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With spring right around the corner, I am hopeful for warmer weather ahead, but we saw another chilly and rainy week here in Wisconsin. With flooding in communities across the state, it is important that everyone stays safe. In this newsletter I included flood safety tips, and tips for farmers while the runoff risk is high. 

Jon Erpenbach
Wisconsin State Senate, District 27

 

 

Updates

Update on Foxconn: 

To say the Foxconn deal is a dark spot in Wisconsin’s history would be an understatement. We have been swirling with news of lawsuits, unmet goals, and complete uncertainty of the future of the deal. Even so, Wisconsin taxpayers continue to be on the hook for the Republican’ negotiated contract, and there is no end in sight for the largest taxpayer give-away to a foreign corporation in US history.

Despite the GOP falsely claiming that the company would not see any taxpayer dollars without completing the terms of the contract, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Wisconsin has already shelled over $110.6 million dollars, not including 99.8 million for the I-94 bonding. Additionally, local communities have spent $130.1 million to prepare for their uncertain arrival. Moving forward, in the upcoming budget we should expect to see an estimated $221.5 million fiscal effect for the foreign company. That is an unprecedented amount of taxpayer dollars to be spent on a project that changes at the drop of that hat, and may never come into existence.

Besides their pause in building the plant, they also agreed to create $13,000 jobs for Wisconsin. How many have we seen so far? 178. According to a letter to WEDC, from January 17, 2019, Foxconn has hired so few employees that they were unable to receive pledged payroll tax credits. However, their inability to hit the minimum job crisis not necessarily a bad thing for Wisconsin taxpayers, since the tax incentive puts taxpayers on the hook for $230,000 per job.

So the next time Republican legislators convey their fears of tax hikes and spending, ask yourself where their priorities fall. They have no problem gambling Wisconsin’s future away to a foreign corporation, but dread the idea of investing in our state. I would love to support a proposal to help create thousands of jobs, but unlike my GOP colleagues, not at the expense of our state, people, and environment.

Contents

  • Updates

  • Community Programs and Announcements

  • In the News 
 
CONNECT WITH US:

Phone: 608.266.6670

Email: sen.erpenbach@legis.state.wi.us

Address: P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707

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Senator Erpenbach supports Governor Evers' Medicaid Expansion Proposal

The Governor’s budget will expand access to comprehensive health insurance to 82,000 people in Wisconsin, some of which do not have any coverage at all. The money we get back from the federal government for expanding Medicaid would help leverage hundreds of millions of dollars, that Governor Evers will pour back into areas of need that have been neglected by the Walker administration the last eight years.     


Community Programs and Announcements 

Updates from DATCP: Tips to Not Let Identity Theft Be One of Your Spring Break Memories

  • Before you start your trip:

    • Make sure that your mobile devices are password protected and update the operating systems and antivirus packages.
    • Alert your financial institutions about your travel plans and ensure that fraud alerts are in place on your accounts – this will allow you to be immediately notified of suspicious activity while you are traveling. Use the number on the back of your credit and debit cards to contact the banks.
    • Put your mail on hold. 
    • Limit what is in your wallet. 
    • Photocopy your documents and cards.
    • Share your plans with friends and family to avoid "grandparent scams."
    • Turn off auto-connect to WiFi and Bluetooth connections.
    • Tighten the security around your social media accounts. 
  • Read more tips here. 
 

Updates from DATCP: "Snow Melt, Rainfall Demand Caution in Spreading Manure."

"With snow melting and rain falling on frozen soil, the risk of manure runoff is severe statewide.

DATCP encourages farmers to keep this in mind as they consider emptying manure storage that may be full. Spreading manure while the risk of runoff is severe could cause manure runoff into streams, threatening water quality.

At the click of a mouse, farmers can check the Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast, available online at manureadvisorysystem.wi.gov, for the latest information on spreading risks.

Farmers should always have an emergency plan in place in case of manure spills or runoff. The plan should include who to call and what steps to take if runoff or a spill occurs, how to clean it up, and perhaps most important, how to prevent it from happening.

Information about preventing and planning for manure spills is available at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/agbusiness/manurespills.html."

 

Updates from DNR: 

The Department of Natural Resources will begin taking public comment on revisions to Wisconsin’s black bear management plan beginning March 25.  DNR staff will also present the plan at six informational sessions around the state.

