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You know spring is in the air when March Madness is in full swing, and the Brewers won their first game!

In the news this week, a second impartial judge ruled against the Republican lame-duck session. The Republicans illegally passed those laws to strip powers away from the Executive Branch, and went against the will of the people. The ruling was another important win for Wisconsin.

Additionally, the Joint Committee on Finance announced their public hearing dates. Read more below to find a hearing and have your voice heard. 

 

Jon Erpenbach
Wisconsin State Senate, District 27

 

 

Updates

Senator Erpenbach discusses the budget:

This week I sat down with Representative Nygren and WisconsinEye to discuss the budget proposal. You can watch the full video here. 

 

Education: Under Republican control, Wisconsin has made historic cuts to our public schools, and teachers and students are paying the price. Voters in School districts across the state have has to raise their own taxes by $1.4 billion. It is time that we stop shifting the burden onto local communities and fund our education system. 

Governor Evers’ proposal lets taxpayers know that their hard-earned dollars are being invested wisely. The plan would guarantee state aid to every district, and takes into account the unique challenges that our school districts face. It does so by allowing schools to utilize uniquely tailored approaches, for either urban or rural, expands special education, and stops the expansion of the unaccountable voucher program.

Transportation: I constantly hear from people that they are fed up with the lack of funding for our roads. It is time to come up with solutions to invest in our communities here at home and ensure that our families, farms and businesses have the transportation infrastructure vital to moving Wisconsin forward.

After years of Wisconsinites asking for real solutions for our crumbling infrastructure, Governor Evers has put forth a proposal to address our transportation crisis. The budget would increase the gas tax by 8%, calls for the motor fuel tax to be indexed, and eliminates minimum mark-up.

Taxes: As Governor Evers promised, he proposed a 10% middle class tax cut, which is fully funded by capping tax breaks for the wealthy. Rather than taking hundreds of millions away from roads and schools for working taxpayers who still have to pay their taxes the Governor’s plan focuses resources on things that work – like infrastructure, education and tax cuts that benefit 1.96 million Wisconsinites.

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

Connect on Facebook

Connect on Twitter

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Written comments can be emailed to the Committee at BudgetComments@legis.wisconsin.gov, or sent via U.S. mail to: Joe Malkasian, Room 305 East, State Capitol, Madison, WI 53702.


Community Programs and Announcements 

Updates from the DNR:

  • With the return of spring comes the return of gypsy moths in Wisconsin.  Property owners are urged to treat or remove egg masses now to help protect high-value trees and to reduce future gypsy moth caterpillar populations.  When populations are high, these invasive insects can strip an entire neighborhood or forest of leaves during late spring and early summer.
  • The Department of Natural Resources is kicking off discussions about Lake Michigan fisheries management for 2020 and beyond by hosting the semi-annual Lake Michigan Fisheries Forum meeting on April 15th.  These meetings are open to all stakeholders who are interested in setting the course for future salmon and trout management on Lake Michigan.
  • The 2019 Wisconsin Conservation Congress Annual Spring Hearings are slated for Monday, April 8th, starting at 7:00 p.m.  New this year will be an online voting option 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 for or opposition to DNR proposed rule changes as well as Wisconsin Conservation Congress proposals that could someday become the rules that regulate fishing, hunting, trapping and other outdoor recreation activities in Wisconsin.

 

Updates on the I-39/90 Expansion Project: 

This week, crews will begin to reconstruct and expand Interstate 39/90 southbound from County AB, just south of Madison, to East Church Road, about two miles north of the US 51 interchange (Exit 156) in Dane County.

What you need to know:

  • Electronic weekly construction updates for this project will start Friday (March 29), and continue through the 2019 construction season.
  • During daytime hours and weekends, I-39/90 remains open to two lanes of traffic in each direction with a temporary barrier wall separating northbound and southbound traffic.
  • Nightly single lane closures are expected on I-39/90 in this area between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. Monday through Friday.
  • This section of the Interstate project is scheduled to be completed in mid-November 2019.
  • All lane restrictions, ramp closures and work operations are weather dependent and subject to change.
  • Remember to be alert for crews and equipment in this area, and drive with caution through all work zones.

