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A Note from Rep. Edming

Thank you for taking the time to read this edition of my e-update. I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July celebration this past weekend.

After last week’s historic bipartisan vote on the state budget, this week Governor Evers took action on the budget as well as several other important pieces of legislation. There is both good news and bad news with the governor's actions and you can read about this and more below.

As always, please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any thoughts on issues before the legislature or if you need assistance with a state agency.


Budget with Historic Tax Relief Becomes Law

Last week I shared with you that the Legislature had approved the 2021-23 State Budget with bipartisan support and sent it to Governor Evers for his consideration. In fact, this budget received 64 votes in the Assembly and 23 votes in the Senate, the most since 2001.

The budget that was approved by the Legislature is a much different budget than what was put forward by Governor Evers back in February. His unrealistic budget proposal would have raised taxes by over $1 billion, expanded government-run health care, repealed Act 10, and put into place a number of additional liberal policy items that are not supported by most Wisconsinites outside Madison or Milwaukee. I said back in February I would work with my colleagues in the Legislature to craft a budget that works for the people of Wisconsin and I am proud to share that the conservative budget approved by the Legislature does exactly that.

One of the major highlights of this budget process is that the Legislature turned Governor Evers' proposed tax increases into historic tax relief for hardworking Wisconsinites. To learn more about the tax relief on the way click here to read more in my e-update from a few weeks ago. This budget also invests in our roads, broadband, and long-term care, all priorities for folks around the 87th District.

I am pleased to report that Governor Evers signed the budget into law on Thursday as Act 58. While the governor and Democrats are now claiming credit for the historic tax relief in the budget, had they had their way taxes would have headed up not down. The reason tax relief is now on the way to Wisconsin families is because Republicans in the Legislature scrapped his tax and spend budget and replaced it with a reasonable, responsible, and realistic spending plan that invests in Wisconsin's priorities and returns money back to the taxpayers.

When Governor Evers signed the budget into law he exercised his powerful line-item veto power to make changes to the budget before signing it into law. You can review the governor's veto message by clicking here.

In addition to his partial vetoes on the budget Governor Evers also vetoed Assembly Bill 191 in its entirety. This bill would have repealed outdated and burdensome personal property tax. This tax is especially hard on small businesses in our state not only in taxes paid but also in compliance costs. The repeal of this tax would have made a big difference for small businesses that have dealt with a lot over the last year. Unfortunately, instead of helping them out with much-needed tax relief, Governor Evers chose to veto this legislation that received bipartisan support in the Legislature.

Help for Our Loggers Vetoed

Late on Thursday, Governor Evers refused to help our state's struggling timber industry by vetoing Assembly Bill (AB) 367. This bill would have used federal pandemic stimulus/relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to provide loans through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to help with the purchase and reopening of the paper mills in Wisconsin Rapids and Park Falls.

When the paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids closed last year the impacts were felt far outside the Wisconsin Rapids area. This mill was a major customer for many timber professionals across the Northwoods and utilized approximately 25% of all the pulpwood harvested in Wisconsin. Getting this mill, as well as the one in Park Falls, back up and running is incredibly important for our state’s timber industry and the economy of northern Wisconsin. Unfortunately, when Governor Evers vetoed this legislation that received bipartisan support in the Legislature, he refused to help.

Time and time again Governor Evers has vetoed the Legislature’s proposals of how to use federal relief funds. Whether it’s investing in broadband expansion, rural economic development, or providing loans to reopen these paper mills, if the idea is in a bill authored by Republicans, the governor has rejected it. However, Governor Evers can still make things right. He can allocate these federal funds on his own, something he has had the power to do all along.

An Idea from the 87th Becomes Law

On Thursday, an idea from the 87th District became law when Governor Evers signed Assembly Bill (AB) 163. The idea for this legislation was brought to me a couple of years ago by Steve Tiegs the chairman of the Town of Atlanta in Rusk County. His township along with a number of others across the district and northern Wisconsin are experiencing problems with beavers causing damage to their roads. This new law allows the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), or an agent of a local government authorized by DNR, to discharge a firearm within 50-feet of the center of a roadway in order to shoot a beaver or muskrat that is causing damage to a road.

To learn more about this new law click here to read the story from an earlier e-update.

Under the Dome

On Wednesday I was down in Madison to participate in a public hearing in the Forestry, Parks, and Outdoor Recreation Committee. The committee heard testimony on two bills Assembly Bill (AB) 269 and AB 375 that would make it easier for Wisconsinites to enjoy our state parks.

AB 269 would require the Department of Natural Resources to waive the state park admission fee on Earth Day each year. AB 375 would waive the annual state park admission fee for pupils with an Every Kid Outdoors pass issued. These passes authorize free admission to national parks for any 4th grader and his or her family.

Around the 87th

Upcoming Events Around the 87th

One of my favorite parts about serving as your state representative is getting out and interacting with constituents at many of the wonderful community events across the 87th District. Check out some of the upcoming events around the district below. Also, if you know of any other events, please contact my office and let me know, so I can include them in a future e-update and try to attend myself.

Check out some of the events coming up around the district: