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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

Modified State Budget Heads to Evers 

Last week, I joined Democratic and Republican legislators in opposing the Joint Committee on Finance’s modified budget. Throughout the budget process, I heard Wisconsinites speak out in support of Medicaid expansion, funding for schools, and investments in our fight against addiction.

Relative to the governor’s budget, the Republican-controlled Joint Committee on Finance’s budget:

  • Eliminated $939.8 million from K-12 education including $509.2 million from special education aid – which has not been increased in a decade.
  • Eliminated $5.6 million from the school breakfast program. School district reimbursement rates for breakfast meals will remain at seven cents per meal under the cut.
  • Cut $10.6 million from sparsity aid, which provides additional funding assistance to rural school districts.
  • Eliminated $33 million for the refundable portion of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • Eliminated a 10 percent middle-class tax cut that would have provided $833.6 million in income tax relief and replaces it with a smaller $321.5 million cut that would protect a tax break for millionaires.
  • Eliminated the governor’s proposal to expand Medicaid, which would have reduced state spending by $324.5 million and returned to state taxpayers over $1 billion in federal funding.
  • Eliminated $2.5 million for a grant program to fund regional crisis stability facilities for adults. Currently, individuals experiencing a mental health crisis are transported across the state to Winnebago at great human and financial expense to the individual, the individual’s family, and law enforcement officers.
  • Cut $38 million from aid to school mental health services.
  • Eliminated $23.8 million from state contributions to county crisis intervention services.
  • Eliminated $1.85 million from county land and water conservation staffing grants.
  • Eliminated $2.9 million from lake and river protection grant programs.

The modified budget represents a budget full of missed opportunities. Over the past few years, we have seen funding for K-12 education drop below 2011 levels when adjusting for inflation. Our roads continue to rank among the worst in the nation. Our economy continues to leave too many working families behind.

Governor Tony Evers’ budget presented an opportunity to make real investments in every Wisconsin community. A cornerstone of his budget was Medicaid expansion, which would have increased access to health care for 82,000 Wisconsinites, saved $324 million in state spending, and brought in over $1 billion in new federal funding to invest in other priorities like our roads, schools, and broadband.

The budget now heads to Governor Evers’ desk for further action.

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Turtle Lake CNA Visit 

As a former school health care provider, I was thrilled to visit Turtle Lake’s first Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training program. The program helps students explore careers in health care while providing them with job and career skills. Getting young people interested in this field is one way to meet Wisconsin’s demand for long-term care services. Other ways to meet this demand include addressing CNA pay, Medicaid reimbursement rates, and CNA health care. Turtle Lake’s CNA training program is a great example of how partnerships between our technical colleges, K-12 schools, and community residents can benefit our region.

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U.S. Supreme Court Okays Partisan Gerrymandering

Last Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal courts cannot intervene in cases of partisan gerrymandering. The 5-4 decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by the conservative wing of the court, would effectively allow the practice to continue. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court’s decision will embolden politicians to continue to rig the maps for partisan gain. I believe voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around. That's why I co-sponsored legislation to create a non-partisan redistricting commission and process as they have in Iowa. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology, and Consumer Protection and is currently waiting to be scheduled for a public hearing. I would encourage you to track this bill as it progresses through the legislative process at legis.wisconsin.gov.

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Summertime Gun Safety Tips 

As students enjoy summer out of school, it becomes even more important to secure any firearms in the home. As a gun-owner, grandparent, and medical examiner, I take firearm safety very seriously. That’s why I’m excited to share the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF)’s list of top ten safety tips here and below:

  • Always keep the firearm’s muzzle pointed in a safe direction. A “safe direction” means that the gun is pointed so that even if an accidental discharge occurred, it would not result in injury.
  • Always keep your finger off the trigger until you actually intend to shoot. When handling a gun, rest your finger outside the trigger guard or along the side of the gun. Don’t touch the trigger until you are actually ready to fire.
  • Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use. Whenever you pick up a gun, such as when removing it from or returning it to storage, remember to point it in a safe direction and make sure it is unloaded.
  • Be sure you know how your firearm operates: read the manual on your firearm, know how to safely open and close the action of the firearm and know how to safely remove any ammunition from the firearm and its magazine.
  • Store your firearms in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault or storage case when not in use, ensuring they are in a location inaccessible by children and cannot be handled by anyone without your permission.
  • Store your ammunition in a locked location separate from firearms.
  • Use a gun locking device that renders the firearm inoperable when not in use. A gun lock should be used as an additional safety precaution and not as a substitute for secure storage.
  • Make sure young people in your home are aware of and understand the safety guidelines concerning firearms. Have them sign the Project ChildSafe Pledge for young people—a reminder that if they find an unattended firearm in their home or a neighbor’s to not touch it, and tell an adult.
  • Always unload, clean and place your firearms in their secure storage location immediately after returning from a hunting trip or a day at the range.
  • Educate everyone in your family about firearms safety. Visit the Project ChildSafe website for safety information and to find out where to get a free firearm safety kit in your area.