2019 hunting and fishing licenses are now available for purchase!  This is also the time of year to renew boat, ATV, UTV and off-highway motorcycle registrations.

 

There is still time for Wisconsin high school students to submit entries for the 2020 Wisconsin State Park sticker design contest.  The submission deadline is Friday, April 12th.

March 18-24 is “Fix-a-Leak” Week.  DNR is partnering with U.S. EPA to remind homeowners that plumbing leaks can waste significant amounts of water and hike up the cost of water bills.  A few easy steps to resolve leaks can help save money and conserve water resources.  

 

 

Updates from Ready Wisconsin: Advice for Flood Safety Awareness:

  • Turn around, don’t drown – Do not drive or walk through flooded areas. If you encounter floodwaters, find a different route!

  • Know your flood risk – Do you live in a flood plain, have a basement, or live near a source of water? These are all things to consider when examining the potential for flooding on your property. Plan with your family for what you will do if the floodwaters begin to rise.

  • Make improvements to protect your property – If you have gutters, make sure they are kept clean and the downspouts are directing water away from your foundation. Repair cracks in your foundation and improve your grading so water flows away from your house. Cover window wells to keep water from building up inside them. Install safety valves on pipes bringing water into your home to help guard against backups.

  • Purchase flood insurance 

     

For more tips on emergency preparedness, head to http://readywisconsin.wi.gov

Read more here. 

Updates from the Sauk Prairie Conservation Alliance:  


Saturday, March 16:  Volunteer Stewardship Day.  

Join us for the first volunteer work day of the season at Badger on Saturday, March 16th, 9am to 12 noon.  We’ll begin the season by clearing some brush from our beloved Hillside Prairie/Savanna.  Meet at the Parking Area inside of Badger, next to the Badger Museum, at 8:45am.  Directions: ca. 4 miles north of Sauk City on Hwy 12; entrance to Badger is across the highway (east) from Citgo station. Wear layers of clothing appropriate for the weather, good boots and work gloves (if you have them–otherwise, we’ll provide). Snacks will be provided. Call Tom at 414-530-5953 with any questions.


Thursday, March 21. Alliance Annual Meeting.  This brief meeting will be held at 5:30pm in the lower level of the Ruth Culver Community Library just prior to our monthly program (see below).  Board member election and a financial report.  

Thursday, March 21:  Peregrine Falcons in Wisconsin-Recovery and Management.  Join us for our monthly “We Are Sauk Prairie” program series 6:30pm to 8:00pm in the Ruth Culver Community Library, 540 Water Street, Prairie du Sac WI.  The program will be presented by Greg Septon (Peregrine Manager & Researcher with Peregrine Management & Research, LLC) and Bill Smith (retired DNR conservation biologist & volunteer with the Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation doing surveys of nesting Northern Goshawks and Peregrine Falcon).
 
Friday, March 22 8am-3pm.  Spring Migration on the Mighty Mississippi River for Waterfowl and Bald Eagles. Leaders: Jim Nissen and Jeb Barzen - Witness the spectacle of spring waterfowl and eagle migration in this Upper Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge. Departing from Stoddard, WI, we will travel by bus between birding spots along the Mississippi River between La Crosse, WI and Lansing, IA. Besides waterfowl and shorebirds, eagles and other raptors should also be abundant. Jim Nissen, retired refuge manager, and Jeb Barzen, career waterfowl, eagle and crane ecologist, will discuss migration ecology and the conservation in this waterway that is critical to both waterfowl, barge navigation and municipal use.
 
The registration link is:  https://nrfwinterbirdtours.regfox.com/2019-bird-protection-fund-tours



 

In the News

 

Updated List: Flooding Causes Road Closures Throughout Southern Wisconsin

 

Where You Can Find Sandbags to Protect Your Home

 

Breaking: Wisconsin Joins Lawsuit Challenging Trump’s National Emergency Declaration

 

Nobody Injured in Middleton/Cross Plains School Bus Crash

 

Update: House in Baraboo Fire a Complete Loss, One Person Still “Unaccounted For”

 

Paradigm Employees Thank First Responders for Saving Lives

 

Evers Among 5 Governors Opposing Trump Plan to Cut Great Lakes Spending

 

Evers’ Health Agency Leaders Dedicated to Medicaid Expansion