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A Note from Rep. Edming

Welcome to this week's edition of my e-update. It was a busy week working on behalf of the people of the 87th Assembly District with floor sessions, meetings, and more.

In addition, my office has seen a high volume of contacts over the past several weeks. If you have reached out to my office and have not yet received a response please be assured that my staff and I are doing our very best to respond to constituents of the 87th Assembly District as quickly as we can.

Restoring Important Provisions to COVID Relief

During the State Assembly’s floor session on Tuesday, I was proud to vote once again to approve Assembly Bill (AB) 1, the next round of COVID-19 relief. The State Assembly approved an amended version of the bill that restored a number of important provisions that were removed by the State Senate prior to their approval of the bill on January 12th. AB 1 as amended by the Assembly ensures access to necessary medication, COVID tests and vaccines, while limiting government overreach.

The bill once again prohibits employers, the Department of Health Services (DHS), and local health officers from mandating the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, the legislation once again prohibits DHS and local public health officers from closing places of worship. Since the Senate approved their changes on January 12th restoring these provisions was one of the top concerns I heard from constituents regarding COVID relief.

Also, the amended legislation will provide our state with more tools to fight COVID-19 and continues to support hospitals, build up workforce capacity, and support other areas of need. The bill also helps with vaccine administration by allowing properly trained pharmacy students and dentists to administer the vaccine. It also protects schools and businesses from certain liabilities to reduce the likelihood of frivolous lawsuits and allows access to long-term care facilities for someone designated as an “essential visitor” by a resident.

Improving Our State’s Vaccination Efforts

In addition, on Thursday I supported two more bills to help improve our state’s vaccination efforts, Assembly Bills (AB) 4 and 5.

  • AB 4 aligns Wisconsin with federal law and allows pharmacy technicians to administer vaccines as long as they complete two hours of training and are supervised by a pharmacist. The bill also allows trained pharmacy students authorized to administer vaccines to work under other health providers.
  • AB 5 requires people over the age of 60 to receive the highest priority for vaccination as statistics from DHS show that this population represents a large majority of both COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. In addition, the bill requires DHS to publish a plan for vaccinating the general population and offer a timeframe for availability no later than March 15th.

Under the Dome

Meeting with WITC

On Wednesday, my staff and I had the opportunity to meet with President John Will and board members from Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC) to discuss their budget priorities and learn how they are still meeting the needs of their students. It's always great to talk with the folks from WITC.

Credit Union Day

On Tuesday, my staff and I had the opportunity to meet with folks from the Wisconsin Credit Union League, including Debra Woods from Taylor Credit Union. They provided an update on how they continue to serve their customers and the community during the pandemic as well as their priorities for the year ahead.

Happy School Choice Week!

On Thursday the Assembly approved Assembly Joint Resolution 3 which declares this week as School Choice Week. Wisconsin is the national birthplace of school choice and I was proud to co-sponsor this resolution. Back in 1990, the Milwaukee Parental Choice program was launched to offer low-income students the opportunity to pick their schools. After years of success, the Legislature expanded school choice to Racine in 2011 and statewide in 2013. Because of Wisconsin's school choice programs, more parents are being given the freedom and flexibility to choose which school their kids attend. While a quality education can be provided in both public and private schools, I believe that parents know what is best for their kids and which school will best help them succeed.

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.

If you subscribed to this service over the past couple of years you will need to resubscribe to proposals, committees, and authors for the new legislative session.