Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The Capitol is a quiet place this week as we prepare for the long
holiday weekend. I am looking forward to spending some time with family
over Thanksgiving. Whether you are traveling to visit family or staying
close to home, I wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
I also want you to know that I am thankful for the opportunity to
represent you. I am truly humbled and honored by the trust you place in
me, and as Thanksgiving nears, I reflect on the responsibility with
which I have been entrusted. Thank you.
In this newsletter, you will find big news about a bill introduced to
improve access to birth control, tips for keeping safe during the
Thanksgiving holiday, and how to protect yourself from Black Friday and
Cyber Monday scams.
If you have any questions or need assistance with any matter, please
feel free to contact my office.
78th Assembly District
Contraceptive Care Act
Presently, Wisconsin health insurance plans
only cover prescriptions of birth control for 30 or 90 days at a time,
which leads to a greater likelihood that birth control is not going to
be taken as it should. This is especially true in areas where women must
travel great distances to the nearest pharmacy and among those who lack
transportation options. For birth control to be effective, doses cannot
be missed, but that is exactly what happens when frequent trips to the
pharmacy are required.
This is why I am proud to be a co-author of the 12-month Contraceptive
Care Act, introduced earlier this month by Rep. Katrina Shankland
(D-Stevens Point). The legislation allows women to obtain a 12-month
supply of birth control in a single visit to a pharmacy.
Improving access to birth control helps women plan their pregnancies and
prevent unintended pregnancy. For some women, birth control has other
health benefits, such as regulating periods or managing serious medical
conditions like endometriosis. Increased access to birth control is also
directly linked to declines in maternal and infant mortality and
reductions in ovarian cancer rates.
Research has shown that dispensing a 12-month supply of birth control at
one time reduces the odds of unintended pregnancy by 30% and reduces
abortion rates by 46%. In addition to better health outcomes, the
legislation may lower costs for health insurers by reducing the number
of pregnancy tests and pregnancies.
to Metcalfe’s Market on 100 Years!
This week, Rep. Terese Berceau, Sen. Fred
Risser, and I presented a legislative citation to the Metcalfe family in
honor of Metcalfe’s Market’s 100th anniversary.
Metcalfe’s success stems not only from their commitment to customer
service, but also from their commitment to our community. Since its
inception, Metcalfe’s World’s Largest Brat Fest has sold more than 3
million bratwursts and raised $1.6 million for charities throughout Dane
County. Readers of Madison Magazine continuously name Metcalfe’s the
“Best of Madison” in the Grocery category.
The Metcalfe family’s commitment to our community also extends to the
environment. Since 2008, Metcalfe’s Markets have been 100% green
powered, offsetting 100% of their carbon dioxide emissions from their
use of electricity by purchasing clean, renewable energy.
It was a pleasure to meet with the family, congratulate them on this
milestone, and wish them continued success in our community.
Foundation for Women Legislators Presentation
Last week, I attended the annual conference of
the National Foundation for Women Legislators, where I had the
opportunity to speak to the full conference about Senate Bill 393, a
bill I have been working on to eliminate the practice of shackling
incarcerated women during labor and childbirth. Legislators from across
the country were surprised to learn about this inhumane and dangerous
practice and will be researching whether it happens in their states. I
am thrilled that we are not only moving this legislation forward in
Wisconsin but also raising awareness that will hopefully put an end to
the practice anywhere in the country it currently occurs.
Our bill would also ensure incarcerated women are offered pregnancy and
STD testing, have access to prenatal care including the ability to use a
doula, and that they receive postpartum care after their babies are
born. Among other things, this includes medical care, mental health
care, and access to a breast pump to maintain their milk supply.
As I told the group of more than 100 women legislators last week, ending
the practice of shackling pregnant women and ensuring incarcerated women
and their babies are safe and healthy is clearly the right thing to do,
from both a human and a fiscal perspective. That is why I will continue
working to get SB 393 passed.
NOTE: Holiday work restrictions are in effect from noon Wednesday (Nov.
22) until 6 a.m. Monday, Nov. 27.
Verona Road, from Fitchrona Road underpass (south of County PD) north
to Raymond Road
Nightly single lane closures scheduled on Verona Road northbound and
southbound within these limits. 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. Monday night through
Wednesday morning (Nov. 20-22)
Access to and from Verona Road at Carriage Street is permanently
CLOSED. Alternate local routes are required.
Northbound Verona Road and Chalet Gardens Road intersection is
permanently CLOSED –
view map. Alternate local routes are required to area businesses
County PD (McKee Road), between Fitchrona Road and Spoke Drive
Nightly single lane closures scheduled on County PD westbound and
eastbound at the Verona Road intersection. 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. Monday
night through Wednesday morning (Nov. 20-22)
One turn lane CLOSED from westbound County PD to Verona Road
Plan Ahead: Next week look-ahead for Nov. 27 - Dec. 2
Click here to visit
the WisDOT Verona Road Project Team website, and
click here to
follow them on Facebook.
