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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

Sen. Schachtner Hosting Foxconn Town Halls 

I am hosting a series of Foxconn Town Hall events around western Wisconsin this Thursday, August 2. The town halls will be located in Amery and Rice Lake. The purpose of these town halls is to provide information and collect feedback from Wisconsin residents about Foxconn - the largest state taxpayer giveaway to a foreign corporation in U.S. history. In less than a year, the public cost of this project has increased from an original estimate of $3 billion to $4.5 billion. In addition, the company has received exemptions from key environmental protections, and they have been approved to withdraw up to seven million gallons of water per day from Lake Michigan.

I hope you can join me at either of these town halls! If you are unable to join, feel free to email me your comments or request a copy of the presentation materials.

 

Rice Lake

Thursday, August 2

2:30 to 4:00 pm

Rice Lake Public Library

2 E Marshall St, Rice Lake, WI 54868

 

Amery

Thursday, August 2

5:30 to 7:00 pm

Amery Area Public Library - Central Library

225 Scholl St, Amery, WI 54001

 

 

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St. Croix and Dunn County Fairs 

County fair season is kicking off and I am having a blast! During the past two weeks, I had the opportunity to attend the St. Croix and Dunn County Fairs. I spoke with 4-H participants and even got to judge a “dress the species” contest. At the St. Croix County Fair, I also celebrated the burning of the mortgage for the St. Croix County horse barn. The horse barn was built and paid off by the support of our businesses, civic clubs, and generous community members.

In the past weeks, I could not help but acknowledge our wonderful programs that connect youth with agriculture. I credit my time as a former horse leader as instrumental in my personal and professional development. Civic clubs like 4 – H help our children learn more about husbandry, in addition to building leadership skills. In Wisconsin, 4 – H boasts over 35,000 youth club members. Each member is learning crucial life skills including critical thinking, communication, respect, and civic responsibility. Here is the breakdown of 4 – H members and volunteers in our senate district.

 

Burnett County: 87 Members, 31 Volunteers

Dunn County: 454 Members, 136 Volunteers

Pierce County:  777 Members, 229 Volunteers

Polk County: 672 Members, 272 Volunteers

St. Croix County: 696 Members, 229 Volunteers

 

Make sure to check out your local county fair! More details about county fair locations and times can be found under District Events.

 

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CSG Midwestern Conference   

Recently, I attended the Council of State Governments Midwestern Legislative Conference in Winnipeg, Canada. During the conference, policy experts and legislators discussed mental health delivery in schools, the outlook for manufacturing in North America’s heartland, the future of hemp, and Midwest-Canada relations.

I also had the opportunity to tour Innovation Alley’s North Forge Fabrication, North America’s largest fabrication lab. North Forge provides a space for entrepreneurs and small business owners to access laser printing and metalworking materials. Training and mentorship resources are also provided to entrepreneurs. It was great to visit and see the cross-industry partnerships coming together in this creative and productive space.  

 

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Medicare and Medicaid Turn 53 

Medicare and Medicaid turned 53 on July 30. Since the programs’ inception, millions of elderly, low-income, and disabled Americans have benefited from crucial health care coverage. This coverage helps individuals afford hospital stays, fill prescription drugs, and access preventative care.

The proposals, packaged together under the Social Security Amendments of 1965, were signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in Independence, Missouri. The concept was simple: people would contribute during their working years and insure themselves against health ailments during old age or poverty. 

At the time, more than 18 million Americans were age 65 or older, and about a third of all seniors lived in poverty. Many seniors feared that medical expenses would wipe out saving and limited incomes, and almost half of Americans aged 65 and older had no health insurance.

During the bill signing, President Johnson detested the “injustice which denies the miracle of healing to the old and to the poor.” The 1965 proposals were to end this perceived injustice, and strengthen the health and economic status of millions of vulnerable Americans.

By the end of 1966, 24 million Americans were insured by Medicare and Medicaid. The programs marked an era of healthier communities and increased financial independence. Just ten years after the 1965 Act, Medicare and Medicaid helped cut the poverty rate among seniors by 47.4 percent.

Despite the success of the programs, federal and state officials have sought to reduce access to health care coverage. The House Republican budget offered this June would cut funding for Medicare by $537 billion. It would also shuffle Medicare enrollees toward a “voucher system” to purchase private insurance. Medicaid and other affiliated programs would be cut by $1.5 trillion, and recipients would have to jump through new bureaucratic barriers.

At the state level, a refusal to expand Medicaid – as 32 states have already done – has cost state taxpayers $190 million a year, $1.07 billion in total, all while covering fewer individuals. This is in addition to Governor Walker’s 2013 decision to reduce income eligibility limits for Medicaid, which resulted in 63,000 Wisconsinites losing their Medicaid coverage.

Instead of making it harder for individuals to receive health care – and live independent lives – we need to expand access to it. That means protecting Medicare and Medicaid this birthday and beyond.

 

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District Events 

Burnett

 

Siren Music in the Park

Thursdays, June 7 – August 23

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Relax and enjoy a summer concert at the Crooked Lake Park Band Shell (Siren School, if rain). A variety of performers are scheduled for your listening enjoyment - from patriotic, country, & gospel to blues, rock'n'roll, & Celtic! Refreshments are available by local non-profit organizations.

 

Burnett County Fair

Thursday, August 23 – Sunday, August 26

Exhibits galore including animals, crafts, flowers and crops. Lots of food vendors and carnival rides. Demo Derby, Tracker Pull, Horse Showdeo and fun & games.

 

Dunn

Cucumber Fest

Friday, August 17 – Sunday, August 19

Cucumber Festival also known as the Pickle Festival, is Boyceville's annual festival that brings visitors from both near and far. This festival is held the 3rd full weekend in August each year.

Activities include a horse parade, softball tournament, dance, grand parade, quilt show, games for young & old all weekend as well as a variety of food stands. 

 

Music Over Menomin

Thursdays

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

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

 

Pierce

Together Thursdays

Thursday, August 2

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Together Thursdays at East End Park will feature local musicians Last Sunday.  Listen to some music, have dinner, play in the bouncy house and visit the Farmers Market.  All events are free!  Dinner and the bouncy house provided by the Ellsworth Lions. This event is sponsored by Friends of the Ellsworth Public Library.

 

Pierce County Fair

Thursday, August 9 – Sunday, August 12

Tractor, truck & horse pulls, demo derby, hundreds of exhibits, educational opportunities, entertainment, and much more!

 

Polk

Art Exhibition at ArtZ Gallery

Wednesday, August 1 – Friday, August 31

ArtZ Gallery, an artist collective, believes that art is an essential part of a healthy community. It has power - to educate, advocate and inspire, to broaden perspectives, to challenge convictions, and to expand our understanding of the world around us. Art makes us not only better people, but more compassionate human beings.

 

Music on the Overlook

Friday, August 10

Back by popular demand: New York City Jazz, Vocalists & Swing: SHOOP!

 

St. Croix

Hudson Concerts in the Park

Tuesdays, Thursdays – August 23

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Located in downtown Hudson, Lakefront Park Bandshell.

 

National Night Out – River Falls

Tuesday, August 7

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

National Night Out is an annual event to foster police-community partnerships. This year, 16,000 communities across America will come together on Tuesday, August 7, 2018. There will be a neighborhood gathering at Brandan’s Park for the River Hills neighborhood from 6:00-9:00 pm.