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So much has happened this week it’s hard to know where to begin this E-newsletter, but let’s start with an update on where Wisconsin stands on COVID. Gov. Evers announced a new public health emergency regarding the outbreaks we are seeing in a number of rural counties and near campuses across our state and a new statewide order requiring face coverings with limited exceptions until November 21st.

This weekend the nation mourned the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a tireless champion for justice, for women, and for civil rights. Shortly thereafter, with barely time to grieve her passing, the fight to replace her began and we were reminded just how much is at stake, including and especially the Affordable Care Act.  We are reminded that Republicans in 20 states, including Wisconsin, sued to take away protections for those with pre-existing conditions in the courts, and tried dozens of times to eliminate your protections and curtail access to health care through legislation in Congress.  Here in Wisconsin, the Walker Administration and Legislative Republicans enthusiastically supported those efforts to undermine and dismantle a program that gave us all protection against the worst abuses of the insurance industry.  We should all remember that both here in Wisconsin, and nationally, despite their rhetoric to the contrary, there has been NO PLAN to replace the Affordable Care Act, and that law alone gives those of us with pre-existing conditions the protection we need.

This week we also saw the GOP bring the Secretary of State to the floor of the Senate chambers in an unprecedented display of political partisanship. After 162 days of nothing, Wisconsin’s Legislative Republicans, rushed to the Senate floor, some even displaying overt campaign materials, to greet him.  This same group of legislators would not do the same for Wisconsinites, whether that be to protect them from a global pandemic, make it easier to collect their unemployment, or to address injustice.

Lastly, the Vice President of the United States of America came to Western Wisconsin to sow the seeds of doubt in our election process, the most treasured cornerstone of our democracy.  There hasn’t been a substantial change in the rules from the election four years ago. Should we doubt the results of that election as well?

Sincerely,

 

JON ERPENBACH
State Senator
27th District

 

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You can vote by mail by requesting an absentee ballot! Click this link to find your local municipal clerk to request your absentee ballot. If you have not yet registered to vote or need to update your information, go to myvote.wi.gov.


 Funding for Broadband Expansion 

This week, Governor Evers announced $5 million in funding from the federal CARES Act to expand broadband internet across the state. Funding will be awarded by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) to applicants from the 2020 broadband expansion grants that did not receive funding and are able to connect customers by December 30, 2020, and satisfy the requirements of the federal CARES Act.

Learn more.  

 

The People's Maps Commission

The People’s Maps Commission is seeking input on the new legislative redistricting maps. An online public hearing on October 1st, 2020 from 5:30-8:30 pm will be held to hear public comments in effort to create fair maps. The focus of this first hearing, in a series of eight hearings, will be Wisconsin’s Eighth Congressional District located in Northern Wisconsin and currently represented by Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay). Registration is required and if you are unable to attend the hearing, write-in comments are encouraged.

The People's Maps Commission

Register before September 29th

 

$8 Million Distributed in Second Round of Wisconsin Farm Support Program

In a second round of funding, the Wisconsin Farm Support Program distributed $8 million to 3,300 Wisconsin farmers across the state. This is a joint program of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and the Department of Revenue. The Wisconsin Farm Support Program has distributed a total of $50 million to 15,000 farmers in relief from the impacts of Covid-19. Find more information and a map of the distributions with this link

 

WIS 136 Bridge Replacement Affects Access to Devil’s Lake State Park

WIS 136 will be closed starting Wednesday, September 23, for construction. The existing bridge over Skillet Creek will be replaced.  Construction is estimated to be completed by November 2020. This highway is on the way to Devil’s Lake State Park. See the full report and detours to come with this 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 

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.