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Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District

Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District

State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Madison) - A former radio personality and legislative assistant, Erpenbach was elected to represent the 27th Senate District in November of 1998 and was re-elected in 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014. Jon’s Senate colleagues elected him Senate Democratic Leader in December 2002. He served in that position until December 2004.
Senator Erpenbach has worked in the Legislature to regulate issue ads since his election in 1998 to the Senate, that includes working on bipartisan proposals to limit outside spending in elections and shed light on who is spending money to influence the outcomes of elections and legislation.
For more information please contact his office at 608-266-66790 or 888-549-0027 or sen.erpenbach@legis.wi.gov

GOP Would Prefer You Don’t Notice Plans For Nation’s Highest Sales Tax

Posted by Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District
Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District
State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Madison) - A former radio personality and legisla
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 20 September 2022
in Wisconsin

wisconsin-senateRepublican majorities in the state legislature are also floating plans for a $600 Million property tax hike.


MADISON - My Republican colleagues have been suspiciously quiet this summer about two proposals they floated near the end of session that would take more from Wisconsin consumers and taxpayers. These plans matter, as they you are likely to see them resurface again next year.

Special interests sought to impose the highest sales tax in the nation on working Wisconsinites. Coupled with a plan to increase property taxes by nearly $600 million to expand private voucher schools it’s no wonder GOP policymakers aren’t talking about their combined plans to shift taxes onto the backs of Wisconsinites who work for a living.

The sales tax would skyrocket to 8% under the GOP plot. As the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau notes in a memo outlining the plan: “If Wisconsin's sales tax rate were increased to 8.0%, it would have the highest state rate among surrounding states and the highest state sales tax rate in the country,” adding that an “increase in the sales tax rate could result in higher prices for consumer products and lower incomes for Wisconsin workers.”

Why would the GOP want an increase in the sales tax? To eliminate the state’s income tax in a scheme that would increase taxes on 28% of households while running up massive deficits in the budgets ahead.

jon-erpenbachA Senate colleague currently running statewide put forward a bill designed to put the first part of the plan, eliminating the income tax, in motion. Publically, little was heard of the bill or the sales tax plan again. The Fiscal Bureau memo provides a clear snapshot of what that would look like for working families in the Badger state:

More than 874,000 households would see a tax increase – and that’s assuming the whooping sales tax increase went only to 8%, not the 12% or more the Fiscal Bureau indicates would be needed to eliminate the deficit the GOP would create.

Another GOP bill introduced earlier this year would hit those same workers with a $577 million property tax increase. Why? To give students already going to private schools a free ride at taxpayer expense. Worse, for most property owners the full bill will come at your expense come property tax time.

As the Department of Public Instruction noted in its analysis of the bill: “The impact on property taxpayers in applicable school districts could be as high as $577.3 million for the 2022-23 school year, assuming 67,869 additional voucher students.” For comparison, $577 million is equal to roughly 11% of the total property taxes paid for schools.

The highest sales tax in the nation, staggering deficits and 11% more in school property taxes. It’s no wonder you aren’t hearing anything from Republicans in the Capitol about their plans to add to your tax burden and lighten workers’ wallets. That is, until next year, when Republicans again try to quietly drop this scheme into the budget at your expense.

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LFB Proposed State Tax Law Changes for Wisconsin

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Expanding BadgerCare is the Best Bang for our Buck

Posted by Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District
Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District
State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Madison) - A former radio personality and legisla
User is currently offline
on Monday, 15 March 2021
in Wisconsin

badgercare-saveExpanding BadgerCare, as proposed in the budget, would net a $1 billion dollar incentive payment, and a recent Marquette Law Poll shows that 70% of Wisconsin residents approve.


MADISON - Who doesn’t love a good deal? It’s common for folks in Wisconsin to want to make sure they are getting the best bang for their buck.

So why shouldn’t the Wisconsin legislature do the same? For years, Democrats have been pushing to expand BadgerCare because it ensures greater access to affordable, quality coverage, lower premiums and generates millions to be re-invested in programs that benefit all Wisconsinites. More coverage for less, that’s a great deal.

It’s a deal that just got better under the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Under this plan, if Wisconsin were to expand BadgerCare – as proposed in the Governor’s budget – Wisconsin would receive an additional billion dollar incentive payment.

