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This week the Joint Committee on Finance held several agency briefings, including the Departments of Public Instruction, Transportation, Health Services, Workforce Development, Corrections, and Natural Resources. I was excited to hear from the new Secretary-Designees as they shared their support for their agencies' budgets and answered questions about the proposals. I am very excited to continue to work with the Departments, and ensure that our new budget works for our communities and Wisconsinites. 

Jon Erpenbach
Wisconsin State Senate, District 27

 

 

Updates

Erpenbach Supports Evers’ Investments to Create a Healthier Wisconsin:

Governor Evers' budget is anchored by the Medicaid Expansion. Allowing people who make up to $17,000 per year to have access to Medicaid would expand affordable health insurance to 82,000 people, and would invest millions of dollars directly into our communities to address vital health care needs. This budget works toward eliminating health disparities and improving the health and well-being of Wisconsinites at every stage. Wisconsinites have been asking for affordable health care for years, and it is time that our state puts politics aside to listen to their needs and take real steps forward.


An estimated 406,000 Wisconsinites can’t afford coverage. This is causing hospitals to go bankrupt due to medical debt. Covering the people who lack health insurance will reduce uncompensated care costs for providers and hospitals and help prevent medical bankruptcies, while generating $324.5 million in savings for the state. We can leverage those savings to bring in $1.6 billion in new federal funding.


Governor Evers went around the state to hear from real individuals who are affected by this issue, and found that this is not a partisan issue. A recent Marquette poll showed accepting federal money to expand Medicaid — is supported by 62 percent of Wisconsin voters. It is time for Wisconsin to join 37 other states in accepting the Medicaid expansion, instead of allowing 1.1 billion Wisconsin dollars to go elsewhere.

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

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 Erpenbach supports Gov. Evers’ Workforce Development Proposals

During the Joint Committee on Finance agency briefing on the Department of Workforce Development, my Republican colleagues argued for hours that Wisconsin workers don’t deserve to be paid a living wage, multi-millionaires shouldn’t shoulder their fair share, and hard-working Wisconsinites shouldn’t be afforded basic liberties such as family and medical leave. They made it evident that they have less interest in protecting employees in Wisconsin, than in providing massive hand-outs to major corporate donors.

The worker shortage did not happen overnight. It was a direct consequence of years of failed GOP policies that hurt our economy. It is tremendously disappointing that my Republican colleagues continue to be more interested in attacking the people of Wisconsin than working together to defend their rights. Secretary-designee Frostman and his team are working for the people of Wisconsin, and I am looking forward to connecting the dots to improve our economy, by looking at the realities of our worker shortages and coming up with real solutions to attract and retain talent in our state.


Community Programs and Announcements 

Event Announcement: See Decoding the Driftless in Cross Plains 4/22

  • Decoding the Driftless, a new documentary film produced by Sustainable Driftless and Untamed Science, will be shown at 6:30PM on Earth Day, Monday April 22, at Glacier Creek Middle School, 2300 Military Road in Cross Plains. The film's co-producer, George Howe, will kick off the film and participate in Q&A afterwards. Refreshments provided. This free screening is by reserved seating only and seating is limited. To reserve a place, call 608-798-3881 or email Kris at kloman@rgpl.org. Funding is provided by the Rosemary Garfoot Public Library and a Beyond the Page National Endowment for the Humanities grant with special thanks to the Madison Community Foundation. Gateway to The Driftless, the Black Earth Public Library, and the Mazomanie Free Library are co-sponsors.

    Learn more.

 

Update from the DNR:

  • 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 11th annual Work*Play*Earth Day events will be held on 30 different DNR properties around the state during April and early May.
  • County Deer Advisory Councils met in each county in March, and preliminary antlerless deer quotas, harvest authorization levels, and season structure recommendations for the 2019 deer hunting season are now available for review and comment.  The online public comment period runs through April 11th.
  • April 13th is national Citizen Science Day.  Volunteers can partner with professional scientists to help monitor natural resources by pledging their time and participating in one of dozens of projects to collect information on Wisconsin’s wildlife, lakes, rivers and other natural resources.
  • State forest health specialists remind property owners that this is the time of year to consider treating ash trees to protect them from Emerald Ash Borer.  Landowners are also reminded that oak tree pruning should not take place from April through July to protect the trees from often-fatal oak wilt disease.

Update from DATCP: Seeking Applicants for Veterinary Examining Board

"The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is looking for applicants who have an interest in veterinary medicine to provide leadership for the Veterinary Examining Board. The board is responsible for issuing veterinary credentials and reviewing complaints against veterinary professionals. There are five licensed veterinarians, one veterinarian technician, and two public members who are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Legislature to serve 4-year terms. One public and one certified veterinarian technician position are currently open but more are anticipated in the near future due to terms expiring.

Members may serve up to two 4-year terms, receive travel reimbursement, and a stipend for attending meetings. The Veterinary Examining Board meets at least once each quarter at DATCP in Madison. Positions are open until appointed. To apply for a position, visit Governor Evers’ website at https://evers.wi.gov/Pages/Application_Process.aspx and click on the link to “apply for Board/Commission positions.” You must submit a cover letter, resume, and three professional references with your application.

 

The Veterinary Examining Board is part of state law and administered through DATCP’s Division of Animal Health. The board defines professional standards and regulatory policies for veterinarians and veterinary technicians. The board also determines the education and experience required for obtaining credentials, develops and evaluates credentialing examinations, and establishes and enforces standards of professional conduct."

Learn more.

 

Update from WE Energies: Winter hearing moratorium ends April 15

"We Energies and WPS are urging customers who are behind on their energy bills to get caught up before the end of the winter heating moratorium on April 15. Customers who owe a significant amount of money are at risk of disconnection starting the third week of April. 

Over the next two weeks, we’ll be using phone calls and bill inserts to alert affected customers. Please keep in mind, disconnection is always a last resort. 

We encourage any customers who are behind on their bills to visit our websites (We Energies website) (WPS website) or call our customer care centers as soon as possible (We Energies at 800-842-4565) (WPS at 800-450-7260). Our representatives can explain some of the options available, including a flexible payment plan or minimum payment option. We also offer budget billing, which spreads energy expenses more evenly over 12 months. 

In addition, some customers may qualify for energy assistance through the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP). There is no charge to determine eligibility or to apply for assistance. To see a state map that can direct constituents to Energy Assistance and Weatherization by county click here.

 

Scam Alert


Unfortunately, scammers have been known to prey on customers this time of year. Often, they’ll demand immediate payment via prepaid debit card. We will never do that. Customers who receive a suspicious phone call should hang up and contact us directly to verify the status of their account. We’ve posted more information about common scams on our websites (We Energies website) or (WPS website)."


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We had a great turnout today at our JFC Budget Hearing in Janesville! Local residents showed up to share their support and thoughts on the People's Budget. 

Next week will be the hearing in Oak Creek.

Click here to learn more and RSVP. 

 

 

In the News

Lame-duck scorecard: Where the cases stand in the fight over GOP laws limiting Wisconsin governor

Hearings begin on decriminalizing marijuana

Majority of school district referenda pass in Dane, Rock counties

GOP lawmakers knock Tony Evers' plan to boost minimum wage; Democrats call it overdue