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A Note from Rep. Edming

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Thank you for taking some time to read my e-update this week.  It was a busy week for me with committee hearings and meetings in Madison as well as a full day of state budget listening sessions across the 87th Assembly District.

Thanks for reading and as always if you would like to share your thoughts with me on the state budget or other state issues, please feel free to contact me.  I always enjoy hearing from the people of the 87th District. 


Protecting Wisconsin's Deer Population

In a previous e-update, I shared information with you about Assembly Bill (AB) 39, a bill I am working on with Senator Petrowski that would raise the maximum wild animal protection surcharge for unlawfully harvesting a deer.  I am pleased to report that AB 39 is continuing to move through the legislative process and received a public hearing before the Assembly Committee on Forestry, Parks, and Outdoor Recreation on Tuesday.

Since I first discussed AB 39, I have heard from a few people with concerns about the bill and I wanted to take a moment to clarify what the bill does.  Currently, one of the penalties that a judge may impose on an individual who unlawfully harvests a deer is the wild animal protection surcharge.  Funds generated from this surcharge are deposited in the Conservation Fund which helps fund enforcement at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  Under current law, a judge does not have to impose this surcharge and this does not change under AB 39.  What does change is the maximum amount a judge may impose under the surcharge if the judge chooses to impose it.  Currently, a judge can only impose a wild animal protection surcharge of $43.75 no matter how extreme the act of poaching is or the number of resources expended by the DNR investigating.

AB 39 increases judicial discretion in deer poaching cases by allowing a judge to impose a wild animal protection surcharge anywhere in the range of $43.75 to $5,000. This increased flexibility will allow judges to impose a higher surcharge in extreme cases of poaching where law enforcement was forced to spend a significant amount of resources investigating an act of poaching or in cases where an individual is simply not deterred by the current penalties.

If you want to learn more click on the picture below to watch the public hearing on AB 39 that was filmed by Wisconsin Eye.  You can also read my testimony by clicking here.

4.2.19 - AB 39 Hearing.JPGClick on the picture above to watch the public hearing and my testimony on AB 39, which begins at 1:22:00.

State Budget Listening Sessions

It was a busy day yesterday as my staff and I traveled across the 87th Assembly District for four state budget listening sessions.  Thank you to everyone who took the time from their busy lives to come out and provide your feedback on the state budget.  An important part of the state budget review process is for me to hear the thoughts of the people of the 87th District directly. About 40 people came out to share their thoughts with me and I truly appreciate it.

Some of the top items of discussion involved transportation funding for the state's roads, K-12 education, healthcare, and the dark store issue.  I will certainly take what I heard at these listening sessions and share them with my colleagues in Madison as we discuss how to craft a state budget that works for Wisconsin.

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If you were unable to attend one of these listening sessions, you can also submit your feedback on the state budget proposal to me by calling (888) 534-0087 or by email at Rep.Edming@legis.wi.gov.  Also, in addition to these four listening sessions, I plan on holding a second round of listening sessions at a later date.

Taylor Electric Cooperative Annual Meeting

Last Saturday, I attended the Taylor Electric Cooperative's Annual Meeting. I enjoyed speaking with their members and hearing what the cooperative has been up to this past year.

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Vietnam Veterans Day Ceremony

I was honored to attend a ceremony for our Vietnam veterans last Sunday afternoon at the Veterans Memorial Association in Ladysmith.  Thank you to everyone who came out to support this fantastic event.

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Meeting with School Nurses 

Last Friday, Senator Petrowski and I met with a couple of school nurses from the Athens School District. We discussed the needs of school nurses in school districts, like Athens, and other concerns they had.

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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.