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A Note from Rep. Edming

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Welcome to another edition of my e-update. It's been another busy week serving the people of the 87th Assembly District. I introduced another great bill with some of my colleagues and Governor Evers announced his distribution of additional assistant district attorneys throughout the state. You can read about this and more below.

Today is National POW-MIA Recognition Day. On this day we honor those who endured captivity as prisoners of war. We also pause today to remember those Americans who remain missing in action and recommit ourselves to doing everything we can to find them and bring them home. Click here to learn more about POW-MIA Recognition Day. 

As always, if you would like to share your thoughts or concerns on any state issues, please contact my office and let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.


Improving Access to Quality Health Care

In many rural areas of our state, there is a shortage of primary care physicians.  This problem is expected to continue to grow in the coming years and Wisconsin is currently projected to face a major statewide shortage of primary care physicians by 2035.  One of the ways to help alleviate this problem is through the use of advanced practice clinicians, like physician assistants (PAs).  Over 2,700 PAs practice in Wisconsin, performing physical exams, diagnosing and treating illnesses, assisting in surgery, and prescribing medication.  However, current law does not allow PAs to practice to the full potential of their education, training, and experience.  To address this, I recently introduced bipartisan legislation along with some of my colleagues known as the Collaboration and Rural Expansion of Services (CARES) Act.

The CARES Act would not create an independent PA practice, but it would change the working relationship between the PA and the physician from "supervision" to one of "collaboration."  The bill also does not change the scope of practice for PAs. Instead, it simply allows them to practice up to their full potential based on their education, training, and experience.  In addition, this bill seeks to increase the number of PAs practicing in Wisconsin by eliminating the current four-to-one physician-to-PA ratio requirement which unnecessarily limits the number of PAs practicing in Wisconsin.  It is my hope that this legislation will help improve access to healthcare in rural areas including the 87th District.

The CARES Act is currently circulating for support in the legislature. I look forward to seeing this bill gain further support in the weeks ahead.

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Assistant DA Allocation Announced

A part of the WISCONSIN Budget that was passed by Republicans in the legislature earlier this year, was funding for a number of additional assistant district attorney (ADA) positions around the state.  As the plan was developed on how to allocate these new prosecutor positions during the budget process, Republican legislators used data from a needs assessment prepared by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) to determine where the new ADA positions should go.

Under the budget that was approved by the legislature, most of the counties that make up the 87th Assembly District were set to receive additional ADA positions, some full-time and some part-time, based on the needs of that county.

  • Marathon County - 4.5 ADA positions
  • Sawyer County - 1 ADA position
  • Rusk County - 0.5 ADA position
  • Taylor County - 0.5 ADA position

However, when Governor Evers signed the state budget into law back in July, he vetoed the county by county allocation for about half of the 64.95 ADA positions that were approved by the legislature and instead allowed unelected bureaucrats at the Department of Administration decide where those positions should go.  The positions that were impacted by the governor's veto were those in Marathon and Taylor Counties.  Earlier this week, the governor announced how these positions would be divided around the state.  Under the governor's plan, Taylor County will still be receiving the additional half-time position that was included in the budget by the legislature, however, Marathon County will only be receiving 3.5 additional positions, 1 less than under the budget as approved by the legislature.  The governor's plan also reduces the number of ADA positions in other rural counties as well.  What was even more disappointing about this plan is that it shifts ADA positions from counties like Marathon to counties with much less need such as Milwaukee County.

Under the governor's plan, Milwaukee County will receive 3 additional ADA positions even though according to the most recent LAB District Attorney Workload Study, the Milwaukee County District Attorney's office is staffed at 115% based on their caseload.  In comparison,  Marathon County is only staffed at 62% of estimated need according to the same study.  It is disappointing to see that Governor Evers has once again chosen to prioritize Milwaukee over Wisconsin's Northwoods.


Round Lake Fire Department Fundraiser

I was happy to be in good company last Friday night for the Round Lake Fire Department fish fry fundraiser at the R & R Bayview Resort & Restaurant near Hayward.  It was a tremendous turnout and I was glad to help support some of the 87th Assembly District's fine first responders.

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Upcoming Events Around the 87th

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.