Yes, you read that correctly. ONE BILLION DOLLARS. That’s in addition to the $634 million dollars of general purpose revenue Wisconsin would save and the 1.3 billion federal dollars we would leverage.

For those of you concerned about those big numbers and what that means for Wisconsin’s bottom line, it’s important to remember that Wisconsin would not save any money by choosing not to participate. Instead our tax dollars would go to other states that DO choose to participate. We are only one of twelve states that don’t.

If we have learned anything from the last year it’s the importance of access to affordable and quality healthcare. And once again, Gov. Evers is prioritizing healthcare for Wisconsinites by introducing a budget that makes critical investments in health services while also expanding BadgerCare.

jon-erpenbachWe’re now a full year into the COVID-19 pandemic and the stakes couldn’t be higher for our state’s ability to bounce back. The only thing standing between our state and over a billion dollars are legislative Republicans dead set on sticking it to the Governor.

During the last budget Republicans foolishly rejected BadgerCare expansion and there is absolutely no reason to make the same mistake again. Especially when there is even more money on the line.

There is no way to refute the fact that BadgerCare expansion is good for our state. States that have expanded their own programs saw positive impacts on their economies including: lower premiums, an increase in providers in rural areas, reductions in medical debt, reductions in infant mortality rates, and better reimbursements rates that helps attract and retain medical professionals.

More importantly it’s what you, the people of Wisconsin, want! The most recent Marquette Law Poll shows that 70% of Wisconsin residents approve of expanding BadgerCare.

It is the fiscally smart thing to do and the best deal for Wisconsin. To reject it would be a costly missed opportunity. Republicans have their second chance, and we should all be putting pressure on them to do what is right.

Jon Erpenbach represents the 27th Senate District which covers Sauk, Dane, Iowa, Columbia and Green County.

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A Call to Action

Posted by Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District
Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District
State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Madison) - A former radio personality and legisla
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 20 February 2021
in Wisconsin

coronavirus-small-businessWe must have a strong sense of community and watch out for our neighbors to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, says Madison area Senator. Wear a mask to keep our communities safe and schools open.


MADISON - This past year has been tumultuous to say the least. We’ve missed out on time spent with friends and family, community events, festivals, and other social gatherings. It’s been difficult and challenging, but we have been resilient. While the vaccine offers a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel, we still must work together to avoid more preventable deaths from COVID-19.

That’s the key. Working together as a team to continue wearing masks and social distancing to curb the spread of this virus.

For the last year, Governor Evers and the Department of Health Services have listened to the advice of health and science experts to pragmatically and calmly guide our state through this public health crisis.

What was he met with? Constant Republican obstruction and lawsuits to undermine those efforts. Think about that for a second. Republicans sued the Governor over something that has been scientifically proven to save lives. All while having no plan of their own to protect the health and wellbeing of Wisconsinites.

jon-erpenbach-2021We need to be on the same team when it comes to fighting this virus. But at the end of the day, we have to ask, what team are the Republicans playing for?

Almost a full year later and the Republican led legislature is pushing for legislation that prioritizes political interests rather than protect communities from the virus. Over 6,000 Wisconsinites have died, there’s a more contagious variant of the virus in the state and yet Republicans are fixated on eliminating a safety measure that could save lives.

Their actions will only prolong this crisis and lead to more preventable deaths.

Here in Wisconsin, we have a strong sense of community and watching out for our neighbors and this moment is a call to action. Now more than ever, we can and must wear a mask to keep our communities, schools and businesses a safe place to be and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Let’s all do our part to beat this. Mask up, Wisconsin.

****

Jon Erpenbach represents the 27th Senate District which covers Sauk, Dane, Iowa, Columbia and Green County.

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Vos Press Conference Had No New Ideas

Posted by Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District
Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District
State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Madison) - A former radio personality and legisla
User is currently offline
on Friday, 20 November 2020
in Wisconsin

robin-vos-is-safe-to-voteState Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point) responds to the Assembly GOP press conference Tuesday announcing the latest Republican 'ideas' on COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.


MADISON - Today we saw a total lack of leadership from Representative Vos, and Senate Republicans were absent altogether. April 15th was the last time we took the floor to address this issue and Robin Vos hasn’t brought a thing to the table since. The latest Republican 'ideas' of testing and contact tracing could have, in fact, should have, been addressed months ago were it not for GOP inaction.

jon-erpenbachEver since Republicans went to court to stop The Evers Administration from combating COVID-19, we've been told by the GOP that they were working on legislation. That was months ago, and still nothing.

