November 19, 2021

Radio Segment - Natural Immunity
Capitol Christmas Tree
Dental Care in Wisconsin
OSHA Vaccine Mandate
Holiday Events

Radio Segment - Natural Immunity


On Monday, I joined Meg Ellefson on WSAU's Wisconsin Morning News to discuss my bill, SB 662, which requires entities requesting proof of vaccination to also accept proof of natural immunity.

Click the picture above to listen.

Capitol Christmas Tree


The Capitol Christmas Tree has arrived!

This year's tree is a 32 foot balsam fir donated to the people of Wisconsin by the Menominee Nation - right here in the 12th Senate District. The tree was harvested from the grounds of the Menominee Tribal Enterprise Forestry Center in Keshena.

The theme of this year's tree is "Hometown for the Holidays".

Dental Care in Wisconsin


Last Friday, I met with dentists from across the state to discuss what we're doing in the Legislature to provide better oral healthcare for the people of Wisconsin. Below are some of the topics we covered:

Biennial Budget:
Increased Medicaid dental reimbursement rates by 40%, effective January 1, 2022.

Dental Therapy (SB 181):

This bill seeks to increase access to care, especially for the 1.2 million Wisconsin residents currently living in dental access shortage areas. The bill provides for the licensure of dental therapists who are members of the dental care team serving under the supervision of a dentist that would be able to engage in limited practices of dentistry, such as fillings and sealants. 

As in other health care fields, dental therapists serve as a mid-level provider, like nurse practitioners and physician assistants.  Providing dental practices the option to include these well-trained dental professionals in their dental teams will allow for increased access, lower practice costs, and savings for the state, all without compromising quality of care.

Dental therapists receive the same training as dentists for the procedures they are allowed to perform within their scope and must meet rigorous standards approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)- the same entity overseeing standards for the training of dentists nationwide.

This bill passed the State Senate unanimously and is currently stuck in the Assembly Committee on Organization.

Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary - EFDA (SB 392):
In dentistry, the dentist is assisted by two other members of the care team, dental assistants and dental hygienists. Dental assistants are not licensed by the state and have a limited scope on the procedures they are able to perform.  They are often certified by the Dental Assisting National Board, but this is not required.  Hygienists have more training, often graduating from one of the many excellent programs run by our tech colleges, and are allowed to perform more procedures.  They are licensed by, and have representation on, the Dentistry Examining Board. 

Over twenty states, as well as the military, allow another kind of dental practitioner, called an EFDA (Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary).  In other states, EFDAs have training and education requirements, are licensed members of the dental team, and work under the supervision of the dentist.  They can perform functions including completing restorations, taking impressions, and providing sealants.  An EFDA can be incredibly useful in taking care of patients who are scheduled for standard visits and do not require intense or comprehensive care.

This bill also passed the State Senate unanimously, but it's awaiting a hearing in the Assembly Committee on Health.

OSHA Vaccine Mandate


Yesterday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) publicly announced that they will be abiding with the court order suspending enforcement of the Biden Administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandate on businesses with more than 100 employees.

On Tuesday, the 6th District Court of Appeals won the lottery to hear legal challenges to this lawsuit, which could affect almost 84 million workers across the country.

The 6th District Court of Appeals is made up of the following presidential appointments:

  • Trump and George W. Bush: 11
  • Clinton and Obama: 5

Holiday Events


Through the end of the year, we will be adding to this list of holiday events happening in communities across the 12th Senate District. If you have any events you would like to include on our list, please send them to!

November 19th
Downtown Rhinelander Holiday Open House

November 26th
Christmas Train Village Show (Minocqua)
Christmas Arts and Craft Fair (Boulder Junction)

November 27th
Christmas in Minocqua (Minocqua)
Community Christmas Kickoff (Minocqua, Arbor Vitae, Woodruff)
Lighting up St Germain Holiday Celebration (St Germain)
Small Business Saturday Christmas Craft Show (Rhinelander)
Visit with Santa (Three Lakes)
Christmas Open House (Lakewood)
Christmas in the Village (Crivitz)

December 1st
24th Annual Chili Cook-Off and Christmas Parade (Antigo)

December 2nd
Christmas Open House (Oconto Falls)

December 3rd
Town Christmas Celebration & Tree Lighting (Manitowish Waters)
Christmas on Main Street (Crandon)

December 4th

3rd Annual Mani*wish Christmas Event (Manitowish Waters)
Christmas Kick-Off (Eagle River)
Rhinelander Parade of Lights (Rhinelander)
Annual Christmas Parade (Merrill)
Riverview Annual Tree Lighting Celebration (Riverview)
Townsend Tree Lighting (Townsend)
11th Annual Christmas in Florence (Florence)
Christmas in the Park (Gillett)

December 5th
American Legion Xmas Party (Three Lakes)

December 10th
Olde Time Christmas Celebration (Presque Isle)

December 11th
Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Arbor Vitae)
Breakfast with Santa (Merrill)
Lions Club Kids Christmas Party (Three Lakes)
Christmas Parade (Crivitz)

Important Links:
Contact Me:

State Capitol, 415S
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707-7882
(608) 266-2509