LARSON REPORT

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER


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March 27, 2014

     
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONTACT ME


Please feel free to contact me with any concerns or opinions you might have.

Office Phone: (608) 266-7505
Toll-free Phone: (800) 361-5487

Email:
Sen.Larson@legis.wi.gov

 

Mailing Address:

State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707

 

Web Site:

SenatorChrisLarson.com

 

Find Me on Facebook and Twitter:

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMUNITY EVENTS
 

Supporting our neighbors and being involved in our community is of the utmost importance. Some community events that might be of interest to you and your family are listed below. 

 

 

Art in Bloom
Date: Now through Sun., March 30

Location: Milwaukee

Description: Come and enjoy exquisite floral arrangements by top regional designers on display throughout the Museum's Collection Galleries and in the feature exhibition Uncommon Folk: Traditions in American Art. Art in Bloom is a perfect way to welcome spring while expanding and enriching your own floral and gardening know-how. There will also be guest appearances, presentations, and lectures offered by celebrity floral designers and master gardeners. CLICK HERE or call (414) 224-3200 for more information.
 

Milwaukee Art Museum (MAP)
700 N. Art Museum Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202

 

 

Andy Warhol: 10 Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century
Date: Now through Sun., March 30
Location: Milwaukee
Description: Experience these brightly-colored creations, featuring historical figures and renowned luminaries of Jewish culture from various disciplines. This exhibit is open to the public Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Warhol's large-scale portraits allude to the grandiosity associated with fame while establishing an intimacy between subject and viewer. Bring family and friends to experience the color and 'pop' of this unique suite of works. Guided tours are available throughout the afternoon along with coloring and scavenger activities for families. CLICK HERE or call (414) 390-5730 for more information.

 

Jewish Museum Milwaukee (MAP)
1360 N. Prospect Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202

 

 

Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life
Date: Now through Sun., June 15

Location: Milwaukee

Description: BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life is the latest exhibition from physician and pioneering anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens. At BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life, you will see the body throughout the human life cycle and across the arc of aging. More than 200 real human specimens preserved through Dr. von Hagens' invention reveal the human body in all its stages, across youth, growth, maturity, and advanced age, and in all its conditions, from health to distress to disease. CLICK HERE or call (414) 278-2702 for more information.

Milwaukee Public Museum (MAP)
800 W. Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202

 

 

Riverside University High School Spring Musical

Date: Fri., March 28 and Sat., March 29 at 7 p.m.

Location: Milwaukee

Description: One of Riverside University High School's many great traditions is their annual Spring Musical. This year, they will be presenting Dreamgirls--a musical based on the life of music legend Diana Ross and the Supremes. Performances will be Friday, March 21, Saturday, March 22, Friday, March 28, and Saturday, March 29. All performances are at 7 p.m. Show your support for this talented group of students. Tickets are now on sale. For questions or to purchase tickets call Riverside University High School at (414) 906-4900.

 

Riverside University High School (MAP)

1615 E. Locust Street

Milwaukee, WI 53211

 


Rep Lab

Date: Fri., March 28 through Mon., March 31

Location: Milwaukee

Description: The Rep's highly-lauded Intern Ensemble presents its annual short-play festival. Now in its fourth season, the critically-acclaimed performance includes everything from comedy to drama to music and much more. Do not miss this one-of-a-kind night of theater. CLICK HERE or call (414) 224-9490 for more information.


Milwaukee Repertory Theater (MAP)
108 E. Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
 

 

South Milwaukee Recreation Spring Dance Recital
Date: Sat., March 29 at 2 p.m.
Location: South Milwaukee

Description: The South Milwaukee Recreation Department is proud to present the annual Spring Dance Recital. The performance will be on Saturday, March 29 at 2 p.m. Theatre doors will open at 1:30 p.m., at which time audience members may be seated. Plan to arrive at least 15 to 20 minutes early so that everyone may be seated and enjoy the show. CLICK HERE for more information.

 

South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center (MAP)
901 15th Avenue

South Milwaukee, WI 53172

 

 

Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy Presents
Alice in Wonderland
Date: Sat., April 12 and Sun., April 13

Location: South Milwaukee

Description: "Alice in Wonderland" features students from the Milwaukee Ballet Academy. This family-friendly performance is by students, for children of all ages and those who are children at heart. CLICK HERE for more information.