Ninety-two people have died since yesterday and Speaker Vos is still trying to blame Governor Evers. As the Governor has been saying over and over again, his door has been open, it's the majority Republicans who continue to say no. And, it's not lost on Wisconsinites that the Republican Speaker of the State Assembly held a press conference today and said nothing.

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Wisconsin Should Invest in Education, Not Foreign Corporations

Posted by Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District
Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District
State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Madison) - A former radio personality and legisla
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 27 October 2020
in Wisconsin

foxconn-walker-ryan-johnsonIn addition to tax breaks for millionaires, we have FoxConn causing a drain on our state’s resources during the pandemic, says Sen. Erpenbach. These past poor choices limit options now.


MADISON - Virtually, in person, or planning and executing hybrid models, students and educators across Wisconsin are showing up and doing the hard work. Families are making sacrifices and hard choices in the face of this pandemic. We should all take a lesson from this dedication and perseverance.

As of this writing, it has now been 190 days of inaction since the current leadership of the Assembly and Senate and their caucuses last answered the calls coming from every corner of the state, 6 ½ months without a single day of action on the most significant crisis we’ve faced in generations.

During that time away, educators from across the state preparing for the school year have raised the alarm about the lasting impact enrollment changes during a public health crisis might have on schools that are the bedrock of our shared history and future – especially in smaller and rural communities.

Schools, like all of Wisconsin’s economy and way of life, would have been better served by a unified effort in the spring to limit this virus and its impact. I salute the men and women who have dedicated their careers and lives to education and are continuing that work, in person and remotely, to this day. And I stand with the Wisconsin parents who are making sacrifices at home and difficult choices for their children’s future.

Last week we saw a snapshot of the impact the ongoing pandemic is having on our schools. In the districts I represent all or of parts of, we saw enrollment drop by over 2600 students, nearly 3%.

Thankfully, Gov. Evers set the bar high for public education in his initial budget and general aid increases will help many of our schools and property taxpayers. Unfortunately, we could and should have done more. GOP budget choices included taking $500 million from the Governor’s special education proposal to preserve a tax giveaway targeted primarily at millionaires. Those dollars would certainly help educators and families meet the needs of students often suffering the most curing the COVID crisis.

A pandemic that has seen the wealthy grow wealthier while the challenges for working parents have grown – much – more difficult has made our choices and priorities even more starkly clear.

jon-erpenbachAs parents, students and educators face up to the extraordinary challenges of this pandemic it will be our job to rise to the challenge of continuing to support them. I will continue to support public schools that have been the cornerstones of our communities for generations. The impact of this pandemic on classrooms and homes is tremendous, and it will be our responsibility to protect the future of public education for 800,000+ students and their families in the budgets and legislation ahead.

Because of choices our colleagues in the majority caucuses made, our next budget starts out maintaining that tax giveaway for the millionaires instead of the additional $500 million that could have relieved costs local districts and their taxpayers are already required to pay for special education.

In addition to tax breaks for millionaires, we also have FoxConn causing a drain on our state’s resources. Thankfully, in 2020, we find ourselves with responsible leaders at the head of the state holding them to the contract, or FoxConn alone would take over $500 million– that could be coming home to your district to reimburse 60% of special education costs you are bearing – in the next budget alone.

Our Republican colleagues made unfortunate choices when they decided to fall for the FoxConn plan in just over a month in 2017. They made another unfortunate choice when they scurried back to Madison to pass lame duck legislation designed in part to protect the FoxConn handout in just 2 days.

We recently learned how little the people have gotten for the $165 million this has already cost state taxpayers and the billions more the GOP set aside for FoxConn in budgets ahead. Buildings as empty as the promises scrawled on a single sheet of paper three years ago. Homes lost, local debt the state may have to step in for, and fewer jobs than the hundreds and thousands of small businesses across our state have fought to maintain without a fraction of the help FoxConn demanded – and even worse – got.

It is time for responsible decisions and responsible leadership. It is time to come back to Madison to answer the call from educators with an unparalleled dedication to our state instead of back rooms on the other side of the Pacific. The students, families, educators, and the businesses, Wisconsinites facing unemployment through no fault of their own and especially our health care heroes on the front lines deserve our every effort – not zero days of action in six months from legislative leaders who could not leap high or fast enough when FoxConn came calling.

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