from Rep. Rohrkaste
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from Rep. Rohrkaste.
Mike Rohrkaste here with my last video
e-update of the 2015-16 legislative session. It has been a busy first
term here in the state legislature, and I am honored to work on your
behalf in Madison. In passing the state budget, I fought to eliminate
proposed cuts to K-12 education and instead found ways to invest more in
our schools. Additionally, I was able to help secure funding to finish
the Trestle Trail Loop in Neenah and Menasha, restore proposed cuts to
public radio and television programming, help our hospitals, and
fully-fund Senior Care. We were also able to hold the line on taxes, and
actually lower taxes for married couples and those subject to the
alternative minimum tax.
As chair of the Speaker’s Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia, we
were able to pass three bills that will invest over a million dollars in
helping those with dementia and their caregivers. These will be signed
by the governor very soon. Finally, I was able to have five other pieces
of legislation pass both houses, from bills that support improved health
care at lower costs, to a statewide Dietetic Internship Program to
strengthen Wisconsin’s healthcare workforce and wellness efforts, to
ensuring we are able to continue to promote tourism in the Fox Valley.
As always, I appreciate and value all constituent contacts, whether by
phone, email, or at my many listening sessions, coffees, and individual
meetings. Many successful legislative ideas have come directly from
constituents so I encourage everyone with questions, concerns, or input
to feel free to contact me. Thank you again and all the best this coming
spring and summer!
Wisconsin Cares Legislation Signed by Governor Walker!
Last week, I along with the rest of the
Speaker’s Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia had three significant bills
from the Wisconsin Cares Legislative Package signed into law by Governor
Walker. Each bill will directly help those living with dementia and their
I want to thank all of my colleagues on the task force as well as my
colleagues in the Senate and Governor Walker for approving these bills.
This is a tremendous step forward in the fight against Alzheimer’s and other
forms of dementia in Wisconsin.
Assembly Bill 787 will add $1 million to the Alzheimer’s Family and
Caregiver Support Program (AFCSP) for respite care. This important program
will also now be available to the Native American tribes in Wisconsin.
Assembly Bill 790 will increase training grants to local mobile crisis teams
by $250,000. These grants will help crisis teams train to become
dementia-capable and therefore better able to respond to those living with
dementia in crisis situations. Assembly Bill 786 requires the Department of
Health Services to propose a pilot program for a more specialized dementia
crisis unit and present that proposal to the appropriate committees in the
legislature. This unit would serve those living with dementia who are in a
We want those living with dementia and their caregivers to know that
although there is currently no cure for dementia, there is still hope.
The task force and I are proud of what we accomplished this session and I
look forward to further advancing this agenda in the future.
Wisconsin Cares Bill Signing at Options for Independent Living in Green Bay.
Internship Legislation Now Law!
Last week, legislation I introduced was
signed into law by Governor Walker. This legislation creates a statewide
Dietetic Internship Program in Wisconsin’s Women, Infants, and Children
(WIC) program. The program will train Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)
to enhance the quality of nutrition services delivered to Wisconsin WIC
clients. In February, the legislation passed the Assembly and Senate
The lack of internship opportunities was brought to my attention by a
student and instructor from UW-Green Bay and the Wisconsin Academy of
Nutrition and Dietetics (WAND). I would like to thank them and everyone else
who helped and supported this legislation.
Currently, Wisconsin faces a significant shortage of dietetic internship
opportunities for college graduates. Because of this shortage of internship
opportunities, our state also faces a shortage in training opportunities for
possible RDNs. These shortages will lead to diminished nutrition care
services throughout our state and need to be addressed.
Wisconsin’s economy continues to improve and it is becoming harder for
employers to find qualified applicants. This will not only improve nutrition
services, but it will also help to create good, family-supporting jobs right
here in the Fox Cities.
If you are interested in learning more about
bills that I have authored, co-sponsored, or voted on please
click here. This link will take you directly to my Wisconsin State
Legislature page. Also, if you are interested in viewing my office