October 15, 2021

  

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Protecting the Rights of Wisconsin
Hunters & Sportsmen

This week, I joined a group of my fellow Republican colleagues from the Senate and Assembly to announce the Wisconsin Sporting Freedom Package of 13 bills to preserve and enhance our state's rich sporting heritage. This package of bills highlights the economic relationship and historic partnership that Wisconsin has with its sportsmen and women. With the important role sporting heritage plays in our state, it was concerning to see many issues with transparency, complex regulations and restricted access to our natural resources and second amendment issues.

The Wisconsin Sporting Freedom Package will increase opportunity for hunting and fishing, reduce the regulatory burden on hunters and anglers, provide oversight over the state of Wisconsin’s use of money that hunters and anglers pay, and support the economic impact that hunting and fishing have on the state of Wisconsin. The bills in the package include: 

  • Pheasant Management Bill - increase the minimum number of pheasants being planted to 200,000 and would improve the identification of the properties where the pheasants are planted, increasing access to hunting
  • Turkey Hunting Simplification Bill - modify administrative rules relating to the hunting of wild turkeys to combine hunting zones and seasons to just two zones and two seasons (down from the complicated and restrictive six seasons that makes it difficult for many hunters to participate), and to modify youth hunting restrictions
  • Mentored Hunt Bill - allow an individual to satisfy the in-person field testing requirement for the hunter’s safety program by participating in a mentored hunt
  • Wisconsin Brook Trout Bill - set a minimum number of 100,000 brook trout that would be required to be raised by the DNR
  • DNR Regulation Simplification Bill - require the DNR to eliminate three rules every time they propose adding another rule
  • DNR Hunting License Categories Simplification Bill - require the DNR to prepare a report that identifies ways to consolidate or eliminate hunting, fishing, and trapping approvals to reduce the total number of types of licenses DNR is required to issue
  • Sandhill Crane Hunting Season Bill - requires the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to authorize the hunting of sandhill cranes by individuals who have completed a sandhill crane hunter education course and who possess the appropriate approval issued by the DNR to help manage the growing sandhill crane population in Wisconsin
  • Constitutional Carry Bill - guarantee Wisconsinites would be able to exercise their constitutional right to carry a gun under the rights already afforded to them by the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
  • DNR Habitat Transparency Bill - increase transparency and accountability by requiring the DNR to create a biennial work plan that establishes priorities and goals for habitat work on lands managed by DNR and measures progress on established priorities and goals
  • DNR Public Lands Access Report Bill - require the DNR to prepare a report that identifies public access opportunities on all lands owned or managed by DNR, land acquired under the Warren Knowles-Gaylord Nelson stewardship program, and open managed forest lands
  • Dog Training Bill - require the DNR to make available on the Go Wild website dog training licenses. Currently, this license is not available there and that makes it harder for hunters to comply
  • Aquaculture Partnership Bill - requires the Department of Natural Resources to prepare a report that identifies opportunities for partnering with the private aquaculture industry for increased stocking of desirable sport fish in lakes and streams
  • Farm-Raised Game Bovid Bill - requires farm-raised game bovids to be fenced in the same manner as farm-raised deer other than white-tailed deer so hunters can have an opportunity to hunt non-native bovids 

I personally introduced the Farm-Raised Game Bovid Bill, but I look forward to seeing all of these bills advance through the legislative process. I'm proud to be a part of this effort to protect the rights of our sportsmen and women and expand hunting and fishing in Wisconsin. 

36th Assembly District's First Responder of the Year:
Annie Krawze

I received so many nominations this year for the First Responder of Year Award, and it was difficult to choose just one person. After reading about the amazing work being done by folks around our community, one person in particular stuck out, Annie Krawze. Annie is an EMT, registered nurse, and the Service Director for the Laona Rescue Squad for both full time and volunteer staff. She was nominated by two separate individuals for this award. I want to share a few excerpts from their nominations: 

  • "Annie is there 24/7 for calls or questions to the community and the squad members....When a shift is not covered Annie covers it meaning she is on 24/7, rarely is she not on call...You will not find a more dedicated EMS provider than Annie."
  • "She is on call on the minimum of 72 to 144 hours a week including most weekends...Over the years she has made Laona Rescue one of the best rural ambulances in the state...She has developed and teaches in house training for all our EMT’s from driver, EMR, EMT, EMT-I, to the paramedic level. She is truly deserving of this award...I am an EMT-B and blessed to have her as my partner. She came into our school district as well and put a plan together to keep our children and staff safe and to make sure as a district as we are prepared for all emergencies in the school district. I could keep going on about her but would take my full day to describe all the accomplishments she has done without looking for praise."