 

South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center (MAP)

901 15th Avenue

South Milwaukee, WI 53172

 

 

Young Professionals Week

Date: Sat., April 12 through Sat., April 19

Location: Milwaukee

Description: Young Professionals Week is almost here. YPWeek is a week-long platform for discovery, adventure, and meaningful conversations about the issues that matter. Milwaukee is home to many organizations and community assets that engage, develop, and retain the local young professional community. Each year, NEWaukee partners with over 50 different local organizations to create a springboard for idea and goal sharing among Milwaukee's millennial workforce. With the platform of Young Professional Week, NEWaukee and local partners create a national audience for idea sharing, an increased sense of connectivity, and an investment in our local community among Milwaukee's millennial workforce. CLICK HERE to learn more about the events that will be happening across Milwaukee as a part of YPWeek.

 

 

DNR Spring Hearing

Date: Mon., April 14 at 7 p.m.

Location: 72 hearings with one per county

Description: Every spring, each person in Wisconsin has the opportunity to help direct how the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages our natural resources. The DNR holds a hearing with survey questions and resolutions that are voted on by all who attend. The hearing happens at the same time in each county across our state and is scheduled to convene on Monday, April 14, 2014, at 7 p.m. Additionally, the DNR will provide a brief overview of the status of the deer herd and some upcoming changes to the deer season that are a result of the implementation of the Deer Trustee Report. In conjunction with the hearing, Wisconsin's Conservation Congress holds a brief meeting to elect officers who help carry the voice of conservationists and outdoor enthusiasts to the Natural Resources Board through out the year. The Conservation Congress is unique to Wisconsin and reflects both our rich tradition of conservation and our commitment to grassroots democracy. Meeting results, along with written comments on the evening's questions and DNR recommendations, are used to advise the state Natural Resources Board. Votes are non-binding and are presented to the Natural Resources Board as advisories. If you are interested in outdoor recreation, conservation, or our heritage of being citizen stewards of our natural resources, I encourage you to attend and provide your input to this important process. CLICK HERE for more information about this event.
 

 

10th Annual Eggs-travaganza
Date: Sat., April 19 at 9 a.m.
Location: Milwaukee
Description: All are welcome to join the fun at the 10th Annual Eggs-travaganza scheduled for the Saturday, April 19 at 9 a.m. in the children's play area of Riverside Park. Bring your containers, cameras, smiles, kids, and grandkids for this annual egg hunt. Several thousand eggs are "hidden" for the hunt, including traditional colored eggs, plastic filled eggs, and special ceramic eggs and eggs d'art created by the artists at Murray Hill Pottery. Eggs-travaganza is sponsored by Murray Hill Pottery Works, the Upper East Side Business Improvement District, Walgreens, and the Murray Hill Neighborhood Association. Want to be a good neighbor and help out? Pick up eggs to color before the event or help hide the eggs. CLICK HERE for more information.

 

Riverside Park (MAP)

1500 E. Park Place

Milwaukee, WI 53211

 

Dear Wisconsin Neighbor,

 

It's a sad day in Wisconsin when a nonpartisan issue, such as access to lifesaving chemotherapy treatments, ends up being the target of political games by those in the majority. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened over the past few weeks in the Wisconsin Legislature. Continue reading for more about this and other important news, such as remembering to vote on Tuesday and upcoming community listening sessions.


Sincerely,

Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7

 

 

Freedom for Wisconsinites to Choose Their Cancer Treatment

People across Wisconsin were shocked to learn that Republican legislators were playing political games with an issue that we all agree on--increasing access to lifesaving cancer treatments. My Democratic colleagues and I have always been supportive of expanding freedom from the high cost of health care, which is why we fought to take up Senate Bill 300 and voted for it unamended. 

 

Increasing Freedoms for People with Cancer

Typically, intravenous chemotherapy medications are covered under a health plan's medical benefit. Oral chemotherapy medications, on the other hand, are generally covered under a health plan's pharmacy benefits, which usually results in higher out-of-pocket costs for chemotherapy patients.

Oral chemotherapy medications are becoming the standard course of treatment for many cancer patients. These medications are less invasive and pose fewer complications, such as infection, than their intravenous counterparts. Oral chemotherapy medications also offer an alternative for patients that have failed to respond to other treatments, including intravenous chemotherapy. In addition, for some individuals oral chemotherapy is their only treatment option as there are no intravenous equivalents to battle certain forms of cancer, such as Multiple Myeloma and Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia.

