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Today, the Department of Health Services and the Department of Corrections announced a change in policy that I have been working on with advocates for years.  I first became aware of this issue while working with a group in Sauk County to try and combat the growing opioid epidemic.  Medication Assisted Treatment for Substance Use Disorder has become one of our most important tools in this effort. Those in the groups, then called C.A.R.E., trying to assist people transitioning from incarceration, in jails or prisons, back into the community found it hard to continue that treatment because often those folks were without medical insurance.  Now, thanks to the Evers Administration, the Department of Health Services and Department of Corrections, incarcerated individuals who are eligible for Medicaid benefits will have access to them when they return to their communities because their benefits will be suspended instead of terminated which forces them to go through the lengthy application process all over again resulting in interruptions in their health care. This will reduce the burden on hospitals and free clinics.  I’m proud that we are finally able to get this done, and thankful to the Evers Administration for listening and responding.

Sincerely,

 

JON ERPENBACH
State Senator
27th District

 

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

 

The Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD) is dedicated to improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities. For National Disability Employment Awareness Month, weekly Zoom and Facebook Live presentations will be available with information about how the support of businesses, the legislature, and self-advocates assists those who want to work in their community. There will also be opportunities to learn about ABLE Accounts and the Medicaid Purchase Plans which people with disabilities can use to earn and save money. See more about National Disability Employment Awareness Month.


 Public Comment for Surface Water Assessment Guidance

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is seeking comments that help water management specialists evaluate the status of the state’s surface water quality. Updates include reorganization based on assessment type, addition of new E. coli assessment methods for updated criteria, new subcategories for the Healthy Waters List, and addition of information on assessment timeline, automation, and total waters in the state. The standards for the water quality is set by the federal Clean Water Act and guidance is given by the Wisconsin Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology. Public comment period will be held October 12 through November 20. Click here to read more about improving impaired water bodies or to offer a comment.

 

PSC Awards $5.3 Million Toward Broadband Expansion

This week, the Public Service Commission voted 2-1 to approve funding for 12 projects involved with broadband expansion. The PSC awarded $5.3 million to these projects through the Federal CARES Act which Governor Tony Evers made available in September. 10,262 homes and 782 businesses will be provided internet by December 20, 2020. The state’s broadband expansion grant program is accepting a second round of applications through December 1, 2020, and a list of previous grant recipients can be seen here.

Learn more.

 

Cybersecurity Awareness Month

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection encourages home owners and businesses to be conscious of their security vulnerabilities during this internet dependent time. During the second week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the DATCP lays out steps to protect you while you are online. First, think before you click on potential phishing emails and links. Second, backup your data using physical or cloud storage. These steps can protect information and secure devices in homes and businesses.

Learn more.

 

Online Hunter Safety Training Available

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is offering temporary online hunter safety training for all ages. People of any age can obtain their Wisconsin Hunter Education Safety Certification through a single, online-only course. This is a temporary change in the age requirement. Traditional training is still available, and more information can be found with this link.

 

Closure of WIS 23 Bridge

The WIS 23 Bridge over the Wisconsin River has changed their start date for construction. The original October 19 date has been rescheduled for October 26. This update affects road closures and access to Devil’s Lake State Park.

 

Resources - 

During this difficult time it is worth reminding Wisconsinites that 211 exists to help when you don’t know where to turn. 211 is a resource managed by the United Way of Wisconsin. Call 2-1-1 or visit their website.

Office of Crime Victim Services

End Abuse Wisconsin 

National Domestic Violence Hotline: Call 1-800-799-7233, text LOVEIS to 22522, or go to thehotline.org for free and confidential support.

Disaster Distress Hotline 

Coping Resources for Kids and Parents Amidst COVID-19 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Veterans Crisis Line 

Vets for Warriors 

Military One Source 

Resilient Wisconsin

Department of Corrections Helpline: The call center can be reached by members of the public Monday through Friday from 7:45am–4:30pm at (608) 240-5700.

Wisconsin Farm Center 

24/7 Farmer Wellness Hotline

LGBTQ Crisis Line 

HopeLine Text Service 

Wisconsin Elder Abuse Hotline 

Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline 


 

Looking for additional resources? If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to my office at Sen.Erpenbach@Legis.WI.Gov, or call (608) 266-6670. 

 

 
 
Contacting My Office

Feel free to contact me with any inquiries. Please visit my website for press releases and other Capitol updates.