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This week, I joined Governor Tony Evers to announce that Representative Daniel Riemer and I are giving Republicans another chance to do what is right, and expand Medicaid. I introduced stand-alone legislation to increase the eligibility limit of the Wisconsin Medicaid program to 133% of the federal poverty level. Representative Riemer joined me as the author of the Assembly companion. 

Republicans on the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) removed the expansion from the governor's state budget proposal, on their very first vote during budget deliberations. Yet, 70% of Wisconsinites want us to accept the federal funds to help make health care more affordable for everyone. It is fiscally irresponsible to reject the Medicaid expansion and allow $2 billion of our dollars to go towards expanding coverage in other states. 

I am hopeful that my Republican colleagues will recognize the undeniable facts, that the Medicaid expansion is right for Wisconsin, and join 37 other states in accepting the Medicaid expansion. 


Jon Erpenbach
Wisconsin State Senate, District 27




Remarks from Senator Erpenbach: Just Say Yes to Medicaid

Earlier this week, I joined Governor Tony Evers to announce that Representative Daniel Riemer and I will be giving Republicans another chance to do the fiscally right thing, and join the 37 other states who have expanded Medicaid. 

The Medicaid expansion would make health care affordable for everyone.  It will give 40,000 uninsured Wisconsinites health insurance. It will reduce the cost of premiums on the individual market, save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, and would keep $2 billion of our federal taxes in Wisconsin instead of sending them to Illinois or New Jersey.  These are proven facts, substantiated by the Department of Revenue, Commissioner of Insurance and Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

70% of Wisconsinites agree that we should expand Medicaid. During budget hearings, both Democrats and Republicans listened to stories of real people whose lives have been changed because of Medicaid. After a town hall, the Hamman family from Stevens Point reached out to tell their story.

Their family was facing out-of-pocket medical bills of about $20,000, when their twins, who were born premature, required extensive medical care. Because of their health complications, the twins qualified for Medicaid. If it weren’t for Medicaid, they could have lost their home, even though the Hamman family had health insurance and full-time jobs.

Plain and simple, Medicaid is health care, not welfare. It is time for the Republican majority to do what is responsible -- just say yes to expanding Medicaid. Expanding the Medicaid program will bring billions of new federal investment into our state to cover more Wisconsinites for less money.

Listen to the full remarks here. 


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

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What does it mean to expand Medicaid? 

 Special Thank You to Our Interns Who Completed the Program! 

My staff and I have been lucky to have an awesome group of interns helping out in my Capitol office this summer. Each of these students has proven themselves to be incredibly smart, passionate, dedicated, and resourceful, and they have played a crucial role in our office operations over the last few months. Unfortunately, with the summer gradually coming to a close and the fall college semester approaching, their internships are coming to end.


Thank you Grace Harkins! 

Grace generously committed herself to over 20 hours of her valuable time in my office each week, and has had a huge impact with us this summer. Here’s what Grace had to say about her experience this summer, in her own words:

“This has been such an awesome summer full of so many learning experiences. I got to improve my writing, conversational, and professional skills every day, but the part that I think will have the most impact on my future was getting the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the legislative process. I have read textbooks and been in countless lectures learning about how the government works in school, but this summer I actually got to see it firsthand. It was exciting to watch the Erpenbach team behind the scenes prepare for Joint Finance Committee meetings, Senate floor sessions, and everything else they do. Personally, my favorite part of my time here was sitting in on floor sessions and watching the female Senate members fight for causes they care about. It was especially cool to see women I respect and look up to debate healthcare because that is something I am very interested in. As always, what makes for the best experience is the opportunity to work with people who are great at their jobs and are passionate about what they do. That is the opportunity I had in the Erpenbach office and is what made it incredible. The Erpenbach team will always have a special place in my heart.”

With her internship completed, Grace will be heading back to St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York for her junior year to continue her studies as a Government major and Spanish and Religious Studies double minor. In the spring, she is looking forward to studying abroad in Spain.

Long-term, Grace plans to pursue a career in government and politics, and hopes to ultimately find a position in Washington, D.C. At this time, she is considering pursuing either a communications/public relations or a legislative policy path.


Thank you Alyssa Beery! 

Alyssa Beery, who completed her internship with us, is an outstanding student. We were so lucky to have her here helping us out over the past few months. We are confident that she will go on to do great things! 

With her internship completed, Alyssa is looking forward to beginning the first semester of her freshman year at St. Norbert College in De Pere, where she plans on pursuing a double-major in Spanish and Political Science and a minor in French. Following graduation, Alyssa will be attending law school with the goal of pursuing a career in law and government.


Thank you to our current and past interns! Their work is very important and we are very grateful. Do you know anyone who is interested in interning this fall semester? Email us for more information!  


Community Programs and Announcements 

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

"Both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Wisconsin Attorney General, as part of a coalition of 50 Attorneys General, have announced settlements with Equifax that will offer benefits to consumers affected by the company’s September 2017 data breach – a group that is estimated to include roughly half of the American public.

The settlements include up to $425 million to help the roughly 147 million consumers whose information was exposed in the breach. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) strongly encourages Wisconsin residents to read up on the settlement on the FTC website ( and for affected consumers to submit their claims as soon as possible."

Read more here. 

Update from the DNR:

"The 2019 fall deer hunt is just around the corner!

  • Bonus antlerless deer harvest authorizations will be available for purchase starting Monday, August 19th at 10:00 a.m.
  • Operation Deer Watch, an annual citizen-science survey that collects information on Wisconsin’s white-tailed deer is now underway.
  • DNR will be expanding the Adopt-a-Dumpster and Adopt-a-Kiosk programs in 2019 to offer more residents, organizations and businesses across the state the chance to support deer hunters having their deer tested for CWD and to help prevent the spread of the disease.
  • The Department is urging the public to be aware of recent online hunting and fishing license scams.  The DNR is aware of at least two websites appearing to offer fishing or hunting licenses.  After paying a fee, consumers only receive information on how to apply for a hunting or fishing license.  These sites also collect sensitive personal data as part of their unauthorized transactions."


Update from DATCP: Inspect Poly Tanks Every Spring and Fall

"Agriculture officials are reminding farmers to routinely inspect polyethylene tanks used to store fertilizer and pesticides, after several recent failures led to chemical spills. 


Cleanup is costly, requiring removal of the contaminated soil and either land spreading or landfilling it. The farmer is responsible for cleaning up any contaminated soil, although some cleanup costs may be reimbursed through the Agricultural Chemical Cleanup Program."

Read more here.





 In the News

Erpenbach column: Farmers deserve help now, not later

Sen. Erpenbach column: Governor’s leadership moves Wisconsin forward

Wisconsin Assembly speaker denies paralyzed lawmaker request

Wisconsin Democrats try again for Medicaid expansion

Democrats push for Medicaid expansion

Wisconsin Democrats launch new bid to expand Medicaid