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January 2018 Legislative Update: State Senate Passes Nutrition Education Act!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018  
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SNA-WI Government Affairs January 2018 Update


State Senate Passes Nutrition Education Act!

On Tuesday, January 23rd, the Wisconsin State Senate passed the Nutrition Education Act! This is one of our top legislative priorities this session and SNA-WI has been working closely on this bill with the Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The 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 feel the same way!

The next step for the bill is for it to be scheduled for a full vote of the Assembly. Once it passes there, the bill heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature. The government affairs team at Hoven Consulting will be reaching out to Assembly leaders and request the bill is added to the calendar in the coming weeks. The legislative session is winding down so time is of the essence at this point. Stay tuned for more details!

Thanks to SNA-WI President Diane Agrell and SNA-WI Legislative Committee Chair Caitlin Harrison, as well as Jim Degan, Kerri Feyen, Judi Smith and Katie Wilson for testifying about the importance of nutrition education in classrooms during public hearings at the State Capitol! Everyone did an excellent job explaining why this bill is important and representing SNA-WI.

Advocacy Day is Wednesday March 7, 2018

SNA’s annual Advocacy Day is fast approaching! We are once again teaming up with the Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 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 SNA-WI members form relationships with legislators, which is key to advocacy on behalf of our profession!

To join your colleagues and meet some new ones at Advocacy Day, please click here and guarantee your spot today!

Lasee and Ripp Appointed to Walker Administration

On December 29, Governor Walker announced the appointments of Frank Lasee and Keith Ripp to serve within his administration. The move leaves both a State Senate and State Assembly seat open for the remainder of the 2017-18 legislative session.

Walker appointed Lasee to administrator for the Department of Workforce Development’s Worker’s Compensation Division. Lasee previously represented the De Pere area in the State Legislature for over two decades. He was first elected to the State Assembly in 1994 before becoming a state senator in 2010.

In his new role, Lasee will oversee and ensure the proper administration of the state’s Worker’s Compensation program, which is considered one of the most effective and cost-efficient worker’s compensation programs in the nation.

Ripp will serve as the assistant deputy secretary at the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. The position is the third highest at the department. Ripp also served in the State Legislature as the representative for the 42nd Assembly District since 2008.

Given the legislative calendar and time left until the November 2018 general election, state law does not require Walker to call special elections to fill the vacant legislative seats. Both positions will be filled at the regularly scheduled general election this year. All 99 Assembly seats and 17 of the 33 Senate seats are up for election this year.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin Announces Campaign for Governor

On Wednesday, January 10th, longtime Madison Mayor Paul Soglin announced his candidacy for Governor. Soglin became the ninth top-tier Democrat in a crowded field that will square off in the August primary.

Soglin became known as a prominent Vietnam War protestor while he was a student at UW-Madison in the 1960’s. He was first elected Mayor in 1973 and has served in that role several times, including 1973-1979, 1989-1997 and 2011-present. At 72, Soglin is the oldest candidate in the race. He does not believe his age will have a negative impact as he pointed to the success Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) had in Dane County and Wisconsin during the 2016 presidential primary.

“This is going to be known as ‘the supper club campaign,’” Soglin said. “That’s the best way to campaign in Wisconsin, is to go where the people are in a basically unstructured environment where everyone can be open and speak their mind. And I’ll be listening.”


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 will have until 2020 to finish out the current term. 

School Nutrition Association of Wisconsin
563 Carter Court, Suite B, Kimberly, WI 54136
Phone: 920-560-5630 Email: