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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.

 

Sincerely, 
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- Sen. Patty Schachtner

Dyslexia Committee Appointment

Recently, I was appointed vice chair of the Legislative Council Study Committee on Identification and Management of Dyslexia. Dyslexia is a brain-based issue that creates barriers for individuals to read and spell accurately. According to the University of Michigan, between five to 10 percent of the population has dyslexia. This committee will review current law, research best-practices, and evaluate policy approaches that other states have taken to best serve students with dyslexia. I am excited about this opportunity and look forward to working with Representative Bob Kulp, who is the chair of the Committee, and other committee members.

 

St. Croix County Emergency Detention

Last Tuesday, I met with St. Croix County officials and elected state representatives to discuss the need for regional emergency detention beds. An emergency detention begins when a law enforcement officer or health professional believes an individual is a danger to themselves or others. People who are detained may be held in a regional facility, like an emergency room, or taken to one of two state facilities: Winnebago or Mendota. At the meeting, St. Croix County officials expressed that the lack of regional facility beds means that individuals must be taken to the state facilities located four hours away. The long trip creates high financial costs through overtime and transportation payments. It also creates safety risks in smaller communities since each officer making the drive means that there are fewer or no officers in the community. County officials brought up the need for more collaboration between counties and Minnesota health care providers. Also discussed was potential expansion of telehealth services in areas with health professional shortages and examining Wisconsin’s comparatively-low Medicaid reimbursement rate.

 

Legislation Spotlight: Science Olympiad Bill

In March, I introduced a bill to support students interested in Science Olympiad, a program where students participate in science-based competitions. Last year, 98 Wisconsin schools participated in Science Olympiad, including students from Baldwin-Woodville, Menomonie, New Richmond, St. Croix Central, Boyceville, and Hudson.  Science Olympiad is a great way for students to learn skills and build relationships. With its emphasis on STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math – skills, the program can steer our students toward high-demand fields like engineering and manufacturing.  

In addition, state support for Science Olympiad is a small step forward to help our schools and students. Wisconsin’s K-12 schools are still recovering from historic cuts to education made in 2011, when $792 million in direct state aid was eliminated. While state lawmakers increased K-12 spending this year, schools are finding the recent, overdue increases insufficient to meet next year’s needs.

Even though Assembly Bill 1064 did not pass this legislative session, I am committed to working with lawmakers and stakeholders from across Wisconsin to make it happen. We owe it to our students to make sure they can compete in tomorrow’s economy, just as our parents did for us.

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Raider Works Meeting

On April 12, I visited Raider Works, a student-run manufacturing enterprise at Hudson High School. Raider Works focuses on building workforce skills in manufacturing, welding, construction, and customer service. Students also have a taste at running their own business, which builds entrepreneurial skills.  In addition to learning about the work that teachers and students are doing, I spoke to the need for workforce investment. For the past three years, Wisconsin has ranked last in the nation for business start-up activity and recent estimates suggest that there will be a workforce shortage in manufacturing in the coming decade. Programs like Raider Works helps build entrepreneurial and workforce skills in our youth. Both skills are crucial, and I believe investing in entrepreneurship is key to business growth in our main streets. I am excited to see Raider Works continue to be a part our youths’ education.

 

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District Events 

Burnett

Bird Watching

Fridays, May 4, 18 

8:00  am - 10:30 am                                                                              

As a group, we will learn how to identify different birds, share hints for bird watching on Crex, and come together to discuss our sightings. Meet at the Visitor Center then carpool through the state wildlife areas. Contact: Lauren Finch, 715 463 2739.

 

Webster Education Foundation Arts & Crafts Extravaganza

Saturday, May 26

9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Largest annual one-day show in Burnett County! 150+ Arts & Crafts vendors. Food, free admission and parking. Contact Dawn Sargent at 612-749-6980 or WEF@webster.k12.wi.us for more information. websteref.org

 

Dunn

Dunn County Listening Session

Wednesday, April 25

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm            

Please join me for a community listening session.

 

Kite Festival at Tanglewood Greens

Sunday, April 29                                                                                                         

12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Enjoy a relaxing afternoon at Menomonie's first kite festival! Bring your family and your kites, and let's fill the sky with color. A FREE event open to the public. Vendors will be on site with great deals on kites as well as other kids' toys. Also, enjoy food specials in the clubhouse during that time.

 

Pierce

UW River Falls Block and Bridle

Saturday, May 5 – Sunday, May 6                                                                           

6:30 am – 5:00 pm

This year marks the 35th Annual Prospect Weekend hosted by the UWRF B&B. This event includes beef, goat, sheep and swine shows, and is expected to draw over 200 youth exhibitors and their families from throughout the upper Midwest. 

 

Ellsworth FFA Greenhouse

Saturday, May 5                                                                                                         

9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Event description: Ellsworth Agriculture Class and FFA Greenhouse Sale!! The Ag Class has been hard work and our Greenhouse is full. 

 

Polk

An Evening of Classical Favorites

Saturday, April 28                                                                                                       

7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Northern Lakes Center for the Arts Concert Series. "An Evening of Classical Favorites" is an evening of classical music performed by local small music ensembles.

 

St. Croix Falls Spring Awakenings and Wolly Mountain Bike Race

Sunday, May 6 – Monday, May 7                                                                           

7:00 am – 5:00 pm

A Full weekend of Bicycles, Adventure and Kids Activities hosted around many great locations in "The City of Trails" St Croix Falls, WI (just across the river from Taylors Falls, MN - just one hour from The Twin Cities).

 

St. Croix

St. Croix County Listening Session

Thursday, April 26                                                                                                             

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm    

Please join me for a community listening session.

 

Wisconsin VFW Loyalty Day Parade

Saturday, April 28                                                                                                             

12:30 pm – 2:00pm

VFW Posts and other organizations around the state will gather for a parade to celebrate Loyalty Day and our community of St. Croix County. After the parade, there will be a chili-feed for everyone at the New Richmond American Legion.