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This week we had several reminders that we get nothing done when we don’t work together. Wisconsin loses its federal funding on December 30th and instead of coming together to pass a bill to help their constituents, Republicans were more concerned about Christmas decorations. In response to a commonsense bill from Governor Evers, all they had to offer was a proposal making sure that businesses, even those that refuse to provide safe working environments, have legal protections from any worker that might have been harmed. 

 

Legislative Republicans also made it clear that they want to put more barriers in place for people trying to get unemployment by reinstating waiting periods and mandatory work searches. This one in particular is baffling considering the disdain they publicly displayed when the Department of Workforce Development struggled to keep up with an unprecedented amount of claims from around the state. Keep in mind Wisconsin missed out on $25 million in federal aid for unemployment because Republicans delayed coming to the floor.

 

Friday, Republicans are holding a sham hearing to air their grievances about Donald Trump’s Election Day loss. They should be praising the local clerks who worked diligently in historically difficult conditions, to conduct a fair, safe election, (in some cases twice!) they are instead wasting taxpayer dollars giving a voice to baseless conspiracy theories and anecdotal urban legends about election fraud.

 

My heart goes out to the family of the National Guard pilot we lost this week as well. I am keeping the members of the WI Air National Guard 115th Fighter Wing in my thoughts after the tragic loss of their fellow Airman.

 

To those of you beginning your celebrations of the Festival of Light this week, I wish you and your families a Happy Hanukkah!

 

Sincerely,
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JON ERPENBACH
State Senator
27th District

 

 

Decorations Instead of Solutions

Rep. Paul Tittl and Rep. Shae Sortwell put up a small Christmas tree in the rotunda of the Capitol despite being denied a permit. This is all happening while the Republicans have refused to come to the floor to discuss legislation regarding COVID-19. This tree is not helping families who have hit hard times due to the pandemic. See my interview on the topic here.

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Task Force on Climate Change Report

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes announced the release of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change Report this week. The report includes 55 climate solutions across nine sectors to support economic opportunities in renewable energy and conservation. The task force brought together farmers, Indigenous leaders and many others with a variety of perspectives to create the report and develop climate solutions. The report also addresses the environmental injustice toward communities of color and low income communities who often suffer the worst ramifications of climate change.

See the report here.

 

 People's Maps Commission

The People’s Maps Commission is rescheduling their fourth meeting to be January 14, 2021. This meeting, in a series of eight meetings, was previously scheduled for December 9, 2020, but will still discuss the 4th Congressional District. This district is represented by Gwen Moore and includes the city of Milwaukee, parts of Milwaukee County, and some surrounding suburbs. Registration is on a first come, first serve basis for the virtual hearing, but written comments are also encouraged.

Sign up here.

 

Bipartisan Coalition of AG's to File Lawsuit against Facebook

Attorney General Kaul has joined the Bipartisan Coalition of AG’s to file a lawsuit against Facebook Inc. seeking to end their illegal activities and monopoly of power. For years now, Facebook has stifled competition and reduced privacy protection to boost their advertising revenue and maintain their position of power. The coalition is made of 49 AG’s and they ask the court to halt illegal activities and to stop Facebook from conducting this behavior in the future.

Read more.

 

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.