January 11, 2019


This week, my Assembly colleagues and I and officially began the 2019-20 legislative session.  We took the oath of office in a ceremony presided over by Justice Annette Ziegler at the State Capitol, and we signed the same Assembly oath of office book that has been signed by Wisconsin state representatives since the 1870s.  I am humbled and honored to have been entrusted with the duty of representing you!


The first piece of legislation has already been introduced for consideration, too, and it's an important one.  Assembly Bill 1 would protect those with preexisting conditions by guaranteeing coverage of health insurance.  Specifically, this bill would ensure that, no matter what happens in the future to federal health care laws, insurance companies in Wisconsin can't (1) deny someone coverage based on a preexisting health condition or (2) refuse to cover services that people need to treat such a condition or (3) charge higher premiums based on a person's health status.  I am a coauthor of this bill; I voted specifically in favor of these ideas in the past; and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Legislature to enact this bill.


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!


Seeking Common Ground


The Wisconsin State Assembly has a strong history of bipartisanship.  You might not know it from the headlines, but in the last legislative session, 90 percent of bills passed out of our chamber received bipartisan support.  In an effort to start this new session off on the right foot, my Republican colleagues and I reached out with a letter this week to Governor Tony Evers naming nearly a dozen issues where we think we can find common ground right away with his administration for the people of Wisconsin.  I encourage you to click here for my full statement about our communication with Governor Evers.


Reducing the income tax, protecting those with pre-existing conditions and attracting qualified employees to the state are just three of the many issues that I hope to work on with the new administration.  I believe there is plenty of room to reach across the aisle and make sure that we continue to build on the achievements of the past eight years under Republican leadership. 


Your Government Working for You


Check your eligibility for energy assistance as the temperature continues to dip around the state.  The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) provides assistance for low-income households in reducing their energy burden (including help paying your bills, help with emergencies such as replacing a broken furnace, and more).  You might be surprised at what you may qualify for!  Customers can learn more about energy assistance at www.homeenergyplus.wi.gov or by calling 866-HEAT-WIS (866-432-8947).


If you need to get out of the house, check out the many events happening throughout the state in our wonderful state parks.  A bald eagle watching event kicks off in Sauk Prairie on January 18-19 with other events throughout the state from the Fox Valley (January 26th) to Ferryville, WI (March 2nd).  Additionally, the State Park System has more than 30 candlelight hiking and skiing events scheduled for this winter at Wisconsin state park, forest, recreation and trail properties.


Applications are now being accepted from those interested in becoming the next Alice in Dairyland!  Alice in Dairyland travels throughout the state and educates Wisconsin children and adults about the value, economic impact and future of the state’s $88 billion agricultural industry.  This is a full-time paid position; the application period will be open through Thursday, Feb. 4, 2019; application materials are available online.



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Room 306 East, State Capitol ● PO Box 8952 ● Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-0656  ●  Rep.Katsma@legis.wisconsin.gov  ●  www.repkatsma.com