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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

Insurance Resources for Property Damage Related to Severe Weather 

Many Wisconsin residents face property damage as a result of recent severe weather events. The following press release from Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance Mark Afable provides information for individuals dealing with weather-related damage:

Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Provides Guidance for Consumers Affected by Storms and Severe Weather

Madison, Wis. — Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance Mark Afable offered reassurance and suggestions for residents after widespread severe storms, torrential rains, and tornadoes impacted the state last weekend.

“The aftermath of storms like these is always a stressful time for those whose homes, cars, and businesses have been damaged, but there are proven ways to deal with the challenges and efficiently get the help you need," Afable said. “As you start to clean up, make sure to check your insurance coverage. Insurance professionals and the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance are ready to help.

“It's very important to take photos after any severe weather event where you have damage to your property," Afable said. “Take photos of the damage and, if possible, do not move or pick up anything until the insurance company claims adjusters are able to see the damage."

Commissioner Afable recommended the following steps for residents coping with storm damage.

  • Notify your insurance agent or insurance company as soon as possible to begin filing a claim. Make sure you provide a telephone number and/or e-mail address where you can be reached.
  • Make a detailed list of all damaged or lost personal property. It helps to take photos of the damage. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damaged items. Do not throw out any damaged property without your adjuster's agreement. If local officials require the disposal of damaged items before the insurance company's claims adjuster can inspect the items, take photos and keep samples of damaged items for the adjuster (e.g., cut swatches from carpeting, curtains, and chairs).
  • Separate damaged items from undamaged items.
  • Be careful to avoid scams. Take your time, do your homework, and check that all contractors you encounter are licensed and legitimate. If you feel pressure to sign a contract quickly, take a step back and investigate. Rebuilding your home or business and repairing your car is important, but quickly signing a contract with an unscrupulous party can make a bad situation worse.
  • If you have water damage, check your policy. Most homeowner's policies do not cover flooding or seepage through the foundation, which are usually covered under separate flood insurance policies.
  • Contact your insurance company again if an adjuster has not been assigned to you within several days.

Commissioner Afable also suggested consumers check the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) website for numerous helpful publications, including the "Consumers Guide to Homeowner's Insurance" (https://oci.wi.gov/Documents/Consumers/PI-015.pdf) and "Personal Property Home Inventory" (https://oci.wi.gov/Documents/Consumers/PI-224.pdf), which is a worksheet for itemizing personal property. He noted there are specific insurance publications for small business owners, mobile home insurance, condominium insurance, and information on how to settle property insurance claims. All of these publications can be found on the OCI Web site athttps://oci.wi.gov/Pages/Consumers/ConsumerPublications.aspx.

You can contact OCI with questions at 1-800-236-8517 or ocicomplaints@wisconsin.gov.

If you need to file a complaint, it can be done online via OCI's website (oci.wi.gov). Additionally, you can obtain a complaint form by calling 1-800-236-8517 or by printing a form from OCI's website.

OCI also offers several publications that help sorting through the claims process, including Settling Property Insurance Claims (https://oci.wi.gov/Documents/Consumers/PI-084.pdf) and Documents and Records (https://oci.wi.gov/Documents/Consumers/PI-223.pdf), which provides a list of documents that will need to be replaced if they have been destroyed and whom to contact for replacement. All publications are available on OCI's website and can be ordered free from the agency.

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Schachtner Introduces Bill to Exempt Gun Safes from Sales Tax

I recently introduced bipartisan legislation to provide a sales and use tax exemption for the purchase of gun safes with Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine), Rep. Cody Horlacher (R-Mukwonago), and Rep. Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison). As a medical examiner and former school employee, I know that every suicide is tragic and community-altering. The research shows that safe gun storage can help decrease the risk of accidental shootings and suicide, especially among children.

Wisconsin’s rate of child suicide is close to 33 percent higher than the national rate. In addition, the suicide rate in Wisconsin has been higher than the national average for all but one year between 2008 and 2018. I’m thankful for the bipartisan support this proposal has received, and I look forward to other ways to address the suicide epidemic that is impacting our state.

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JFC Refuses to Release Funding for Farmer Mental Health Assistance

I grew up on a family farm, and I remember how hard the 1980s were for western Wisconsin farmers. Nowadays, farmers are facing trade uncertainty, low prices, and continued economic hardship. Some have turned to suicide.

Last week, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) refused to take up several funding requests including $100,000 a year for mental health assistance for farmers and their families. Currently, the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) provides a Farm Center Helpline and vouchers to help connect farmers to counseling.

The department shared that they currently only have enough funds to provide five counseling vouchers. I hope that JFC will release the funds so struggling farmers and their families will continue to have access to this crucial resource.

