MADISON – Today, Sokaogon Chippewa Community Chairman Robert Van Zile delivered the 19th annual Wisconsin State of the Tribes. The Assembly met in regular session following the address. Rep. Conley issued the following statement in response:

“I was honored to attend this year’s State of the Tribes Address, which is an important opportunity to strengthen relationships between state and tribal leaders. I thank Chair Robert Van Zile for his thoughtful words. I agree with his statement, ‘We continue to be presented with false choices. We do not need to choose between having economic prosperity and clean air, clean drinking water, and cultivating uncontaminated air.’ I look forward to working together to make sure our communities have the resources they need. We must cultivate a healthy environment now for the sake of future generations.

“Meanwhile, rather than address the root causes of issues plaguing Wisconsin, legislative Republicans are pushing reactive, divisive policies that do not keep our students safe. Allowing conversion therapy in Wisconsin undoes the decision made by professional social workers and experts to ban the practice in their profession. We should allow experts in the mental health profession to lead in determining patient care, and politicians should not undermine what research shows is dangerous and harmful.

“In our schools, we should be promoting solutions such as mental health supports, social workers, and early intervention programs. Instead, Republicans are pushing unfunded mandates on schools. Our local governments know what they need to do to best support our kids – let’s allow them to do that work and give them proper funding to do so.”

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