Visits - Thanks for Visiting! 

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I was pleased to speak to students at Clinton Elementary School about the State Legislature and what my job as their State Representative entails!

 Tibbets Elementary

 Tibbets Elementary in Elkhorn

 

Reek Elementary

 Reek Elementary School in Fontana 

 

West Side Elementary

West Side Elementary in Elkhorn 

 

Beloit Turner High School

Beloit Turner High School 

 ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

A print newsletter was recently mailed to residents of the 31st Assembly District. If you would like to read it online please click here.

 

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| |