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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

Tour of School Districts Complete 

I completed a tour of all 19 school districts in Senate District 10 this month. I believe that public schools are the heart of local communities, and I feel strongly about seeing the innovative programs in each school district and understanding the issues facing our students, teachers, and parents. I was impressed with our school districts’ commitment to quality education and robust services like mental health and afterschool programming.

By visiting our school districts, I heard from many administrators about the funding challenges they are facing. Historic cuts were made to K-12 education in 2011, and accounting for inflation, Wisconsin’s most recent budget spends less on K-12 education in 2019 than the state did in 2010. In local communities, voters helped backfill state aid reductions through local referendums, which impact property taxes. In 2018, voters broke records for referendum spending and percentage of referendums passed.

As a member of both the Senate Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Universities, Technical Colleges, and Children and Families, I look forward to working with my legislative colleges and the governor on meeting the education needs of our rural and urban students.

 

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ABATE of Wisconsin Visit 

I was excited to meet with ABATE and St. Croix Valley Riders at the Capitol. Both organizations focus on motorcycle rights and road safety. As an ABATE member and motorcycle enthusiast, I was excited to see riders engaged with their elected officials. Here is a photo of ABATE members and me outside the Capitol:

 

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Here is a photo of us meeting in my office:


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Hudson Hospital Visit with Governor Evers 

Governor Evers and I visited Hudson Hospital last week to discuss their substance abuse treatment and recovery program. The program utilizes telemedicine and remote technology to connect people to health care, especially those living in rural communities. Since the telemedicine component started last July, the program has served 150 residents.

With an aging population, it’s important to help connect the dots between health, transportation, and rural broadband. These issues are interrelated, and while I applaud the great work of Hudson Hospital, I also know that telemedicine is a two-way street – both the hospital and the patients need decent internet. Right now, Wisconsin ranks last in the Midwest for percent of rural homes with access to broadband. 

Some proposals in the governor’s budget will help bridge the gap in access broadband and mental health services. The budget invests $78 million in broadband expansion grants – more than four times the amount in the last budget – and expands Medicaid, so we can access federal dollars, reduce costs, and cover more working families.


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Nursing Home Issues Continue

Wisconsin’s long-term care facilities are facing challenges relating to low reimbursement rates, workforce shortages, and an aging population. Wisconsin’s demand for long-term care services is expected to rise. Between 2015 and 2040, the state’s 65 and older population is estimated to increase by 72 percent. However, nursing homes are struggling to make ends meet, and since 2016, 30 nursing facilities have closed statewide.

When I met with LeadingAge Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Health Care Association, and the Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living, I learned that facilities in Senate District 10 faced Medicaid shortfalls of $12 million last year. The shortfall relates to Wisconsin’s Medicaid reimbursement rate, which has ranked lowest in the nation since at least 2015. Meeting participants also shared the decline in nursing facility fee-for-service rates, with aggregate decreases from about $900 million between 2011-12 to around $700 million between 2017-18.

These are complex issues that deserve serious conversations and solutions. I do not believe that we can create a sufficient long-term care infrastructure while our Medicaid reimbursement rate is last in the nation.

 

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District Events

Burnett

Siren Blood Drive

Thursday, March 14; 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

 

Siren High School

24022 4th Ave

Siren, WI 54872

 

Blood drive is in conjunction with the American Red Cross Association.

 

Siren Job Fair

Thursday, March 14; 12 – 3 p.m.

 

Burnett County Government Center

7410 County Road K

Siren, WI 54872

 

The job fair will be in the Burnett County Government Center in room 165. For more information, contact Crystal Meier at 715-718-4840 ext. 2710 or meierc@workforceresource.org.

 

 

Dunn 

AARP Wisconsin Income Tax Assistance

Wednesday, February 6 – Thursday; April 11

 

Judicial Center

615 Stokke Parkway

Menomonie, WI 54751

 

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.

 

Red Cedar Watershed Conference

Thursday, March 14; 8:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. 

 

UW-Stout

712 S. Broadway St.

Menomonie, WI 54751

 

 

Hosted by the Tainter Menomim Lake Improvement Association Inc. (TMLIA)

Memorial Student Center
University of Wisconsin-Stout
Menomonie, Wisconsin

Do you farm? Do you live in town? Do you manage residential, commercial or public property? Do you enjoy fishing, swimming, boating, hiking, canoeing? Do you think the economic and environmental health of this beautiful region is important?

Event Highlights:

  • Farm, city and waterfront success stories — profitable land management for clean water
  • Solutions to the serious problem that plagues our lakes and rivers — runoff pollution
  • A great networking opportunity for all citizens at an important event
  • Approved for CEUs: .6 from the University of Wisconsin-Stout or 6 CEUs for Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

 

 

Pierce

Written Off Moving Screening and Panel Discussion

Monday, March 18; 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 

UW-River Falls University Center – Riverview Ballroom

501 Wild Rose Ave.

River Falls, WI 54022

 

Please join me at a free screening of Written Off, a documentary film about Matt Edwards' battle with addiction. Following the screening, we will have a panel and community discussion regarding addiction and mental health in our region.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mksbYVEyWvM

Here is a recent article about the event. 

 

Fare For All Food Distribution

Tuesday, March 19

 

River Falls United Methodist Church

127 South 2nd St.

River Falls, WI 54022

 

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.

 

Polk

Frederic Food for Fines Month

March 1 – 31

 

Frederic Public Library

127 E. Oak St.

Frederic, WI 54837

 

Bring in unopened unexpired grocery items (food or hygiene products) for the Frederic food shelf during March. We will deduct $1 off your fines for each item (this does not apply to materials from some libraries or any replacement charges). 

 

MapleFest at Glenna Farms

Saturday, March 30 – Sunday March 31; 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

 

Glenna Farms
1333 120th Street

Amery, WI 54001

 

Bring the family for free pancakes, self-guided "sap to syrup" tour of the farm, "old time" cooking demo, drawings for maple products, and a petting zoo. 2019 Crop of Pure Maple Syrup will be Certified Organic!

 

 

St. Croix

Hudson Sunday Matinee – “The Secret of Roan Inish”

Sunday, March 17; 1 – 3 p.m.

 

Hudson Area Public Library

700 First St.

Hudson, WI 54016

 

Snacks too! Everyone welcome.

“Young Fiona lives with her grandparents in a small fishing village where she takes an active role to unravel the mysterious secrets.”

 

New Richmond Willow River Writers

Tuesday, March 19; 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

 

New Richmond Community Library

155 E. 1st St.

New Richmond, WI 54017

 

Meets the first and third Tuesdays at the Civic Center, Lower Level Conference Rm 1, in New Richmond from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm. This group is led by volunteers.