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Whole Person Health.
I believe in a whole-person approach to health which includes not only physical health but everything that goes into it such as: clean air, drinkable water, safe neighborhoods, drivable roads, food security, affordable housing, quality education, and living wages. I will advocate and champion policies to make Wisconsin the best and healthiest state to live in for all residents!
I believe access to quality healthcare is a basic human right. I will safeguard affordable healthcare and protect families from losing coverage (no more pre-existing conditions!).
I would love to see the elimination of health disparities and believe health equity (attainment of highest level of health for all people) is achievable in Wisconsin. I will work to author, sponsor, and vote for bills to improve access to care and bills that make insurance and medications affordable.
I believe premiums, co-pays, and deductibles have become unaffordable to many residents and employers. I plan to propose Wisconsin policies to fix this and hold the Office of Commissioner of Insurance accountable for how their rules and politics impact premiums and consumer choice.
Although "Obamacare" is often blamed for increased premiums; I know that the reality is Wisconsin chose how to implement the Affordable Care Act ("ACA" / "Obamacare") and that Wisconsin policies and federal government health reform/cost-sharing uncertainty are driving up premiums.
The recent "Wisconsin’s Section 1332 State Innovation Waiver" reinsurance request is unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer money ($200 Million total; $30 million in state money). It is fiery political rhetoric that is not in the best interest of Wisconsin taxpayers. Most fundamentally, Wisconsin’s draft reinsurance waiver (the language in Act 138) provides no guarantee that any reinsurance payment made to Wisconsin insurers will translate into reduced premiums for consumers. This waste and inefficiency is a huge concern of mine
We need to remove the polarization from the insurance discussion, and do what is best for our residents - which is to make insurance affordable and accessible. I understand what Wisconsin can do and see this as achievable.
Furthermore, limited support and resources have been given to help Wisconsinites understand their health insurance options. That is why I led a grassroots effort in 2013 to offer health insurance assistance at Badger High School, a tradition that continues today during open enrollment.
I will fight for your right to choose your insurance plan. There is a mis-perception that folks are "forced" to purchase "Obamacare" insurance, this is absolutely untrue. Please remember that Wisconsin has a vibrant and strong private insurance market that folks can purchase from instead of going to the Marketplace ("Obamacare"). Wisconsinites do have choices. It's affordability that is the problem.
I support the continued protection of the essential health benefits i.e. comprehensive coverage to protect consumers from unexpected surgeries/tests/diagnosis or denied claims.
Prior to the ACA's Essential Health Benefits, many plans excluded maternity and mental health services. As most of us don't read the 1,000 page book explaining our insurance benefits, often a person wouldn't know these services were excluded until they were pregnant or a loved one needed addiction treatment. In a community where life is valued - we must make sure all residents have access to maternity coverage. In a community where substance abuse is a public health epidemic - we must ensure all residents have access to mental health coverage.
Insurance and the U.S. health system are difficult to navigate and limited health literacy affects adults in all racial and ethnic groups. I support ACA consumer protections and believe Wisconsin should continue these:
First, I want to acknowledge that Wisconsin’s partial expansion of BadgerCare (Medicaid) has clearly been a better choice than not expanding Medicaid at all. However, I am concerned that Wisconsin did not accept the federal money to expand Medicaid.
This not only prevents some residents from having coverage, but also doubles the health care tax burden to Wisconsin residents. A portion of our federal taxes pay for other states to expand their Medicaid, and then our Wisconsin taxes have to be higher to cover what we didn't accept from the federal government. Wisconsin’s partial Medicaid expansion covers far fewer people at a much greater cost (financially and lives disabled/lost). This is not wise spending of taxpayer money and is not in the best interest of the health of our community.
If Wisconsin were to fully expand Medicaid, more than 80,000 adults between 100% and 138% of the federal poverty level would be covered, and that change would yield a net savings for Wisconsin taxpayers of about $190 million per year. It is important to note that per CMS guidance, there is no deadline for states to implement the Medicaid expansion.
Wisconsin has some of the lowest Medicaid dental reimbursement rates in the nation. This is absolutely unacceptable. This causes problems with access. The tremendous losses associated with seeing Medicaid dental patients in Wisconsin is well documented. I would like to see the Medicaid dental reimbursement increased, in particular for safety net clinics. Living in a tourist community, we know how a smile impacts employment. Help me improve access to dental care in our community. Healthy Smiles = Employability.
