January 25, 2019


Inside this edition:




Speaking Out on Pre-Existing Conditions

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On our first regular floor day of the session, I gave my first floor speech related to passing Assembly Bill 1, a bill requiring coverage of pre-existing conditions. It passed the Assembly with a bi-partisan 76-19 vote.

Pre-Existing Conditions Bill Passes Assembly 

On Tuesday, Republican and Democrats in the Assembly joined together to pass the Pre-Existing Condition Guaranteed Coverage Act. The bill:

  • Ensures a statewide 45-day open enrollment period
  • Ensures no annual or lifetime limit on the dollar value of benefits under the plan
  • Closely aligns the definition of a "pre-existing condition exclusion" to the definition used in the ACA
  • Specifies that any health plan that is currently exempt from any of these requirements under the ACA will also be exempt from complying with the corresponding provisions of the bill

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State of the State

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On Tuesday evening, Governor Evers gave his first State-of-the-State speech to a joint convention of the legislature.  I look forward to working with him to build on the success of the leadership of the past eight years in overall economic improvement like job growth, tax reduction, fiscal stewardship, and support for K-12 education.  I'm hopeful that Governor Evers will remember his roots are in small town Wisconsin - an important part of our state that was absent from his remarks.  I'm working on hemp legislation with Senator Pat Testin that I hope will help bolster our agricultural economy, and I am a member of the Speaker's Task Force on Water Quality that will begin work this session to address water quality in Wisconsin.  These are two important issues that have bi-partisan support across Wisconsin and will need support from Governor Evers.

News You Can Use
My Inbox

Here's a general recap of what I'm hearing from folks in the 50th Assembly District:

  • Opposition to "Red Flag" Laws - legislation that would allow the seizure of firearms without the due process of law
  • Mixed reaction to proposed income tax cut - some recommend using money intended for a tax cut for highway improvement
  • Supporters of a Convention of States resolution 
  • What's your position on term limits?  I feel term limits are appropriate to limit the total number of years of service for an individual at a single level of government, and aggregate number of years of service.  For example, serve no more than 20 years at the state level, or say, 10 years at the state level and 10 at the federal level for a total of 20 years of service.  Some opponents of term limits say that by limiting terms, then the executive branch agencies will become the de facto legislature since they know they'll be able to wait for any legislators who want to put a check on their power to go away, and thus allow them to act in any way they desire.  What do you think?
Spotlight On...

Connor Hartje

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I'm very proud of this young man, Connor Hartje. Connor is an 8th grader at Olson Middle School in Mauston. He is one of three students state wide and the sole middle school student representative on the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Office of School Safety Advisory Committee. I had the pleasure of speaking with Connor and his adivsor, April Frelke, today about the committee's goals and objectives. Connor has great vision and will serve our community, and state, with honor.