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A Note from Rep. Edming

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Welcome to another edition of my e-update. I hope everyone had a great Independence Day. I look forward to sharing with you a bit about what I have been up to this week, as well as some final thoughts on the State Budget.  

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my e-update. If you ever have any thoughts or concerns on state issues, please contact my office. Understanding my constituents' views on issues that may come before me helps me to make better decisions on your behalf.


Budget Wrapup

As I discussed in my last e-update, my Republican colleagues and I created a strong budget for Wisconsin. Check out the graphic below for a few highlights of the budget passed by the legislature. Personally, I traveled around the 87th Assembly District and held seven in-district budget listening sessions, received over 900 survey responses, and reviewed many other contacts to my office to learn more about the district's top priorities for our state's new two-year spending plan. My colleagues did the same, and, through these sources of information, I learned exactly what to advocate for on your behalf during the budget process and we were able to eliminate Governor Evers' liberal wishlist, turning it into a more fiscally-responsible budget for all of Wisconsin. I am glad that, when this reached the governor's desk, he signed it into law. WisconsinBudget.jpg

Some Highlights of the Budget Passed by the Legislature

Now, with a piece of legislation the size of the state budget, there are certainly going to be areas that not everyone will agree with. However, I believe this conservative budget was a good compromise between a Democrat governor and a Republican-controlled legislature. Though the governor approved the budget, I am disappointed that he issued 78 political, partial vetoes on items my colleagues had worked tremendously hard on.

Here are just a couple of the vetoes I especially have concerns about:

Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Position Distribution

In a previous e-update, I mentioned that the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) had approved $38.4 million to increase the pay rate of prosecutors and public defenders and to add 26.5 positions in district attorney offices across Wisconsin. Sawyer County was on track to receive funding for an additional full-time ADA and Rusk County was going to receive funding for an additional half-time ADA. The governor vetoed the specific county position distribution in this provision and now directs the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) and the State Prosecutors Office to allocate the positions based on "need." I am disappointed because the "need" had already been determined for Rusk and Sawyer Counties. I hope these departments will see that too and allocate these ADAs there again.

FoodShare Employment and Training

Over the past few years, my Republican colleagues and Governor Walker have made huge strides in welfare reform. We want people who can work to get a job and become independent, staying off of government welfare. In recent years, Republicans in Wisconsin have introduced laws for those on state-funded FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) requiring training for able-bodied adults with dependents as well as drug screening. Governor Evers removed funding for these requirements from the budget, effectively skirting the law and moving to keep people on welfare. For more than a year, Wisconsin has enjoyed an unemployment rate of 3% or lower. It is clear that these welfare reforms have been working. I am disappointed that the governor has decided to choose politics over progress.

The 2019 - '21 State Budget was enacted on July 3 as 2019 Wisconsin Act 9. If you have any final thoughts on the budget as well, feel free to contact me. Feel free to also contact the governor's office if you would like to share your concerns with Governor Evers. His office's phone number is (608) 266-1212 or you can fill out your comments online by clicking here.  


 E-Update Issues

Recently, my office has been experiencing some issues with sending out my weekly e-update. Sometimes an internet provider's system looks at our email address as spam and blocks my emails from getting to your inbox. We hope to have this issue resolved as soon as possible. My e-update is typically sent out on Fridays. If you ever cannot find my e-update in your inbox by Friday evening, feel free to check it out on my website. If I haven't posted it on my website by the end of the day on Friday, I will likely have it posted by Monday morning.

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Under the Dome

I went down to Madison on Wednesday for a Health Committee Hearing. If you would like to watch the hearing, click here. I would like to take a moment to tell you about a couple of the bills I am co-sponsoring that we heard testimony on.

Assembly Bill (AB) 70

In 2015, Wisconsin became one of the first states to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. This was a voluntary process which expedites physician licensure across state lines. Today, there are a total of 25 states participating nationwide. After five years of participation, however, state law requires Wisconsin to review the benefits of continued involvement in the agreement. AB 70, also known as the Medical Licensure Compact Re-Authorization Act, allows Wisconsin to continue its participation in the program.

Health care access is critical to Wisconsinites, especially in our rural areas, like the 87th Assembly District. Since the state has joined the Medical Licensure Compact, Wisconsin has seen reduced regulatory burdens and expedited licensure processes for physicians wanting to serve patients in Wisconsin. The Compact has been used to reduce staff time spent on credentialing physicians. It has no additional cost to state taxpayers, and all costs associated with Compact licensure are borne by those licensed through the Compact process.   

Assembly Bill (AB) 238 

Another bill I would like to tell you about is AB 238, a diabetes care and prevention action plan. As diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death nationwide, with about 356,000 adults and 6,500 children and adolescents in Wisconsin diagnosed with it, something needs to be done about this disease. 

AB 238 directs the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) to work together to create a biannual Diabetes Action Plan for Wisconsin, including goals to reduce the incidence of diabetes, improve diabetes care, and control its complications. As a co-sponsor of this legislation, my hope is for this bill to show the impact of diabetes in Wisconsin. If passed, I look forward to seeing this action plan implemented and used as a resource for further research to reduce the impact of diabetes in Wisconsin.

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Click on the picture above to watch the Health Committee Public Hearing

Around the 87th

Yesterday afternoon, I had the opportunity to attend a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for a new AT&T store in Ladysmith. It was great to see everyone who came out for the event. I wish them luck and look forward to seeing their business succeed in the future.
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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.