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A Note from Rep. Edming

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Thank you for taking the time out of your busy week to catch up with me in another e-update. It's been another busy week serving the people of the 87th Assembly District, both in Madison and around the district.
In addition to holding a floor session in the Assembly on Tuesday, we also received the governor's message in his annual State of the State address. Read about this and more below. 
As always, if you have any thoughts or concerns you'd like to share with me, please don't hesitate to contact me. I appreciate hearing your thoughts.

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My Thoughts on the State of the State

On Wednesday evening, Governor Evers came before a joint session of the legislature to deliver his 2020 State of the State Address. This address is an opportunity for the governor to share with the legislature what he sees as the state's big accomplishments over the past year and his plans for the year ahead. I was pleased to welcome Ladysmith Mayor Al Christianson and his wife, Brittany, to the State Capitol as my guests for the governor's address. If you missed the governor's address and would like to watch it, click here

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l to r: Ladysmith Mayor Al Christianson, his wife Brittany, and Rep. Edming

I'd also like to take a moment and share with you my thoughts on the governor's speech. I was happy to hear Governor Evers highlight some of the bipartisan successes of the past year, such as the passage of legislation to expand access to healthcare in rural areas by ensuring coverage of telehealth services by Medicaid. In fact, so far this legislative session, 95% of the votes in the State Assembly have been bipartisan and nearly all of the new laws received bipartisan support.

The governor also announced that he would be calling a special session of the legislature to consider a number of agriculture-related proposals.  I am in the process of reviewing the proposals put forward by the governor and look forward to learning what the people of the 87th District think about them as well. I am glad that some of the priorities Governor Evers outlined in his speech are aimed at addressing needs in rural Wisconsin. Over the governor's first year in office, legislative Republicans have fought for rural Wisconsin in areas like increased local road funding and lower taxes, while much of the governor's agenda was focused on Madison and Milwaukee.

The conservative WISCONSIN Budget that the legislature sent to the governor last year invests more in our state's priorities, all while reducing your taxes and dropping state debt to the lowest level since 2009 and transportation bonding to the lowest level in 20 years. This budget invests more funding in public education and increasing access to broadband internet than ever before. I'm also proud to share with you that, earlier this week, the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau announced that the state is expected to take in an estimated $818.2 million more in tax revenue than was previously projected under this current state budget. This is possible due to the good budgeting and smart economic policies enacted by Republicans over the last decade. I can proudly tell you that the state of our state is strong.   

Higher Revenues.jpgDuring the remainder of the session, Republicans in the legislature will continue to look for ways to work across the aisle and to be focused on issues important to Wisconsinites, while staying true to the conservative principles which have advanced the state over the last decade. As the legislative session continues, I look forward to continuing to listen to folks around the district and moving Wisconsin forward.

Floor Session Wrap-Up

The State Assembly was in session again on Tuesday to vote on a number of legislative proposals including two that I authored, Assembly Bill (AB) 428, and Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR) 119

Summer Camp Regulatory Reform Package Advances

In an e-update earlier this session I discussed the Summer Camp Regulatory Reform Package, which works to eliminate some government red tape for summer camps in our state.  This package includes a bill I authored, AB 428, which allows physicians licensed in another jurisdiction where the licensure standards are substantially equivalent to Wisconsin's standards to practice at a camp in Wisconsin for up to 90 working days per year without obtaining a temporary license from Wisconsin.  This proposal along with the three other bills in the Summer Camp Regulatory Reform Package (AB 435, AB 437, and AB 458) were approved by the Assembly on unanimous voice votes and now head to the State Senate for their consideration.  I hope to see this important package on Governor Evers' desk soon. 

Assembly Declares February 16-22 American Birkebeiner Week

On Tuesday, the Assembly also passed AJR 119, which I authored with Senators Petrowski and Bewley and Representative Meyers. AJR 119 declares the week of February 16-22 American Birkebeiner Week in Wisconsin.  This world-famous cross-country ski race brings in over 13,500 cross-country skiers and an estimated 35,000 spectators each February to the Hayward-Cable area and contributes an estimated $30 million to the local economy each year.  I was proud to join with my colleagues who represent the Hayward-Cable area in the legislature to bring forward this resolution highlighting the importance of this event.

Assembly Approves HOPE Agenda Bill Package

The Assembly also considered a package of bills that continue the fight against drug addiction in our state. The 87th Assembly District has been hit especially hard by this epidemic in our state. This package is a continuation of the Heroin, Opioid Prevention, and Education (HOPE) Agenda which began back in 2013. As of today, there are a total of 30 proposals that make up its total legislative package, which have been signed into law. The bills that were approved by the Assembly on Tuesday will work to:

  • Expand access to safe and reliable recovery housing;
  • Ensure state employees protections while undergoing Medication-Assisted Treatment;
  • Extend the highly successful PDMP requirements;
  • Expand access to MAT in our corrections environments;
  • Remove barriers to Recovery Coaches; and
  • Extend the 911 Good Samaritan law to continue to save lives

This important package of bills builds upon the progress our state has made over the last few years and is another step in the right direction in getting help to those who need it and, ultimately, saving lives. As a co-author of these bills, I look forward to seeing the Senate consider these bills soon.

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Protect Life Day

During Tuesday's Assembly floor session, I was very proud to stand with my Republican colleagues and support Assembly Joint Resolution 118. This joint resolution proclaims January 22nd, 2020 as "Protect Life Day." While I am disappointed that this resolution did not gain the support of any of my Democratic colleagues, you have my commitment that as long as I serve as your state representative, I will always stand for life.

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Under the Dome

Taylor Credit Union

I was pleased to meet with some of the folks from Taylor Credit Union in Medford who were in Madison for their annual lobby day. We discussed issues important to credit unions in general, and the Taylor Credit Union specifically.     

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Biker Day at the Capitol

Yesterday, I met with ABATE of Wisconsin during their annual Biker Day at the Capitol. During our meeting, we discussed different regulatory issues that motorcycle riders face every time they are out on the road. As a motorcycle rider myself, I enjoyed visiting with these folks and I look forward to working on legislation important to them.    

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Removing a Barrier to Higher Education for Our Veterans

Yesterday, I testified before the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities in support of Assembly Bill (AB) 663.  This legislation I authored is aimed at reducing the burden of applying to college for our veterans and active duty service members by waiving the application fee charged when they apply to Wisconsin's public colleges and universities.  While the cost of a college application fee may not seem like a big deal, for a veteran who is struggling financially, it could be the difference that keeps them from applying to the school of their choice or to any postsecondary institution at all.  Those who have served our country should not have to worry about covering the cost of college application fees, and this bill is a low-cost way of saying 'thank you' to our veterans. I'm proud to see this important legislation receive a public hearing and hope to see it on the Assembly floor before the end of the session.

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Around the 87th

Cancer Benefit

Last Saturday, I attended a benefit for Wendi Olsen-Strop at the Winter Fire Hall. Wendi was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and the proceeds of the benefit went to help her family with medical expenses. I was happy to see so many people come out in support of Wendi and her family.

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Upcoming Events Around the 87th

Check out the following events happening around the district:

Do you know of any events in the district that I missed? Contact my office and let me know, so I can include it in a future e-update and try to attend myself.

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.