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(608)266-5780 | State Capitol, Room 307 West, P.O. Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, April 13
4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Downtown Main Street
Saturday, April 14
7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
The Wine Guyz
Saturday, April 14
7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Smith's Bike Shop
Sunday, April 15
UW-L Student Union
Wednesday, April 18
5 p.m. - 6 p.m.
UW-L Student Union
Friends and Neighbors,
I would like to start by congratulating all of the newly elected officials in the county and city of La Crosse! We had a great turnout at the polls. As always, I am very proud to represent such a civically minded and engaged community.
I would also like to note that this will be the last full issue of this newsletter you will receive from me until after the November election, although I do plan to send out an abridged final version next week. This is because legislators up for re-election are prohibited by law to send out more than 49 pieces of substantially similar mail after April 15 of an election year. However, while you will not be hearing from me on here, I will still be working hard for La Crosse. I hope to be seeing much more of you all in the district now that the legislative session is over, and I hope you will continue to contact me whenever I can be of assistance. I will also be posting consistent updates on Facebook.
Finally, you should all have received -- or will soon receive -- a copy of my legislative newsletter mailed to your home address. This is a mailing I send out on a biennial basis to provide a large scale summary view of the session. Within the newsletter, you will also find a legislative survey that I would strongly encourage all of you to fill out and return to my office. My staff and I read each response and record it in our office database as a way to gauge the values and opinions of members in our community. Moreover, the survey provides an opportunity for any additional comments or questions you may have for me.
95th Assembly District
Foster Care Bill Signed into Law
I had the pleasure of witnessing one of my bills be signed into law in La Crosse this Wednesday. The bill, which helps standardize the ways that foster children can receive oral health care, was part of a legislative package brought forward by the Speaker's Task Force on Foster Care. More specifically, this legislation defines dental care in state statute and delineates the rights of legal guardians to consent to care and of dental professionals to provide services.
It was refreshing to be part of a bipartisan endeavor where we achieved positive results that will have an immediate impact on the lives of foster children. La Crosse has a great history of legislators working together to help children in out-of-home care access the services they need, and I am proud to be part of the effort.
Being a member of this task force has given me the opportunity to travel to every corner of our state and hear from people affected at all levels of the foster care system, including parents, kids, advocates and judges. Their testimony certainly affected this and other pieces of legislation we authored as a committee.
I am proud of the work the foster care task force has done thus far, and I look forward to continuing to work hard on behalf of children and families in Wisconsin.
Mississippi River Parkway Commission Bill Signed
A bill that would allow the Mississippi River Parkway Commission to include additional state agency representation to their technical advisory committee was signed into law this Tuesday. The new law would allow employees from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to serve on the advisory committee. Currently the committee only includes members of the Department of Transportation and the Department of Tourism. I believe these new members will help support and strengthen the work of the commission.
This bill passed out of the Assembly Committee on Tourism, on which I am the Democratic ranking member. I was a lead co-sponsor on this bipartisan piece of legislation and was happy to work on it with Rep. Lee Nerison who represents the 96th Assembly District.
I have been serving on the Mississippi River Parkway Commission for about a year, and I am always inspired by the work and commitment of the volunteers on this committee. Chaired by Sherry Quamme, this commission is made up of members from all counties up and down the Mississippi River in Wisconsin working together to protect and promote the river and all it has to offer the western side of our state.
UW-La Crosse Campus Visits
Last Saturday, I met with the UW System Student Representatives from around Wisconsin as part of their state meeting hosted on the UW-La Crosse campus. The UW System Student Reps organization is the statewide student governance body that represents all 180,000 students from each of the 26 campuses within the UW System. UW System Student Reps works to actively promote shared governance, represent student interests, and advocate for student rights at both the state and federal levels. As always, I had a great time speaking with student leaders about my work on the Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee, current and future trends in higher education in Wisconsin, and my continued advocacy for students in La Crosse and around the state. These young people are our future, and I am always inspired by their intelligence and passion for our universities.
This Wednesday, I had the opportunity to visit the
UW-L campus again, that time to meet with members of the UW-L Student
Senate, which is the university's student government. I have stayed in
close contact with the UW-L Student Senators this session, and they have
been an invaluable resource when considering various bills related to
the UW System and the state of higher education. Their commitment to
preventing violence on campus has been admirable, and I look
forward to working with them on that and other issues in the future.
Viterbo University Campus Visit
Last Wednesday, I had the great pleasure of speaking to students in one of Michelle Pinzel's nursing classes at Viterbo University. We discussed the value of good, well-trained interpreters in Wisconsin. We enjoyed a wide ranging conversation, covering everything from recent legislation guiding interpreters to questions about immigration and the process of becoming a citizen. The students even took turns practicing their interpretation skills while I spoke! Thank you for having me visit.
State of Scouting in Wisconsin
Last week, Eagle Scouts from a number of Boy Scout troops across Wisconsin visited the Capitol to deliver the annual "State of Scouting" address. I enjoyed hearing about the valuable lessons the scouts learn through their involvement with this organization. In addition to the Eagle Scouts' speeches, we heard from a couple of legislative members who hold the rank of Eagle. I was especially delighted to present Nick, an Eagle Scout from La Crosse, with a certificate of recognition for his hard work and leadership in our community.
Mini-Grants Available to Help Clean Up Our Environment
Earth Day is approaching on April 22, and a great way to show your love for our Earth and the environment is by participating in the La Crosse Health Initiative (LAHI) cigarette butt pick-up. Help save our planet from the toxic chemicals that get into our water and litter the environment when people step on cigarette butts. To promote this event, LAHI is hosting their third annual mini-grant opportunity. Youth organizations and middle school teachers in the community may apply for a $100 grant to be used toward purchasing necessary cigarette butt pick-up supplies as well as materials to present the results from the pick-up. Grant applications are due on April 11. Each participating organization's work will be showcased at the Earth Fair at Myrick Park on April 29, and a traveling trophy will be awarded to the organization that collects the most cigarette butts. If you are part of an organization that would like to participate or have any questions, you may contact the project coordinator, Mikka Nyarko at email@example.com or 608-789-8698.
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