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This week, the Public Service Commission (PSC) announced their approval of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line. I am very thankful to all of the communities and advocacy groups that came out in opposition to this project, and I am disappointed and surprised by its approval. 

Additionally this week, the Committee on Health and Human Services held an executive session. The Committee voted on Andrea Palm, the Secretary-Designee for the Department of Health Services, who passed 4-1. The Committee also held a public hearing on Senate Bill 89, which provides for the licensure of dental therapists.

Notably, this week Attorney General Josh Kaul announced that a coalition of 51 attorneys general and 12 phone companies have agreed to adopt strategies to fight illegal robocalls. The agreement will help protect consumers and make it easier for the state to prosecute bad actors. 


Jon Erpenbach
Wisconsin State Senate, District 27




Statement on the PSC Approval of the Transmission Line From Sen. Erpenbach, Rep. Considine, Rep. Hesselbein, and Rep. Pope: 

The Public Service Commission (PSC) announced the approval of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line.  We have all received a great deal of contact in opposition to this project from both local units of government and concerned constituents. To say that we are disappointed at the decision to go through with this project would be an understatement.

Unfortunately, many of our concerns and questions regarding this transmission line remain unanswered. This project may have substantial impacts on rates and fixed fee increases for electric customers overall, while affecting numerous farms, properties and habitats.

The communities and advocacy groups opposed to this transmission line were well-organized, extremely knowledgeable, and effective. For years, they have been at the forefront, repeatedly presenting strong evidence, public testimony and adamant opposition. Our constituents, and all of the groups involved in this issue, presented a convincing case for denial based on the facts that they had available, and we are thankful for their efforts.

With the overwhelming opposition that we received, you will be hard-pressed to find anyone in our districts who supported the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line, and we are all disappointed and surprised by its approval.


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Phone: 608.266.6670


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

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Summary of Executive Orders in August

Executive Order #41: Re-create the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, attached to the Department of Justice for the purpose of advising the Governor on matters related to the administration and reform of Wisconsin's criminal justice system. The executive order is to foster safe communities and a fair criminal justice system.

Executive Order #40: Order the DNR, DHS and DATCP to establish a collaboration to inform the public and address Per and Polyfluoroalkyl and Substances (PFAS) contamination. Also to create the PFAS Coordinating Council to develop a PFAS action plan.  

Executive Order #39: Create the Governor's Task Force on Reducing Prescription Drug Prices to assist the Governor in addressing excessive prescription drug prices and the burden on Wisconsinites, to ensure that our residents can afford the prescription medicine that they need to lead a healthy life.

Executive Order #38: Order the Department of Administration to create the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy, to ensure that all electricity consumed in Wisconsin is 100% carbon-free by 2050, and to align our State with the carbon reduction goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord. 


Taxpayers Bear the Costs of Unaccountable Choice Programs

According to a new Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) Memo, in 96.7% of Wisconsin school districts, voucher operators will take more money from taxpayers than schools will receive in state general aid per student. 

In the 27th district, every school district will receive less in general aid per student than a voucher payment would take from the district. Voucher operators take $8,046 from the district’s general aid for K-8 students, and $8,692 for 9-12 students, while the average general aid for students in the 27th district is only $4,922. 

In the People’s Budget, the Governor recommended that choice programs require teachers to obtain a teaching license or permit from the Department of Public Instruction. Shockingly, Republicans removed the provision. Additionally, Governor Evers proposed that private school choice programs seek accreditation for their institutions, but Republicans also deleted that provision. 

Students in Wisconsin deserve the best education possible, and it is up to us to deliver on that promise. Schools are the backbones of our communities, and it is vital that we fund our classrooms. Voucher schools have been detrimental to many communities around the state, and I will continue to push for accountability and transparency on this unreliable program.

Read More. 

 Tracking Legislation: The Medicaid Expansion 

Now Senate Bill 361 (SB 361), the Medicaid Expansion was referred to the Committee on Public Benefits, Licensing and State-Federal relations on 8/22/2019. 


Community Programs and Announcements 

Update from the DATCP: Equifax Settlement Could Put Cash in Your Pocket

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) confirms that a horse and a mule on the same premises in Taylor County have tested positive for equine infectious anemia (EIA). These are Wisconsin’s first confirmed cases of EIA in almost 15 years. There is no treatment for EIA, therefore to prevent transmitting it, infected animals are humanely euthanized.

EIA is an infectious and potentially fatal viral infection that affects only equine species, such as horses, ponies, zebras, mules, and donkeys. Symptoms can vary and may include fever and uncontrollable bleeding that can progress to weakness, weight loss, depression, and in some cases death. Horses can get the disease through blood-feeding flies, such as horseflies and deerflies. The virus can also be transmitted between horses through re-used needles and syringes, blood transfusions, and other contaminated equipment.

Read more

File a claim. 

Update from the DNR:

•  In an effort to reverse significant declines in monarch butterfly populations, Wisconsin conservation biologists are urging gardeners, farmers, and other landowners to use a new, free mobile app to record the number of milkweed and wildflower nectar plants in their backyard or farmyard habitat.

September 1st marks the opener for Wisconsin’s mourning dove, early teal and early Canada goose hunting seasons.

• Summer may be winding down, but there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy events at Wisconsin’s State Parks and Recreation Areas. Be sure to check out DNR’s Get Outdoors! calendar to find an event near you.



 In the News

Evers' pick to lead health agency wins committee approval

State regulators approve construction of Cardinal-Hickory Creek power line

Sen. Erpenbach column: Republicans continue to leave small family farms behind

Wisconsin leads the nation in farm bankruptcies

Short-term rentals to be regulated by local municipality

AG Kaul Joins 51 Attorneys General and 12 Companies in Fight Against Illegal Robocalls