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End of Year E-Update

Dear Neighbor,

Welcome to my latest e-update. Here is a summary from the past week as your State Representative. 

As always, previous updates are available on our website and social media. 

Please contact my office with any questions or concerns.

Forward together,

Robyn Vining  

It’s the Most Wonderful Time to Get Your Booster Shot!

The CDC has expanded recommendations for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to include everyone 16 years and older. Please keep in mind that only Pfizer BioNTech has been approved for those under 18. Booster shots, both Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech, are shown to increase your protection against all variants of COVID-19, including Omicron. The CDC’s recommendations now also allow for mix-and-match dosing for booster doses. 

These vaccines are FREE, you do not need health insurance, and are available across the state! Visit vaccines.gov, call 211, or your local healthcare provider or pharmacy to schedule your booster dose. Get your booster dose before the holidays! 

2021 Authored Bills Update 

Since we had the last scheduled session day of 2021, I wanted to do a quick recap and status update of the bills I have introduced this year:

  • Assembly Bill 81: This bill was included in an amended version of Assembly Bill 2, which was passed and signed into law in February to become 2021 Wisconsin Act 1. This bill, as part of the Main Street Recovery Package, excludes all income received from the federal coronavirus relief fund from income for state tax purposes. In addition, the bill provides that amounts otherwise deductible for state income tax purposes that are paid directly or indirectly with the grant money are also deductible.
  • Assembly Joint Resolution 51/Senate Joint Resolution 46: This bipartisan joint resolution dedicates May 2021 as Wisconsin Motherhood Month with honor, affirmation, and respect to mothers in our state. Unfortunately Republicans have refused to schedule votes on resolutions written by Democrats, even if bipartisan.  
  • Senate Bill 436/Assembly Bill 436: Partnering with Senator Chris Larson & Representative Sondy Pope, I introduced the Summer School Counts bill. Current law says that one factor used to calculate a school district's revenue limit is a three-year rolling average of the school district's pupil enrollment. The Summer School Counts bill increases the percentage of a school district's summer school enrollment that is included in the enrollment count to 100%, instead of only 40%, by the 2024-25 school year. In June this bill was referred to the Assembly and Senate Committees on Education. 
  • Assembly Bill 449: Partnering with Representative David Bowen, we introduced this bill in July in an effort to increase transparency in the operations of police departments across the state. If passed, AB 449 would require officers to clearly outline how residents could file complaints with police departments. This bill was referred to the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety.
  • Assembly Bill 513/Senate Bill 497: Partnering with Senator Melissa Agard, we introduced in August a bill that establishes the Baby Bonds program in Wisconsin, as part of the Building Economic Security Together (B.E.S.T.) Agenda introduced by Sen. Agard. For babies born to Medicaid eligible families in Wisconsin, the state would invest in bonds worth $3,000 - access to these funds would be granted at 18, the money could be used for a variety of things. This bill was referred to the Assembly Committee on Financial Institutions and the Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Revenue.
  • Assembly Bill 551/Senate Bill 550: Partnering with Representative Lisa Subeck, we introduced in September this bill to create a pilot program aimed at lowering the cost of diabetes medication across the state. This bill was referred to the Assembly Health Committee and the Senate Insurance, Licensing, and Forestry Committee.
  • Assembly Bill 641/Senate Bill 623: Partnering with Senator Brad Pfaff, I introduced in October, this bill to repeal the personal property tax in Wisconsin. This is a bipartisan idea. Previous versions of a personal property tax repeal bill have been introduced by the legislature, such as AB 191 which was vetoed by Governor Evers due to the unintended consequences that may result from the way the bill was written. AB 641 is a comprehensive bill written to avoid these unintended consequences and hold local governments harmless.  After introduction, AB 641 was referred to the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Revenue.
  • Assembly Bill 709 /Senate Bill 676: Partnering with Senator Melissa Agard, we reintroduced the Universal Changing Tables bill, making Wisconsin safer and more accessible for everyBODY on November 12th. AB 709 was referred to the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Legal Review, and Consumer Protection. Exciting news! Our legislation has received bipartisan support!
  • Assembly Bill 740/Senate Bill 706: Partnering with Rep. Mark Spreitzer, we reintroduced our EpiAccess bill to make epinephrine access more affordable, and outfit ambulances across Wisconsin with this life-saving medication. This bill has been referred to both the Assembly and Senate Health Committees.
  • Mental Healthcare is Healthcare Package: I serve as the ranking Democrat on the Committee on Mental Health. Partnering with my Democratic colleagues on the committee, we responded to the current mental health crisis with a 5 bill package called “Mental Healthcare is Healthcare.”
    • Assembly Bill 750/Senate Bill 731- This bill would change the existing mental health collaboration program to instead collaborate with mental health providers to provide mental health services to students funded through grants. These bills were referred to the Assembly Mental Health Committee and Senate Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges.
    • Assembly Bill 749/Senate Bill 732- Would allow school districts, independent charter schools, and private schools participating in one of the private school choice programs to be eligible for reimbursement of any expenditures made to employ, hire, or retain pupil services professionals, rather than only 50% of the increase in expenditures to employ, hire, or retain school social workers. These bills were referred to the Senate Committee on Education and the Assembly Mental Health Committee. 
    • Assembly Bill 751/Senate Bill 733- This bill would invest $10 million over the biennium to fund additional and improved mental and behavioral health services to the University of Wisconsin System. These bills have been referred to the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities, and the Senate Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges. 
    • Assembly Bill 752/Senate Bill 735- This bill would invest an additional $500,000 for school mental health training. These bills have been referred to the Senate Universities and Technical Colleges Committee and the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities.
    • Assembly Bill 753/Senate Bill 734- This bill would add positions for the veterans outreach and recovery program (VORP) to increase their capacity to help struggling veterans in our state. These bills have been read and referred to the Assembly Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs and the Senate Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs and Constitution and Federalism.
  • Assembly Bill 747/Senate Bill 693- Partnering with Senators Kelda Roys and LaTonya Johnson, I reintroduced the Pregnancy Protection Act, which puts into state law that maternity and newborn care are essential health benefits, and individual and small group health insurance plans must cover them. This bill has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Insurance and the Senate Committee on Insurance, Licensing, and Forestry.

