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Contents

  • Governor Evers Vetos 
  • DNR PFAS Meeting
  • Step Therapy Bill Signed
  • Community Event

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Governor Evers Targets Northeastern Wisconsin in Vetoes

Last week, Governor Evers signed the WISCONSIN Budget. Over the last few months, Republicans in the Legislature held over 200 listening sessions and crafted a budget that reflects the priorities and values shared in every corner of Wisconsin. The WISCONSIN budget made historic investments in healthcare, transportation, education, and included a tax cut targeted to the middle-class families.

With that said, I am disappointed that Governor Evers has chosen to use his veto pen to limit drug testing and work requirements for those on welfare. At a time of record low unemployment and increasing wages, the last thing we should do is incentivize welfare. Overwhelmingly, Wisconsinites support drug testing for those receiving valuable taxpayer dollars. The need to protect the taxpayers is now more urgent than ever.

Additionally, in an effort to direct as much money as possible to Madison and Milwaukee, Governor Evers vetoed many important provisions that would have positively impacted our communities in northeastern Wisconsin. 

Here are a few highlights:

  1. Governor Evers cut $15 million from local road aids and removed the requirement that it goes to local governments in Northeast Wisconsin.
  2. Governor Evers vetoed funding to begin the process of replacing the Green Bay Correctional Institution.
  3. Governor Evers took away funding designated for a Northern Wisconsin Regional Crisis Center to address mental health needs in northern Wisconsin.
  4. Governor Evers eliminated the new assistant district attorneys which were designated for Northeast Wisconsin counties.
  5. Governor Evers eliminated funds to plan for a new Cofrin Library at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
  6. Governor Evers removed a requirement for the Department of Transportation to include a crucial new interchange in Brown and Outagamie Counties as a part of the I-41 project.
  7. Governor Evers vetoed support for the much needed rehabilitation of the Veterans Memorial Lift Bridge in Kaukauna. 
 
DNR PFAS Meeting in Marinette

On Wednesday evening, I attended a public meeting put on by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) which provided the community with an update on the PFAS contamination situation in Marinette and Peshtigo. The contamination primarily stems from the testing of PFAS-laden Class B firefighting foam testing by Johnson Controls/Tyco Fire Protection Products over many years in Marinette. State officials have been working diligently to fully identify the scope of the contamination, begin the remediation process, and hold the responsible parties accountable.

A bill I authored on this topic to hopefully prevent future PFAS foam contamination was recently introduced. AB 323, which I authored with Sen. Rob Cowles, would place limits on the usage of firefighting foam containing PFAS with the goal of reducing the negative impact these chemicals have on residents of our state and the environment moving forward.

Both the DNR and Johnson Control have new websites to keep the public up to date on the PFAS investigation and related activities in our area. Please visit these links for more information:

DNR Website

Johnson Controls Website

 Here is a photo of the meeting:

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Step Therapy Bill Signed 

This week, the bill that I authored to reform our state's step therapy protocols with Senator Alberta Darling was signed into law!

Now, thousands of patients across Wisconsin will now be able to receive the right care at the right time. When Senator Darling and I first introduced this bill, we were amazed at the outpouring of support and personal stories that we received. It reminded us that the work we do here in Madison has a direct impact on the families of Wisconsin, and how important expeditiously moving this legislation was. 

When a physician prescribes a particular drug treatment for a patient, the patient’s insurance company may require them to try a less expensive treatment, or series of treatments, before they can have access to the drug originally prescribed by their physician. The patient is not able to try the second treatment until the first one is proven to “fail.” This protocol is known as “step therapy” and is deployed by insurance companies as they strive to control costs while maintaining high-quality care. 

After working with various health insurance groups, patient advocates, and healthcare providers, we arrived at a bill that keeps the spirit, integrity, and patient protections of the original bill, while still ensuring the health plans have the ability to meaningfully utilize step therapy protocols in order to keep costs down.

I would like to thank all of the stakeholders, Senator Darling, and my colleagues for leading on this important issue. Additionally, I would like to thank Speaker Vos and Majority Leader Fitzgerald for the expediency in moving this bill through the process.

Here is a photo from earlier this year when advocates from around the state came to the Capitol to discuss the importance of this bill with lawmakers:

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Marinette Logging and Heritage Festival 

This weekend, the Marinette Logging and Heritage Festival will be taking place! It will be occurring from July 12 - July 14th. Friday, 9am-9pm Saturday, 8am-9:30pm Sunday, 10am. All of the events will take place at Stephenson Island Park.

Here is a description of this weekends events from TravelWisconsin.Gov: "This weekend event will begin on Friday with an outdoor fish fry hosted by the Marinette Moose Lodge at Red Arrow Park. Saturday begins with the annual Ella Smetana Memorial 5k run, River Cities Charity Riders and activities open on Stephenson Island with The Great Lakes Timber Show returns with their chainsaw carving, ax throwing, antique logging hand tools, row sawing & more;  face painting & magic;  Live Music featuring "Johnny Wad" & Fireworks. Sunday continues with a Parade downtown a Bike and Car show, activities on the Island, a Beard Growing contest, and more live music!"

I hope to see you there!

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