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A Note from Rep. Edming

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Thank you for taking the time to read this week's e-update. I am pleased to share with the people of the 87th District what I have been up to this week and provide an update on what's happening at the Capitol.

Today is Flag Day, commemorating 242 years since the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution creating the flag of the United States. Bernard Cigrand, a grade school teacher from Waubeka, Wisconsin, is considered the father of Flag Day, having held the first observance of the holiday in 1885 at Stony Hill School in Waubeka.

If you ever have any thoughts or concerns on state issues, feel free to contact my office. It is helpful to me as your state representative to know your views, as it allows me to better represent you in the Wisconsin State Assembly. 


Investing in Broadband & Dairy

A Significant Investment in Broadband

As I travel around the 87th Assembly District, one of the issues I hear about from my constituents the most is the need for improved access to reliable high-speed broadband.  During my time in the legislature, I have been a strong voice of support for programs like the state's broadband expansion grant program that helps to expand broadband access to under and unserved areas of the state.

Recently, during their work on the state budget, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) voted to provide $44 million to the Public Service Commission for broadband expansion grants.  This nearly quadruples the $14 million in funding provided in the previous budget and is the largest amount ever budgeted for this program.  Along with automatic fund transfers from other sources the total investment in the broadband expansion grant program will be $46.2 million over the two-year budget. This increased funding will allow more projects to be funded across the 87th District, as well as the rest of the state, and will allow access to reliable high-speed broadband to more Wisconsinites than ever before. 

The next round of broadband expansion grants will not be available until after the budget is passed with the funding for the grants included. In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about the process in applying for a broadband expansion grant or if you have any other questions regarding broadband in your area, please feel free to visit the Wisconsin Broadband Office's website or reach out to their office at (608) 267-2160 or by email at PSCStatebroadbandoffice@wisconsin.gov.

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Investing in Dairy Innovation

In an e-update earlier this year, I shared information with you about a bill I have co-authored that would provide funding for the creation of a Dairy Innovation Hub in our state's university system.  As it is June Dairy Month in Wisconsin, it seems appropriate that earlier this week the JFC approved funding for the Dairy Innovation Hub in the state budget. While it is not as much as some had hoped, it is a start. $1 million will be provided for the innovation hubs in 2019 - '20 and $7.8 million will be provided in 2020 - '21.

Beginning as one of the recommendations from the Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0, one of the major goals of these innovation hubs will be to help generate new discoveries to keep our state a global leader in dairy research and to create new potential markets for our state's dairy producers. With Wisconsin's dairy industry contributing $43.4 billion annually to the state's economy, it is important that we find innovative ways to improve and continue to succeed. I am excited to see what the students and faculty are able to accomplish with this funding.

Yesterday, the JFC wrapped up their work on the state budget and the amended bill now heads to the full legislature for consideration in the coming weeks.  I am currently in the process of reviewing the amended budget proposal.  I appreciate all the feedback that I continue to receive from folks around the 87th District and will certainly keep it in mind as I come to a decision on how to vote on the budget proposal when it comes before me in the State Assembly.

Showing the Lt. Governor Around the 87th

As I often tell folks, the 87th District is the best in the state and I would not trade it for any of the other Assembly districts. I always enjoy showing off the 87th District to folks who come to our area from around the state and earlier this week, I had the opportunity to do just that. On Monday, Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes and I had the opportunity to tour Legacy Grass Dairy Farm near Medford with owner Joe Tomandl. We learned about the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program, which the farm is a part of, and how Joe, as executive director of the program, is working to get more folks interested in farming. It was great to see the awesome work Joe is doing. He is using a managed grazing system to help sustain his herd and produce high-quality milk. Thank you to Joe for welcoming us to the farm and to Lt. Governor Barnes for visiting the 87th District! 

If you would like to learn more about the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program, click here to visit their website.

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L-R: Rep. Edming, Lt. Governor Barnes, and Joe Tomandl

Sheldon Fair

It is that time of year again when communities across the district are holding their annual fairs, festivals, and parades, and I enjoy being a part of them. On Sunday, I attended the annual Sheldon Fair. I had the opportunity to walk in the parade, and I enjoyed chatting with folks along the roadside. While I was there, I also had the chance to catch up with some of Rusk County's awesome first responders.

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Photo Courtesy of the Ladysmith News

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Happy Father's Day!

This Sunday is Father's Day. A very happy Father's Day to all the awesome dad's around the 87th Assembly District.

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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.