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 District Dialogue

Serving the Greater Northwoods

Oneida - Vilas - Florence - Forest

May 28, 2021

Committee on State Affairs Update

On Tuesday, the Assembly Committee on State Affairs held a public hearing on Assembly Bill 293.


AB293 protects our right to bear arms by putting restrictions on enforcing federal laws regulating firearms, firearm accessories, ammunition, and the use of public resources to confiscate firearms. In other words, this bill would classify Wisconsin as a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary State. 


As the constitution says that the 2nd Amendment "shall not be infringed," this bill would protect legal gun owners from unconstitutional federal laws and government overreach that are designed to restrict our rights to bear arms. 

Budget Update

Legislative Republicans are investing in Wisconsin’s Students

  • Similar to all states, Wisconsin has received billions in Federal Aid for K-12 schools - nearly $2.5 Billion for Wisconsin alone. This was a major part of the discussion when determining the K-12 budget as this is a substantial amount of money.
  • A historic increase in Per Pupil Funding for IN-PERSON Schools - $781 minimum.
  • An additional $12 million for aids for mental health categorical aid which is a doubling of the program.
  • $7 million for school-based mental health services collaboration grants which is a 54% increase and meets the Governor’s budget request.
  • Increased Special Education Categorical Aids by $86 million to 30% of eligible costs. The state will be funding special education at the highest dollar levels ever.
  • A Funding Increase for Wisconsin’s Technical College System.

Direct Local Impacts

Funding for Lakeland STAR Academy  

I am proud to announce that $750,000 will be allocated to the Lakeland STAR Academy! I have advocated and fought for this funding for years, and it is incredible to see these efforts pay off.
I celebrate this win for our district, and most importantly, for the children who will now have the tremendous opportunity to live a fulfilling, independent life. 

Funding for Libraries

The finance committee also voted to increase public library system aid by $6.5 million. This is also an area that I have strongly advocated for. Especially over the past year, libraries in our communities have provided crucial services to help people weather the pandemic.  

GOP Medicaid Letter

On Tuesday, Republican legislative leaders sent a letter in response to Governor Evers calling a special session. The letter explained why Medicaid expansion was removed from the Governor's budget proposal and why it is unneeded and reckless for the state.


Wisconsin is in a good place with our public and private healthcare options and the Governor's proposal to expand Medicaid through the budget amounts to nothing more than a political stunt. Furthermore, it is a one-time kickback that would shift the burden of paying for it onto private insurers, ultimately hurting Wisconsinites who have private health insurance plans the most. 


As I've said before, major policy items such as this should not be in the state budget, as they deserve to have the full committee process, which includes a public hearing.


To read the full letter, please click here

Northwoods National Cemetery Memorial Day Ceremony

Yesterday, I had to honor of attending the recording of the Memorial Day ceremony at Northwoods National Cemetery in Harshaw. 

If you are unable to attend any Memorial Day ceremony this year, I recommend tuning in virtually on Monday to watch this powerful remembrance of our fallen.

The link to the ceremony will be available online on Memorial Day.

Veterans Memorial Ceremony

The annual Veterans Memorial Ceremony will be taking place this Saturday, May 29 at Union Grove Cemetery in Harshaw.


This is a wonderful opportunity to observeve Memorial Day and pay our respects to all the brave men and women who gave their life for this great nation.


For more information about the ceremony, please contact Rick Smith at (715) 612-0332 or veteransceremonyharshaw@gmail.com. 

Memorial Day Ceremonies In The Area

Veterans Memorial Ceremony & Honor Procession, May 29, Harshaw


 Memorial Day Ceremony, May 30, Saint Germain


Memorial Day Ceremony, May 31, Phelps


Memorial Day Ceremony, May 31, Land O' Lakes VFW


Vilas County Veterans Office Memorial Day Program, May 31, Eagle River


Rhinelander Memorial Day Ceremony, May 31, Rhinelander


VFW Honor Guard at Newbold Cemetery, May 31, Newbold


AmVets/ American legion Honor Guard at Northland Memorial Park, May 31, Rhinelander 


VFW Honor Guard at Forest Home Cemetery, May 31, Rhinelander


AmVets/ American Legion Honor Guard at Nativity of Our Lord Cemetery, May 31,  Rhinelander


Memorial Day Parade, May 31, Three Lakes

 Community Events  

 Please click the following links for upcoming community events!


Eagle River Wednesday Farmers Market, May 12-October 6. Eagle River


Minocqua Farmers Market, May 14-October 8, Minocqua 


Hodag Farmers' Market, May 29-October 16, Rhinelander


Memorial Day Arts and Crafts Show, May 29, Eagle River


Memorial Day Sidewalk Sale, May 29, Eagle River