Each of these bills would improve the life of Wisconsinites all across our state, from providing access to life-saving medication, improving mental health access for students, and increasing transparency in the operations of our law enforcement offices, to investing in education and honoring mothers! Our session isn’t over-- contact your legislators, or committee members, and ask them to sign on to these bills and hold a public hearing!

Merry Christmas

Wishing a safe, joy-filled, and peaceful Christmas to all who celebrate!

Free Rapid COVID-19 Test Available through Elmbrook Schools

Brookfield/Elmbrook schools families:

Did you know you have FREE RAPID COVID-19 testing available through Elmbrook Schools? This is available for all members of the family.

Location: Hillside Elementary School 

2250 N. Lynette Ln, Brookfield, WI 53045 

Morning Test Days and Times

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday- 6:45am - 8:00am

Afternoon Test Day and Time

Wednesday- 3:15pm - 4:30pm 

Holiday Hours

Closed December 23rd-January 2nd.

Be safe. More information and registration HERE

Gov. Evers Awards More Than $27 Million in Grants to Event Venues and Live Event Small Businesses

Gov. Tony Evers awarded more than $27 million in grants to 204 event venues and live event small businesses throughout the state as part of his $140 million investment to support Wisconsin's tourism and entertainment industries

The event venue and live event small business assistance grants were created to address the revenue shortfalls experienced by event venues and small businesses that cater to live events during the pandemic. The combined programs are funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act and administered by DOA. Applications for the grants opened Sept. 16, 2021, and closed on Oct. 15, 2021. A list of grant awardees and additional information can be found here: 

Event Venue Assistance Grants 

Live Event Small Business Assistance Grants 

For updates on other recovery-related grant opportunities, sign up for the Badger Bounceback update list 

Get your  flu shot for the season!

Wisconsin’s healthcare workers need our help– getting your flu shot is one of the best ways to ensure that you and your loved ones stay out of our overburdened healthcare system. 

Find a flu shot at vaccines.gov today.  

New Assembly Democratic Caucus Leadership

On Monday, December 20th, the Assembly Democratic Caucus held leadership elections for the positions of Assembly Democratic Leader and Assistant Assembly Democratic Leader. Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) and Rep. Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton) announced they were stepping down from their respective positions in January and February of 2022. 

I am thrilled to continue working with my esteemed colleagues, Rep. Greta Neubauer and Rep. Kalan Haywood, as they begin their new roles as Assembly Democratic Leader and Assistant Assembly Democratic Leader respectively. I am grateful to each of them for stepping up to lead at this important time.

Together Leader-Elect Neubauer and Assistant Leader-Elect Haywood bring a fresh and energetic vision that I believe will carry our caucus and our state forward.

As a caucus we appreciate the service and leadership of Rep. Hintz and Rep. Hesselbein, and their hard-working staff – thank you all for your commitment to the Assembly Democratic Caucus, our Democratic values, and the people of the great state of Wisconsin.

View my full press release HERE.

Tips for How to Stay Safe this Holiday Season

We know that the best way to stay healthy, protect our communities, and prevent further spread of COVID-19 is to get vaccinated and mask up! As you consider your holiday plans, please keep vaccination status in mind and get tested before visiting friends or family. COVID-19 tests are available at community testing sites as well as your healthcare provider, local pharmacy, or an at-home test kit typically bought at a pharmacy or ordered through DHS. All Wisconsinites over the age of 5 are eligible for a FREE COVID-19 vaccine. 

Find more information on community testing sites, ordering FREE at-home tests from DHS, and more HERE.

Find additional information on booster shots HERE.

For more information about where you can get a vaccine, visit the DHS website HERE.

For more information about where to get vaccinated in Waukesha County, visit their website HERE.

Happy New Year!

This is the last Forward Fridays e-update of 2021 - we will see you in 2022!


Forward together,

Rep. Robyn Vining


Contact Us: 

State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708 

PH: (608) 266-9180
TF: (888) 534-0014

Email: Rep.Vining@legis.wi.gov 
Web: www.vining.assembly.wi.gov 

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