Securing your firearm can prevent a tragedy. Recently, a 2019 report from South Carolina found that nearly one in three child fatality cases involving sudden or unexplained deaths were related to an unsecured firearm between 2010 and 2017. I hope you join me in following these gun safety tips.

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District Events

Burnett

Fourth of July Festivities

Wednesday, July 3; 8 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Thursday, July 4; 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

 

Main Street

Siren, WI 54872

 

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!

 

Gandy Dancer Fly In/Drive In

Saturday, July 20; 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.

 

Burnett County Airport

7410 Co Rd K

Siren, WI 54872

 

Have a family day of fun at the airport! Airplane & Helicopter Rides, Aerobatics Show, Remote Control Planes, Aircraft Display, Classic Cars, 5k Trail Race, Kid Activities, food & more!

 

 

Dunn 

Dunn County Fair

Wednesday, July 24 – Sunday, July 28

 

Dunn County Fairgrounds

620 17th St.

Menomonie, WI 54751

 

The Dunn County Fair provides entertainment, rides, live music, tractor pull, races, demo derby, and 4-H events for all visitors. Come to the Dunn County Fair for a small town fair that will please the entire family. Who doesn't like the corn dogs and cheese curds? You will find all kinds of activities at the fair for the entire family.

 

Downtown Menomonie Farmers’ Market

Saturday, July 6; 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

 

Wilson Park

800 Wilson Ave

Menomonie, WI 54751

 

The Menomonie Farmers’ Market features local farmers, producers, artists, musicians, authors and is one of the best markets in the area! In addition to fresh local produce, crispy right-from-the-oven breads, grass-fed meats, free-range eggs and handmade cheese, visitors can also enjoy hot lunches, fresh pop corn and fair trade coffee while listening to the performances of local musicians.

 

 

Pierce

Chill on the Hill – Summer Concert Series

Tuesday, July 9; 7 p.m.

 

Melvin Wall Amphitheater

678 S. Third St.

River Falls, WI 54022

 

Free outdoor concert series at the Melvin Wall Amphitheater on Tuesdays featuring regional artists.  Grilled food, beverages and ice cream available for purchase.  Attendees are welcome to bring their own picnic and lawn chairs.

 

Music in the Park

Friday, July 5; 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

 

Veterans Park

1 N Main St.

River Falls, WI 54022

 

This annual summertime series features a diverse range of wonderful live entertainment for all ages in beautiful Veteran's Park, centrally located in the heart of downtown River Falls. Friday & Saturday nights.

 

 

Polk

Fireworks Express Train Ride

Wednesday, July 3; 7:30 p.m.

 

Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway

114 Deport Rd.

Osceola, WI 54020

 

Ride the historic train to Marine on the St. Croix to see the fireworks. Fun for the whole family. Visit us online for details.

 

Amery Fireworks Spectacular

Thursday, July 4; Dusk

 

Soldiers Field

210 Memorial Dr.

Amery, WI 54001

 

Spectacular fireworks show at Soldier’s Field.

 

 

St. Croix

St. Croix Riverfest

Tuesday, July 16 – Sunday, July 21

 

Lakefront Park

Locust and First Streets

Hudson, WI 54016

 

In Celebration of Life on the St. Croix River, join us for river related fun! Activities will include a concert in the Park by the St. Croix Valley Community Band, Toonies ENVIRO-FUN Puppet Show, Native American Celebration with Singing, Dancing and Food Tastings, Nature Cruise, River Clean Up, Scrappy, Kids Fishing Derby, Civil War Encampment and Ice Cream Social, The Longest Table, Library Story Time, Carpenter Nature Center’s Animals and more. For a complete listing of events please visit us online. 

 

Heritage Hillside Series

Wednesday, July 10; 6:30 – 8 p.m.

 

New Richmond Heritage Center

1100 Heritage Dr.

New Richmond, WI 54017

 

Free Family entertainment, different each week. Bring your families, friends, chairs, and snacks or a picnic. Plenty of space for the kids to run, play and have fun.