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A Note from Rep. Edming

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Welcome to another edition of my e-update.  There has been quite a lot going on over the past couple of weeks.  In this edition, I will discuss last week's extraordinary session as well as provide an update on what has been going on around the Capitol and in the 87th District.  If you would like to jump to a specific story please click on the links to the left under "In This Edition...".  As always thanks for taking the time to review this e-update.


Extraordinary Session Wrap Up

As you are likely aware, the state legislature met in extraordinary session last week to consider legislation relating to a variety of government reforms.  I appreciate everyone who reached out to me to share both their support and opposition to the bills.  I wanted to send this e-update a little earlier, but I felt it was important to take the time to respond to everyone who contacted me first.  If you contacted my office on this issue and have not received a response from me yet you should be receiving one in the mail soon.

As your state representative, I make a point to fully review the issues that are addressed in the bills that come before me prior to making any decisions on how I plan to vote. With that being said, after reviewing the package of bills and considering all of the issues they addressed, I decided to vote in favor of their passage.  Because I have heard from so many folks with questions or concerns I want to take a moment to share a little bit about why I cast my vote the way I did.

First, unlike what you may have heard in the media, the extraordinary session was not about "limiting" the powers of the incoming governor and attorney general.  The real powers of the governor and attorney general are outlined in the Wisconsin State Constitution and can only be changed through a constitutional amendment.  What the extraordinary session bills do is help restore the balance of power between two co-equal branches of government.  While Governor-elect Evers' administration has every right to pursue different policies than Governor Walker's administration, any changes made to the policies that were put into place over the past few years should be made by working through the legislative process.

In the three extraordinary session bills that were approved, a number of provisions were not new ideas.  They had been a part of bills that have been discussed before by the legislature but just didn’t make it all the way through the legislative process.  Several of the changes were codifying administrative rules into statute or updating state law to reflect court decisions and federal law.  An example of this is some of the administrative rules for our state's Voter ID law that allow for free ID's to be obtained and for technical college IDs to be used for voting purposes.

As you may know, there was a fourth bill that was introduced for consideration during the extraordinary session but was ultimately not taken up by the full legislature.  This bill would have moved the presidential primary to March resulting in three elections in three months.  Under current law, the presidential primary is held on the same day as the spring general election in April.  I was opposed to this bill due to the unnecessary strain that this additional election would have had on our local governments.  I also heard similar concerns from many clerks and other local elected officials from around the district.  I am pleased this bill was not considered by the full Assembly.

I would like to end by saying I believe these reforms are a good idea no matter which party controls the legislature or the executive branch.  If you would like to know a few more of my thoughts on the extraordinary session you may want to read my guest column that various news outlets around the 87th District printed earlier this week.  If you missed the column you can click here to read it on my website.  Also, if you would like more detailed information about the legislation passed in the extraordinary session I encourage you to read the synopsis from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

Rep. Edming Appointed to Chair New Committee

I am excited to announce that earlier this week Speaker Vos appointed me to serve as the Chairman of the newly created Assembly Committee on Labor and Integrated Employment for the upcoming legislative session.  I am grateful to Speaker Vos for allowing me to lead this important committee.

With the state's unemployment rate at a record low, there are many employers around the state and the 87th Assembly District who are looking to hire capable, dependable employees.  To keep our economy strong it is important to find new ways to grow our state's labor force.  One area to look at is continuing the progress made this past session on promoting competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities.  I am proud to have authored the Employment First Act this past session that made Wisconsin a national leader in this area and hope to build upon this success in this committee next session.

To learn more about my appointment, click here to read my press release.

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A throwback to the Employment First Act bill signing from this past March.

Around the 87th

Counseling Connection Open House

Late last month I had the opportunity to attend the Counseling Connection of Medford's open house.  I was able to learn a little about what they do and to see their new space.  Thank you for the work you do to make our community a better place!

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Christmas Concerts Around the District
One of the biggest reasons I love the Christmas season is all of the wonderful Christmas concerts around the district.  Over the past couple of weeks, I have had the opportunity to attend several, including concerts in Hayward, Gilman, and Medford.  I hope to be able to get to a few more over the next week or two.

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A couple of pictures from the band concert in Gilman this past Monday. 

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A photo from the Medford 7th & 8th grade Christmas concert last week.

Gilman Christmas Lights Display

When I was in Gilman this past week I had the opportunity to check out the awesome Christmas lights display at Village Park.  If you are looking for a good family outing to celebrate the Christmas season I encourage you to make the trip to Gilman to check them out.  It is well worth the trip.

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Check Back Next Week

Earlier this week Taylor the bear and Nathan the eagle got into the Christmas spirit and did a little decorating for my Christmas video.  Check back next week for a special Christmas e-update to see the finished product!

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Stay Up to Date

One of the best ways to stay up to date with what is going on in Madison is to sign up for the legislature's notification tracking service. This service allows you to follow legislative activity in Madison. Once you create a free account you can sign up to receive notifications about specific bills or committees as well as legislative activity pertaining to a subject area (i.e. agriculture, veterans). You can sign up for this service at notify.legis.wisconsin.gov.