Happy International Women's Day!

Governor Evers introduced his budget last week, and it is filled with progressive programs and investments to help move our state forward. From legalizing marijuana and introducing non-partisan redistricting, to expanding health care and investing in roads, this budget hit on the Governor's campaign promises and proves that he is ready to fight for Wisconsin.

However, Republicans are already pushing back and making threats against the proposed budget. As a member of JFC, I am disappointed by their unwillingness to work together, but I am excited to get to work to ensure that our communities get the investments that they need. 

In addition to the budget, I introduced bi-partisan legislation to reform the PBM industry, to ensure Wisconsinites can get medication from pharmacists they trust. I am looking forward to moving this bill forward so that people will not be punished for choosing local pharmacies. 

Jon Erpenbach
Wisconsin State Senate, District 27




Erpenbach Applauds Evers Budget Initiatives

Governor Evers laid out a budget that addresses the programs and priorities that were left behind, underfunded and ignored during the last eight years.  I am glad to see that our schools and universities are finally getting the funding and attention they need.

The Evers budget lives up to what he has always said-what’s best for our kids is what’s best for our state. Republicans have spent the past eight years failing to fully fund our public schools.  More than one million Wisconsinites have raised their own property taxes to support their local schools. This budget provides historic investments in K-12 education, returning it to the two-thirds funding the state has always promised.

I was also excited to have Mac Austin and his family, constituents from Verona, at the budget address.  They were there to help highlight the historic $600 million investment in special education that Governor Evers is making in his budget.

Other highlights important to Wisconsin and the 27th Senate District include $400 million in middle class tax relief, a shared revenue increase for local governments, a $78 million investment in broadband, a non-partisan redistricting process, and $150 million for our state universities that are struggling after eight years of cuts by the prior administration.

 This budget is clearly about creating a Wisconsin that works for everyone. Governor Evers held budget listening sessions across Wisconsin in December to hear directly from the people of our state about what they wanted to see in his budget, and that is reflected in what he’s put forward.


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Senator Erpenbach baffled by Republican objection to reducing childhood lead poisoning

The Department of Health Services (DHS) submitted a request to implement a health services initiative to reduce childhood lead poisoning in Wisconsin, through the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). With the federal matching rate at 94.56%, and hundreds of thousands of children facing exposure, I am outraged that the Republicans objected to the request.

Using federal dollars to improve the health of low income children and pregnant women should not be a partisan issue. The percent of Wisconsin children under the age of 6 with high levels of lead in their blood is alarming, and it is disheartening that Republicans choose to flex their newly acquired lame-duck muscle on a program to prevent kids from being poisoned.

There is limited time to accept the federal dollars before the opportunity is lost, and the DHS is unable to put the initiative in effect. I cannot think of any reason why we would not give the federal government permission to use their resources in Wisconsin to help save pregnant women and children from lead poisoning, so I hope that the Republican JFC members will stop dragging their feet and move forward with this opportunity to save lives. 

Read more here: JFC Democrats baffled by Republican objection to reducing childhood lead poisoning .pdf


Senator Erpenbach introduces legislation to reform the pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) industry 

I introduced bi-partisan legislation, along with Senator Roth, Representative Schraa, and Representative Kolste, to reform the pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) industry by establishing price transparency requirements, requirements on PBM contracts, and regulating PBM registration. People should not be punished financially for choosing local pharmacies. This legislation aims to ensure Wisconsinites are able to continue getting life-saving medication from pharmacists they trust.

Read more here: Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Bring Transparency to Pharmacy Benefit Managers .pdf


Senator Erpenbach is thrilled about the $30 million investment in the Alliant Energy Center

Governor Evers announced that the 2019-2021 Capital Budget will include a $30 million investment towards the expansion of the Alliant Energy Center.  

I am thrilled to see the Governor’s commitment to this project, which will trigger private investment in Wisconsin, and will create hundreds of jobs for the state. This project is a no-brainer for our local community. With the high return on investment, this project adds exponential value for our residents, will attract visitors and events, and create economic opportunities with statewide benefits. I applaud the Governor for acting on this smart investment and continuing to put Wisconsinites first.


Senator Erpenbach is excited to see Fred Clark appointment to the Natural Resources Board 

Governor Evers announced the appointment of former legislator Fred Clark to fill a seat on the Natural Resources Board. I had the pleasure of working with Fred when he represented the 81st Assembly District, and I have witnessed his dedication to preserving our natural resources. I look forward to seeing everything that he is able to accomplish on the board to ensure that future generations have the same opportunities to enjoy everything that Wisconsin has to offer. 

Community Programs and Announcements 

Update from the DNR: Public has even greater opportunities to weigh in on proposed fish and wildlife rules at this year's Spring Hearings

"This year’s Wisconsin Conservation Congress Annual Spring Hearings will offer additional opportunity for the public to weigh in on proposed rule changes and advisory questions relating to conservation and fish and wildlife management in Wisconsin.  For the first time, an online option will be provided for those who are not able to attend a hearing in person.  Meeting attendees can also use their smart phones to cast their ballots.


The Spring Hearing process allows the public the opportunity to comment and register their support or opposition to DNR proposed rule changes as well as Congress proposals that could someday become the rules that regulate fishing, hunting, trapping and other outdoor recreation activities in Wisconsin."



Update from the WDVA: Deadline Extended for Women Who Have Served in Military Survey


"The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) Women Veterans Program has extended it's deadline for you to take a survey that will help us to identify issues that concern women Veterans and develop programs and services that address your needs and reflect your interests. We want to ensure the WDVA is positioned to provide programs and services to help you attain your goals, as well as assist you in connecting to resources and accessing benefits you have earned."



In the News

GOP objection to money for state lead program upsets Democrats

Pharmacy benefit manager reform bill could lower prescription drug costs

Tony Evers proposes state kick in $30 million for Alliant Energy Center expansion

Gov. Evers reveals state budget to Wisconsin legislators