WAND Government Affairs Update - February 2018
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
State Assembly Passes Nutrition Education Act!
On Tuesday, February 20th, the Wisconsin State Assembly passed the Nutrition Education Act! This follows good news of the bill’s passage in the State Senate on Tuesday, January 23rd. WAND has been working closely on this legislative priority with the School Nutrition Association of Wisconsin. This bill is also supported by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and American Heart Association.
The bill requires a school board to modify its instruction about nutrition to include knowledge of the nutritive value of foods and the role of a nutritious diet in promoting health, preventing chronic disease and maintaining a healthy weight as outlined by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The government affairs team looked at statutes going as far back as we could online (1941) and the same language as it relates to nutrition education has been on the books since at least that long. Needless to say, it was time for an update, and we are pleased the language includes the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It only makes sense to use this trusted source and clearly lawmakers agree!
The next step for the bill is for it to be signed by the Governor. The government affairs team will be connecting with the Governor’s office to obtain bill signing details and plans. We hope it is signed in a public setting so WAND members can potentially be included in the ceremony. Stay tuned for more details!
Thanks to WAND President Christina Lemon and WAND Public Policy and Advocacy Committee Member Karen Krchma for testifying about the importance of nutrition education in classrooms during public hearings at the State Capitol! Both did an excellent job explaining why this bill is important and representing WAND.
Legislative Session is Winding Down
The Wisconsin State Assembly has indicated they will finish legislative business for the 2017-2018 session on Thursday, February 22nd. The State Senate has indicated they will finish business sometime in March. There is a chance both houses could meet more in the spring before the summer campaign season kicks-off, but for now there is a lot happening in the legislature as lawmakers try to get their bills passed before the legislature adjourns. The government affairs team at Hoven Consulting continues to monitor legislative business during this busy time and keeps WAND leadership as well as the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee up to speed.
2018 is shaping up to be an interesting campaign year in Wisconsin. Between a Supreme Court election this April, along with other local races around the state, there will also be an election for Governor, US Senate, Congress, State Senate and State Assembly. It is only a matter of time until our mailboxes are filled with mailers and we are bombarded with internet, radio and TV ads!
Patty Schactner Wins 10th Senate District Special Election
On Tuesday, January 16th, St. Croix County Medical Examiner Patty Schactner won the special election to fill the seat vacated by Sheila Harsdorf in November. Harsdorf left the Senate to become Governor Walker’s Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
Schactner defeated State Representative Adam Jarchow (R – Balsam Lake) 55% to 45% in a district that has been held by a Republican since 2000. It is also a seat that Mitt Romney won by 6 points in 2012 and Donald Trump won by 17 points in 2016. Republicans now hold an 18-14 majority in the Senate.
The upset victory was celebrated by Democrats in the area and across Wisconsin. “People sent a message tonight: We don’t want to be negative anymore,” Schactner said. “Change it up. I ran a positive campaign…My message has always been be kind, be considerate and we need to help people when they’re down.” Schactner was recently sworn in and will finish out the current term in 2020.
Many Democrats feel this is the first sign of a Democratic wave coming to Wisconsin for the 2018 elections. Republicans say there is a lot of time between now and November and that voters will stand with their policy agenda. Only time will tell!
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 the 2018 election cycle is only a few months away and 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.
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 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!
Last year, we had 92 people attend with room for 100. This year, we reserved room for 130 participants and we just hit our capacity. This is good news, but we wish we had room for everyone who might have been interested. We may consider allowing for even more people to attend next year!