Date: April 26-27
Many participants arrive April 25th and leave the 28th.
The Army and Navy Club
The prices of the rooms vary based on the room size, but it’s around $261 per night plus tax.
Thanks to our sponsors this event is free for members!
Travel, food, & accommodation expenses are financed by participants.
What You’ll Do
You will bring your voice and that of your customers to the handful of issues we advocate for on this trip. Nearly all will impact your business directly or indirectly. The elected’s – most likely their highly influential staff members – value your insight because you see the impact as their laws are enacted. You are the expert.
A side benefit of this trip is you get to know fellow business leaders and what impacts their business at an entirely new level. We joke that by the end of the trip, we can speak on each other’s issue areas.
The Chamber pays a consulting firm 1492 Communications – a former staff member of the Governor’s federal lobbying team – to arrange visits to the offices of those elected from the 7 Rivers Region to represent us in Congress. We try very hard to visit those with the House of Representatives one day and the Senate another. We do meet with the representative occasionally, but we know that most of the bills are written by staff members, we know what committees they sit on that align with our issues, and we resolve that is perhaps better to meet with the staff person than the representative. But we love to have both in the room.
The topics we take impact all businesses. They include:
- Overtime for Salaried Employees: We shared the stories of local businesses and nonprofits facing hardships by requiring overtime for everyone earning under $49,000 a year. Our voice combined with others stopped this enactment.
- Transportation: finding long-term fixes to our transportation needs is critical. Most of this money is controlled in Washington DC and is allocated to the states.
- Energy regulation changes impact what you pay as a business and your competitiveness. We are constantly a voice for reasonable energy regulations.
- Healthcare remains a major expense for businesses. With Mayo and Gundersen paving the way on health care innovation and quality, affordable care, we are a voice for not applying broad measures when some facilities are operating well.
- Tax Reforms including Last-In First-Out (LIFO) accounting: changing the way inventory is accounted for and valued has significant impact on businesses. We are a constant voice that the current system works and to keep it, but there are other significant tax reforms long overdue and recognized by congress to be needed. Now is the time.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
6 p.m. Dinner reservation at Army Navy for 12 people.
Reservation under Wendy Riemann
Special Guest, Congressman Kind’s Chief of Staff, Mike Goodman (D)
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
NOTE: Senator Franken holds Constituent Breakfasts on Wednesdays from 8:45 – 9:45 a.m. in 309 Hart. If anyone would like to go, we should RSVP. Someone could attend this from 8:45-9:15 a.m. and then head to the Hall of States.
9:30 a.m. Meeting with Director of Federal Affairs, Governor Walker
Hall of States, Room 385 (third floor, go up to left from entrance)
444 North Capitol St, NW
(NOTE: There is usually a security line in the morning and photo ID’s are needed)
10:15 a.m. Meeting with Acting Director of Federal Affairs, Governor Branstad (R) (IA)
Hall of States, Room 385
10:45 a.m. WALK TO HART SENATE BUILDING
11:15 a.m. Meeting with Senator Franken Office (D) (MN)
11:45 a.m. Walk to Dirksen Senate Building for Lunch (use tunnels to avoid security)
12:45 p.m. Walk back to Hart Building (use tunnels)
1:00 p.m. Meeting with Senator Grassley Office (R) (IA)
1:45 p.m. Meeting with Senator Tammy Baldwin (D)
2:45 p.m. Meeting with Senator Ron Johnson (R) (IA)
3:30 p.m. Meeting with Legislative Correspondent, Senator Klobuchar (D) (MN)
4:00 p.m. WALK TO RUSSELL BUILDING
4:30 p.m. Meeting with Legislative Aide, Senator Ernst (R) (IA)
Senate Side Meetings Complete
7:30 p.m. Dinner at Filomena Ristorante for 11 people
1063 Wisconsin Ave NW
Thursday, April 27, 2017
NOTE: Senator Baldwin holds Constituent coffees on Thursdays from 9 – 10 a.m. in 709 Hart. If anyone would like to go, we should RSVP. Someone could attend this from 9-9:30 a.m. and then head to the Longworth Building.
Great opportunity to get a group photo on the Capitol Steps looking toward the Supreme Court Building or Library of Congress.
(Arrive at the Longworth Building by 9:45 a.m. to get through security)
10:00 a.m. Meeting with Rep. Ron Kind (D) (staff person, TBD)
11:00 a.m. Meeting with Chief of Staff, Rep. Glenn Grothman (R)
12 p.m. Meeting with Senior Legislative Aide, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R)
1 p.m. Meeting with Legislative Aide, Rep. Paul Ryan (R)
1:30 p.m. LUNCH IN LONGWORTH CAFE
2:15 p.m. Meeting with Legislative Director, Rep. Blum (R) (IA 1st CD)
2:45 p.m. WALK FROM LONGWORTH TO RAYBURN BUILDING
3 p.m. Meeting with Legislative Counsel, Rep. Tim Walz (D) (MN)
2313 Rayburn (third floor)
3:30 p.m. Meeting with Legislative Director for Rep. Sean Duffy (R)
2330 Rayburn (third floor)
Hill Meetings Conclude.
6:30 p.m. Dinner Reservation at XXX for 6 people
Reservation under XXX
Safe travels back to Wisconsin!
Folks need to think about this visit as a hedge, not in terms of current needs. The time to visit electeds is not when your business has a dire circumstance that needs instant attention. These visits build relationships and rapport so when your business/industry has an issue, the groundwork is laid to put your best foot forward and make a difference, rather than frantically trying to influence policy makers you have no history with.Nathan Franklin
Let Us Know You're Interested
We’ll keep you informed on any new changes.
This is your government. They want to hear from you.Michael Richards
I learn a lot about our government and how it operates. I also learn how we can make a difference by talking to our reps. Many times the reps do not hear from constituents, so they make a decision based on limited information. We heard a number of staffers say “We didn’t think of that.” The Chamber is a representation of a lot of different businesses and people, so we have more credibility than some groups with one agenda item. I also enjoy the camaraderie with the folks from La Crosse. We can talk freely about issues and things that matter to La Crosse, and we get a cross section of opinions, which is very good.Mary Jo Werner
Tuesday (arrive on your own):
Most people arrive throughout this day. We usually have a delegation of about 8-12. We meet up for dinner (paid for on your own) for those able to make an approximately 6:00 dinner. Some attendees have their favorite hotels, but most stay at the Chamber designated hotel.
Wednesday (9:00-4:00 approximately):
You will receive your packet at the Hall of States. Our visits usually begin with a visit to the Iowa and Wisconsin Governor’s representatives in D.C. We head to either the house or senate office buildings around 11 for our first visits. We stay in one of the buildings for lunch (paid for on your own) and continue until approximately 4:00 p.m.
Thursday (9:00-4:00 approximately):
Visits continue with the House of Representatives and perhaps Senate if we did not visit them previously. Some attendees leave around 1:00 to catch an evening flight. Dinner is arranged (and paid on your own).
Approximately ½ of attendees remain and fly out this day.