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With Budget Complete, a New Hope for Bipartisanship Arises  

As a former executive director of a chamber of commerce, I am no stranger to negotiation. Coming up with win-win solutions is the essence of good business and good governance.

The latest debate over the state budget illustrates what happens when we don’t negotiate and let political posturing come before the needs of communities like ours. Proposals like Medicaid expansion, which is supported by 70 percent of Wisconsinites, become victim to political brinksmanship and partisan “wins.”

In the legislature, I am emphasizing bipartisanship in crafting new, innovative approaches to tackle the challenges facing our communities. I started the legislative session by authoring bipartisan legislation to provide funding to test privately-owned wells for harmful contaminants. I also worked with my Republican colleagues to co-author legislation to protect the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which makes it easier for qualified, out-of-state physicians to work in Wisconsin.

In divided government, it’s even more important to not only work across the aisle, but work with different levels and branches of government. That’s why I have made it a priority to engage the new administration and bring Madison to western Wisconsin. Since January, I have helped coordinate visits to the 10th Senate District from Governor Tony Evers, Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, Attorney General Josh Kaul, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, Department of Workforce Development Secretary Caleb Frostman, Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm, and Department of Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson.

I have also worked with Attorney General Josh Kaul, Sen. Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay), Rep. David Steffen (R-Green Bay), and Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) to introduce legislation creating a process for the collection and handling of sexual assault kits. In 2014, the Department of Justice discovered that nearly 7,000 sexual kits were untested. This legislation would help prevent another backlog from occurring and ensure that survivors know that their kits are processed efficiently and with care.

Finger-pointing and posturing are nothing new in politics. However, we have the power to find common ground and put people before politics. It’s on all of us to reach out and reach back when the opportunity for positive change presents itself.

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District Events

Burnett 

Siren Summerfest

Thursday, August 1 – Sunday August 4

 

Siren Village

Siren, WI 54872

 

This weekend is packed with summer fun! Highlights include: Sidewalk & other Summerfest Sales, Music in the Park, Softball Tournament, Food Fest, 'Lucky Ducky' Rotary Retrieve, Co-ed Volleyball Tournament, Flea & Farmers' Markets, plus featuring our Siren Royalty Pageant and so Much More!

 

Siren Music in the Park

Thursday, August 8; 6:30 – 9 p.m.

 

Crooked Lake Park

Siren, WI 54872

 

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.

 

 

Dunn 

Downtown Menomonie Farmers’ Market

Saturday, August 3; 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.

 

National Night Out 2019

Tuesday, August 6; 6 – 8 p.m.

 

Menomonie Police Department

615 Stokke Parkway Suite G200

Menomonie, WI 54751

 

Help us build a stronger, safer community by giving crime a going away party! Come out and meet local public safety organizations, enjoy some kids' activities and food, and head over to Wilson Park to enjoy the Ludington Guard Band concert at 7:30 pm.

On Tuesday, August 6, 2019 the MPD will be hosting National Night Out. The event will again be held in the Cedar Corporation parking lot located at 604 Wilson Avenue in Menomonie. More details will be announced on this event page at a later date.

 

 

Pierce

Chill on the Hill – Summer Concert Series

Tuesday, August 6; 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.

 

Pierce County Fair

Thursday, August 8 – Sunday, August 11

 

Pierce County Fairgrounds

364 N Maple

Ellsworth, WI 54011

 

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

 

 

Polk

Luck Fireman’s Corn Feed

Saturday, August 10; 4 – 8 p.m.

 

Luck Fire Department

115 W. St.

Luck, WI 54853

 

Lots of food and fun for the whole family! Good food, games for the kids, silent auction.

 

Music on the Overlook

Friday, August 9; 6:30 p.m. 

 

The Overlook

210 N. Washington St.

St. Croix Falls, WI 54024 

 

Free open air concerts are held on the deck on the St. Croix River most Fridays. Please check website for changes and updates.

 

 

St. Croix

Gopher to Badger Half Marathon & 5K Run

Saturday, August 10

 

Lakefront Park
505 1st St. 

Hudson, WI 54016

 

Both of these runs are very unique because runners are bussed to the start in Minnesota and run back to the finish in Hudson, Wisconsin, where finish line festivities and food will be near the amphitheater at the park. This is a must race for your annual calendar.

 

Network New Richmond

Wednesday, July 31; 8 – 9 a.m.

 

Table 65
729 North Knowles Avenue

New Richmond, WI 54017


If you are interested in growing your business, learning to network, or getting more out of your business, please join us! Network New Richmond is a New Richmond Chamber of Commerce networking referral group that meets weekly from 8-9 am, each Wednesday of every week.  Just one of the many benefits of your Chamber membership at no additional charge to your business!