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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.





- Sen. Patty Schachtner

Willow River State Park Visit 

On June 6, I toured the Willow River State Park’s nature center with the Friends of Willow River State Park. Each year, the park brings in close to one million visitors including students, families, and environmental enthusiasts. During the tour, the Friends of Willow River State Park shared the need for a new nature center to keep up with increasing visitor traffic. Currently, the organization utilizes the center for environmental education, camper services, and park preservation. The current center was an old farmhouse prior to the 1960s, and there are growing structural issues that will create new cost and functionality challenges.

Growing up as a farmer and hunter, I know how important it is to invest in environmental stewardship. I also know from my time as a chamber of commerce president that state parks and other attractions bring in revenue for our main street businesses. I am glad to see the outstanding work that the Friends of Willow River State Park is doing, and I look forward to being partners in preserving our parks together.


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The Ripple Effect Screening  

On June 6, I also co-hosted a screening of Suicide: The Ripple Effect with Shawnah Breault of Hudson. The movie is a documentary film about Kevin Hines, who is one of the few people to have jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge and survive. The screening sold over 100 tickets and served as a forum for discussion and community support.

Suicide has received national attention in recent weeks following two high-profile deaths. In addition, recently released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that suicide rates have increased by more than 25 percent between 1999 and 2016, emphasizing that this is an epidemic.

We have seen the ripple effect that occurs from a death by suicide – families, friends, and communities are all impacted. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please know that resources are available. Here are some resources below:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24/7)

HOPELINE (24/7 Text-Based Service)
Text "HOPELINE" TO 741741

Veterans Crisis Line
1-800-273-8255 Press (1)

The Trevor Project (24/7 hotline serving LGBTQ youth)


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Moms Demand Action Meeting 

I met with the St. Croix Valley Moms Demand Action chapter yesterday to discuss gun violence in our communities. Moms Demand Action is a non-partisan organization advocating for gun safety and violence reduction. This was the St. Croix Valley chapter’s second meeting.

So far in 2018, more students have been killed in school shootings than U.S. military personnel in combat zones. It is clear that the status quo is not acceptable, and I know there are ways we can uphold the Second Amendment while protecting our communities.

Gun violence occurs in our public spaces, like schools and movie theaters, but it also occurs at home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found from 2003 – 2014, over 55 percent of women who were murdered died from intimate partner violence – the majority of the killings were committed with a gun.

Some ideas I shared include implementing universal background checks, which will help law enforcement uphold current law and reduce the number of firearms going into the wrong hands. Another is to foster the need to properly store and secure firearms so that we can reduce accidents and “heat of the moment” gun violence.


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Newcomer's Look Back

I have been keeping busy in the community and at the capitol after being elected in mid-January. I was sworn in near the end of the legislative session and had the opportunity to participate in committee hearings and two long senate session days. During the Senate session days, we voted on hundreds of bills as legislators frantically tried to end the legislative year and hit the campaign trail. As a newcomer, I was surprised at the lack of communication shared with the minority party. For example, legislation around school safety was crafted without ever consulting Democratic members, and the proposal was attached to a bill about Tuberculosis funding just hours before we were expected to vote.

I have also participated in 158 meetings and community events, including six listening sessions and office hours. These meetings include sit-downs with local businesses, local government officials, and community members. Events include speaking at school graduations, attending suicide prevention walks, and honoring members of our community like Eagle Scouts, teachers, and small business owners.

While we have done a lot in the past few months, I look forward to this summer, where I will be the vice chair of the Legislative Council Study Committee on the Identification and Management of Dyslexia, and to the next legislative session in January 2019.


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District Events 



Milltown Fisherman’s Party

Friday-Sunday, June 22 – June 24

Friday 5 pm, Saturday – Sunday 10 am

Annual Celebration: food, tournaments, bingo, kids events, book sale, music, parade and raffle drawing on Sunday.


Fourth of July Festivities

Tuesday-Wednesday, July 3-4

All Day

Siren's July 4th festivities are not to be missed: Annual Freedom Five 5K Walk/Run - about 1,000 runners; hilarious bed races; Kiddie & Grand Parades; home-made pie & home-made ice cream social; patriotic Music in the Park concert; & culminating with spectacular fireworks over Crooked Lake! Plus be sure to come early and attend our July 3rd FREE STREET DANCE!



Music Over Menomin


6/7 pm

Enjoy free live music performances every Thursday during the summer on the Menomonie Public Library’s lawn.



Wednesday, July 4

This event celebrates Independence Day with music, games, good food, fun and fireworks! Bring your families for a fun-filled day of entertainment! Free live music at the lower beach area of Wakanda Park. Grand finale fireworks at dusk. Minimal fees based on the various vendors. Entrance fee to the park.



River Falls Days

Friday-Sunday, July 13-15

Each year, River Falls Days is held in Heritage Park on the banks of the scenic Kinnickinnic River. This free, family-friendly event has a carnival-like atmosphere with tons of food and entertainment. Festivities include a Friday evening parade, 10K/2mile/Kids Fun Run, live music and outdoor dancing, food vendors, fireworks, carnival rides, and much, much more!


Cheese Curd Festival

Friday-Saturday, June 22-23

Centrally located within Ellsworth’s East End Park, admission to the festival is free. Several guided tasting experiences offer you the opportunity to learn and engage with the crafters, cooks and makers of our festival’s starring foods: Cheese, craft beer, wine, hard ciders, real dairy ice-cream and authentic Sconnie BBQ. When you’ve had your fill of food, sit back and enjoy an eclectic mix of music.



Clear Lake Heritage Days

Thursday-Sunday, June 21-24

Join us on the last full weekend in June for Food, Music & Fun for all ages! Carnival, Live Bands. Demo Derby. Citywide Garage Sale, Parade, 5K, Car & Snowmobile Show and LOTS more!


Balsam Lake Freedom Fest

Friday-Sunday, July 6-8

Live music and Street Dance, Arts & Crafts, Boat Parade, Grand Parade, Queen Pageant, Bass Fishing Contest, Dancing, Fireworks, Classic Car Show. Root Beer Floats at the Polk County Museum. Free shuttle available.



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Hudson Booster Days

Thursday-Sunday, June 28-July1

Hudson's Annual Independence Day celebration includes a carnival, food, live music, games, a parade, and fireworks. Join us for the weekend! The parade is Saturday (11 am) in Downtown Hudson and Fireworks are on Sunday in Lakefront Park at dusk.


St. Croix RiverFest – Hudson

Week of July 17

JOIN US FOR Hudson’s annual RiverFest celebration on July 17-22.  The 2018 event will be expanded to include a wider range of activities designed to allow people of all ages to actively enjoy the Lower St. Croix River and all that it provides.  Several local organizations and individuals have collaborated to make “RiverFest – A Party with a Purpose” a success.  The five-day event celebrates the river while also recognizing the need to preserve its health and beauty.