“The blessings of a free government can only be maintained by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.”  --  The 1848 Wisconsin State Constitution, Article 1, Section 22

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Representative Petryk E-News Update

HOPE Agenda Legislation Signed Into Law

In the Legislature’s continued efforts to curb Wisconsin’s heroin and prescription drug abuse epidemic, another bill, which is part of the HOPE agenda (Heroin, Opiate Prevention and Education), was signed into state law by Governor Walker. This legislation is now known as 2015 Wisconsin Act 115. I am proud to say I supported this bill and all the other bills that have been signed into law as part of the HOPE agenda.

Assembly Bill 427 makes a number of changes and clarifications to the state’s current law. These changes include allowing a practitioner to prescribe an opioid antagonist (Narcan) to one or more licensed pharmacies and that a licensed pharmacist may deliver an opioid antagonist to an individual as specified in the order. Also, the bill clarifies current law to provide that a practitioner who prescribes an opioid antagonist must ensure that the person to whom the medication is prescribed has the capacity to provide the knowledge and training as described under current law.

Narcan is used to treat the side effects of opioid use, overdose, or septic shock. An opioid antagonist blocks the effects of opiates in the body. The use of this medication has and will continue to save countless lives of those affected by addiction to opioids.

The bill’s author, Representative John Nygren stated, “Many times, heroin addiction begins with an addiction to prescription medications. The transition from legal drugs to heroin is very dangerous and it’s our goal to stop addiction before it begins. As we move forward to limit instances of overprescribing of scheduled medications, we will be actively lessening the number of Wisconsinites who become addicted to heroin.”

Congratulations to Representative John Nygren and his continued efforts to help keep others from becoming addicted to heroin. I applaud his efforts to combat this very serious issue. Representative Nygren said it best, “Making Narcan more readily available will not be the silver bullet that fixes our state’s heroin and opiate problem, but it’s an important step in the right direction. If this change saves just one life, it’s worth it.”


State Grant Helps Public Schools Equip Fabrication Laboratories
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation program aims to boost job readiness and interest with hands-on technology experience  

From the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation:

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has created a new program to help local school districts prepare students for high-tech jobs.

The Fabrication Laboratories (Fab Labs) Program will provide grants to districts to help them incorporate technologies such as 3D printing and computer-assisted design into their curricula, giving students hands-on experience and allowing them to put into practice concepts they have learned in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) courses.

“This program will equip students with skills that will set them apart in the job market and will help ensure that our state’s labor force includes knowledge required by today’s employers,” said WEDC CEO Mark Hogan.
Fab labs help schools expand their teaching methods to cater to students with diverse learning styles, creating opportunities for students to collaborate and apply practical skills. Participating schools throughout the country and around the world also share ideas with each other, thus giving students real-life experience in the global economy prior to graduating from high school.

Grants to help public school districts create or expand these labs will be available in amounts up to $25,000 per district. The funds may be used to purchase equipment used for instructional and educational purposes by elementary, middle, junior or high school students.

Fab Labs Grants will be awarded through a competitive process, with applications evaluated based on curriculum, partnerships, financial need and evidence of long-range planning. Competitively selected applications will subsequently be ranked based upon additional financial need criteria to determine final award recipients. Applications for the first grant year are due Jan. 22, 2016.

An application cycle will be opened on an annual basis until the lifetime program cap of $500,000 is fully disbursed. School districts are required to contribute matching funds such that the grant covers no more than 75 percent of the project cost in the first grant year. Awardees may apply for additional grant funding (subject to the same $25,000 per district maximum) in subsequent years, but at a reduced reimbursement rate (50 percent of the project cost in year two and 25 percent in year three).

To learn more about WEDC’s Fab Lab program and for grant application information, visit www.inwisconsin.com/fablabs.

UW-Eau Claire Pitches Plan to Increase Four-year Graduations

As reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

In an effort to graduate more students in four years, reduce their debt and ensure they have what they need to be successful early in their careers, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire wants to offer a tuition discount incentive that would be a first in the UW System.

