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August 3, 2018
Wisconsin's 12th Senate District contains communities in Florence, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Oneida, Shawano, and Vilas Counties.

Committee Assignments:
  • Joint Committee on Finance
  • Sporting Heritage, Mining, and Forestry Committee (Chair)
  • Agriculture, Small Business, and Tourism Committee (Vice-Chair)
  • Revenue, Financial Institutions, and Rural Issues Committee
  • Joint Survey Committee on Tax Exemptions
Sales Tax Holiday

Just a reminder that Wisconsin's sales tax holiday started on Wednesday and will run through Sunday the 5th. If you still need to purchase back-to-school items, it is a great time to take advantage of some savings. 

Items that will be tax free include:
  • Clothing - sales price of each item must be $75 or less
  • Computer purchased by a consumer for their personal use – sales price of each computer must be $750 or less
  • School computer supplies purchased by the consumer for their personal use – sales price of each item must be $250 or less
  • School supplies – sales price of each item must be $75 or less
Every dollar counts!
Congratulations Avanti!
 
Congratulations to Avanti Health & Rehabilitation Center in Minocqua on receiving the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living’s 2018 Bronze Award for their commitment to quality care! It was a great pleasure to join Avanti’s Administrator, Konnie Selgren, and her staff for the award presentation.  
Senator Tiffany with the Avanti staff
The distinction is the first of three progressive award levels through the National Quality Award Program, presented by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), the leading association for long term and post-acute care.  The program honors association members across the country that have demonstrated their dedication to improving quality of care for seniors and persons with disabilities.  

The National Quality Award Program, established by AHCA/NCAL in 1996, is based on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which also serves as the foundation for the metric-based AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative.  The Baldrige framework helps organizations among different business sectors improve organizational effectiveness and achieve strategy-driven performance.  

The Award Program has three levels:  Bronze, Silver, and Gold.  Providers begin the quality improvement process at the Bronze level, where they develop and organizational profile with essential performance elements such as vision, mission statement, and key strengths and challenges.  Bronze applicants must also demonstrate their ability to implement a performance improvement system.  Trained Examiners review each Bronze application to determine if the center has met the demands of the criteria.  As a recipient of the Bronze-Commitment to Quality Award, Avanti Health & Rehabilitation Center may now move forward in developing approaches and achieving performance levels that meet the Silver-Achievement in Quality Award criteria.
Health Care Stability Plan

On April 19, 2018, Governor Walker, through OCI, submitted the Wisconsin Health Care Stability Plan, also known as the 1332 Waiver for State Innovation Application under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), for federal approval. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of the Treasury approved Wisconsin's 1332 Waiver application on July 29, 2018.   

Wisconsin’s Health Care Stability Plan creates a reinsurance program to cover costs in Wisconsin’s individual market. The program will provide $200 million in reinsurance funding. Initial estimates presented to the Wisconsin Legislature last February anticipated Wisconsin would pay $50 million for reinsurance 2019 and the federal government to pay the remaining $150 million. Based on an actuarial report, under the program, Wisconsin estimates it will pay $34 million for reinsurance in 2019; the federal government will pay the remaining $166 million in “pass through” funds representing federal savings from the program. The program will provide coverage for claims between $50,000 and $250,000. The Wisconsin Health Care Stability Plan will pay 50 percent of those costs up to $200 million.

The plan is expected to lower 2019 premium rates in Wisconsin's individual health insurance market on a weighted average by 3.5 percent from 2018 rates and by an estimated 11 percent as compared to without the waiver, based on initial rate filings received by the Wisconsin Office of Commissioner of Insurance (OCI). While not every consumer will see their rates decrease, this is a significant change from the 44 percent rate increase the average Wisconsin consumer saw last year. 

A 1332 Waiver under the ACA permits states to pursue innovative strategies to ensure residents have access to affordable health insurance options. The waiver requires federal approval and must: keep coverage as comprehensive and affordable as it was without a waiver; keep coverage available to at least a comparable number of state residents as would be provided absent the waiver; and be budget neutral to the federal government.

2017 Wisconsin Act 138 also requires OCI to submit to the Governor, by December 31, 2018, recommendations on implementing additional 1332 waivers under the ACA, taking into account certain issues relating to stabilizing Wisconsin's individual health insurance market. 
Quilts for Veterans

 Last Saturday, I attended a very uplifting quilt ceremony in Merrill. For those of you who may not have heard of these events, a quilt is handmade and then dedicated to a local veteran. Oftentimes, the quilts include details of the veteran's service and are very personalized.

Quilts of Honor were presented to Wayne Krueger and Lee Pfaff. Wayne served in the Air Force and Lee served in the Army. The quilts were made by Cheryl Coyer and her sister Mary Lezotte as part of the VFW Post 1638 Auxiliary/Quilt of Honor program. Cheryl is the project coordinator and helped to start the program with the Merrill VFW. The ladies did an absolutely wonderful job on these quilts!
Senator Tiffany with Cheryl Coyer and Mary Lezotte
Quilt of Honor being presented to Lee and Wayne
District 12 Events

We do our best to include as many events as possible. If you have an event that you would like included, please let us know. 
Start Date Upcoming Event Location
August 3 8th Annual Open House at Trout Lake Station Boulder Junction
August 3-4 Eagle River Antique Show & Sale Eagle River
August 3-4 Bowler Bash Bowler
August 3-4 Pig in the Pines: Bacon, BBQ & Bands St. Germain
August 3-4 Presque Isle's Oktoberfest in August Presque Isle
August 4 Lakewood Arts and Crafts Show Lakewood
August 4 Normal Park Craft Festival Merrill
August 4 Phelps Fireman's Pig Roast and Picnic Phelps
August 4 Wabeno Art & Music Festival Wabeno
August 4 Lions Club Annual Community Soup Laona
August 4 Stovewood Daze Jennings
August 4 Keyes Peak Summerfest & Pig Roast Florence
August 2-5 Oneida County Fair Rhinelander
August 4-5 Annual Arbor Vitae Firemen's Picnic Arbor Vitae
August 5 Hazelhurst Lions Pancake Breakfast Hazelhurst
August 5 Fireman's Picnic Presque Isle
August 9 Crazy Daze Merrill
August 9 - 12 Vilas County Fair Eagle River
August 10-12 62nd Annual Musky Jamboree Boulder Junction
August 10-11 Central Wisocnsin Military Show Aniwa
August 10-12 Northwoods Triple Crown Antigo
August 11 Antigo Tater Trot Antigo
August 11 Boulder Junction History Day Boulder Junction
August 11 Thrilla on the Grilla Tomahawk
August 15 Paul Bunyan Fest Eagle River
August 18-19 Hazelhurst Flea Market Hazelhurst
August 19 Classic Car Show Hazelhurst
August 22 Auditions for Denim & Dessert Readers' Theater Presque Isle
August 28 Blood Drive Hazelhurst
September 8 Lena Dairyfest Lena
September 14 MASH Blood Drive Tomahawk
September 14-15 "The Nerd" - Denim & Dessert Readers' Theater Presque Isle
September 14-15 Veterans Fall Ride Tomahawk
October 6 Lena Taste of Fall Lena
Contact Me:
Mail: Senator Tom Tiffany, PO Box 7882, Madison, WI, 53707
Phone: (608) 266-2509  Fax: (608) 282-3552
Email: sen.tiffany@legis.wisconsin.gov
As always, if you have any events for our calendar, comments or thoughts regarding the subjects of this newsletter, please feel free to contact me.
Copyright © 2018 Office of State Senator Tom Tiffany, All rights reserved.


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