Learn more here: I-39/90 Expansion Project website and sign up for project email updates today! You can also follow the project Facebook page

 

Updates from DATCP: Consumers urged to use caution when seeking flood cleanup help

DATCP and OCI offer these tips for homeowners with storm damage:

  • First, contact your insurance agent to begin the claims process. Contact them again if an adjuster has not been assigned to you within several days.
  • Take photos of the damaged property and save samples of damaged materials, such as carpeting, curtains, and upholstery.
  • Mitigate the damages to the extent that you can – without actually beginning repairs. For instance, put a tarp on the roof to stop additional damage, or lift items up off the floor to get them out of standing water.
  • Don't throw away damaged property without the claims adjuster's agreement. If local officials require you to dispose of damaged items for safety, photos and swatches will help.
  • Be wary of any contractor who knocks at your door. If your municipality has a door-to-door sales ordinance, call municipal officials to find out if the contractor holds the proper permits.
  • Hire a contractor based on referrals. Ask friends, neighbors or your insurance agent for recommendations and ask contractors for references. Before you sign a contract, contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection's hotline (800-422-7128) to see if there are complaints about the business.
  • Try to get a local contractor and know who will be doing the work – the contractor or a subcontractor.
  • Get lien waivers from anyone you pay for home repairs. It is necessary to do this because if the person collecting the money does not pay the supplier or worker, a lien could be put on your property.
  • Get a written contract with a start and completion date and warranty information. Also, make certain that the contract states exactly what work is to be done and what materials are to be used. Never rely on a verbal commitment.
  • Check with your local building inspector to see if the work requires a permit and make sure an inspector visits the job site before you provide final payment.
  • Request a copy of the contractor's certificate of liability insurance.
  • Keep all receipts that document the cost of repairs or the replacement of damaged items.

Learn more here.

Updates from DATCP: This April Fools' Day, Don't Get Reeled in by Phishing Emails 

Some of the common phishing email ploys include:

  • Fake shipping emails made to look like they are from a legitimate shipper like UPS or FedEx. The emails claim that you have a package waiting or that there is a problem with a delivery. The recipient is prompted to open an attachment for the shipping details or to click a link to review their “account."
  • Fake account closure emails that appear to be from major corporations like Microsoft or Amazon. The messages claim that you have an account at risk of closure and that you need to log in (using a provided link) to update your information.
  • Fake gift card promises tied to the recipient's supposed participation in a “reward program" from a major retailer.
  • Fake invoices and threats about past-due taxes sent using the names of government agencies.

The good news for consumers is that email scams can be easy to spot – but only if you know what to look for:

  • Never click a link or open an attachment in an unsolicited email or text message.
  • Phishing emails often include the name, logo, and color scheme of a well-known business, so the tipoff of a scam is often in the language used in the message. Watch for poor grammar, misspellings, awkward wording, and a general lack of professionalism. Legitimate corporate emails will be clear and grammatically accurate.
  • Check the sender's email address for another easy tipoff. In many phishing messages, the web address (URL) referenced in the sender's email address does not match the true URL for the business in question. For example, an email that claims to come from the U.S. Postal Service may come from "JoeSchmo@ somefakecompany.com" instead of "___@ usps.com."
  • Be suspicious of any request to open an attached file or click a link (including to "view your account"). Either action could lead you to download malware onto your device.
  • On a desktop or laptop computer, if you hover your mouse over a link in an email (do NOT click your mouse!), the URL that the link directs you to will typically appear in the bottom of your browser window.
  • Most of these emails end up in your "junk mail" folder if your security settings are high and your email provider is routing correctly, but the occasional junk email inevitably finds its way through the filters and into your inbox.

Learn more here.

In the News

Sun Prairie teacher works two jobs to make ends meet, urges residents to vote on referendum

Evers Budget Pumps $2.8M Into State Parks

Second Judge Rules Against Wisconsin's Lame-Duck Legislative Session