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June 2019 E-Newsletter

Dear Friends & Neighbors,

Welcome to my June e-newsletter. It is always an honor to serve the people of Oshkosh. I look forward to continuing our work with the Governor and my legislative colleagues to move Wisconsin forward.

As always, if I can ever be of any assistance, please feel free to reach out. You can call me at my Capitol office at 608-266-2254, my home at 920-232-0805, email me at Rep.Hintz@legis.wi.gov, or stop by for a visit at my office hours in Oshkosh.

Sincerely, 

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Where are we in the Budget Process? 

In February, Governor Tony Evers announced his biennial state budget. It outlined the spending and revenue priorities for the next two years. For six weeks, the Joint Finance Committee held public hearings and executive sessions covering each state agency. During these sessions, legislators took a look at the Governor's budget proposals in order to craft an official budget bill for the biennium.

The State Assembly debated the budget on the Assembly Floor this week. It passed the Assembly and will now be presented to the State Senate before it is brought to the Governor for passage. Below are a few of the major topics in the budget and the differences in funding between the Democratic proposals and the Republican budget:

K-12 Public Education

  • Full investment in public education is critical to our growth as a state, and it was a missed opportunity to not pass a significant funding increase for special education as proposed by Governor Evers.
  • The Republican controlled legislature significantly reduced the Governor's proposal. In Oshkosh alone, the budget that passed the legislature funded special education at $8.34 million less than what Gov. Evers proposed in his budget. 

Healthcare

  • Governor Evers' plan to expand Medicaid would save taxpayers $324 million in this budget alone, drawing down $1.6 billion dollars in federal funds, while lowering insurance premiums on the private market to as low as 7%. 
  • By rejecting Medicaid Expansion, Republicans are leaving hundreds of millions on dollars on the table that could go towards K-12 education, fixing the roads, and investing in critical issues like infant mortality, women's health initiatives, and mental health services. 

Capital City Sunday

I joined host Emilee Fannon on Capital City Sunday two weeks ago. We discussed the ways that Governor Evers' budget maximizes revenues and opportunities for our state. You can watch the full interview here.

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Last month, I introduced legislation to eliminate the personal exemption for vaccines. Removing this waiver, which accounts for 90% of exemptions in Wisconsin, will increase immunization rates and reduce the spread of infectious disease. Last week, I rolled out a new website on vaccinations. You can view the website here.

The Winnebago County Health Department also offered this thorough analysis of immunization rates in Wisconsin and the role the personal conviction waiver can play in addressing this growing, nationwide public health crisis. 

 Recap of Last Month 

My family and I welcomed our son, Gethin Xavier Hintz, in to this world on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. We are thrilled with our new addition to our family.

On May 28, Governor Tony Evers joined me at Winnebago Mental Health Institute to hear from front line workers regarding their increasingly challenging work conditions including an unreasonable number of forced overtime hours.

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For the first time in Wisconsin history, the Pride Flag was raised over the State Capitol on June 7. As we celebrate Pride Month, we must always remember that LGBTQ rights are human rights. 

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Thank you to everyone who joined me at the Oshkosh Farmers Markets for office hours. If you were not able to make it, I will be hosting regular office hours this Friday, June 28, at the Oshkosh Seniors Center from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM.

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 Looking Ahead 

Tune into WHBY on Monday, July 8 to hear a discussion with host Josh Dukelow and Representative Steineke on "Fresh Take - The Leaders."

 In the News

Don't expect Foxconn to care about U.S. jobs (June 5)

Foxconn’s delays might finally give Wisconsin the upper hand (June 5)

Health Affairs Study: Medicaid Expansion Lowers Insurance Premiums (June 6)

Representative Hintz Applauds Governor Evers' Executive Order on Pardon Process (June 13) 

Winnebago County committee endorses Medicaid expansion, citing potential gain of $104 million (June 24)

Helpful State Resources

Those headed out to lakes and rivers this summer are reminded to be on the lookout for blue-green algae.  Some blue-green algae can produce toxins that cause illness in people and animals who accidentally swallow, inhale, or have prolonged skin contact with the algae.  To help track the occurrence of blooms around the state, blooms may be reported to the Department of Natural Resources at DNRHABS@wisconsin.gov

The agency is particularly interested in reports of especially severe or unusual bloom conditions.

If you ever have questions regarding resources in Oshkosh, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at 608-266-2254 or email me at Rep.Hintz@legis.wi.gov.

Office Hours

Join me at this month's office hours on Friday, June 28th from 10:00 AM at the Seniors Center. Summer office hours will be held on Friday, July 19th. Hope to see you there!

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