Check out my priorities for the rest of this session!

 
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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

The State of Our State

Last week, Governor Tony Evers gave his second State of the State address. The Governor highlighted several successes that we’ve had together including expanding voting rights to ensure people with disabilities can vote and keeping Wisconsin the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact to protect healthcare access.

Governor Evers laid out an agenda that will strengthen Wisconsin’s families and create an economy that works for all of us. I have also spent this session working with colleagues from both sides of the aisle on legislation that will address teen vaping, protect clean water, expand mental healthcare access, and support our law enforcement.

I am committed to continuing to fight for our rural communities in Northwestern Wisconsin and I am proud to have a Governor that will do the same. The Governor has announced a much-needed reinvestment in our rural communities and agricultural economy. This reinvestment will require a special session of the Legislature and I’m looking forward to seeing my friends on both sides of the aisle come together on this issue that is critical to Wisconsin’s future.


 
 

Defending our Rural Schools

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I joined my colleague Senator Janet Bewley in offering an amendment to Senate Bill 437 to benefit rural schools across the state.

Senate Bill 437 creates an earmark for a single school district while three rural districts in Northwestern Wisconsin would be left out from receiving the same benefits.

Governor Tony Evers enacted with our new budget the opportunity for school districts to obtain revenue but unfortunately, the budget as amended by the Joint Finance Committee restores an onerous limitation on some rural districts.

The students, educators, and families of ALL our rural districts deserve this relief, yet this amendment was rejected both in our Education Committee and on the Senate floor. Yet we will continue to fight to ensure our school districts in Northwestern Wisconsin are not denied the same rights and relief as any others.

 

Vaping Awareness, Prevention, and Enforcement

Last week, I introduced legislation aimed at reducing youth vaping. Governor Tony Evers and his administration have also taken executive action to address consumer protection, healthcare, and law enforcement concerns around e-cigarette use. 

E-cigarettes are addictive and can be harmful, especially for young kids. We are stepping up to support parents, educators, and public health officials that have been working to raise the alarm on this issue. This legislation will help slow down the growth of the vaping epidemic spreading across our communities, and reduce future use among our youth.

I have authored LRB 5217 which will fund a public health campaign aimed at teens to prevent e-cigarette use and create a grant program to support organizations in our local communities that are already working to address youth vaping. I am also authoring LRB 5216 which will update the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ authority to declare public health emergencies for situations like the vaping epidemic. LRB 5342 will also prohibit vaping on school premises to keep learning environments safe and healthy. Senate Bill 118, which I have cosponsored, will require retailers to store e-cigarettes behind the counter just like other tobacco products to keep them out of the hands of kids. 

Expanding Rural Broadband Access

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On Monday, I introduced the Fiber to Farms bill which will ensure that funding for broadband prioritizes projects that extend access to farms. Small family farmers need reliable internet to access new precision agricultural practices and utilize new technology to promote their businesses and bring more young people into agriculture.

An investment in rural broadband doesn’t just help farmers, it supports the entire rural economy. Family farms can meet the needs of their communities and contribute to greater economic growth with faster, consistent internet access. After years of lagging behind other states, we are taking rural broadband expansion seriously. My legislation is just one part of the Better Broadband package that is focused on supporting the communities and economies of rural Wisconsin.

District Events

Cultivating Your Farm's Future

Wednesday, January 29th 9:30am-2:30pm

Extension of Dunn County

3001 US Highway 12 #216

Menomonie

Cultivating Your Farm's Future helps farm business members and families through farm succession planning.

Having intentional conversations around farm succession and developing future plans for the farm provides a better chance of transition success. Cultivating Your Farm’s Future helps farm business members and families through farm succession planning. Even if the owner generation is planning to be a part of the management for 10+ years from now, starting early can help the process go more smoothly. It provides the succession generation time to develop their management skills and provides the farm time to build or increase its financial stability to include another generation.

Follow up meetings will be offered in the host counties and will be based on feedback from the workshops’ participants. Farms can also request individual meetings with Extension educators and/or specialists or WDATCP’s Farm Center staff.

