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Governor Walker continues to advance his Ambitious Agenda by signing a major part of his Health Care Stability Plan into law and by introducing all eight pieces of his plan to Wisconsin jobs creators.

The week also included a lot of great news for Wisconsin: United Alloy Inc. announced its expansion; U.S. News & World Report ranked the state 11th in the nation; and opioid prescriptions are down 20% from 2015 to 2017.

Finally, the U.S. House of Representatives advanced trauma informed care – First Lady Walker’s initiative – with the passage of House Resolution 443.

1. Governor Walker Signs Major Part of Health Care Stability Plan

Last week, Governor Walker signed Senate Bill 770 into law at Tomah Memorial Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center. The bill starts the process of utilizing a State Innovation Waiver (1332 Waiver) to stabilize rising health care premium costs on the individual market. The reinsurance program is estimated to lower health care premiums for those in the individual market by 13 percent in 2019 and by 12 percent in 2020.

In a statement, Governor Walker noted the following:

“Our Health Care Stability Plan is our solution to Washington’s failure; we want to provide health care stability and lower premiums for Wisconsin. Today’s bill starts the process of stabilizing premiums for Wisconsin families on the individual market. But, we aren’t stopping there. Our plan will also bring peace of mind and stability to our Seniors and those living with preexisting conditions. We look forward to pushing each aspect of our plan forward in order to help our state—these are Wisconsin issues and they are being addressed with bipartisan, Wisconsin-based solutions. I thank Representatives Todd Novak and Kevin Peterson for leading our efforts in the Legislature.”

2. Wisconsin Job Creators Learn About Governor Walker’s Ambitious Agenda

Governor Walker addressed Wisconsin job creators at the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) Business Day in Madison to highlight the state's growing economy and his Ambitious Agenda for 2018.

In his State of the State Address, Governor Walker introduced his Ambitious Agenda for 2018. It includes his Health Care Stability Plan, more resources for rural schools, Wisconsin Works for Everyone welfare reforms, a $100 per child sales tax rebate and sales tax holiday, rural economic development initiatives, juvenile corrections reform, reforms to help small business, and more.

3. Another Wisconsin Business Announces Its Expansion

United Alloy Inc. (UAI), a serial production metal fabrication and powder coating company, is expanding its operations in Janesville, a project expected to create up to 66 jobs over the next three years.

The new 100,000-square-foot facility will be located on a 17-acre lot adjacent to the company’s existing building on Kennedy Road. The $15 million project also includes a 7,500-square-foot addition to the current facility and the installation of new equipment at both buildings. The new facility will include an entirely new painting system that would occupy about one-fourth of the building, while the rest of the facility would be used for assembly and loading areas for trucks.

4. Wisconsin Ranks as the 11th Best State in the Nation

U.S. News & World Report identified Wisconsin as the 11th best state in the nation based on thousands of data points which measure how well states are performing for their citizens. Other top rankings include:

  • No. 1 – Child Wellness Visits
  • No. 2 – Voter Participation
  • No. 3 – Quality of Life
  • No. 3 – Pension Fund Liability
  • No. 4 – Gender Equality in Employment
  • No. 6 – High School Graduation Rate
  • No. 8 – Opportunity
  • No. 9 – Health Insurance Enrollment
  • No. 10 – Employment

5. Opioid Prescriptions Are Down 20% From 2015 to 2017

The Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) released the latest report from the Controlled Substances Board (CSB) on the gains being made by the Wisconsin Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). The report highlights that in 2017 there were 4,066,083 opioid prescriptions dispensed compared to 5,105,729 in 2015. That’s a 20 percent decrease in opioid prescriptions dispensed from 2015 to 2017, or 1,039,646 fewer prescriptions.

Governor Walker made the following statement:

“Wisconsin is committed to combatting the opioid crisis and our latest report shows that our reforms are working. A 20 percent decrease in opioid prescriptions shows how seriously our prescribers and law enforcement take the opioid epidemic, and I remain committed to ensuring they have the tools and resources necessary to continue their good work.”

6. Washington Advances Trauma-Informed Care

Early last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 443 (H. R. 443). First Lady Walker worked closely with Representatives Mike Gallagher and Danny Davis to draft the resolution, which passed the United States House of Representatives Tuesday evening with overwhelming, bipartisan support on a voice vote.

H. Res. 443 recognizes the importance, effectiveness, and need for Trauma Informed Care and encourages its use within existing federal government programs and agencies.

Upon the resolutions passing, the First Lady released this statement:

“Our nation’s Representatives believe in the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, and recognize toxic stress as a major public health crisis. I applaud them for passing this crucial legislation and raising awareness about the importance of Trauma Informed Care at a national level.

Each of us has a role to play, and I know House Resolution 443 will initiate important conversations throughout our nation, allowing us to come together, collaborate, and implement changes across systems as we work towards making our states, and our nation, fully trauma-informed…”