Assembly Votes to Limit Government Overreach

This week, I voted in favor of a number of bills improving the State Government’s response to COVID-19. The bills include measures that would require the Governor to develop a plan for state employees to return to in-person work, prohibit the government and private employers from mandating vaccinations, prohibit the government from closing places of worship, and require the Governor to submit a plan for expenditure of new federal COVID-19 funds to the Legislature.

Many Wisconsinites have been working in-person with basic safety precautions for months now – to say nothing of first responders who have been in-person since day one of this pandemic. As more and more Wisconsinites get vaccinated it is time for Governor Evers to develop a plan for when state employees will return to the office.

All Wisconsinites should be guaranteed that exercising their freedom of conscience will not prevent them from employment. While I encourage all who are able to get vaccinated the fact is that some people have sincerely held religious beliefs regarding vaccinations or health conditions making vaccination dangerous. Those people should not be mandated to receive vaccination by either the government or their employer.

Just as individual freedom of conscience needs to be protected, no government official should be able to close a place of worship and restrict First Amendment rights guaranteeing freedom of worship. I am proud to vote to prevent local officials from closing places of worship.

Finally, the Legislature has long held the power of the purse regarding how taxpayer funds are spent, and today’s vote simply ensures that new federal COVID relief fund spending authorized by the Governor be submitted to the Legislature - just as we do with other government spending. 


Children and Families Committee Holds Public Hearing

This week, I chaired a Public Hearing of the Assembly Committee on Children and Families. The Committee heard testimony from lawmakers, experts, and members of the public on the following bills:

Assembly Bill 26which would prohibit the out-of-home placement of a child with a person with a record of a crime against a child. Known as "Ethan's Law" this legislation is based on the tragedy that befell Ethan Hauschultz in Manitowoc. 


Assembly Bill 138: which would reform the adoption process in Wisconsin by providing a disclaimer of parental rights in the adoption process. Wisconsin is currently considered one of the least "adoption friendly" states in the country and this change would help improve the process and place children in caring homes. 


Assembly Bill 142 and Assembly Bill 143 are bills that incorporate into state law new federal requirements. One relates to protections under the law for those reporting child abuse and the other updates standards for congregate care facilities.  


Wausau Poet Laureate 

The City of Wausau is seeking applications from interested and qualified artists to provide literary art services for the Wausau Poet Laureate Program.  The artist selected through this competitive Request For Proposal process would become Wausau's first poet laureate.  Read over the Request for Proposals and submit your application by April 30, 2021.


COVID-19 Vaccine Update

The Department of Health Services (DHS) announced the Marathon County community vaccination clinic will open on April 6th at Northcentral Technical College's Center for Business and Industry from 11 am to 7 pm, Monday through Saturday.  The clinic will first schedule vaccination appointments for those on the Marathon County Health Department’s waitlist, with priority for those who are age 65 and older, educators, and child care staff. After those appointments are scheduled, the clinic will then begin scheduling appointments for anyone currently eligible for the vaccine. To make an appointment, please use the WI COVID-19 registry.

Additionally, people age 16 and older with certain medical conditions associated with an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 were eligible for the vaccine on Monday. This newly eligible group adds approximately more than 2 million people into the population eligible for the vaccine.

All groups now currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine include:

  • Frontline health care personnel
  • Residents and staff in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities
  • Police and fire personnel, correctional staff
  • Adults age 65 and older
  • Educators and child care staff
  • Individuals enrolled in Medicaid long-term care programs
  • Some public-facing essential workers
  • Non-frontline essential health care personnel
  • Staff and residents in congregate living facilities
  • Individuals age 16 and older with the following medical conditions:
    • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
    • Cancer
    • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
    • Cystic fibrosis
    • Diabetes
    • Down syndrome
    • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
    • Hypertension or high blood pressure
    • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant, blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
    • Liver disease
    • Neurologic conditions, such as intellectual disabilities and dementia
    • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30-39 kg/m2)
    • Overweight (BMI of 25-29 kg/m2)
    • Pregnancy
    • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
    • Severe Obesity (BMI 40 kg/m2 or more)
    • Sickle cell disease
    • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)



2019-2020 Blue Books & maps (paper highway maps or laminated maps) are still available in my office! The Wisconsin Blue Book contains information on all things Wisconsin including: census information, state history, official state symbols, and everything about Wisconsin government! Contact me for your free copy today!