We have the makings of a legislative snowball happening in Wisconsin right now, where our SCI Research Grant bill (Assembly Bill 873) continues to gain support this week!
On Tuesday, our CAN Advocates met with Senator Van Wanggaard (R - Racine) who agreed to co-author our bill. It turns out that Sen. Wanggaard has a cervical spinal cord injury (no paralysis, but lasting impairments) resulting from a car accident he was in as a police officer, previous to his time as a legislator.
Sen. Wanggaard provided some of the most encouraging words yet about our bill. Commenting on our efforts to get this funding introduced and eventually passed, Sen. Wanggaard was emphatic about how he planned to support our bill: “I’m not going to be behind you - I’m going to be alongside you.”
You may remember from my last update, that our bill was recently introduced in the Assembly, where it is waiting to receive a hearing in the Committee on Colleges and Universities. As mentioned, Wanggaard is in the Senate, which is where we need to get our bill introduced and referred to a committee to keep things on track towards passage before the end of this session (March 10th).
But to get our bill introduced in the Wisconsin Senate, we need the help of the Senate President, Chris Kapenga (R - Delafield). He has the ability to introduce our bill in the Senate and refer it to a committee. This keeps our bill moving forward in the legislative process.
Please contact Senator Van Wanggaard & Senate President Chris Kapenga today, and:
- thank Sen. Wanggaard for supporting our bill
- ask Sen. Kapenga to support our bill and introduce it in the Senate
You can say something like this:
Hi, my name is ____ ______, and I [have a spinal cord injury / am family/friend of someone with a spinal cord injury]. Thank you, Sen. Wanggaard, for supporting our Wisconsin SCI Research Grant Bill (AB 873)! We are counting on you, Sen. Kapenga, to introduce our bill in the Senate and refer it to committee as soon as possible. This is a smart, efficient bill that would:
- Keep the funds in Wisconsin
- Allow SCI Community members like me to help decide what research gets funded
- Cap indirect costs at 8% (ie no bloated admin costs)
This model of funding has worked well in Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Washington state by getting research out of the lab and into people. We desperately need this bill passed during this session. Our community can’t wait - we need functional recovery now! Let’s start helping the spinal cord injury community in Wisconsin by passing this bill ASAP. Thank you!
Your calls and emails - paired with the hard work of our CAN advocates - are helping keep our Bill on fast track. Don’t let up, keep calling and writing - no matter where you live. Raising your voice increases our chances for more smart money, guided by the SCI Community, to come to Wisconsin. Please contact these key legislators today!