Furthermore, our children are suffering because we have not expanded Medicaid. Wisconsin went from having the 12th lowest rate of uninsured children in 2013 to a tie for 20th lowest in 2016, as states that expanded Medicaid coverage for parents found that there was increased Medicaid participation among children who were already eligible (Source: Georgetown University Health Policy Institute).
Among the 1.9 million nonelderly adults with opioid addiction, those with Medicaid were twice as likely as those with private insurance or no insurance to have received treatment in 2016, according to a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Expanding Medicaid access should be done to fight the opioid epidemic.
I have many concerns about the Medicaid Waivers that Wisconsin has applied for and how these costly waivers will negatively impact the health of our residents and community.
I value all life from birth through death and I believe in the importance of helping people throughout their entire life. I believe that if our society truly wants to eliminate abortions; then we should be focusing on what is causing a woman to seek an abortion in the first place. What is making that woman or family feel that an abortion is their only option? We should work for policy changes that help women and families not feel stuck.
I support programs that address the root cause of abortion; safe access is not the root cause. By addressing root causes, we can prevent abortions and increase children being born into happy families. For starters, we must make sure that:
Student Loan Reform.
Student loan debt in Wisconsin is estimated to be at $24 billion, which leads to a national economic crisis, as some interest rates are approaching 15%. I will support legislation that allows students to refinance their loans like mortgages. I support needs-based assistance as proposed in this article when tied to GPA and allowing students to refinance loans like mortgages. I support state-run student loan refinancing like Sarah Godlewski for Wisconsin State Treasurer has outlined, and I support expanding loan assistance programs for professional shortage areas like healthcare, PDs, teachers
If we don't close the "dark store loophole," which allows property tax assessments to include values of similar closed stores, homeowners will have to pay more. Property owners shouldn't pay more because some businesses pay less. As your Assemblyperson, I will vote to get rid of the "Dark Store" loophole.
Fix Our Roads & Bridges.
As a Citizen Representative on the Town of Delavan Public Works Committee I see first hand how our local municipalities are underfunded to fix our roads. Wisconsin needs a new approach; what is being done now is not working. We must strengthen the transportation infrastructure and fix existing local roads and bridges. I am a problem solver and we need problem solvers in Madison.
I believe a great community protects the environment and fosters an appreciation for the beauty of nature. My family enjoys boating on Delavan Lake and Geneva Lake. I will support policies that protect and preserve our lakes, rivers, and waterways. I will vote for bills that protect our water quality.
The DNR should protect our natural resources, rather than the interests of business - which is why I support fully funding an independent DNR. The head of the DNR should have a natural resources background. I will work actively to address these issues.
Checks and Balances.
Checks and balances in government are key to protecting your tax dollars. To ensure spending oversight and fraud policing, I will vote to strengthen the State Treasurer's office.
Internet Access and Equality.
Wisconsin ranks far below most other states when it comes to internet speeds.
In 2012, Governor Walker turned down nearly $23 million in federal grant funding that would have allowed our state to expand fiber optic broadband networks to schools and libraries. An estimated 150 full-time jobs could have been created. That was wrong. As your Assemblyperson, I will advocate to accept federal infrastructure money for broadband, as that is simply our tax money coming back to us - and I will advocate for broadband expansion to be included in future budgets.
I will support the repeal of statutes that hamper communities from providing internet service to their people, sponsor and vote for legislation that would ensure any Internet Service Provider doing business in Wisconsin would adhere to the principles of net neutrality, support legislation that would protect net neutrality at the state level, and support Wisconsin's Attorney General in joining with 22 other states in a lawsuit regarding the FCC's decision.
Legalization of Marijuana.
We spend more on corrections than on the University of Wisconsin System. The financial burden on our criminal justice system for low-level non-violent marijuana possession offenses is unacceptable.
Legalization would free law enforcement up to pursue more serious crimes, help alleviate the societal and financial impact of mass incarceration, and help those in pain get access to much-needed medicine.
While not the main reason for my position, increased revenue via the taxation and regulation of cannabis is a benefit.
While the legalization of cannabis is not a perfect solution to all of Wisconsin’s problems, there is a great deal of promise in its medical applications including reducing the reliance on opioids; along with alleviating the burden on our criminal justice system, generating tax revenue, and giving Wisconsin farmers a new and popular cash crop to grow.
I will follow the will of the people when it comes to decriminalizing and legalizing, taxing and regulating cannabis when I am elected to the State Legislature. Counties around the state are putting the issue to a non-binding referendum, which I support.
I believe elected officials must have integrity. I believe elected officials must not personally take advantage of taxpayer dollars; in particular through per diem allotments.
