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 District Dialogue

Serving the Greater Northwoods

Oneida - Vilas - Florence - Forest

June 3, 2021

Committee on State Affairs Update

This week, the Committee on State Affairs held an executive session on Assembly Bill 293 on Tuesday on and a public hearing on Assembly Bill 367 and Assembly Bill 369 on Wednesday. 

Last week, we held a public hearing on AB293. This bill would protect 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, AB293 would classify Wisconsin as a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary State. This bill was successfully voted out of committee and it can now be scheduled for a vote on the Assembly floor. 


Assembly Bill 367 would authorize the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to issue a $50 million loan for the purchase of Verso Paper Mill in the city of Wisconsin Rapids. Verso Paper Mill, which is one of the leading employers in Central Wisconsin, was set to shut down its operation at the end of July. As businesses across the state took a major hit during the pandemic, this bill is a huge step in the right direction as it would save nearly a thousand jobs in the Wisconsin Rapids community.


Assembly Bill 369 would provide an updated timeline for local redistricting in Wisconsin following the 2020 decennial census. Due to delays in census process resulting from COVID-19, Wisconsin will likely receive census data as late as the end of September 2021, which conflicts with state statute that requires the official publication of census data no later than July 1, 2021. As redistricting begins at the county and municipal levels, this bill would extend the time in which counties and cities can adopt tentative supervisory and aldermanic district plans and would apply the final plans to the 2023 and 2024 spring and primary elections, respectively. As our county and town clerks have indicated that they will need more time to process the overdue census data, this bill would ensure that they can properly do their jobs by giving them the time needed to draw district maps. 


Thank you to everyone who took time out of their day to testify on these bills!

Budget Update

In this biennial budget, Legislative Republicans are prioritizing getting people back to work. 

  • The Department of Workforce Development budget is an illustration of two different visions for Wisconsin. One is Governor Evers’ vision of growing government programs and dependency. Our vision focuses on getting people back to work.
    • We all know a business owner who is struggling to stay open because they can’t find workers. Wisconsin endured government-mandated shutdowns for some time and now we need to get the state back to work.
    • We are including a requirement that the department explores ways to get people off of government assistance and back to work. We want to incentivize people to get a job and keep a job.
  • Invested in programs like Vocational Rehabilitation Services to help disabled individuals obtain, maintain, and improve employment opportunities as well as the Youth Apprenticeship Program where we quadrupled the Governor’s proposal to get more students prepared for the workforce.
  • Expanded access for veterans to the Hire Heroes program which helps veterans find employment.
  • Provided funding for Farmer Mental Health Assistance to make sure those who keep us fed have the support they need in difficult times.

In addition to these budgetary accomplishments, the Joint Committee on Finance approved our budget motion that would provide additional funding for local and state snowmobile trail condition tracking systems and ATV/UTV trails.

Banning Vaccine Passports

Many of you have reached out to our office in the past several months to voice your concerns over the idea of vaccine passports in Wisconsin. On Wednesday, the Assembly Committee on Constitution and Ethics held a public hearing on Assembly Bill 299, which would prohibit providing proof of vaccination for COVID-19 as a condition of receiving business or government services. 


I fully support prohibiting vaccine passports in Wisconsin and strongly believe that vaccine passports are a violation of an individual's private, medical information. If an individual wants to share their medical information voluntarily, that is their right. However, one should not be forced to provide proof of their vaccination to the government or businesses in order to live a normal life. 


I am hopeful that this bill is voted out of committee and reaches the Assembly floor. 

Milwaukee Public Museum Tour

As a member of the State Building Commission, I was invited to tour the Milwaukee Public Museum on Thursday alongside Speaker Pro Tempore Tyler August. The Milwaukee Public Museum is requesting some financing through the Capitol Budget to help them open a new museum in Milwaukee, as the building they're currently in is in bad shape. We were joined by Milwaukee Public Museum President Dr. Ellen Censky and Chief Planning Officer Katie Sanders who gave us a great tour of their facilities.

MPM is a Wisconsin staple, as almost every Wisconsinite grew up attending this wonderful institution. Not only is it a museum, but it also serves as a research institution that attracts people from around the state and country.

It's important that we preserve this statewide landmark for future generations of Wisconsinites, so that they too can enjoy learning about the archeological and anthropological history of Wisconsin.

Observing Memorial Day

Over the holiday weekend, I attended six Memorial Day ceremonies across the 34th Assembly District starting with the Union Grove Cemetery wreath-laying ceremony in Harshaw on Thursday.

On Sunday, I attended the Saint Germain Lions Club Memorial Day ceremony to pay respect to our fallen soldiers.

On Memorial Day, I went to the Memorial Day ceremony at Northland Memorial Park and Forest Home Cemetery in Rhinelander, which featured Honor Guards from AMVETS, VFW, and DAV. 

Lastly, I attended the Memorial Day Ceremony at Rhinelander High School, where I listened to a moving speech by Elisha Williams, CW3 WI Army National Guard.

Special thank you to all of our incredible veterans' groups throughout the Northwoods who work tirelessly to ensure that all of our fallen soldiers will be eternally remembered. 

DNR Free Fun Weekend

The Department of Natural Resources' Free Fun Weekend is here! June 5th-6th - find your adventure in Wisconsin's outdoors with free admission to the state parks and trails! And go fishing without a license. For more information, please visit the DNR website

 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


Gerta Season Opener Tournament and Cookout, June 4, Eagle River


Chain Skimmers Water Ski Show, June 5, Eagle River


Lakeland Hockey Muskie Tournament, June 5, Minocqua


Concert for the Kids, June 5, Rhinelander


Bikes and Burgers Downtown Rhinelander, June 12, Rhinelander