I look forward to presenting Annie with the 36th Assembly District's First Responder of the Year Award later this month to recognize her for the work she's done for the community. 

In addition, because each person nominated impressed me so much, I also plan on presenting a citation to each nominee to recognize them for being nominated for this award and for their hard work and service to their area. 

Question of the Week: 
Rare Disease Advisory Council

There are around 7,000 known rare diseases that currently impact approximately 25-30 million adults and kids in the country. Rare diseases, also called orphan diseases, are defined as diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States. Sadly, while many suffer from rare diseases, the exact cause for many of them remains unknown, and many others are genetic in origin and can be traced back to a single gene or multiple genes that can be passed down through the generations. For those living with a rare disease, it can be a significant challenge. Delays in getting a diagnosis, misdiagnosis, lack of awareness and medical specialists who can provide treatment, and lack of affordable access to therapies and medication used to treat rare diseases are just a few of the obstacles they face.

Rep. Dittrich has recently introduced a bill that would create a Rare Disease Advisory Council in Wisconsin. The council would be composed of qualified professionals and people living with rare diseases. These people would be able to educate medical professionals, government agencies, legislators, and the public about rare diseases as an important public health issue and encourage and secure funding for research for the development of new treatments for rare diseases. The council would be required to provide opportunities for the public to get updates and provide input. Under the bill, the council would be required to provide opportunities for the public to keep updated and provide input, and would also have to do any combination of four to six of the following activities: 

  • Convene public hearings, make inquiries, and request comments from the general public to assist the council with an ongoing survey of the needs of rare disease patients, caregivers, and health care providers in the state
  • Research and make recommendations to state agencies and insurers
  • Research and identify priorities related to treatment and services provided to rare disease patients and develop policy recommendations that include safeguards against discrimination
  • Evaluate and make recommendations to improve coverage under the Medical Assistance program
  • Publish a list of publicly available resources
  • Establish resources to assist with training employees on rare diseases
  • Research and identify best practices in the research, diagnosis, and treatment of rare disease in the state

Supporters of the bill say that it will help bring awareness and additional resources to the table for people living with rare diseases, and would be a good first step in furthering research on these diseases. They note that often most of the research is aimed at diseases and disorders that impact the general public like cancer or diabetes, and that this council would help make sure that these rare diseases aren't overlooked. 

Opponents of the bill say that the money and time should be dedicated elsewhere. They say that medical research is already well funded and supported. Others oppose it because they say it doesn't go far enough in advancing the efforts to help those living with rare diseases, and that instead of a council, there should be additional funding put towards research right away. 

While rare diseases may only impact a comparatively small portion of Wisconsinites, you never know who in your life may have one. With the importance of ensuring proper healthcare and resources for citizens, I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this proposed bill. Please take a moment to answer my question of the week:

Click here for my Question of the Week

Last Week's Results:
Workforce Housing Incentive Program

I've heard from many people around the 36th Assembly District in response to last week's question. The chart below represents the responses from constituents to the question as of Thursday afternoon. 

Blue Books Still Available

The 2021/22 Wisconsin Blue Book is still available through my office for anyone interested in a copy. I've sent out over 100 so far throughout the 36th Assembly District with Sen. Felzkowski, but still have quite a few left. If you'd like a physical copy of the blue book, please submit your request here:

Order a Blue Book

Upcoming District Events

The following are just a few of the events that will be occurring soon around or near the 36th Assembly District. Please let me know if you have an event you would like to have considered for inclusion on this list. As always, remember to take proper precautions when at events for COVID-19 and check their webpages for any updates or cancellations.

Follow the Legislative Action

In order to stay up to date on any legislation, proposals, or your legislator, a free notification service is available through the Wisconsin State Legislature's website. You can sign up for nightly personalized email notifications based on our state's legislative activity. This is a wonderful way to stay informed about state politics and proposals that you are interested in.