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Jon Erpenbach
State Senator, Wisconsin District 27 


JFC Took Up Water Quality Bills
This week, the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) convened to take up funding requests and legislation. Among the majority of the bills that were taken up, water quality was the main theme. While I am happy to see Republicans passing bills to deal with water quality, we need to take more action than these baby steps forward. From the GOP's refusal to pass lead abatement, to refusals to regulate CAFOs, Republican policies have prioritized polluters over people. 


Water Quality Bills passed in JFC: 


- Well compensation grant program

- County conservation staffing

- Collection of certain fire fighting foams

- Grants for funding for water stewardship

- Pilot grant program for farmers to reduce nitrate loading

- Biomanipulation projects

- Creating an Office of Water Policy 

- Supporting the Center for Watershed Science and Education 

-Funding UW System freshwater collaborative 


Republicans Leave Lincoln Hills Open Indefinitely

During JFC, Democrats put forward a plan to close the one-size-fits all, massive and dangerous Lincoln Hills Correctional Facility. Republicans chose to leave it open indefinitely. The system is not working and the GOP is choosing to stall progress.

Governor Evers allocated $90 million to type 1 correctional facilities, and Republicans zeroed that proposal out. Republicans are choosing to fail children while keeping in place massive tax handouts to millionaires. 


Community Programs and Announcements 

DATCP Update: Organic Advisory Council Nominations Sought Through March 20

Nominations are being accepted for four seats on the Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council, a group that helps guide organic farming and food in Wisconsin. Nominations are due March 20, 2020. The four openings include seats in each of the following categories: organic farmer, business, non-profit, and at-large. Members serve three-year terms, and the council meets quarterly.

Learn more. 


DNR Updates: 


  • The 2019-2029 Black Bear Management Plan proposes new bear management zones to better reflect bear distribution, habitat type and public land access across the state.  As the new zones make their way through the rule-making process, the bear application period for the 2021 bear hunting season will delayed until mid-summer.  Hunters can sign up on the DNR’s website for notification of when the application period for the 2021 season opens.  There are no changes for the 2020 season.


  • During Flood Insurance Awareness Week, the DNR and the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance are urging Wisconsin residents to protect their homes and businesses from financial loss due to flooding by obtaining flood insurance before the snow melts and spring rainfall begins.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) anticipates an increased likelihood of spring flooding throughout Wisconsin in 2020 due to melting snowpack sitting upon already saturated soil.  Typical business and homeowner's insurance policies do not cover damage from floods.



Contacting My Office

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