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With these warm temps you can feel that spring is right around the corner! While communities continue to grapple with the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, Republicans this week introduced introduced legislation to make it harder to vote. Wisconsinites deserve better than the misplaced priorities of Republicans that are clearly out-of-touch and don't help families and communities bounce back from this pandemic.

Over the last year of this pandemic, Republicans have been the party of "no" with no back-up plan or any alternative solutions. They're keeping our state stuck in the mud and it's getting old. They need to stop with the pettiness and start getting to work with Democrats and Gov. Evers. 

This update includes info on rental assistance, consumer protection summit, the Governor's radio address, voter suppression, Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grants and more on the budget.

I hope you find this information helpful and please don't hesitate to reach out to my office if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
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JON ERPENBACH
State Senator
27th District

 

 

Get to Know the Budget - Health Care

The Governor's BounceBack Budget includes policies to help our state, communities and families bounce back and better than when the pandemic started. It includes a lot of policies that have overwhelming public support and are critical to help move our state forward. Each week, I'll highlight portions of the Governor's budget and why it matters to you.
 
Just like his last budget, Gov. Evers continues to focus on expanding access to quality, affordable health care. The BounceBack Budget includes various proposals including:
 
 

Rental Assistance

Governor Tony Evers announced more than $322 million in funding to help support Wisconsinites who have experienced income loss as a result of the pandemic.
 
The Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program, provides direct financial assistance for rent, utility, home energy costs, and wraparound services for individuals who qualify.
 
For information on the program, how to apply, frequently asked questions as well as local resources and contacts please click here.

 

 


The Latest on Unemployment

The Governor signed legislation into law to begin the steps to upgrade the state's outdated unemployment system.   

This is a starting point but our work is far from over. This pandemic has highlighted the cracks in the system created by Republican policies. Wisconsin families have faced serious financial struggles because of the pandemic and they need bold action to bounce back. Democrats will continue pushing for these tangible solutions that will help Wisconsinites bounce back from this crisis.


Attacks on Voting

In case you missed it, Republicans this week introduced a series of bills that are aimed to make it hard to vote in Wisconsin. Republicans are once again trying to rig the rules following an election that didn't go their way. 

It's disappointing that Republicans continue peddling conspiracy theories and are pushing for policies that aim to stifle disabled individuals and communities of color. 

You can read more about these proposals and how they will negatively impact Wisconsinites right to vote here.

 


Democratic Radio Address

As we celebrate National Public Schools week, Governor Evers released the following radio address highlighting his plan to invest in schools and ensure that every kid has access to high-quality, public education from early childhood to K-12, to Wisconsin’s universities and technical colleges.

You can listen to the audio file here and the written transcript is below:

"Hi everyone, Governor Tony Evers here. The COVID-19 pandemic have affected all of us this past year—it’s affected how we live, learn, work, and communicate.

Nobody knows that better than our kids, parents, and educators who seemingly overnight had to adapt to learning and teaching from their kitchen tables over a thing called Zoom.

I know it hasn’t been easy, but as we celebrate Public Schools Week this week, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you.

As they always do, our educators have gone above and beyond to make sure our kids get the best education possible.

Because they believe, as I do, that what’s best for our kids is what’s best for our state. And at the end of the day, we know if we’re going to bounce back from COVID-19, then we have to start by making sure our kids are better off than when we started this pandemic.

That’s why my 2021-2023 budget proposal puts our kids first by restoring our commitment to two-thirds funding for our schools, investing $709 million in special education reimbursement, fully funding sparsity aid for our most rural schools, and investing more than $50 million in student mental health resources.

Every kid in our state should have access to high-quality, public education from early childhood to our university and technical college systems. And we have work to do to make that happen.

So, happy Public Schools Week, Wisconsin. Let’s get this done for our kids, for our schools, and for our state’s future.

Thank you." 

 


2021 Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grants

Do you or someone you know a farmer or small business owner that is trying to expand their business into new markets? The Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is now accepting applications for Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grants.

For the last 13 years, the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grant program has helped farms and small businesses more efficiently process, market and distribute goods in local markets. This successful program is implemented and managed by DATCP to help keep food dollars right here in our local communities, support local economies, create jobs and improve outcomes for farms and small businesses. 

2021 grant applications are due March 26, 2021 by noon. Click here to download the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grant application form. 


Public Invited to Virtual Consumer Protection Summit

The public is invited to a virtual forum aimed at helping consumers identify and avoid scams and pitfalls in a complex marketplace. The forum is being held by DATCP as part of National Consumer Protection Week.

This will be a virtual event on Thursday, March 4th from noon-1:00pm. Consumer issues such as robocalls, COVID-related scams, student loan debt, predatory lending, landlord-tenant issues and predatory and deceptive automotive sales practices will be covered. 

Leaders from DATCP, Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, Department of Transportation and the Federal Trade Commission will be available for a Q&A following their presentations.

Registration isn't required but space is limited, so individuals are encouraged to join promptly for the event. 

Click here for event information and access link. 


- 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.