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Contents

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. 

 

Sincerely, 
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- Sen. Patty Schachtner

Reaction to Governor Evers' State of the State Address

Governor Tony Evers last week gave his first State of the State Address. I had the honor to escort the governor, and I was encouraged by his call to find common sense solutions for Wisconsin’s working families and students. While Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is low, too many families are still struggling to make ends meet.

In his address, Governor Evers laid out an agenda to expand access to comprehensive and affordable health care, fully fund our schools, and provide income tax relief for working families making less than $150,000 a year. Leaders from both parties have expressed interest in the governor’s proposals. Moving forward, I am excited for the opportunity to work with my legislative colleagues and the administration on ways to strengthen Wisconsin.

 

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Recognizing County Jailers

I am pleased to co-sponsor legislation to recognize county jailers as protective occupation participants under the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS).

County jailers, especially in rural communities, are faced with tremendous challenges. Their work is not easy, and they are often put in dangerous situations.

This bipartisan bill will help create parity between county jailers and other law enforcement officers. By giving county jailers the option to be recognized as a protective occupation participant, this legislation can also help resolve current litigation around county jailers' protective status.

The legislation does not increase costs to counties, as the benefits will be paid for through employee contributions. County jailers will also have the opportunity to opt out of the program, which exempts them from these contributions.  

 

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Foxconn Costs Increase, Fails to Meet Job Creation Target  

Concerns over the Foxconn agreement grew over state and local reports on job creation and increasing project costs. According to data verified by the state, Foxconn did not meet its own job-creation target for 2018.  An additional report from county and local officials increased its estimate of Foxconn project costs to $912 million – up $150 million from the 2017 estimate.

When lawmakers were considering the $3 billion in taxpayer subsidies to Foxconn, the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimated that taxpayers would break even on the deal in 25 years under the best case scenario. It is unclear if the break-even date will change since (1) local and state costs have increased, (2) the first job-creation target was not met, and (3) the first factory being built is smaller than the factory type specified in state and local contracts.

While I was not in the legislature when these Foxconn subsidies were signed into law, I am concerned about the consequences of this deal. Moving forward, I want to make sure that local communities, taxpayers, and Main Street businesses are prioritized when it comes to state dollars.  

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Burden of Alcohol Study

There is nothing wrong with drinking responsibly and millions of Wisconsinites do. However, excessive alcohol use has serious consequences for families and taxpayers. Last year, Wisconsin ranked highest in the nation for excessive drinking. The latest report builds on a University of Wisconsin-Madison study that estimated that excessive drinking cost in Wisconsin was over $6 billion in 2012, when accounting lost productivity, health care costs, and criminal justice expenses. In Senate District 10 counties – Burnett, Dunn, Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix – alcohol was responsible for 53 deaths, 1,049 hospitalizations, 2,795 arrests, and $290.7 million in costs in 2011.

Responsible alcohol use can help lower these preventable costs. Resources like designated drivers, support groups, and open dialogue are part of the solution.

 

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District Events

Burnett

Free Blood Pressure Check

Tuesday, February 5; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

North Land Ambulance EMT’s will be at the Frederic Library the first Tuesday of the month to offer free walk-in blood pressure checks.

 

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.

 

Dunn 

AARP Wisconsin Income Tax Assistance

Wednesday, February 6 – Thursday, April 11

Income tax assistance will be provided at the Judicial Center located at 615 Stokke Parkway in Menomonie. AARP volunteers will be available on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Appointments are required and can be scheduled through the Dunn County Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) at 3001 US Hwy 12 East, Menomonie (715) 232-4006.

 

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.

 

Pierce

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.

 

Farmer Appreciation Breakfast

Saturday, February 23

River Falls FFA will be hosting a farmer appreciation breakfast in the shop at River Falls High School. Breakfast will be provided by the chapter and alumni but donations are appreciated. Farmers, as well as anyone else working in agriculture, are welcome along with their families. Children's activities will be set up so bring the little ones too!. Please RSVP by Wednesday, February 13th.

RSVP to Ryan Pechacek at ryanpechacek@rfsd.k12.wi.us or 715-425-1830 extension 3775

 

Polk

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

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.

 

Cabin Fever Classic

Saturday, February 16

A 9-hole putt-putt course through 9 of the area’s favorite pubs and you will have a chance to play it!! Each of our sponsor pubs will have a unique and challenging putt-putt hole for your entertainment. All participants will get to play the 9-hole course, enjoy some drinks and meet some new friends. For added fun have your team dress up in costumes too!! There will be prizes for top teams and costumes.