To try and remedy this problem, a bipartisan group of legislators co-authored Senate Bill 300, the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act, legislation that would ensure chemotherapy patients on health insurance policies regulated by the state of Wisconsin receive equal coverage for intravenous and oral chemotherapy treatments. Unfortunately, this bill was held hostage in a political game for the last two weeks, much to the detriment of Wisconsinites battling cancer and their families.

 

Playing Political Games with Patients' Health

The Senate is governed according to the rules in the Senate Rules and Procedures policy manual. According to these "Senate Rules," the Senate President is unable to schedule a bill to be taken up on the Senate floor on a session day if a future public hearing has also been scheduled on that bill.

In the case of the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act, it was evident from various press reports that certain Senate Republican leaders did not want the bill to reach the Senate floor for a vote. To try and prevent a vote on the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act, a public hearing was scheduled on March 11. This enabled Senate Republican leadership to block Democratic senators from pulling the bill--which had already received a public hearing in both houses--to the Senate floor for a vote. Not surprisingly, the public hearing scheduled on the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act was cancelled once session concluded for the day.

This is a strategy that likely could have been employed last week as well, had the issue not exploded in the press. One Republican Senate leader was quoted in a recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article as saying that the blocking technique was being used because the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act had a "majority of the body [of senators supporting the bill] but not a majority of the Republican caucus." However, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel called through all the Democratic and Republican senators and found that Democrats unanimously supported the proposal and 13 out of 18 Republican senators also expressed support for the proposal, thus proving this claim false.

In the end, thanks to pressure from people with cancer, cancer survivors, and their families; advocacy groups; Democratic legislators; and the media, Senate Republican leadership was forced to reconsider their tactics and schedule Senate Bill 300 for a vote on the Senate floor. This bill ultimately passed with a vote of 30-2 (one Senator was absent).

 

 

Click here or on the video above to watch the debate in the Senate on Senate Bill 300.

 

Unfortunately, the games did not end there. Rather than passing Senate Bill 300 unamended as the Senate did, the Assembly amended the bill. This move could have resulted in effectively killing this bill since the Assembly has concluded its regular session for the year. This left the fate of Senate Bill 300 in the hands of the Senate. Either agree to the amended bill or let it fail, which would further penalize our family, friends, and neighbors that require oral chemotherapy for their treatment.

 

Under the amendment, insurance companies would be able to charge patients a co-pay of no more than $100 for a month's supply of treatment. Additionally, the patient will still be required to meet both their medical and pharmaceutical deductibles before this rule would kick-in.

Our family, friends, and neighbors fighting against cancer should never be forced to forgo treatment as a result of health care coverage discrepancies that impede access to vital, lifesaving medications they need. Therefore, my colleagues and I will continue to advocate for these Wisconsinites by passing the amended bill so that our state can join its neighbors--Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois--in passing chemotherapy parity legislation. The Senate is expected to take up this legislation yet again on Tuesday, April 1, where the bill is expected to pass without further changes.

 

 

Update on the Marriage Equality Wisconsin Petition

As you know, in 2006 Wisconsin hastily adopted a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality for all in our state. This amendment has prevented many Wisconsinites from being able to partake in the ultimate expression of love and commitment, as well as benefit from the stability of marriage. Further, it has left many couples and their families vulnerable to intolerance and undue hardship. Since then, Wisconsinites' opinions have evolved. According to an October 2013 Marquette University Law School Poll, the majority of Wisconsinites (53%) now support the freedom to marry. Further, 17 states and the District of Columbia have already paved the way to fairness by protecting marriage equality.

Therefore, my Democratic colleagues and I introduced a petition that allowed Wisconsinites to voice their opposition to Wisconsin's ban on marriage equality. A big thank you to everyone that took the time to share their perspective on this issue, as well as the Wisconsinites that signed the petition. The response has been incredible. To date, more than 24,000 people from every corner of the state have signed the petition.

 

I am proud to tell you that in addition to the petition drive, State Senator Tim Carpenter has also introduced Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 74, which would repeal Wisconsin's ban on marriage equality. The resolution was co-sponsored by every Democratic legislator in the state Senate and 30 Democratic legislators in the state Assembly.

On March 18, Senate Democrats pulled SJR 74 to the Senate floor for a vote. If passed, this proposal would get Wisconsin one step closer to putting the issue of marriage equality before the voters. Unfortunately, SJR 74 was rejected along party lines with Senate Democrats supporting the proposal and Senate Republicans rejecting it when it was pulled to the floor. SJR 74 is currently in the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor, chaired by Senator Glenn Grothman. We have presented him with the Marriage Equality Wisconsin petition and asked him to hold a public hearing and vote on the bill in his committee.

