Bills to benefit those in Wisconsin living with Alzheimer’s and their families
De Pere, WI April 4, 2018 – On April 3, Alzheimer’s Association staff and volunteer advocates from around the state gathered at the State Capitol as two very important pieces of legislation were signed into law.
Governor Walker signed bill AB-629 (Uniform Adult Guardianship Jurisdiction) and AB-632 (Statewide Alzheimer’s Awareness Campaign) into law. Both bills were passed through their respective committees and full chambers with unanimous “yes” votes.
Bill AB-629 reviews and adjusts our robust Guardianship Laws to allow Wisconsin courts to effectively communicate with other courts when a jurisdictional issue arises. Sample issues can arise in a situation involving individuals who live seasonally in another state, transfer of guardianship and long-distance caregiving. This bill would simplify the process for resolving a jurisdictional adult guardianship issue, thus allowing cases to be settled more quickly, and provide more predictable outcomes.
Bill AB-632 addresses the problem of people being unaware that their loved one is living with Alzheimer’s or unaware of the resources available to them following a diagnosis, especially in rural communities. This bill allows the Department of Health services to distribute up to $500,000 in grants to community programs in efforts to raise awareness and utilization of such services and support programs.
The Alzheimer’s Association celebrates the hard work of hundreds of family members across the state who shared their personal experiences with their local legislators, joined us at the Alzheimer’s Advocacy Day in February and kept the momentum going to see these bills become laws.
The Alzheimer’s Association would also like to thank all the legislators in both the Senate and Assembly who supported these bills. Special recognition goes to Representative Ken Skowronski (R-82) for his leadership in introducing many of the bills this session that were extremely important to our mission. We also deeply appreciate the continued participation of Representative Mike Rohrkaste (R-55), who chaired the Speaker’s Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia two years ago and continues to be an Alzheimer’s Champion today. Our special thanks is also extended to Governor Walker, who over the past few years has signed many critical pieces of legislation and appropriated much-needed funding to ensure Wisconsin continues its forward momentum as a dementia-capable state.