Above: John Martinson, U2FP's long-time WI CAN member, testifying before the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Health a couple weeks ago. We are still waiting on the final vote from that committee, but the verbal feedback we got was extremely positive. You can watch John and our other advocates testimony from that day here.
There is definite momentum behind our $3M SCI Research Grant bill in Wisconsin - thanks to so many of you! Just two weeks after having our bill heard in the Senate Health Committee, we now have another hearing in the Wisconsin Assembly this Thursday, Mar 16, 2023 at 10AM central time.
Getting these hearings scheduled so quickly, one after another, means that our bill (AB 19) has definite traction, and is being taken seriously by legislators. Your calls and emails continue to be critical to this ongoing interest in our bill.
I know these messages can seem repetitive and feel a tad spammy with their continued appeal for you to contact legislators. But I can’t stress enough how much they matter.
Simply put, we would not be here without many of you picking up the phone or firing off an email to these lawmakers. They often tell me their offices heard from our SCI Community, and the next time we ask for a meeting, need a hearing scheduled or wish to tweak language in the bill, they are that much more responsive - because they know lots of people are paying attention to this legislation.
I also want to remind you that even if you don’t live in Wisconsin, the benefits of these bills can still reach you. A research trial that originates in Wisconsin and succeeds will be replicated beyond those borders - in California, Mississippi, Georgia, the UK, Canada, Europe, Asia, and elsewhere around the world.
Having provided that (hopefully) helpful context, here’s that lovely script you’ve come to know and love - but make the message your own, emphasize your story and why this matters to you:
Dear [Representative Name Here],
My name is ____ ______, and I [have a spinal cord injury / am family/friend of someone with a spinal cord injury]. Please vote in support of our Spinal Cord Injury Research Grant Bill (AB19) at your committee hearing this Thursday, March 16th.
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 legislation will get SCI research out of the lab and into people like [me/my family/friend]. We desperately need this bill to be heard and passed this session. Our community can’t wait!
I know some of us are extra shy. Remember that if you call representatives after hours, you can leave a message on their voicemail. This is a great way to support this effort without having to speak directly to someone.
Here are the key committee members to contact today:
- Rep. David Murphy (Chair)
(608) 237-9156 | Rep.Murphy@legis.wisconsin.gov
- Rep. Amanda Nedweski (Vice-Chair)
(608) 237-9161 | Rep.Nedweski@legis.wisconsin.gov
- Rep. Joy Goeben
(608) 237-9105 | Rep.Goeben@legis.wisconsin.gov
- Rep. Scott Johnson
(608) 237-9133 | Rep.Johnson@legis.wisconsin.go
- Rep. Scott Krug
(608) 237-9172 | Rep.Krug@legis.wisconsin.gov
- Rep. Tom Michalski
(608) 237-9113 | Rep.Michalski@legis.wisconsin.gov
- Rep. Ellen Schutt
(608) 237-9131 | Rep.Schutt@legis.wisconsin.gov
Remember, the more these committee members hear from us - the more likely they’ll be to vote in support of our bill.
Thanks for your time and support!
PS - You can watch our testimony, click on the following link this Thursday at 10:00AM Central Time: wiseye.org/live/