Our neighboring states of Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota have moved forward with marriage equality and protected the rights and freedom of all families. It is time for Wisconsin to join them.

 

 

Join Me at Upcoming Listening Sessions

Hearing your thoughts and concerns is important to me. While serving you, I have held town hall meetings, listening sessions, coffee and conversations, business tours, and in-district meetings. I advertise these by posting on my Web site, Facebook and Twitter, via neighborhood groups, with media alerts, and through direct emails.

Below are a few of the upcoming events that I invite you to attend if you are interested in talking to me about issues facing our community or state, or if you want to listen to the concerns and thoughts of our fellow neighbors.

Please do not hesitate to contact my office for additional information. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Bay View High School
2751 S. Lenox Street
Milwaukee, WI 53207

Thursday, April 24, 2014
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
St. Francis Library
4230 S. Nicholson Avenue
St. Francis, WI 53235

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Cudahy Library
3500 Library Avenue
Cudahy, WI 53110

Thursday, May 1, 2014
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
MATC, Oak Creek Campus
6665 S. Howell Avenue
Lecture Hall A
Oak Creek, WI 53154

Tuesday, May 6, 2014
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Gordon Park Pavilion
2828 N. Humboldt Blvd. (at Locust St.)
Milwaukee, WI 53212

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
South Milwaukee Library
1907 10th Avenue
South Milwaukee, WI 53172

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Riverside High School
1615 E. Locust Street
Milwaukee, WI 53211
 

 

Neighborhood Business News

Neighborhood businesses are doing a lot of great things to improve our community for family, friends, and neighbors. Therefore, I feature a biweekly article in the newsletter that acknowledges new, growing, or award-winning businesses in our community. Continue reading to learn more about this week's featured business.

 

Small businesses are part of what keep Milwaukee progressing forward and historic architecture reminds us of where we have been. Dental Associates is currently opening a new office in Downtown Milwaukee in the Iron Block Building, restoring a piece of Milwaukee history in the process.

Dental Associates opened its first location in 1973 at 1100 South 16th Street in Milwaukee. "We were born a Milwaukee company and we wanted to stay a Milwaukee company," states Marketing Manager Darin Schumacher. Dental Associates is Wisconsin's largest family-owned dental group practice with 10 offices throughout the state, and nearly 800 staff members, including 100 doctors. They provide complete family dental services, both general and specialty dentistry, are nationally accredited, and have an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau.

"The Iron Block is a prominent downtown building that's a significant piece of Milwaukee's history," said Schumacher. "With that in mind, we took every step possible to return the Iron Block to its original stature and elegance and are excited to share the results of our work with all of Milwaukee."

The Iron Block building was constructed in 1860 when Abraham Lincoln was president. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is the only surviving building with a cast iron exterior. Major structural work is complete, and all mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems are installed. The interior renovation is on schedule for completion in July of this year.

I commend Dental Associates on their work combining small business, historic preservation, and community development to keep Milwaukee flourishing.

 

 

Ask Chris

I often have neighbors contact me looking for my perspective on various local and state issues. I very much appreciate our neighbors' questions and want to dedicate a portion of my newsletter to common questions that I hear to maintain an open dialogue. Please continue reading for this week's question.

Q: I've seen papers lately using the term "pulling motion" when writing about legislative activities. What does this mean?


A: A pulling motion is a tool that can be employed by either party in the Senate to bring a bill that is not on the official calendar to a vote before the full Senate. The senator that utilizes the pulling motion then discusses their reasoning for pulling the bill, which is followed by debate on the proposal. Next, the senators vote on the pulled bill. Their vote demonstrates their opposition or support for the proposal; if they vote "no," then they are opposed whereas if they vote "aye" they are supportive.

 

Since Republican leaders in the Senate set the calendar, it is less likely that they would use a pulling motion to ensure a vote on a bill. Senate Democratic legislators, on the other hand, have pulled six bills to the Senate floor for a vote. The list of these bills is provided below:

 

  • Pay Equity--Ensuring Wisconsin women are treated more fairly in the workplace providing them the freedom to receive the same pay for the same work as their male counterparts.