The campus is seeking approval from the UW System Board of Regents during meetings Thursday and Friday to offer a 25% tuition discount on undergraduate courses taken by alumni either on campus or online for up to five years after they graduate — assuming they finish their undergrad degree in four years.

Students who grew up during the Great Recession tend to take up to five years or more to finish an undergraduate degree because they hedge their bets and "overcredential" themselves with multiple majors or minors they may not need, UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Most students also change majors, which can delay graduation.

The four-year plan would still allow students to change a major up until the end of their freshman year, according to Schmidt.

Adjustments could be made after that by adding an extra course in the winter term or summer, he said.

Some students also work too many hours, which makes it hard to carry a full class load, Schmidt said.

The average UW-Eau Claire student graduates with about $20,000 in debt, he said.

"You might be better off working fewer hours and adding a couple thousand in extra loan debt to get through in four years," the chancellor said.

In addition to saving money on tuition and fees beyond four years, Schmidt said students should factor in lost "opportunity costs."

The median annual salary for the Class of 2014 was $43,854.

For the student who decides to stay in college an extra year to finish an undergraduate degree, the "real cost" of the fifth year is about $50,000, including lost potential income and another year of tuition and fees totaling about $8,000, said Schmidt.

"I'm trying to talk about real costs," Schmidt said. "You really have to have the conversation about what will an extra major or minor do for you?”

If, as students start their careers, they or their employer decides it would be useful to pick up additional undergraduate classes, UW-Eau Claire will apply a 25% discount toward those courses taken within five years of graduation.

"Maybe it's the statistics class you avoided, but you get into a job and realize it would help you," Schmidt said.

Course access would be on a space-available basis. Undergrads would still have priority for undergrad seats in classes, the chancellor said.

UW-Eau Claire's current four-year graduation rate is 34%. The goal is 50%, Schmidt said.
Starting next fall, freshmen will be required to enter into a contract with the university enabling them to complete their degree within four years.

The university, as part of a restructuring effort to cut costs while improving student success, will then assign each freshman something akin to a "progression specialist" — a university employee whose sole responsibility is to get to know individual students and help them troubleshoot obstacles to graduating in four years. Financial incentives will be attached.

The students will still have academic advisers, Schmidt said, but the progression specialist will help them create a four-year plan at the start, factoring in whether they want to study abroad, do internships and do undergraduate research.

Currently, 86% of students do at least one of those three things; the goal is to reach 100%.
"The four-year graduation contract is all about beginning with the end in mind," Schmidt said. "What are your goals? What are your hopes?"

Schmidt said about 25% of students enter UW-Eau Claire undecided about their majors. That's not a problem, the chancellor said.

The new approach would put undecided students in clusters of related majors that interest them.
Rather than telling students to cast a wide net of coursework and see what sticks, full-time advisers experienced in advising undecided students will intentionally help them assess and explore interests, Schmidt said.


Executive Residence 2015 Holiday Tour Schedule Announced

From the office of Governor Walker:

Governor Scott Walker’s office announced the 2015 holiday tour schedule for the Executive Residence. Holiday tours allow guests to view the Executive Residence’s beautiful decorations and festive scenery. The unique decorations found throughout the main rooms on the first floor are crafted by Wisconsinites from all over the state.

“The decorations are incredible this year,” said Governor Walker. “The Executive Residence belongs to the people of Wisconsin and we are excited to welcome them inside for holiday tours once again to share in the festive decorations.”

“Every year, the displays just get better and better,” added First Lady Tonette Walker. “We’d like to thank all of the designers who donate their time, talents and décor to fill each room of the residence with breathtaking displays of holiday cheer, as well as the designers and landscapers who create a Christmas wonderland outside for all to enjoy.”

