Iron County Progressive

This week in review with Rep. Beth Meyers 

Last week, KBJR aired interviews with Sen. Janet Bewley, Rep. Nick Milroy and me. I discussed my many legislative goals for 2020, including:

  • We need to figure out a way to meet the needs of our aging population.
  • We must recruit and retain younger people to live in Northern Wisconsin. In order to do this, people must have living wages, thriving communities and strong schools. 
  • I want to move forward on my bill to address the staggering amount of violence towards indigenous women and girls. 
  • We must close the dark store loophole and make sure big box stores are paying their fair share in property taxes. 

·         Bipartisan Bills Become Law

I was humbled to attend bill signings for several bills that became law. These bills were a product of good bipartisan work, the kind of work that makes me proud to be a legislator.

We’ve made selling a home easier and more secure for realtors and homeowners, and we’ve worked across the aisle to educate Wisconsinites about the dangers and steps they can take to prevent Lyme disease while providing the tools to protect people in our parks. Many state workers now have a collective bargaining agreement after years of negotiation. I'm glad to see we can still get together to fix problems.

The following is a summary of the bills signed into law:

Wisconsin Act 72 clarifies it is not an invasion of privacy to have surveillance equipment in properties when selling property, an important act that improves security for realtors and homeowners.

Wisconsin Act 73 requires the Department of Natural Resources to design and produce signs that raise awareness of Lyme disease, and Wisconsin Act 74 requires insect repellent to be available for purchase in state parks and forests to help reduce the incidence of Lyme disease in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Acts 77-82 ratified the collective bargaining agreement for trade employees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Wisconsin System and the state of Wisconsin. 

State of the State

My friend Paul Sturgul, Hurley attorney and aging and long-term care advocate, made the trip down to Madison last week as my guest at Governor Tony Evers' State of the State address.

“I was honored and delighted to be my representative’s guest at the State of the State,” said Sturgul. “I have long been an advocate for those who are aging and want adequate resources, reward for a lifetime of work and opportunities to live out their lives with dignity. I’m grateful to the governor and my representative for highlighting these issues.”

As the leading Democrat on the Aging and Long Term Care committee, I was grateful to host such an advocate for our aging population. I’m also pleased that Governor Evers is making issues a priority that matter to Northern Wisconsin—rural economic development, accessible and affordable health care, fixing our roads and bridges and suicide prevention. Making lives better for all Wisconsinites, from Beloit to Bayfield, is my priority as a legislator, and I’m excited to continue working with Governor Evers.

Environmental Tips

Our climate needs protection, and we need to do what we can in our everyday lives to be good stewards of our land and water. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Skip the receipt if you don't need it. Paper receipts may seem insignificant, but they have unnecessary environmental impacts. Every year in the United States, receipt use consumes over 3 million trees, 9 billion gallons of water and generates over 4 billion pounds of CO2 (the equivalent of 450,000 cars on the road) and 302 million pounds of solid waste during production.

Bring your own bag. Or if you do get a bag, be sure to recycle properly. It takes 500 (or more) years for a plastic bag to degrade in a landfill. Unfortunately the bags don't break down completely but instead photo-degrade, becoming microplastics that absorb toxins and continue to pollute the environment.

Try not to use plastic straws. It is estimated that the average person uses 1.6 straws per day. That means that if 25,000 people stop using straws, we would eliminate 5,000,000 straws and prevent them from entering oceans and harming wildlife.

These are just a few small things to keep our earth a little cleaner. Check out the National Ocean Service for more. 

Wisconsin Pioneers

I'd like to take some time in my newsletter to recognize important people in Wisconsin's history. This week, I'd like to highlight Electa Quinney. She grew up in New York where she acquired a passion for education and vowed to make it her life's mission.

In 1827, she moved to the Kaukauna area in Wisconsin. In 1828, she opened the first school in Wisconsin not to charge an enrollment fee, making her the state's first public school teacher. Quinney taught to both native children and new settler children.

Thank you to Quinney and a history of Wisconsin public school teachers who make our schools the backbone of communities throughout the state and inspire our future generations.

Contact Information

If there is an issue that is important to you, even if you are sure I agree or disagree with you, please contact my office. Hearing from my constituents gives me the perspectives I need when researching, discussing and voting on any given bill. Please call, email, write or contact me on social media:

Phone Number: (608) 266-7690
Address: P.O. Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708
Twitter: @beth_rep
Facebook: @RepBethMeyers

Thank you for your interest, and again, feel free to reach out to my office if you have any additional questions or concerns. Thank you!