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October 29th, 2021

This Week in the Legislature


  • Ron Wiegel Honored with First Responder Award
  • Session Update
  • Bluebooks Still Available
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Ron Wiegel Honored with First Responder Award

This week during floor session, the Assembly had the privilege to honor first responders from each district.

Congratulations to Ron Wiegel of Shullsburg for being honored with the First Responder Award for the 51st Assembly District!

Ron was honored at the Capitol during our floor session for his years of dedication and service to the Shullsburg EMS Department. The residents of Shullsburg truly appreciate all that Ron has done for his community. This was evident by the bus full of Shullsburg residents that made the trip up today to help honor Ron.

My office received several nominations for the first responder award. It is never easy to pick one winner, as everyone who was nominated is deserving of this award. Ron, like all first responders goes above and beyond the call to serve.

Our nominees included:

Jim Riemanapp who has served as the Cobb-Eden Fire Assistant Chief and first responder. He has been a member of the Cobb/Eden Volunteer Fire Department since 1975. He served the department as Fire Chief from 2008-2020 and is currently serving as Assistant Chief. During Jim’s tenure with the department, he has demonstrated an amazing work ethic and has been very well respected by his peers. Jim was also instrumental in starting the first responder unit in 1998, and continues to actively serve.

Robert Neuheisel has been an active fire fighter since 1970, was fire chief from 1981-1990 and has been an EMT since the Plain EMS started in 1977. Robert is really passionate towards the EMS in recruitment drives and assists with training new members in both the fire department and EMS. He also plays a big part in the Village of Plain’s community from his years of serving as a village board member.

Reg Gill serves as the Sheriff in Lafayette County. Reg has served in the Lafayette County Sheriff's Office for over 20 years where he is highly respected for his professionalism, integrity, resolve, thoroughness, thoughtfulness and dedication he takes in serving the residents of Lafayette County. Reg is an exemplary leader who embodies the mission statement of the entire sheriff's department and their acronym RISE (Respect, Integrity, Service, and Excellence).

Bethany Vo serves as an emergency medical technician with the Dodgeville Ambulance Service. She brings a calm and steady presence when responding to service calls. One family wrote, “It was an extremely stressful and frightening experience (medical emergency)… It is amazing to me that someone… could be so confident and good at their job. She was amazing!” Bethany has been described as attentive and calming. These attributes certainly contribute to her effectiveness when responding to calls.

Bev Ryan has faithfully served with the Blanchardville EMS and Fire Department as an emergency medical technician for over 31 years. Bev has inspired many others to join the Department over the years especially when it comes to female recruitment. One current female member of the Department explains, “I have been struggling to find words to describe the impact Bev has had on me. No one will ever understand.” Words may be hard to find, but Bev’s legacy and contributions to the community are clear. “Selfless, kind, dedicated, wise, encouraging, professional, and compassionate” are all qualities that contribute to Bev being “a role model and a true leader”. She recently retired, yet remains active with the Department and in the community.

 Jan Aschilman has served for both the Dodgeville Fire Department and Dodgeville Emergency Services for over 40 years. Over the years, Jan has strived to ensure Dodgeville has top quality response teams for their service area. This is especially pronounced through her mentorship for those individuals who have recently joined the Department. Her selfless dedication is a testament to her service.

Rick Hendrickson serves with the Blanchardville EMS Department as a paramedic. He has previously held leadership positions that include service as the director of the Department. Beyond his service with the Blanchardville EMS Department, Rick also helps train several surrounding EMS departments. Training is essential to maintain response readiness and ensure high standards of care. Colleagues and friends describe Rick as an “outstanding and caring person” and are proud of his many accomplishments and contributions to the community. 

Session Update

Two of bills that I have introduced were voted on Assembly this week.  We also celebrated the 185th anniversary of Wisconsin's first territorial legislature in Belmont and sent two bills that I authored to the Governor for his signature.

The Assembly and Senate passed Senate Bill 555 this week. This is the bill that I authored with Senator Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) after hearing about the tragedy concerning a newborn baby, Harper who was found murdered this winter in Green County. that would add the teaching of Wisconsin’s Safe Haven laws in health classes.

Wisconsin’s Safe Haven laws allow newborn children to be relinquished to police officers, emergency responders, and hospital workers without legal consequence if the child is less than 72 hours old. Once the child has been relinquished an adoption can be facilitated. Under the recently passed bill, there will be an educational component incorporated into health classes to ensure individuals are taught about the current law.

The bipartisan bill has garnered the support of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and many education groups including the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators, Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance, Wisconsin Association of School Boards, Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials, Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators, Wisconsin Association of School Personnel Administrators, and the Wisconsin Council for Administrators of Special Services.

Senator Marklein and I have been working to clarify and refine a broad exception in state law that currently allows for the operation of unregistered vehicles during any declared state of emergency. Green County District Attorney Craig Nolen and local law enforcement brought this common sense idea forward and came before legislative committees in both chambers to testify in support of the proposed change. The full Assembly voted this week on a unanimous bipartisan voice vote to pass Senate Bill 437. This bill will now be sent to Governor Evers for final consideration.

Monday, October 25, 2021 was the 185th anniversary of Wisconsin's first territorial legislature meeting in Belmont and Senator Marklein and I introduced identical joint resolutions to celebrate the occasion. In 1836, the Wisconsin territory was formed by an act of Congress. President Andrew Jackson appointed Henry Dodge as the first territorial Governor who then subsequently selected Belmont to be the first meeting place for the territory’s first legislature. Many important decisions were made during that first meeting including the formation of a judicial system, designation of a permanent capitol in Madison, the establishment of a university, identification of various infrastructure projects, and outlining the internal workings of the newly formed government. I am proud of our history here in Southwest Wisconsin and was happy to see so many of my fellow lawmakers join to sponsor the resolutions on a bipartisan basis and then vote for adoption in both the Assembly and the Senate.

Blue Books Still Available!

The 2021-22 Wisconsin Blue Books are now available! These books contain important facts about our state as well as contact information for state government agencies and elected officials.

If you'd like a copy, my office will send you one free of charge!

Please email my office at or call (608)-266-7502 and provide your full name and address and I will send you a copy.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

For all full list of COVID-19 vaccine sites statewide please click the vaccine finder link here.

Have a Great Weekend!!

As always, please do not hesitate to follow up with any additional questions or concerns you may have. I can be reached at or (608) 237-9151.