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 April 13, 2018


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Crime Victims' Rights Week

As the author of Marsy's Law, a constitutional amendment to clarify and strengthen rights of crime victims, National Crime Victims' Rights Week had special meaning this year. As you may know, constitutional amendments require approval by two consecutive sessions of the legislature. I'm encouraged by the broad bipartisan support this amendment has received and look forward to voting in favor of its approval next session.

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Research in the Rotunda

On Wednesday, students from UW System schools filled the Capitol Rotunda to present their research projects to legislators and members of the community. I had the privilege of speaking to two University of Wisconsin - Platteville Students: Daniel Lowe and Benjamin Mulhstein of Darlington, to learn about their research exploring how drought and other stress factors manipulate plant hormones and lead to diminished yields. Their work may one day benefit farmers across our state as they look to increase crop production. It was great to meet the both of you!

Session Wrap-up

As we enter the upcoming election season, state law requires that this be the last newsletter my office sends out until the election concludes. Knowing this, I would like to take this opportunity to update you on some of the things we were able to achieve this legislative session as well as what I hope to work on during the next.

First and foremost, my priority will always be the 51st Assembly District. This session, I was able to secure a $100,000 matching grant for the Monroe Arts Center in the state budget to further arts education in our area. This grant resulted in additional support amounting to $1 million in funds for improvements to the center.

When Sauk County residents Curtis and Vicki Eberle contacted Senator Marklein and me about the state requiring their children to obtain work permits to help out around the family business, we drafted and passed legislation removing this requirement while still keeping important labor protections in place.

Highlighting this legislative session was my time spent on the Speaker's Task Force on Foster Care. As a member of this committee, I was given the opportunity to travel the state and hear from those who work in and support Wisconsin's Foster Care System. At the conclusion of our hearings, the committee presented a package of legislation to the Assembly based on the suggestions we received. Among these was my bill to grant tuition waivers at UW Institutions for foster youth. This bill passed the Assembly with broad bipartisan support.

Our accomplishments also included a historic investment in our schools, along with an additional $100 per pupil funding for our small, rural districts. At the request of the governor as well as our students, I authored and passed a $100 million school safety grant program to provide resources for capital improvements to ensure that our students have a safe place to learn and grow. These investments in K-12 education are the largest in Wisconsin history and I look forward to the legislature's continued support for our schools.

Finally, I have made a point to prioritize health care and the needs of our most vulnerable populations during my time in the State Assembly. I am proud to have authored a state reinsurance plan with the goal of reducing insurance premiums for those purchasing care on the individual marketplace. I proudly voted in favor of prohibiting group health plans from imposing preexisting condition exclusions and supported legislation to make Senior Care a permanent state program.

Many of us know a friend or family member who is living with Alzheimer's or Dementia. To support these members of our community, I authored a provision in the state budget that retains our 19 Dementia Care Specialists as well as expands the program to include 24 specialists.

These are just a few of the many things I was able to achieve as your State Representative this session. I look forward to my continued service representing the 51st Assembly District and I hope you will not hesitate to contact my office if there is anything I may be able to assist with.

A Request for Further Evaluation of Cardinal Hickory Creek Line

After hearing from many of my constituents regarding the proposed Cardinal Hickory Creek Power Line, Representative Travis Tranel and I wrote a letter to the Public Service Commission urging them to explore possible alternatives to this costly project. Further, my office will continue working with constituents and stakeholders to make sure that the decision that is made is best for both Southwest Wisconsin and the state as a whole. Click here to view a copy of the letter

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Local Schools Visit Capitol

Elementary classes from both Ithaca Elementary (above) and St. Victor School in Monroe (below) visited the State Capitol this week. Thank you for visiting!

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Shullsburg FACT Students

Today, I had the privilege of sitting down for lunch with Shullsburg FACT Students to learn about their tobacco prevention efforts in the community. Thank you for having me!