What I learned in Wisconsin by Dick Skalitzky

I was pleasantly surprised to see how easy it was to meet with and discuss the issues pertaining to the bill with our state representatives. I really feel that our meeting with Senator Gudex (my state senator) here in Fond du Lac in June 2013 really had a positive impact on persuading him to vote yes on the bill. The meeting gave him a chance to see what the bill was about and to start developing questions in his own mind that he needed to resolve. By the time we met him at the state capital last fall he was much more familiar with the bill and more definite that he would support it. Representative Thiesfeldt had already co-sponsored the bill early on so that made our job easier too.

FDL PictureI am sure that the article ran by the FDL Reporter discussing the bill in January 2014 also had a positive impact. The newspaper reporter interviewed both state legislators, myself as a cancer patient and also my oncologist, and this article was read by 1000’s of people. I am sure it is much easier to come out supporting legislation which would help cancer patients than against it. Senator Fitzgerald maybe learned the hard way about this fact when he said he would not introduce the bill earlier this month and then he changed his mind probably after seeing how many phone messages were on his answering machine.

It was also fun attending the events at the state capital. I visited with my own legislators but I also helped with visiting other state legislators in other districts in order to support the bill. The assembly hearing held last fall at the capital was definitely worth going to. I really learned more about how legislation is introduced and passed. The presenters supporting the bill did a marvelous job telling why this legislation should be passed.

Unfortunately, you also learn how difficult it is to pass worthwhile legislation. The legislators are influenced by a lot of different factors, including lobbyists who have their own agenda. Fortunately, in this case the hard work paid off.

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