Registration is $20 per person and includes lunch, refreshments, speakers and workshop materials. Find tickets here.

 

Annual Candlelight Ski and Hike

Friday, January 21st 6-9pm

Red Cedar State Trail

Menomonie

Join us for an evening of outdoor fun!
❄️ 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.

After skiing, walking, or snowshoeing, warm up with a cup of hot chocolate provided by Swiss Miss and cookies provided by Kwik Trip around the glowing bonfire. It's a fun time for the whole family to experience the joys of winter!

Ski rentals will be available in advance from Stout Adventures and Simple Sports. Snowshoes are provided free at the event by Mayo Clinic.

Learn more about Red Cedar State Trail: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/redcedar/

Find more Wisconsin DNR events: https://www.facebook.com/WIDNR/events

 

2020 Fire & Ice Plunge- Balsam Lake Fire Dept.

Saturday, February 1st 11am-1pm

Balsam Lake Beach

Corner of Mill and County Rd I

Balsam Lake

The 2020 Fire & Ice Plunge will be

Date: Saturday, February 1, 2020.
Time: 11:00am - 1:00pm.

Location: Balsam Lake Beach, Corner of Mill and County Road I, Balsam Lake, WI

Major Sponsor is -- Volgren Insurance Agency, Farmers Insurance Group

Fire and Ice Plunge for the benefit of Balsam Lake Fire Dept and local High School sports support.

$50 minimum Pledge.
***$25 for Students***
All plunger's will be eligible for prizes. Family appropriate costumes are encouraged!

 

OutWiGo Snow!- Willow River

Saturday, February 1st 12-4pm

Willow River State Park

Hudson

Launch into 2020 with Wisconsin State Parks at OutWiGo Snow, a winter recreation celebration at Willow River State Park in Hudson on Saturday, February 1st from 12-4 p.m. Bundle up with family and friends for an active afternoon of sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hot cocoa, s’mores and more! Cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals will be available.

Participants of all ages are welcome. A $5 admission fee applies to participants ages 18 years and older, cash only. A Wisconsin State Park vehicle admission sticker or day pass is required for entry.

 

Listening Session with Senator Schachtner

Monday, February 3rd, 5:30-6:30pm

Amery Public Library

225 Scholl St.

Amery

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Join Senator Patty Schachtner for her next listening session in Polk County. Bring your questions and ideas to share with the Senator and listen to her updates from the State Capitol. We will be meeting in the Burman Family Room at the Amery Public Library.

 

Training to Register Citizens to Vote

Monday, February 3rd 6:30-8:30pm

Menomonie Public Library

600 Wolske Bay Rd.

Menomonie

This training will give the volunteer the skills on how to help a citizen register to vote on line. Volunteers will be instructed on voting laws. Volunteers do not need to be a League of Women Voters member to participate but will need to work with a League of Women Voters member at an event.

 

Crex Meadows Candlelight Snowshoe Hike

Friday, February 7th 6-8pm

Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area

102 E Crex Ave.

Grantsburg

Enjoy a peaceful evening walking or snowshoeing on the 1.25 mile trail behind the Visitor Center. Luminaries will light your way through the woods.

Afterward, warm up inside with hot chocolate and baked goods. Snowshoes available on a first come, first serve basis or bring your own. Even with little to no snow, we will still have the event. Flashlights/headlamps suggested.

Learn more about Crex Meadows Wildlife Area: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/wildlifeareas/crex.html

Find more Wisconsin DNR Events: https://www.facebook.com/WIDNR/events

 

Menomonie Polar Plunge

Saturday, February 8th 2-5pm

Wakanda Park Beach

Menomonie

Menomonie's premier winter event is back! Join us on February 8, 2020 as fans raise funds for the athletes of Special Olympics Wisconsin. Thanks to our incredible plungers, donors, sponsors, volunteers, and law enforcement, we raised over $44,000 for Special Olympics Wisconsin in 2019. Help up top that in 2020! Find more information on how to get involved here.