(Above: The Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin)
Last night we received confirmation that our $3M SCI Research Grant Bill was officially introduced in the Wisconsin Senate (full text of Senate Bill 1010 here; Assembly Bill 873 here)! Not only that, but Senator Chris Kapenga has referred it to the Committee on Health as well.
Your calls and emails are moving this Bill closer to possible passage in Wisconsin.
A little less than a month ago, I said that getting our bill introduced this session, in both the house and senate, was a long-shot. But the hard work of our Wisconsin CAN Advocates and the voice of the SCI Community has tipped us toward better odds.
Our SCI Research Grant bill - which has since gained the support of several prominent Republicans (who are the majority party) - now seems like it could pass within the next 30 days.
Which is why we need you to stay engaged, and keep raising your voice. If we don’t keep this legislation top of mind for key lawmakers, our bill could still stall out before coming to a vote.
So share this message with your friends and colleagues. Ask them to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media if they haven’t already (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter). We need every voice connected to the SCI Community to ensure we pass this important bill before the end of this session (March 10th).
'But what if I Don’t Live in Wisconsin?'
I know some of you might be wondering why an SCI Bill in Wisconsin should matter to you if you don’t live there. Or if you don’t even live in the US.
I get it - I don’t live in Wisconsin either (I live in Minnesota). And my CAN colleague, Jason Stoffer - who’s been to the WI Capitol multiple times - lives in Montana.
We don’t just show up for Wisconsin because we work for U2FP. We show up because we both have an SCI. We show up because these bills represent an opportunity for people with lived experience of an SCI to sit on advisory boards and choose, with top SCI scientists, the research that best promises to deliver us functional recovery.
Furthermore, if the research funded in Wisconsin is successful, we know there’s a spill-over effect. It won’t be locked away in Wisconsin. It will quickly cross borders and benefit folks in every state and every country. That’s what this state by state effort is about: a groundswell of diverse research efforts aimed towards a common goal - gaining functional recovery for the SCI Community.
So keep your phones handy - we’re gaining momentum towards a Wisconsin SCI bill, and we’ll need all of your voices in the coming days and weeks.