People gathered in the Buffalo County board room. Faces were anxious. They listened as company representatives reviewed new flood plain maps prepared for FEMA.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is reviewing maps of flood plains across the country. They made it to Buffalo County and not far behind will be Pierce, Pepin and Trempealeau.
Local residents grew concerned when homes were added to the flood plain on the new map. They worried insurance rates would skyrocket making it unaffordable. Many saw the exclusions on the flood insurance as making the insurance basically worthless.
The beginning of the New Year brings legislators back to Madison to open a new legislative session. A flurry of bills are being introduced and every imaginable interest group is finalizing their legislative agenda and bringing their concerns to the Capitol. Many groups are organizing grassroots campaigns to encourage local people to contact their legislators.
In my home neighborhood a wind energy development firm is writing to encourage local farmers and other land owners to contact me in support of wind-power.
Renewable energy is on nearly every legislators ‘to do’ list. Although challenges vary across the state, there is almost universal agreement that we need to move beyond our current fossil fuel based economy. Wisconsin is moving forward with leadership from the Office of Energy Independence, the Global Warming Task Force and state agencies.
“Senator Kathleen Vinehout is known for pushing socialized medicine, but no bill was passed because it was ridiculously expensive” claims a letter to the editor in this weekend’s Eau Claire Leader Telegram.
To not change our health insurance system is ridiculously expensive.
We have the highest priced system in the world. Per person costs are twice that of any other country. The share health care takes out of our economy is far greater than any other country. You’d think we would be the healthiest people on the planet.
“Just thought I would share this story with you as I am sure you hear many. Thank you for taking the time to read this.” The man wrote over the holiday sharing a health care story.
The story he sent helps me make the case to my colleagues for health care reform.
I spent the holiday break reading emails folks sent me. I carefully review each one and keep them in mind as the issues move through the Legislature. Last year, I received more than twenty-one hundred contacts from people in our Senate District.