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A Note from Rep. Edming

Thank you for reading my weekly e-update. I can't wait to share with you a bit about what I've been up to this busy week, serving the people of the 87th Assembly District, both in Madison and around the district.
We are celebrating 30 years of school choice programs in Wisconsin, thanks to former Governor Tommy Thompson. In honor of this important milestone, Vice President Mike Pence visited the State Capitol! Read about this awesome event 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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Welcome to Wisconsin, Vice President Pence!

It was a bit busier than normal at the State Capitol on Tuesday as we welcomed Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Department of Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos for the Wisconsin School Choice Showcase held in the Capitol rotunda.  They traveled to Wisconsin to help celebrate 30 years of school choice in Wisconsin.  Wisconsin is the national birthplace of school choice and it was great to have such special guests to celebrate with the citizens of Wisconsin, including students from around the state.

30 years ago, when the country's first modern school choice program started under Governor Tommy Thompson, there were only seven choice schools with a total of 300 students.  As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of school choice this year, there are over 40,000 students around our state who are a part of a school choice program.  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. 

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It was an honor to meet Vice President Pence during his visit.

Another Busy Committee Week at the Capitol

It was another busy week of committee hearings at the Capitol this week.  Three committees I serve on, Health, Agriculture, and Sporting Heritage, held hearings, and I testified in support of two bills I authored as well.

A New Tool to Help Prevent Damage to Our Local Roads 

A couple of years ago, I heard from some town officials in the 87th Assembly District about the problems that they had been having with beavers causing damage to local roadways.  Beavers often dam up culverts under or near roadways, which can cause flooding in the area and damage the roadway.  In other areas of the state, local officials have experienced problems with other nuisance animals, like muskrats, causing damage to the roads as well.  While the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) does deploy measures to prevent these types of damages, such as trapping, this is not always effective.  That is why I brought forward Assembly Bill (AB) 592, with Senator Tiffany which provides a new tool to deal with nuisance beavers and muskrats that are causing damage to a roadway.

Currently, the DNR may remove or authorize the removal of a wild animal that is causing damage. However, state law does not allow for the discharging of a firearm within 50 feet of the center of a roadway. This can make it difficult, if not impossible, to shoot a beaver that has been causing the damage to a roadway. AB 592 creates an exception to this prohibition by allowing the DNR or an agent of a local government authorized by the DNR to discharge a firearm within the 50-foot buffer in order to shoot a beaver or muskrat that is causing the damage to the roadway. Under this proposal, the DNR still has the discretion on whether or not to permit the discharge of a firearm and can only do so if the discharge does not pose a threat to public safety.  If you would like to read my testimony, click here to read it on my website.

I welcomed a constituent of mine, Mr. Roger Roehl, to the State Capitol to testify on this important piece of legislation. Roger did a fantastic job, and I appreciate him taking the time to testify. Thanks for coming down, Roger!  

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Reforming the Wildlife Damage and Abatement Programs

One of the pieces of legislation I've authored that's very important to our farmers in the district is AB 695. This relates to the wildlife damage abatement program and the wildlife damage claim program. I've discussed the Senate companion version of this bill in a previous e-update. This legislation would help out our farmers throughout the state who have been hurting due to wildlife damage to their crops. In our neck of the woods, specifically, it will help our farmers whose farms are severely impacted by bear damage. 

I was pleased to welcome some constituents from the district who came down to testify in support of the bill: Mike Robers, Terry DuSell, Dale Beissel, and Andy Winiarczyk. Thank you guys for coming down, and I look forward to seeing this bill move forward through the legislative process. I know several of our farmers have been dealing with this issue for a very long time, so I'm glad we could finally get the ball rolling to work on a solution for everyone.      

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Under the Dome

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with the folks from convention and visitors bureaus from our area of the state including Sherry Beckman from Hayward Lakes Convention and Visitors Bureau. I enjoyed discussing issues with her that are important to tourism in the Hayward area and throughout the state.

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Around the 87th

Holy Rosary Pancake Breakfast

On Sunday, I had an amazing pancake breakfast at the Holy Rosary School in Medford. I enjoyed visiting with the students, Father McConnell, and everyone else who attended.

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Rep. Edming and Rev. Patrick McConnell

Stoney Acres Farm

Last Friday, I was pleased to visit Stoney Acres Farm, a third-generation farm in Athens, along with Lt. Governor Barnes. I had an awesome time learning more about their community-supported agriculture operation, as well as their pizza and brewery business. I purchased some of their delicious, homemade kimchi. I was happy to have the opportunity to show the lieutenant governor more of the 87th Assembly District.

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Rusk County Board Meeting

I was proud to join with many Rusk County residents to advocate for the protection of our 2nd Amendment rights at the Rusk County Board meeting on Tuesday evening.  I appreciate everyone who took the time out of their busy schedules to come and speak on this important topic.

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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.