  • Paying Workers Fair Earnings--As workers are profit creators they deserve to be paid their fair share of a corporation's profits. One of these bills would have increased their base payment to $7.60/hour, while the other proposal would have increased this rate to $10.10/hour.

  • Higher Ed, Lower Debt--This proposal would have allowed higher education graduates the freedom to refinance their loans, receive student loan counseling, and more in order to combat Wisconsin's student debt crisis.

  • Nonpartisan Redistricting--Under this bill, Wisconsin voters would no longer be subject to legislative maps drawn by partisan politicians. Instead, Wisconsin would switch to a nonpartisan redistricting model, similar to Iowa, to prevent gerrymandering. This proposal protects the voting freedoms of Wisconsinites by putting their interests above legislators interested in job security. The bill received bipartisan support when it was pulled to the floor for a vote.

  • Marriage Equality--Removes the ban on marriage equality in Wisconsin to reflect the changing views of Wisconsinites on the issue as a majority support marriage equality.

 

Unfortunately, while all of these proposals were pulled to the floor, none of them were able to pass as they were almost unanimously rejected by Senate Republicans.

 

 

Did You Know...?

We all know that Wisconsin produces a lot of cheese. But did you know that Wisconsin also has more skilled and licensed cheesemakers than any other state?

 

These cheesemakers must complete rigorous studies in dairy science and cheesemaking before they can be licensed. They also may serve as an apprentice under a licensed cheesemaker. Additionally, Wisconsin is the only state to offer a Master Cheesemaker program, which has the same rigorous standards of similar programs in Europe. These fine craftsmen produce nearly 2.8 billion pounds of cheese each year, or over 25% of all domestic cheese in the U.S.

 

 

Remember to Vote on Tuesday, April 1

Wisconsin's spring elections are fast approaching. Remember, the polls are open on Tuesday, April 1 from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. If you cannot vote in-person on Election Day and have chosen to submit an absentee ballot via the United States Postal Service, it must be postmarked no later than Election Day and be received by the municipal clerk no later than 4 p.m. the Friday after the election. If using FedEx, hand-delivery, or another method, the completed ballot must be delivered to the municipal clerk no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day.

You will NOT need to present a photo ID since that restriction has been ruled unconstitutional by the Courts. This ruling is subject to appeal, but is not expected to change before the upcoming election, if at all. If you are a first-time voter or have never voted at your current residence, please remember to bring proof of residence. You will also be asked to provide your driver's license or Wisconsin ID number, but only if you have such an ID.

Click here to visit the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board's Web site for more information about what you need to vote in Wisconsin.
 

 

ACA March 31 Deadline Approaching

Are you uninsured? Do you have a family member or friend who is uninsured? Under the Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law on in 2010, eligible Wisconsinites may register for health care coverage through the health insurance exchange. Neighbors looking to start receiving coverage may enroll in the exchange during its open enrollment period. You may have heard that this deadline has been extended to mid-April, but this is only for those that start the enrollment process by March 31 and request an extension. After the open enrollment period for 2014 ends on March 31, Wisconsinites will no longer be allowed to apply for health care through the health insurance marketplace unless they experience a significant life-changing event, which could make them eligible for a special enrollment period.

 

 

The first open enrollment period for the health exchange began on October 1, 2013, and ends on March 31, 2014. It is important that everyone who plans to apply for health insurance through this program is aware of this deadline, as those who fail to register by March 31, 2014, will have to wait until the next open enrollment period, which is October 1, 2014, to apply for coverage. There will be information and enrollment session throughout Milwaukee over the next couple of weeks. These events are a great way to learn more about signing up through the exchange.

 

Click here to view dates and times for these events.

 

It is required that all U.S. citizens have health insurance in 2014, and those who do not may be fined as a result. The Affordable Care Act includes provisions for providing health care to those experiencing financial difficulties, by offering low-income participants access to subsidized health care coverage options, as well as exempting certain low-income individuals from being fined for not having coverage.

As of February 27, 2014, 4 million people across the United States have signed up for coverage through the health insurance marketplace. In fact, a recent Gallup poll found that the number of uninsured adults has dropped from 17.1% to 15.9% over just the last three months. However, there are still many others who are eligible for health care coverage, but have yet to apply before the deadline.

 

Click here to visit healthcare.gov and follow the easy steps to apply for coverage through the health care marketplace.