2015 Holiday Designers include:  

  • Hawks Nursery of Wauwatosa
  • Impressions by Esther Fleming of Milwaukee
  • Milaeger’s of Racine
  • The Bruce Company of Middleton
  • Edgewater Greenhouse of Portage
  • Designs of the Interior of Green Bay
  • The Wisconsin National Guard

Governor Scott Walker and First Lady Tonette Walker have partnered with Second Harvest Foodbank and the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Big Bundle Up Campaign again this year to promote the generous spirit of the holiday season. Non-perishable food items and warm weather items, including new or gently-used mittens, hats, scarves, coats, sweaters, jackets, and snow pants are happily accepted at the residence before and after the tours and will be donated to those in need.

2015 Holiday Open House Schedule:  

  • Thursday, December 3: Noon – 2:00 p.m.
  • Friday, December 4: Noon – 2:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 5: 9:00 a.m. – Noon
  • Wednesday, December 9: Noon – 2:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 10: Noon – 2:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 12: 9:00 a.m. – Noon

The Executive Residence is located at 99 Cambridge Road on Madison’s northeast side in the Village of Maple Bluff. Tours are free of charge, and cameras are allowed. Parties of 20 or more are asked to make a reservation by calling (608) 246-5501. Parking is available directly outside the residence gates. The Executive Residence is handicapped accessible, and handicapped parking is available upon request at the time of arrival.

The 2015 Wisconsin State Capitol Christmas tree was lit today, Friday, December 4, 2015.  This 40-foot balsam fir will be in the rotunda of the State Capitol during this holiday season.  The tree was donated by the Kowieski family of Rhinelander.  Brad Kowieski planted the balsam fir on his parent's property in 1985 on Arbor day when he was just a 4th grader.  This year's tree is decorated with ornaments made my school students and the ornaments celebrate Wisconsin sports. 

Constituent Corner

Representatives from the Chippewa Valley Air Show and the Chippewa Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America announced that the U.S. Navy Blue Angels have recognized the event as the flight team’s 2015 Air Show of the Year!  The announcement was made this week at the International Council of Air Shows Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.  According to the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the award recognizes the air show committee that, from start to finish, implemented a plan for a safe, successful and well run air show. 

The Air Show has a tremendous economic impact on the Chippewa Valley and this last air show was estimated to have brought in nearly $750,000.  It was a great honor and privilege to be asked to sign our National Anthem at the start of each day's festivities.  Congratulations to all the committee members and volunteers who made last July's event so successful!


This week I was presented with a plaque from Lt. Col. C. Jack Fass, Government Relations Officer with the Civil Air Patrol, recognizing me as a member of the Wisconsin State Legislative Squadron Civil Air Patrol.  Thank you Lt. Col. Fass!

Events Around the 93rd Assembly District

Thank you all for letting us know about upcoming events in the 93rd Assembly District.  It is my pleasure to share them with others through this newsletter.  If you have an event, please share them with me a month in advance and my staff and I will do our best to share in our e-update.  

MHS Orchestra Cookie Walk
December 12, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Memorial High School, Eau Claire

Winter Bliss Craft & Vendor Event
December 12, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
VFW Hall, Ellsworth

A Festival of Carols
December 13, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Grace Lutheran Church, Eau Claire

Boots to Business: Reboot Veteran Entrepreneur Training
Free to all active service members, veterans and household family members
*Pre-registration is required
December 15-16, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. both days
Wisconsin Dairyland Business Center, Eau Claire

Women’s Business Center’s Introductory Session
December 16, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
*Pre-registration is requested
Western Dairyland Business Center, Eau Claire

Friends of the Library Holiday Mini-Sale
December 16-17, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire


93rd Assembly District Local Resources

Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce:

City of Eau Claire:

Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce:

Village of Ellsworth:

Prescott Chamber of Commerce:

City of Prescott:

Menomonie Chamber of Commerce:

City of Menomonie:

Village of Spring Valley:


The Village of Pepin:

Representative Petryk Online


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Mailing Address:  Representative Warren Petryk, 103 West, State Capitol, P.O. Box 8953, Madison, WI  53708
Phone Numbers:  Toll Free (888) 534-0093 or (608) 266-0660