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Contents

  • Dentist Day
  • Update on Legislation
  • Session
  • Podcast
  • Spotlight on Service

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Dentist Day

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This past Wednesday, January 15, 2020 was the Wisconsin Dental Association's Annual Legislative Day. I was honored to be asked to be on of their featured speakers. A growing concern in the dental profession, like other health care professions, is the lack of access and those practicing in rural areas. One of the things I discussed is the bill I authored to create a rural scholarship program at the Marquette School of Dentistry. The bill would provide up to $40,000 a year for students, who then, in exchange practice in one of the federally designated dental health professional shortage areas for 12 months. You can learn more about how that bill is moving along in the legislative process in the next section. 

Update on Legislation

We're coming up near the end of the legislative session, so I wanted to provide an update to bills I have authored that are currently making their way through the legislative process. 

AB 258 - This bill would create scholarship for dental students who choose to practice in a rural setting. This has passed out of the Health Committee, but more recently, it passed unanimously out of the Joint Committee on Finance. The Wisconsin State Assembly will be taking this bill up on the floor this coming Tuesday, January 21st.

AB 230 - This bill is a technical change that would allow for military students to have some autonomy over what credits from their military transcripts will be used on their technical college/university transcripts. This bill has already passed the entire Wisconsin State Senate, so it well along its way in the legislative process.

AB 380 - This bill would streamline the process by which municipalities have to file for emergency assistance. After the flooding of 2018, it became apparent that Wisconsin Emergency Management was not consistent in its processes for handling applications for emergency assistance and distribution of funds from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).This bill will also update and modernize some of the statutes related to emergency management. This bill has also passed the full Wisconsin State Senate and, too, is well along its way in the legislative process. 

AB 742 - This bill would increase the amount of funding for emergency medical services assistance. Current law requires the Department of Health Services to provide emergency medical services funding to ambulance service providers that are public agencies, volunteer fire departments, or nonprofit corporations to assist in paying for training and examinations for emergency medical technicians, who were previously known as emergency medical technicians — basic, and emergency medical responders and for ambulances, equipment, or supplies. This bill will be having a public hearing in the Senate Committee this coming Thursday, January 23rd and then a public hearing in the Assembly Committee on January 29th.

Session

This past week the Wisconsin State Assembly was in session. If you're curious as to what we did, you can head over to the WisconsinEye for the coverage. 

Podcast

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After 7 statewide hearings and countless hours of testimony, the bills generated by the Speaker's Task Force on Adoption came the the Assembly floor this week. As they got ready to vote, we caught up with two members who have been especially integral to the process. Rep. Snyder, a member of the Task Force and the Chair of last session's Task Force on Foster Care, joins Rep. Dittrich, Chair of the Adoption Task Force, to talk about how she came to this issue and explore ways to make sure Wisconsin gets better at helping children find stable homes.

Spotlight on Service

Late in August I began asking folks around the 50th Assembly District for nominations for the First Responder of the Year Award. My office was pleasantly surprised by the number of individuals being nominated. I was blown away by the many selfless individuals who volunteer their time and talents in order to serve our communities. I would like to introduce you to more of the outstanding First Responders we have in our District.

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This week meet: Kimberly Clark from the Richland County Ambulance Service. Kimberly is dedicated to her community and always ready for the call to help someone in need. She is not only an EMT but also a mother, mail carrier, a dispatcher for the bus service and a bus driver for special events. Kimberly always has her pager close by whenever she is at home or not on call, in the event that there may be need for an extra EMT to report. She is very knowledgeable about EMT ways and is calm under pressure which helps to calm those they are working and their family members. Congratulations, Kimberly!