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A Note from Rep. Edming

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Thank you for reading my e-update this week. I have had a very busy week in Madison. Things are certainly heating up with the budget, as the Joint Finance Committee has begun taking action on different items in the budget. This week we held a floor session and the committee I chair met for the first time. I am looking forward to sharing more about this with you below.  

As always, if you would like to share your thoughts on the state budget or any other state issues, please contact my office and let me know. I look forward to hearing from you. 


Continuing the Conversation on Integrated Employment

Before the Assembly floor session on Wednesday, my day started off bright and early at the State Employment First Conference in Wisconsin Dells.  It was an honor to kick-off this fantastic event, sharing with the conference attendees how I first learned about integrated employment in Medford back in 2015 and the journey to getting the Employment First Act passed last session.  This law makes Wisconsin a national leader in promoting competitive integrated employment of people with disabilities.  I finished off by sharing how the momentum on integrated employment has continued with the creation of the Assembly Committee on Labor and Integrated Employment.  I am proud to chair this important committee and hope that it can help foster new ideas to continue to allow Wisconsin to lead the way in this area. 

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On Thursday, I was proud to chair the first hearing of the Labor and Integrated Employment Committee.  The committee held an informational hearing on integrated employment.  We heard from employees, employers, and other stakeholders about the importance of getting people with disabilities employed out in the community.  One of the speakers that testified before the committee was Lori Haas from Taylor Credit Union in Medford.  She shared about Taylor Credit Union's journey to employing a person with disabilities and the positive impact that employing this person has had on Taylor Credit Union.  There were many other fantastic speakers as well.  Throughout the hearing, we heard some new ideas on how to continue Wisconsin's growth in integrated employment.  As the session continues, I look forward to working with members of the committee to see if we can make some of these ideas a reality.

If you would like to watch the hearing you can click here to watch on Wisconsin Eye.  If you would just like to watch a few highlights of the hearing click on the picture below to watch a short video.
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Click on the short highlight video of the hearing

Floor Session Wrapup

The State Assembly was in session on Wednesday to take action on several bills and resolutions. I would like to take a moment and give you a brief recap.

Marsy's Law

The first piece of legislation that I would like to touch on is Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR 2), also known as Marsy's Law. This is a proposed constitutional amendment, which would add more rights for the victims of crimes to the Wisconsin Constitution.  SJR 2 was passed with wide bipartisan support and now heads to a vote of the people in next year's spring election.  In order for an amendment become part of the Wisconsin Constitution, it must be approved by the voters in a referendum.

Expungement Reform

The next bill I would like to highlight is Assembly Bill (AB) 33 which makes needed reforms to the expungement process in Wisconsin. Currently, in order for a person's criminal record to be eligible for expungement, that person's crime must have been committed when they were under the age of 25 years old and the judge must allow for expungement at the time of sentencing. This bill eliminates the age requirement and creates a new process for people who have successfully completed their sentence for low-level crimes to request to have their record expunged.  I am proud to support this legislation that will give deserving individuals a second chance.  This legislation passed on a voice vote and now heads to the Senate for their consideration. 

Addressing the Nursing Workforce Shortage

Another bill that I would like to discuss is Assembly Bill 76, which reduces the required amount of training hours for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). The aim of this bill is to help address our state's nursing shortage by aligning the training requirements for CNAs with the federal standards. Currently, the number of training hours required far exceeds the federal standards, meaning it takes longer for CNAs to complete their training and begin working.  These changes will not impact the quality of nursing in Wisconsin because CNAs will still have to pass their certification exam before receiving their certification.

Protecting Life

The final bills I want to mention are the pro-life bills I mentioned in a previous e-update.  These four bills, AB 179, AB 180, AB 182, and AB 183 were passed by the Assembly on Wednesday and move on to the Senate for further consideration.  During my time serving the people of the 87th Assembly District in Madison, I have never hidden my pro-life views.  From my many conversations with people around the district, it is clear to me that many of the people I represent share my pro-life views. That is why I signed on as a co-sponsor of these bills and supported their passage in the Assembly.

While I feel all of these bills are important, the one that really hits home for me is AB 179 or the Born Alive Survivors Protection Bill.  Contrary to what opponents of the legislation say, this bill does not place any restrictions on abortions.  It simply protects children who are born alive after a failed abortion procedure. Currently, the law is not clear on what health care providers should do if a child survives an abortion. This legislation clarifies for healthcare providers that they must exercise the same amount of professional skill and care for a child who survives an abortion as they would any other patient. I support this bill because I believe that whether a child is wanted or not, once it is born alive that child deserves the same medical care as any other person.

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Under the Dome

Rib Lake Elementary School Visit

I was pleased to welcome students from Rib Lake Elementary to the Capitol on Thursday. I joined them on their tour and took them up to the observation deck to look out over Madison. We then stopped by my office so they can see where my staff and I work. Thanks for visiting!  

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Wisconsin Aging Advocacy Network

I met with constituents of the 87th District who are members of the Wisconsin Aging Advocacy Network on Tuesday. We discussed matters important to our state's aging population. 

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Around the 87th 

Hayward Receives Fab Lab Grant

I was in Hayward on Monday for an announcement by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation about another round of Fab Lab grants for Wisconsin schools. I am happy to hear that Hayward Community School District is the recipient of a $25,000 grant to help fund their "Innovate Like a Cane" project. This project's goal is to fund a CNC router, laser engraver, and plasma cutter in the high school technology education department. I look forward to seeing the students benefit from this funding.

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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.