Furthermore, I pride myself in being a resident of District 32. I will only use per diems when it is necessary for me to be in Madison representing you. I plan to commute back and forth to Madison whenever possible. If I need to spend the night in Madison, I will stay with my mother who lives in a Madison suburb. I won't be charging a hotel to you, the taxpayer.
I believe your Assembly person should be in the District, living in the District, visiting with constituents, and experiencing life in District 32 as much as possible. I would love to be invited to your festivals, concerts, and celebrations - please don't hesitate to reach out to me - email@example.com.
VIEW 2017 Wisconsin Assembly Per Diem Report
VIEW Article on Increased Per Diems
I support assigning the task for district review and redistricting to the Legislative Reference Bureau, a nonpartisan state service agency. This is similar to how redistricting is done in Iowa.
Currently, under the Wisconsin constitution, the legislature is directed to redistrict legislative districts according to the number of inhabitants at its next session following each decennial federal census. This is a problem. A nonpartisan group should be conducting the redistricting and review as Legislative and congressional redistricting plans are used to elect members of the legislature and members of Congress in the fall of the second year following the year of the census. Clearly, legislators have a vested personal interest in how redistricting occurs; as such a nonpartisan organization should be responsible for this activity. This system for letting politicians pick their voters, rather than the other way around, has long been opposed by Common Cause in Wisconsin, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.
I will lead efforts to have redistricting conducted by a non-partisan entity. This is especially important in light of the predictive voting capabilities of technology. This would solve the issues brought before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding gerrymandering, at least for the state of Wisconsin.
Article: NPR A Solution To Partisan Gerrymandering
See first-hand how gerrymandering impacts voting with this interactive map: The Atlas of Redisticting
Prevent Gun Violence.
I come from a family of responsible gun collectors and hunters. Responsible gun owners (like my family) know that supporting the Second Amendment goes hand-in-hand with common-sense solutions to reduce gun violence.
We must stop the fear. We must stop the violence. We must have common sense gun reform, and that's why I'm honored to have received the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction.
As a mom with children attending public school, I live in real fear. Every time I drop my children off, I dread THAT phone call telling me there has been an active shooter and that my child has been injured or worse. This fear is reinforced by our schools having "active shooter" pull alarms (which look just like fire alarms) and our schools conducting "active shooter" drills just like they do for tornadoes.
Tornadoes are up to Mother Nature, but preventing school shootings is up to us.
Reducing and preventing gun violence is a public safety issue, not a political one. Over 35,000 Americans are killed every year by gun violence, and thousands more are injured.
As the only candidate in our district with children in our schools, I'm tired of living in fear of that phone call. I'm tired of worrying about my children, their friends, and their teachers getting shot. I refuse to stand by and watch as our society claims we can't do anything to prevent this - we can. And it starts with electing officials who will promote common-sense gun reforms with which responsible gun owners (like my family) agree.
Every parent, grandparent, and guardian deserves to feel that their children are safe when they go to school. We must stop the fear. We must stop the violence. We must have common sense gun reform, and that's why I'm proud to be a "Moms Demand Action" Gun Sense candidate.
My background is in public health and advocacy. I've always worked to protect our children's future, and this issue is no different. I will champion and support policies that protect our children.
I value education, as demonstrated by my earning my doctorate (I'm a lifelong learner) and my instructing higher education for over a decade.
I believe in the public school system and that every child deserves access to a quality education that meets their unique learning styles, capabilities, and interests. I will uphold District 32's tradition of quality public education.
I strongly believe that class sizes should be kept small and that equitable funding should be available to do this. Furthermore, I believe schools should be a safe place to learn. Additionally, I believe more can be done to prepare every student to succeed in the workplace without a lifetime of debt.
After reading in the Delavan Enterprise (6/21/18) about how our local elected officials would not meet with the Delavan Darien School Board when requested, I, along with District 31 Candidate Brittany Keyes, reached out to the Delavan Darien School Board to have a listening session with them about their concerns and how the state can help in the future. The Delavan Darien School Board placed this request on their agenda and decided to not engage in further political discussions at this time. I believe elected officials have an obligation to listen to and meet with their constituents when asked. I will always be here for you.
I will support policies that strengthen District 32. I support policies that promote healthy, sustainable communities. I believe local communities should decide how to best spend their tax dollars and grow the economy. I believe more can be done to support District 32's local small businesses, manufacturers, and farmers; in particular as they are the drivers of job creation, our economy, and innovation.
What issues are important to you? This page is a work-in-progress. I want to be YOUR representative. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org your thoughts and ideas. I am listening.