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A Note from Rep. Edming

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Thank you for reading my e-update this week. I am looking forward to sharing with you a bit about what I have been up to this week, as well as some events happening around the 87th Assembly District.
As always, please contact my office and let me know your thoughts and concerns on state issues. I look forward to hearing from you.


Continuing to Fight for Mental Health Funding 

Back in early July when Governor Evers signed the state budget into law he exercised his broad partial veto authority to make various changes to the budget that was approved by the legislature.  One of the governor's 78 vetoes that I was most disappointed with was his veto of a $15 million one-time grant for the establishment of a northern regional mental health center in the Eau Claire/Chippewa Falls area.

The funding provided by this grant would have helped cover the start-up costs and staff training.  The center would be split between two locations, one with 33 beds for adults and another with 18 beds for adolescents.  Currently, counties must transport patients experiencing a mental health crisis to facilities in either Oshkosh or Madison.  This long-distance transport creates significant costs for the counties in our region and takes law enforcement officers away from their regular duties for long periods of time.  Establishing a northern regional mental health center would be a big improvement for the counties in our area.

In 2018, in the 29 counties that would be served by the new facility, there were 774 cases that required transport of a patient.  Based on each county's caseload in 2018, the projected savings for the counties that make up the 87th Assembly District would be:

  • Clark County - $ 38,645
  • Marathon County - $569,537
  • Rusk County - $ 13,169
  • Sawyer County - $ 75,023
  • Taylor County - $ 24,089

The total savings for the 29 counties that would be served by this facility would be nearly $2.8 million.  Also, the projected savings are a conservative estimate as they do not include other costs such as overnight stays which are needed in some cases.

Following the governor's veto of this proposal from the state budget, I began talking with my colleagues about the next steps.  Recently, I met with a number of my colleagues and local officials in Chippewa Falls to continue to discuss this issue.  After this meeting, I was pleased to see standalone legislation circulated for support in the legislature that would bring this proposal back. I hope to see this bill advance in the fall legislative session and gain wide bipartisan support.

8.16.19 - Mental Health Funding Meeting - Chippewa Falls.jpg

First Responder of the Year Award Reminder

As I mentioned in last week's e-update, between now and Friday, September 6th, I will be seeking nominations for the First Responder of the Year in the 87th Assembly District. Nominations could include anyone who is a police officer, fire-fighter, or EMS personnel. The nomination can be based on a specific heroic action, a significant professional achievement, the person's body of work over time, something special they do for the community relating to their work, and/or their length of service. 

The winner of this award will be selected later in September and he or she will be invited to a Hometown Heroes recognition in the State Assembly this October. If you have someone in mind you would like to nominate, click here to print out the nomination form. Since last week, I have also added an online form you can use to submit nominations. Click here to use the online nomination form. If you have any questions about this award, feel free to contact my office.  


Meeting with the Attorney General

Yesterday I had the opportunity to sit down with Attorney General Josh Kaul.  We discussed a variety of important issues such as his support for bipartisan legislation that will improve the processing of sexual assault kits and ways to combat drug abuse in our state.  While the attorney general and I may not always see eye-to-eye on policy, we had a very productive meeting and I look forward to working with him in the future on issues important to the people of the 87th Assembly District.

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Around the 87th 

Athens Fair

I had an awesome time at the Athens Fair this past weekend.  I always enjoy my time at this great community event.  While I was there I was was pleased to run into the Wisconsin Draft Horse Breeders Association (WHDBA) Queen, Annika Kulas, and her horse, Mick. The WHDBA Queen Program has been a part of the association since 1971, having queens represent the association at the Wisconsin State Fair each year, as well as other fairs and shows. Keep up the great work, Annika! 

8.18.19 - WI Draft Horse Queen.jpg

Sawyer County Fair This Weekend

The 87th District's last county fair of the summer is this weekend up in Sawyer County.  The Sawyer County Fair runs through Sunday at the fairgrounds just outside of Hayward so if you get a chance, head on up to Hayward for some great family fun.

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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.