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A Note from Rep. Edming

Welcome to this week's e-update.  In this edition, I share new information on local road funding that was allocated in the state budget as well as provide an update on COVID-19 or the Coronavirus. I also discuss the early positive impact of the judgeship bill and a bit about what I have been up to around the 87th District.  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 from you.

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Investing in Our Local Roads

Throughout the state budget process last year, my legislative colleagues and I heard from folks all over Wisconsin about the need to invest more in our roads. Based on this feedback, the state budget that was approved by the legislature invested $390 million in additional revenues for transportation, as well as a one-time $75 million General Fund transfer, for a total of $465 million, the largest increase in new revenue in over a generation.

A part of this increased investment was a $90 million allocation for the Local Roads Improvement Program (LRIP). Unfortunately, when Governor Evers signed the budget into law, he used his partial veto powers to cut this funding by $15 million as well as remove the requirement that the funding be used for local roads.

Under the governor's veto, the remaining $75 million in funding can be used for many other purposes, such as bike trails or transit programs, instead of repairing local roads. By allowing these funds to go towards other projects, it means there is less money for local road improvement around the state, including the 87th Assembly District.

As suspected, when the governor and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the awarding of the remaining $75 million in grant funding last week funding was awarded for transit, bike trails, harbors, and other non-road projects.  In fact, the DOT has even changed the name of the grant program to the "Multimodal Local Supplement Program" as the grant program no longer funds just local road improvements.  A few examples of the non-road projects being funded around the state include:

  • $1 million for the Milwaukee County Transit System
  • $1 million for harbor improvements in the City of Oconto
  • $250,000 for the Wolf River Trail in the City of Shawano

Even with less money available, I am pleased to see that several projects around the 87th District will be receiving funding. Out of the $75 million awarded for 152 projects throughout the state, seven projects in the 87th District were funded with a total of $1,314,781.38 being awarded around the district. Unlike a number of projects around the state, all the money coming to the 87th District is being used towards roads or bridges. To see the full list of projects awarded funding click here

While it's nice to see more road funding heading our way, had the governor not used his veto power to allow this grant funding to be used for non-road purposes as well as cut $15 million in funding, there would have been even more money for local road maintenance throughout the state, including other projects that went unfunded in the 87th District.


An Update on COVID-19

Over the last several weeks you have probably heard quite a bit about COVID-19 or the Coronavirus.  While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the risk of infection from the Coronavirus remains low, they say the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to it, which is usually spread from person-to-person. To protect yourself and those around you, here are some simple tips to follow:

  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid close contact
  • Stay home if you're sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Wear a face mask if you're sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces

I encourage folks to continue to rely on information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the following website: coronavirus.gov.


In addition, yesterday Governor Evers declared a public health emergency in response to the cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin and directed the Department of Health Services (DHS) to lead the response in Wisconsin.  Below is some more information from DHS on the Coronavirus. You can also find additional resources on the DHS website by clicking here.

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New Judge Awarded to Marathon County

In last week's e-update, I discussed the signing of Act 184 which creates 12 new circuit court branches around Wisconsin allocated by the Director of State Courts. Even though this new law is only a week old, it is already having a positive impact on the 87th District. On Monday, the Director of State Courts announced the first round of allocations of new circuit court branches.  I am pleased that Marathon County was one of the four counties selected for new judges that will be elected in the 2021 Spring Election.  The new judges will take office effective August 1, 2021.

In addition to the four new circuit court branches that were awarded this week, Act 184 authorizes the Director of State Courts to allocate an additional 8 new circuit court branches, four in 2022 and four in 2023. In order for a county to be awarded a branch, it must have passed a resolution requesting an additional branch and, have the appropriate infrastructure to support the additional branch’s operation by May 31st of the year in which an additional branch begins operations.

As I have said a number of times before, another county that I represent that is sorely in need of a new judge is Sawyer County. In the coming months, I hope to see them take the needed steps to be considered for a new circuit court branch when future allocations are made by the Director of State Courts.

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Around the 87th

School Visits

Around this time each year, I visit classrooms around the 87th Assembly District to talk to students about state government and my role as their state representative. Last Friday, I talked with a group of Flambeau High School students about my job during their Careers Class. Later in the day, I had a chance to visit some 8th Graders at Flambeau Middle School to teach "How a Bill Becomes a Law." Then, on Monday, I was at Ladysmith Elementary to teach this to some 4th and 5th Graders, as well.

I look forward to visiting more classrooms in the weeks ahead. If you are an educator in the 87th District and would like me to stop by your classroom to speak with your students, please feel free to contact my office.

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Rep. Edming teaching 8th Grade students at Flambeau Middle School

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Rep. Edming and the Flambeau Middle School 8th Graders

3.9.20 - Ladysmith Elementary.jpgRep. Edming with students from Ladysmith Elementary -- courtesy of Ladysmith School District

Athens Blue Ribbon Dinner

On Saturday evening, I attended the Athens Blue Ribbon Dinner, a fundraiser for the Athens Fair, which is one of my favorite events around the district each summer. I had a great time supporting this awesome community event and hope to see many of you at the Athens Fair this summer.

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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.