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April 2nd, 2021


E-Update: This Week in the Legislature


Contents

  • Browntown Listening Session
  • Bills Introduced
  • Meeting this Week
  • District News
  • Happy Easter

Browntown Budget Listening Session

This Monday, Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and I held our final budget listening session. We had the privilege to meet with a group of constituents in Browntown.

During the listening session, Senator Marklein and I heard from constituents to learn more about their concerns and needs for this biennial budget. Common themes of concerns included, rural broadband expansion, increased funding for transportation and road repairs, legislative oversight for federal relief funds, and increased funding for long term care and disability centers.

This was the last of our scheduled budget listening sessions in district. I would encourage my constituents to continue contacting my office with their concerns and questions as we continue the budgeting process.

Thank you again to all those who attended the listening sessions!

 


Bill Introduced

This week, a bill that I authored was introduced in the Legislature, Assembly Bill 181 (AB-181) relating to newborn screening for Krabbe disease. This bill is similar to a bill that I authored during the 2015 session.

Wisconsin’s newborn screening program currently tests for 46 disorders, including a lysosomal storage disorder similar to Krabbe disease called Pompe disease that was added in 2020. This bill would add Krabbe to the screening list and require DHS to evaluate the addition of other lysosomal storage disorders on a biennial basis. While Krabbe has no cure, detection of the disease at birth enables parents to seek treatment for their children, who are then able to live longer, fuller lives.

This bill requires that, in addition to the other congenital and metabolic disorders for which testing is currently required under rules established by the Department of Health Services, the attending physician, nurse-midwife, or in certain circumstances, other birth attendant, must ensure that every infant born undergoes testing for globoid cell leukodystrophy, also known as Krabbe disease, which is a lysosomal storage disorder. As authorized by current law, DHS specifies by rule the congenital and metabolic disorders for which newborn infants are to be screened. Current law allows an exception to the testing requirement if the parents or legal guardian object on the basis of a conflict with religious tenets and practices or with their personal convictions.


 Stakeholder Meeting

This week I met with Brian Dake from the Wisconsin Independent Businesses to go over the current state of the Wisconsin workforce and the needs of small businesses during the pandemic.

In the meeting we discussed ways in which the Legislature can aid small businesses struggling to fill open employment opportunities as well as ways to continue supporting rural small businesses.

One area of particular interest to me was the need for broadband expansion. The pandemic has exposed many of the difficulties rural Wisconsinites face in receiving high speed broadband. I believe that this issue has bipartisan support and I look forward to further moving the needle this session to help bring expanded broadband to the district.


District News

Earlier in March the the village of Argyle as a finalist to receive a $250,000 state grant to help renovate the former Ford Building located in downtown Argyle.

This week Argyle was announced as the recipient for this grant.

I am happy to see that Argyle was awarded this grant as I believe this funding will provide a necessary boost allowing the village of Argyle to continue its growth.


 Happy Easter


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 Rep.Novak@legis.wisconsin.gov or (608) 237-9151.


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