Rep. Meyers: It’s Time to Get to Work

Monday, November 13, 2017 | Rep. Beth Meyers, Wi. District 74 |


Now that the budget process has finally come to an end, it is time for us to roll up our sleeves and shift focus to the issues that have been put on the back burner as legislators bickered over the budget. It is time to get to work on improving our state.

One of my focuses this fall is serving on the Speaker’s Foster Care Task Force. As part of this group, I have been traveling the southern part of the state, seeking input from people affected by the foster care system. There are approximately 7,000 children in foster care at any given time in Wisconsin, and it is our responsibility to ensure they are safe, thriving and well cared for. While the task force held listening sessions in parts of the state, none were scheduled in the 74th Assembly District. Because this is a serious concern for many in my district, I organized listening sessions in Bayfield, Iron, and Price Counties and spoke with constituents and stakeholders in order to gather input. I was grateful to have the opportunity to hear from social workers, foster care parents and community members, and I look forward to working in a bipartisan manner to find effective solutions.

Unfortunately, not all the work happening in Madison this month has been good for Northern Wisconsin. The Majority Party has proposed a number of bills which, if passed, could have devastating environmental effects – especially for the watershed. One such bill (AB 547) threatens to exempt wetlands not under a federal purview from DNR permitting requirements, possibly creating loopholes that could damage important ecosystems. Another bill (AB 499) proposes a repeal of current regulations for sulfide mining, which could allow new mine sites to open without adequate pollution-prevention mechanisms, endangering waterways, plants, animals, and people alike. As always, I intend to work tirelessly to protect Wisconsin’s residents and precious natural resources.

I’m continuing the fight for rural broadband. Broadband funding was included in the budget, but that funding still leaves gaping holes in coverage for the 74th District. Those of us in Northern Wisconsin know that reliable internet is a necessity, not a luxury. Too often, I hear from constituents—often small business owners working to stay competitive—about the difficulties posed by a lack of high-speed internet. I will keep pushing for increased and comprehensive rural broadband funding in the Legislature; we took a step in the right direction, but we have miles left to go.

I want to continue learning what Northern Wisconsinites need to maintain and improve our communities. One way that can happen is for you to invite me to your event or contact my office to let me know of your concerns. Your voice is irreplaceable in our democratic process. As always, my most important job is to listen to you! I can be reached at 888-534-0074 or Rep.Meyers@legis.wisconsin.gov.

 


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