Your Family Safe on Thanksgiving
Did you know that most home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving? That’s
why it’s important to follow the safety tips below to help keep your
holiday safe this year.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, unattended cooking is the
leading factor in home cooking fires. Most of those fires start when
food or other cooking materials catch on fire. When preparing your
holiday dinner, make sure you keep anything that can catch on fire such
as oven mitts, wooden utensils, towels and food packages away from your
Stay in your kitchen if you are frying, boiling or broiling food. If you
are baking, make sure you check it regularly. Turn pot handles towards
the back of the stove to help prevent bumping. Keep children and pets
away from the stove. Frying poses the greatest risk of fire. If using a
turkey fryer, make sure you follow the manufacturer guidelines regarding
appropriate use of the appliance.
In addition, make sure you have a fire extinguisher that has an “A”, “B”
and “C” rating and test your smoke alarms to make sure they are working
properly. If using candles, consider using flameless candles.
Many people will be traveling this holiday week to visit family and
friends or to head to the hunting shack. Before you travel, check with
511 Wisconsin for the latest traffic and road conditions. This
information, along with live traffic cameras and traffic alerts, can be
accessed on the 511 Wisconsin system, which includes a free mobile app,
@511WI on Twitter, or the mobile-friendly site www.511wi.gov.
Before traveling, make sure you have an emergency kit in your vehicles.
Vehicle breakdowns or getting stuck in the snow can occur anywhere. A
kit could help keep your family safe until help arrives. Consider
including non-perishable foods, flashlight, extra hats, gloves and
blankets. Other suggestions are available at ReadyWisconsin.wi.gov.
Season of Deals, The Season of Fine Print
In recent years, many major retailers have started spreading their
one-day Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales into a week-long shopping
extravaganza. Between Thanksgiving and the end of the year, retailers
will drop additional sales and limited-time discounts on their own
schedules. And did we mention in-app discounts for mobile device users?
Each of these promotions will have its own terms and conditions,
including limited item inventories, rebate requirements and specific
promotion dates and times. How does a consumer keep track of all of the
details for these sales?
Regardless of whether you prefer to find your holiday deals online or in
print ads, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer
Protection (DATCP) asks shoppers to pay close attention to the sales
details in this season’s promotions.
Holiday sales often introduce variances to retailers’ business hours,
available item quantities, and return policies. Some discounts are only
offered in store while others may require the use of a retailer’s
website or mobile apps.
Other simple tips to remember when you are shopping for deals this
holiday season include:
If you use a retailer’s app, familiarize yourself with its operation
in advance of your trip to the store so that you can access
discounts and promotional offers before you hit the register.
In-store promotions may require you to spend a certain amount on
particular products and accept a text message from the business in
order to receive a coupon or promo code. Read the fine print on
posted signs for the offer.
If you use print ads, keep them available and take note of any
special prices while you shop online or in store.
Print out promotional offers from retailers’ websites if you intend
to buy a particular item in store. Include as much product
information with the offer as you can, including sale prices and SKU
or model numbers.
Some one-day deals may require tickets that you receive at the front
door of the store. These tickets will be limited.
A store’s price match policies may not apply to sale items listed in
Make sure you understand return/refund/exchange policies before you
buy. Retailers may have alternative policies in place for holiday
sales, and online purchases may not necessarily be eligible for
in-store returns. Keep your receipts and pick up gift receipts for
Be aware that clearance and “open items” may have different return
policies or not be returnable at all.
Wisconsin law requires stores to charge their lowest advertised price
for a product and to refund any overcharge, so it is important for
consumers to keep an eye on the prices at the register or in the online
shopping cart. Special pricing may only apply to specific products, so
be sure that you have the correct item and model name or number before
you start to checkout. Speak up if you believe that an item did not
register at its advertised price.
If you are charged the wrong price on an item and the business will not
correct the error, file a complaint with DATCP’s Weights and Measures
Bureau, visit datcp.wi.gov, send an e-mail to email@example.com
or call 608-224-4942.
In 2003 the Wisconsin Legislature named cranberry as the official state
fruit. The idea came from a class project of 5th-grade students from
Trevor Grade School in Kenosha County. 20 out of 72 Wisconsin counties
are producers of cranberries, producing more than half of the nation's
Cranberries evolved in unique wetland conditions created by melting
glaciers. The berries were first named "crane berry" by European
settlers, presumably because prior to blooming, the flower and stem
resemble the head of a Sandhill crane. Cranberries were important in the
diets of Native Americans for hundreds of years. They ate them raw,
dried, boiled with honey or maple sugar, and baked with cornmeal into
bread. A mixture of cranberries, cornmeal, deer meat, and animal fat was
pounded into cakes and dried in the sun to make pemmican.