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News & Press: Advocacy News

WAND Government Affairs Update - December

Friday, December 15, 2017  
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WAND Government Affairs December 2017 E-Newsletter

Senate Bill 385 Signed into Law!

On Thursday, November 30th Governor Walker signed Senate Bill 385 into law! The bill was authored by Sen. Patrick Testin (R – Stevens Point) and Representative Joan Ballweg (R – Markesan) and allows attending physicians in certain long-term care facilities to delegate order-writing authority for modified and therapeutic diets to registered dietitians. Several WAND members attended the bill signing ceremony along with the bill authors and their staff. Photos from the event are on WAND’s website and have been posted to social media.

Thanks again to Kate Gustman, Cam Hardin, Laurie Norstedt, WAND President-Elect Laura Isaacson and WAND President Christina Lemon for representing WAND and RDNs in long-term care facilities by testifying in support of the bill! Special thanks to Tracey Elmes and Valerie Shurley for testifying in support twice!! Getting SB 385 signed into law was a team effort and we are very proud of this accomplishment.

Legislature Gears Up for 2018

Another year is just around the corner and so is another floor period in the Wisconsin State Legislature. Beginning Tuesday, January 16th, both houses can begin scheduling days to vote on legislation. This is typically a very busy and fast-paced time as lawmakers try to get bills passed before the legislature adjourns. Once session ends, legislators transition into campaign mode for the election in November. The next legislative session will begin in January 2019 when the legislature is officially sworn in.

Advocacy Day is Wednesday March 7, 2018

WAND’s annual Advocacy Day is fast approaching! We are once again teaming up with the School Nutrition Association of Wisconsin for a full day of legislative advocacy at the State Capitol.

This is our opportunity to meet with legislators and make sure our professional voice is heard. Our government affairs team provides detailed information to help introduce and coach attendees through legislative meetings. It is a great experience and it helps WAND members form relationships with legislators, which is key to advocacy on behalf of our profession!

To join your colleagues at the State Capitol, please click here to sign up!

Heather Smith Appointed Medicaid Director

On Friday, December 8th, Governor Walker appointed Heather Smith to the position of Medicaid Director and Administrator of the Division of Medicaid Services. She previously served on his legislative and policy team and worked for Joint Committee on Finance Co-Chair Alberta Darling.

WAND President Christina Lemon and Public Policy and Advocacy Chair Catherine Mussatti sent a letter to Heather congratulating her on her appointment.

Blue Ribbon Commission

On Wednesday, December 6th, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos announced the creation of a Blue Ribbon Commission to study school funding. Sen. Luther Olsen (R - Ripon) and Rep. Joel Kitchens (R - Sturgeon Bay) will chair the committee. Other committee members include:

Sen. Alberta Darling (R - River Hills)

Sen. Howard Marklein (R - Spring Green)

Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D - Alma)

Rep. Cody Horlacher (R - Mukwonago)

Rep. Romaine Quinn (R - Rice Lake)

Rep. Sondy Pope (D - Mt. Horeb)

Rep. Jason Fields (D - Glendale)

Ted Neitzke, CEO, CESA 6

Dr. Michelle Langenfeld, Superintendent, Green Bay Area Public Schools

Dr. Joni Burgin, Superintendent, Grantsburg School District

Dan Rossmiller, Director of Government Relations, Wisconsin Association of School Boards

Lori Saqer, Director of Business Operations, Messmer Catholic Schools, Inc.

Dr. Julie Underwood, Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, UW-Madison

Dr. Bill Hughes, Chief Academic Officer, Seton Catholic Schools



Have you contributed to WAND’s political action committee, WANDPAC? Your contributions help increase WAND’s access to lawmakers and give WAND a stronger voice on nutrition and healthcare policies at the State Capitol. This is especially important as we approach the 2018 elections since our PAC allows us to support candidates who share WAND’s policy goals and vision for the dietetics profession. 

Not sure if or when you donated?  Go to the WAND website, log in, click on “Manage Profile” under “My Profile” (to the right) and you’ll find a confidential listing of your “Donations” under “Invoicing, Payments and History.”  To make an online donation now, click here.




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