“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

Chippewa Valley Rally Comes to the Capitol

It was with great pleasure that I was once again able to host members from the Chippewa Valley Rally at the State Capitol on Wednesday. This legislative day at the capitol is organized by the Chippewa Valley Chamber Alliance which is comprised of three chambers within the Chippewa Valley: Chippewa Falls; Eau Claire; and Menomonie. Since 1994, members have traveled to Madison with the purpose of spreading the good word about the great things happening in the Chippewa Valley as well as sharing concerns that they may have.

Members are comprised of both community and business leaders from around the Chippewa Valley. Members, in small groups, visit each legislative office to discuss the issues of importance to the group. This year’s issues include:

State funding for the Confluence Project – The 2015-16 state budget included $15 million in matching funds for this project. This is a wonderful example of a working public-private partnership that will benefit economic development and quality of life for the citizens not only in Eau Claire but the surrounding area and the state.

Strengthen the state’s leadership role in addressing workforce shortages – Due to the retirements of baby boomers the state is facing a challenging workforce shortage. The Chippewa Valley Rally members suggest the state focus on retaining our graduates as well as helping employees overcome any potential barriers to the workforce.

Ensure stable transportation funding to meet current and future needs – The Chippewa Valley Rally would like state transportation policy to address the needs of the Chippewa Valley to ensure that transportation assets provide economic competitiveness and freedom of travel.

Complete income tax reciprocity negotiations with Minnesota – Wisconsin continues trying to reach an agreement with Minnesota regarding tax reciprocity. Unfortunately, the Minnesota government and legislature have yet to accept any good faith, qualified offers presented by Wisconsin these past three years.

Revise outdated sales tax exemption limits for occasional sales by non-profits – The members of the Chippewa Valley Rally are requesting support of Assembly Bill 553 which would increase the limits on the sales tax exemption for occasional sales by non-profits to 75 days of sales per year, $50,000 in receipts, and increases the threshold for payment to entertainment $500 to $10,000.

Thank you to everyone who made the trip to Madison to support our beautiful Chippewa Valley and my thanks to all my colleagues who made time to meet with our local leaders. Together we will continue our work to implement their suggestions while improving the state for all of our citizens.

 


Representative Petryk with members from the Chippewa Valley Rally:  Christina Thrun, Louise Bentley, Michaela Stendahl, and Gregg Moore.

 

Initiative Would Help Rural Communities
January 24, 2016 by Eric Lindquist, Eau Claire Leader Telegram

As reported by the Eau Claire Leader Telegram on January 24th, 2016:

Whether it’s laying broadband cable, recruiting teachers or attracting workers, some things are harder to do in the country.

For that reason, Chippewa Valley Republican legislators eagerly jumped on board last week when colleagues launched a package of bills intended to help rural Wisconsin communities. Area Democrats, however, saw it as a too-little, too-late effort to make up for past mistakes in an election year.

The focus of the Rural Wisconsin Initiative, initially comprised of seven pieces of legislation, is to improve opportunities in out-state Wisconsin, said state Rep. Romaine Quinn, R-Rice Lake, who is leading the effort along with Rep. Ed Brooks-R-Reedsburg.

“Just like if Milwaukee fails, the state fails, if rural Wisconsin falls behind, Wisconsin as a whole falls behind,” Quinn said. “This is about trying to even out the playing field.”

The first bills introduced as part of the initiative call for:

  • Creating rural opportunity zones in which the state would repay up to $25,000, or 40 percent, of the student loans for college graduates who settle in a rural Wisconsin county and maintain a full-time job.
  • Expanding funding for broadband expansion to $10 million to enable more rural parts of the state to offer high-speed Internet connections.
  • Adding $250,000 in funding to the Wisconsin Rural Physician Residency Assistance Program to expand residency programs in rural communities and thus attract more doctors to practice in rural areas.
  • Allocating $1 million per year for the Rural STEM grant program to help small school districts start, expand and maintain science, technology, engineering and math education programs.
  • Expanding a student loan forgiveness program for teachers in Milwaukee schools to include teachers who take jobs in rural school districts.
  • Bolstering funding to school districts and local partnerships for youth apprenticeship grants by $500,000 in 2016-17
  • Increasing funding for the apprenticeship completion awards program by $150,000 in 2016-17 to reimburse more apprentices and their sponsors for training costs.

Area Democrats agreed the ideas may have merit but stressed the bills were made necessary because of past budgetary decisions made by Republicans, who control state government.

“I’m glad the Republicans are finally talking about the things they broke, but it would have been better if they hadn’t broken them in the first place,” said Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma.

“Every single one of those bills leads back to something the Democrats put out there, that they voted against, and now they’re trying to cover their tails, and believe me the people are going to see through it.”