In 2013, Governor Scott Walker declined federal funds to strengthen BadgerCare and refused to set up a state-run health insurance exchange for Wisconsin. The funding for these programs would have been drawn from a fund that has already been paid into by Wisconsinites through payment of federal taxes. If Governor Walker had accepted this funding, nearly 85,000 more citizens could have been insured, while simultaneously saving taxpayers a total of $119 million. On top of this, strengthening BadgerCare would create over 10,000 jobs here in Wisconsin. In order to move Wisconsin forward both economically and in terms of health care, it is necessary that we accept federal funding to strengthen BadgerCare. Insuring more Wisconsinites for less money is not only common sense, but it is the right thing to do.

 

 

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

March has been designated as Brain Injury Awareness Month. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, traumatic brain injuries affect about 2.4 million Americans a year, 450,000 of which are children. Of these individuals, 275,000 people will be hospitalized while 1.3 million will be treated in the emergency room. Therefore, increasing prevention and improving recognition of brain injuries are very important.

There are many ways in which a person can suffer a traumatic brain injury. About 35% of traumatic brain injuries are caused by falls. Car accidents and workplace injuries account for another 30%. Additionally, assaults can also result in very dangerous brain injuries. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Web site states that certain populations have higher rates of traumatic brain injuries. For example, men suffer traumatic brain injuries at higher rates compared to women. Also, young children and older adults face the highest risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury as a result of a fall. Likewise, adolescents and young adults face an increased risk of traumatic brain injury as individuals between the ages of 15 and 24 have the highest rates of such injuries caused by motor vehicles.

The signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injury can vary greatly as they are unique to each individual. Some signs that a person may be suffering from a brain injury, include: difficulty thinking clearly or concentrating, dizziness, sensitivity to light or sound, nausea, vomiting, headaches, irregular sleeping patterns, sadness, irritability, or anxiety.

Click here for a more complete list of signs and symptoms courtesy of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

There are many precautions one can take to avoid a brain injury. When driving, make sure children are in car seats and all passengers are wearing a seat belt. While engaging in physical activities, such as biking or contact sports, it is vital to wear a helmet. Also, making living areas safer for children and older adults by removing tripping hazards, and installing safety gates or handrails.

The issue of concussions in adolescent and professional athletics has also garnered a lot of attention recently. According to a 2011 report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Emergency room visits by children and adolescents for brain injuries jumped up more than 60% over an eight-year period, from 153,375 emergency room visits recorded in 2001--for people 19 years of age and younger--to 248,418 visits recorded in 2009. While most parties agree that all students in contact sports should wear a helmet; experts, parents, and coaches remain split about how to deal with children who may have suffered a concussion. Many doctors assert it is vital that students be taken out of a physical game or activity immediately if they have any concussion like symptoms and should not be allowed to return without approval of a medical professional. However, there are also people that worry these strict guidelines will only prevent students from notifying others when they have suffered a head injury. For this reason, it is important that we do our best to educate ourselves on the aforementioned signs and severe symptoms that may result from a traumatic brain injury.

Click here for more information about traumatic brain injuries and Brain Injury Awareness Month.

 

 

Speaking With Our Next Generation of Workers

The 11th annual "Posters in the Rotunda" event was held on March 12. This event gives Wisconsin's college students the opportunity to showcase their undergraduate research. Nearly 200 young men and women presented their work alongside their faculty advisors to legislators, UW alumni, and community members. I had the opportunity to speak with a number of these students about their research, which ranged from the development of low-cost biofuels to the effects of poverty on student achievement. These young adults are the future of Wisconsin's workforce and hearing their ideas and perspectives was greatly appreciated.


Undergraduate research in our public universities is essential for Wisconsin's economic prosperity as it also brings both federal and private research and development to the state. Furthermore, undergraduates with fulfilling experiences and strong ties to their Wisconsin university are more likely to stay and work in our state after graduating. Therefore, the stellar research programs at Wisconsin's university campuses are crucial in preparing current college students to become innovative, creative, and hardworking members of the next generation of Wisconsin workers.
 

 

Take the 2013-2014 Neighborhood Survey

I created a survey for the 2013-2014 Legislative Session asking about various issues that are important to our community and our state. The input of neighbors is greatly appreciated. My staff and I will be working hard to deliver as many surveys door to door as possible. In addition, I have also made this survey available online.

Click here to download and print a copy of this survey, which you can return to my office via mail, email, or fax upon completion.

Click here to save a stamp and take the survey online.

I look forward to hearing your views on these important issues!

 

 

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