February 10, 2017



There is great news for Sheboygan County this week: Assembly Bill 1/Senate Bill 1, the bill that I authored with Senator Devin LeMahieu to pave the way for the Masters Gallery Foods expansion project this spring in Oostburg, passed in the Assembly on Wednesday with a unanimous bipartisan vote of 97-0.  The commitment from this local company to reinvest tens of millions of dollars and create at least 120 new family-supporting jobs right here in our backyard is a huge win for our local economy.  You can click on the photo (above) to watch the video of my comments on the Assembly floor and then see us actually take the vote.  The bill has already been passed in the Senate and now awaits Governor Scott Walker's signature into law soon.


The other big news this week is the release of Governor Walker's 2017-19 state budget proposal.  It's a great starting point, but it is best seen as a "first draft."  My colleagues and I will spend the next several months gathering input and making improvements to this draft to meet the needs of our state.  So far, I'm especially encouraged about the Governor's ideas to increase funding for our K-12 schools, provide new tax relief for our working families and strengthen the work requirements for government assistance programs.


As always, I encourage you to follow my updates on social media or contact my office directly with your questions.  Best wishes on your weekend!


Weeding Out Fact from Fiction



Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound that comes from the cannabis plant.  Unlike tetrahydrocannibinol (THC), which is the chemical compound in marijuana that does have psychoactive effects that can be abused, CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects on the body.  In other words, you can't "get high" by abusing CBD, and you can't overdose on it; CBD is a completely different substance.  CBD happens to be useful for suppressing seizure activity for folks with certain types of epilepsy.  So, during the 2013-14 session, the state legislature legalized the purchase of CBD from Wisconsin pharmacies with a valid doctor's prescription for treatment of a seizure disorder.


The problem is, federal regulations have not kept up with our state's action, and brick-and-mortar pharmacies typically cannot dispense CBD products even if a person possesses a prescription.  Families aren't able to make any use of the new law.  Therefore, a new bill is under consideration in the Assembly (and has already passed in the State Senate) that, as long as a person has a current prescription, would remove any possible state or local penalties for purchasing CBD from sources outside Wisconsin or for merely possessing the non-psychoactive medicine.


The bill under consideration does not legalize the use, possession, manufacture or cultivation of marijuana in Wisconsin for either medicinal or recreational purposes.  It also does not legalize the manufacture of CBD oils or other products within Wisconsin.


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Room 208 North, State Capitol ● PO Box 8952 ● Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-0656  ●  Rep.Katsma@legis.wisconsin.gov  ●  www.repkatsma.com