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A Note from Rep. Edming

Happy Friday! Thank you for taking some time out of your day to read my e-update. With floor sessions, committee hearings, and more the last couple of weeks have been quite busy at the State Capitol. I look forward to providing you an update about what has been going on down in Madison.

With the state budget season underway, I look forward to hearing from residents of the 87th Assembly District about your priorities for this two-year spending plan.  Knowing your thoughts will help me to advocate on your behalf the best I possibly can as the legislature deliberates this important proposal over the coming months.


Upgrading the Unemployment Insurance System

Last week Tuesday, the State Assembly was in special session to consider January 2021 Special Session Senate Bill (SS SB) 1. This important legislation directs Governor Evers’ administration to begin the process of upgrading the Unemployment Insurance (UI) computer systems at the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), something they could have begun on their own.

Since last March, one of the most common issues that residents of the 87th Assembly District have contacted my office about is requesting assistance in getting their unemployment benefits from DWD. SS SB 1 creates a plan for Governor Evers’ administration to upgrade the out-of-date UI computer system. Under this proposal, DWD is required to issue a request for proposals (RFP) within 30 days after the effective date of the bill, and the project to upgrade the computer system must begin by June 30, 2021. SS SB 1 also requires the use of federal dollars first before state funding can be used. According to a memo from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Governor Evers administration already has the ability to finance the development of a new UI computer system through the state master lease program.

I am pleased to share that last week Thursday, Governor Evers signed SS SB 1 into law as Act 4.

Continuing to Advocate for Our Service Members
& Veterans

This week I had the opportunity to testify in support of two bills I authored with Senator André Jacque to help those who have stepped up to serve our nation in the armed forces.

On Tuesday I testified before the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means in support of Assembly Bill 39. This legislation exempts active duty pay from state income tax and is the companion bill to Senate Bill 43 that I discussed in one of my e-updates last month. If you would like to learn more about this proposal click here to read the story from my earlier e-update or here to read my committee testimony.

On Thursday, I had the opportunity to testify before the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities in support of Assembly Bill (AB) 38. This legislation is aimed at reducing the burden of applying to college for our veterans and active duty service members by waiving the application fee charged when they apply to Wisconsin's public colleges and universities. This bill is a low-cost way of saying 'thank you' to those who are serving or have served our nation. While the cost of a college application fee may not seem like a big deal, for a veteran or service member who is struggling financially, it could be the difference that keeps them from applying to the school of their choice or to any postsecondary institution at all. Those who have served our country should not have to worry about covering the cost of college application fees and I hope to see this important legislation continue to move forward in the weeks ahead. To learn a bit more about this legislation click here to read my testimony.

Talking Carpentry

As part of my day Thursday, I met with Andrew Disch from the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters. It was great to get an update from him and learn more about how his organization is encouraging our young folks to enter the trades.

Around the 87th

Thank You Lt. Horenberger!

Last Friday I had the honor of presenting a citation from the State of Wisconsin to Lieutenant Robert Horenberger of the Medford Police Department on the occasion of his retirement. He served the people of Medford for nearly 16 years and spent nearly 17 years in law enforcement. Congratulations Lt. Horenberger on your well-deserved retirement!

Fun on the Frozen Flambeau

On Sunday, February 21st I had a great time at the Ladysmith Lions Club's Fun on the Frozen Flambeau event. This is an awesome community event that I look forward to every year, and it was great to see a lot of folks out enjoying the outdoors.

Upcoming Events Around the 87th

Do you know of any upcoming events around the 87th District? If you do, please 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.

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.