Rep. Dana Wachs, D-Eau Claire, agreed, saying Republicans wouldn’t have cut about $2 billion from education funding if they were genuinely interested in improving education, which is the key to economic growth in both urban and rural areas.

“There is a lot of damage to repair,” Wachs said. “This is nothing but a campaign tactic. If they were serious about this, they would have introduced these bills months ago. Coming this late in the session, it is highly improbable this package of bills will get passed this year.”

Wachs said he had not been approached about supporting the initiative.

Seven west-central Wisconsin Republicans — Reps. Kathy Bernier, Warren Petryk, Tom Larson, Bob Kulp, John Murtha, James Edming and Quinn — account for a third of the 21 initial legislators to throw their support behind the initiative. While all of them are from the GOP, sponsors said they would welcome Democratic backing.

“We’re hoping for great bipartisan support on this,” said Petryk, R-town of Pleasant Valley. “Democrats are from rural areas too.”

The legislation recognizes that rural communities have needs that are different from urban areas, notably that population has been shifting away from rural settings for more than 50 years, causing a downward spiral of failed businesses and declining school funding, according to the Assembly Republican website set up to promote the initiative.

Bernier, R-Lake Hallie, said she was particularly excited about the prospect of providing a little extra aid for small rural school districts, which don’t benefit from the economies of scale that help larger districts cope with tight budgets.

“Rural schools have to be extremely creative in how they provide opportunities for kids,” she said.

Petryk mentioned the lack of broadband as a significant challenge for some rural areas, where limited population and rugged terrain can make it not economically viable for private providers to bury the cable and offer the service.

Quinn added broadband access can make it feasible for people to start businesses in small towns and still reach customers around the world and also give rural residents access to such potentially life-saving services as the ability for ambulance crews to relay patient data to an emergency room before arriving at the hospital.

“It’s time for us to get more attention in rural Wisconsin because we’re a vital part of the economy too,” Petryk said.

Bernier and Petryk cautioned the ability to pass the measures will depend on state revenues.

“Whether the money is there before we get into the next budget cycle is still an open question,” Petryk said. “If the money is available, I think these things would be tremendous for our area.”

Contact: 715-833-9209, eric.lindquist@ecpc.com, @ealscoop on Twitter

 

Constituent Corner

Scott Chorski with Representative Petryk during Wisconsin Broadcasters Legislative Day.

 

Wednesday was Ag Day at the Capitol.  Pictured with Representative Petryk are Pete Christiansen, Paul Fetzer, Monica Krings, Peter Kimball, Bryan Thoner, Phil Verges,  and Katie Mattison.

 

Representative Petryk with Chris Dooley, President of Big Rivers NAIFA.

 

Representative Petryk with Tony Huppert who was participating in the Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers Legislative Day.

 

Representative Petryk with Jennifer McHugh and Nicole Wilson, both with Royal Credit Union in Eau Claire, visiting the capitol during the Wisconsin Credit Union Advocates Legislative Day.

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.  


Annual Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre
January 29, 30, 2016, 6:30 p.m.
The Oxford, Eau Claire
http://www.ecct.org/

Distance Running Course
January 30, 2016, 8:15 a.m.
UWEC McPhee Center Rm 162, Eau Claire
http://ecweb.libercus.net/Entertainment/Calendar

Bingo Night
February 2, 2016
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
The Hub on Main, Ellsworth
http://www.ellsworthchamber.com/events

Women’s Business Center’s Introductory Session
February 3, 2016, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Western Dairyland Business Center, Eau Claire
http://www.successfulbusiness.org/events

Free Pancake Supper
February 9, 2016, 4:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m.
Zion Lutheran Church, Eau Claire
*Donations accepted

 

Sarah Nelson Memorial Pancake Breakfast

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

8:00-1:00 p.m.
Cleghorn Fire Station

$5.00 for adults and $3.00 for kids
 


93rd Assembly District Local Resources

Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce:
http://www.eauclairechamber.org/

City of Eau Claire:
http://www.eauclairewi.gov

Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce:
http://www.ellsworthchamber.com/

Village of Ellsworth:
http://www.villageofellsworth.org/

Prescott Chamber of Commerce:
http://www.prescottwi.com/

City of Prescott:
http://www.prescottwi.org/

Menomonie Chamber of Commerce:
http://www.menomoniechamber.org/

City of Menomonie:
http://www.menomonie-wi.gov/

Village of Spring Valley:
http://springvalleywi.com/

http://www.springvalleywisconsin.org/index.html

The Village of Pepin:
http://pepinwisconsin.com/

Representative Petryk Online
http://petryk.assembly.wisconsin.gov

www.facebook.com/Rep.Petryk

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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