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Dear Neighbor,

I am honored to represent you in the state capitol. Below, you will find updates from the capitol and around western Wisconsin. Please feel free to reach out to me with your legislative and state agency concerns. 

In addition to this newsletter, you may follow me on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates.

I ask that you help share this newsletter with your friends and family. An informed community is a strong community, and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss our communities' concerns. 





- Sen. Patty Schachtner

Governor Evers, Constitutional Officers Sworn In 

Governor Tony Evers and other elected constitutional officers took their oaths of office last Monday. I had the privilege to attend the inauguration ceremony and to listen to remarks made by the officials and by those introducing the officials. Governor Evers laid out his priorities, which included fully-funding public schools and protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions.

I was also impressed by the remarks made by Bella Wabindato, a young woman and member of the Bad River Ojibwe. Bella spoke passionately about the importance of clean water and equity in Wisconsin. A recent report found that 42 percent of southwest Wisconsin wells were contaminated, and with one in four Wisconsinites relying on private wells for their water, it is important that they know whether their water is safe to drink.

I am excited about the upcoming legislative session and for the opportunity to work on these important issues with my legislative colleagues.


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School District Visits to Siren, Clayton

I had the pleasure to visit Clayton and Siren school districts in early January. I met Clayton Superintendent Cathy Shimon, Siren Superintendent Kevin Shetler, and principals from both school districts. I also visited classrooms, met students, and spoke with teachers. I have made local engagement a priority in my first year. Since being sworn in last February, I have visited 17 of 19 school districts in our senate district. 

Common themes include struggles with funding and levy limits, teacher shortages, and more assistance to address school safety and mental health. School districts have struggled with historic cuts made to K-12 education made since 2011, and despite recent increases, funding today remains below 2010 levels in real dollars.

In the coming months, the legislature and governor will work on the biennium state budget.  Governor Tony Evers and a bipartisan commission, made up of legislators and public members, have advocated for increased funding. As a part of the budget process, I hope that school district needs are included in the budget deliberations.



2019 Legislative Committee Appointments 

I am pleased to announce that I have been appointed to three committees for the 2019-2020 legislative session. I will serve as the ranking Democratic member of the Committee on Local Government, Small Business, Tourism, and Workforce Development. Additionally, I will serve as a member of the Committee on Universities, Technical Colleges, and Children and Families and the Committee on Education.

I am excited to work on crucial issues facing western Wisconsin. I know from my experience as a lifelong western Wisconsin resident and from my time as a school board member, town supervisor, and director of a local chamber of commerce that the issues of education, tourism, and workforce development are all interconnected. I look forward to bringing our region’s perspective and my experience to these committees.

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E-Cigarettes Public Service Announcement 

E-cigarette use among youth is on the rise.  According to an advisory from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, e-cigarette use among high school students increased from 8 percent to 20 percent between 2014 and 2018, an increase of 154 percent.

Many students have used e-cigarettes alongside regular cigarettes. Although there is a belief that e-cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes, research has shown that chemicals within e-cigarette liquid can cause permanent lung damage in addition to nicotine dependence.

I have heard a lot about this issue in the district and in Madison. Most recently, I met with representatives from the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, and the American Heart Association. While visiting school districts, I also met with school administrators, who shared that e-cigarette use on school premises has increased significantly in the past year.  

I look forward to learning more about this topic and working with my legislative colleagues on ways to address rising e-cigarette use among minors.


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District Events


Siren Destination Wedding Fair

Sunday, January 17; 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Area Wedding Expert Exhibitions showcase the latest in Wedding Services, Styles & Designs and demonstrate Siren's claim as "your Premier Wedding Destination!  "You've been dreaming of this day forever. Capture true romance in Siren's serene setting of natural beauty and north woods charm.  Come to Siren and plan the Perfect Destination Wedding that will keep family members & friends talking for years to come!


Whopper Ice Fishing Contest

Saturday, February 23; 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Join us on the ice for this popular annual event on Siren's Clam Lakes! Great contest prizes, on-ice raffles, and many door prizes! Sponsored by the Siren Lions Club. Tickets are $7 pre-sale and $10 on the day of the event.




Candlelight Ski and Hike

Friday, January 25 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Cross-Country Ski the candlelit Red Cedar State Trail from the Depot to the lit ice wall. Snowshoe the candlelit trail in Riverside Park. Hike the candlelit Junction City Trail. All activities start at the Red Cedar State Trail Depot, Highway 29 West. 


Menomonie Polar Plunge

Saturday, February 9

Last year, more than 200 brave souls took the plunge in Menomonie. The best part? After their bodies returned to 98.6°F and the donations were tallied, they raised more than $40,000 for Special Olympics Wisconsin. Booyah.




Fare For All Food Distribution

Tuesday, January 22

Fare For All buys fresh produce and frozen meat in bulk from wholesalers and manufacturers to find the best deals available, then prepacks the produce and meat in food packages that are sold to anyone who prepays and orders ahead of time at a great discount.

Orders must be placed by the Thursday before the distribution date. Upcoming distributions are scheduled for Nov. 13 and Dec. 11, 2018, and Jan. 22, Feb. 19 , March 19, April 16, May 14, June 18, July 16, Aug. 13, Sept. 17, Oct. 15, Nov. 12, Dec. 10 in 2019.

Distribution is at the River Falls United Methodist Church at 127 South Second St., River Falls, WI 54022.


Adult Coloring

Wednesday, January 23; 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.

No need to register, coloring materials are provided along with coffee and a light snack.
Questions - call Heather Johnson at 715-425-0905.




Winter Fishing Contest

Tuesday, January 26; 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Fun family activities during Winter Fun Day and a fishing contest on Coon Lake, food served on the lake, raffle and prize drawings.


St. Joseph Annual Ice Fishing Contest

Wednesday, January 27; 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

100+ door prizes, largest fish prize and raffle prizes. Special kids fishing contest.



St. Croix

That’ll Be The Day – The Music of Roy Orbison, Linda Ronstandt, and Gene Pitney

Monday, December 31; 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Vocalists Wayne Luchau, Colleene Raye, and Debbie O’Keefe along with The Echoes Rock and Roll Band perform hit after hit, including “Pretty Woman,” “Your got It,” “Crying,” “Blue Bayou,” “That’ll be the Day,” “Desperado,” “Town Without Pity,” “24 Hours from Tulsa,” and “Liberty Valence.”


Hot Air Affair

Friday, February 1 – Sunday, February 3

Hudson Hot Air Affair will celebrate 30 years of hot air ballooning with a Pirates Fly'n the Croix~ribbean theme!  Come celebrate Hudson's spectacular winter ballooning event. Torchlight parade with kazoo marching bands - Friday, 7:15pm, downtown historic Hudson.