Sen. Patty Schachtner
As students, we learned about our representative democracy during civics. A key virtue I learned from school was the value of debate. It is through debate that we communicate, stand up for our beliefs and come together through compromise. During the recent lame-duck legislative session, we were never afforded the opportunity of debate. Republicans introduced five bills containing 45 separate proposals late Friday afternoon, held a public hearing the next Monday, and we were voting that Tuesday.
October is National Farm to School month. All over the country, farm to school programs are empowering children to make informed and healthy food choices. These programs are also strengthening local food supply chains and building up local economies.
Serving constituents is the best part of my job. Whether I am helping people navigate state agencies or answering questions about legislation, I appreciate the opportunity to assist and engage with community members.
Our mental health care providers are doing incredible work across northwestern Wisconsin. A few months ago, I toured Northwest Passage and their campuses in Frederic and Webster. Northwest Passage serves around 300 children through their residential mental health care programs each year. In Dunn County, Arbor Place supports individuals living with substance use and/or mental health disorders through various treatment and programming options. Their mission starts with "the basic belief in the dignity and worth of each human being."
On Aug. 2, Sen. Janet Bewley and I hosted a pair of listening sessions in Rice Lake and Amery to talk about the $4.5 billion taxpayer incentive package to Foxconn, a Taiwanese-based electronics manufacturing company.
Medicare and Medicaid will celebrate their 53rd birthday on July 30. Since the programs' inception, millions of elderly, low-income and disabled Americans have benefited from crucial health care coverage. This coverage helps individuals afford hospital stays, fill prescription drugs, and access preventative care.
This past month, I traveled across western Wisconsin to engage in needed conversations about mental health and suicide prevention.
Just a few weeks ago, I had the honor to attend and speak at the 50th anniversary of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. The riverway was created when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 into law. At the signing ceremony, Johnson said: "In the past 50 years, we have learned — all too slowly, I think — to prize and to protect God's precious gifts. Because we have, our own children and grandchildren will come to know and come to love the great forests and the wild rivers that we have protected and left to them."
When I was in high school, Science Olympiad was just getting started, holding its first event in November 1974. Since then, Science Olympiad has grown nationwide with over 7,800 schools participating, including 98 here in Wisconsin. Students from Baldwin-Woodville, Menomonie, New Richmond, St. Croix Central, Boyceville and Hudson swarm to universities across the state each year to compete. They go to win. But beyond the competition, it is a way for students to learn skills and build relationships.