Thursday May 25, 2017

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Wisconsinites Draft Mike McCabe for Governor PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by GBP Staff   
Thursday, 04 May 2017 08:56

mike-mccabePeople from all walks of life call on Blue Jean Nation's Mike McCabe, a non-partisan author and true independent, to step into the political arena and run for Governor in 2018.

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Senator Erpenbach on HOPE Passage 5.2.2017 PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by State Senate Democrats   
Tuesday, 02 May 2017 15:35

opioid-young-startMore work needed to truly address this community crisis.


MADISON - Today we reached some of our communities with the HOPE agenda to battle the opioid crisis, but Republicans took a pass on reaching everyone.

jon-erpenbachWhile I supported the proposals because they are a good first step, my colleagues and I offered amendments to make the HOPE agenda better. Expanding Wisconsin’s BadgerCare program to families not currently covered helps individuals have access to substance abuse and addiction treatment. These are people that have no health care now, and zero access to any treatment even after all of these bills are enacted.

Additionally, I offered an amendment to raise the state reimbursement rates for substance abuse treatment providers to try to help address the lack of health care providers in our rural communities. While our amendments to make these proposal better were not accepted, this agenda has passed and there is help for some people on the way.

We all know there is still work needed to truly address this community crisis in every corner of the state.

***

Statement from Senator Jon Erpenbach on passage of the HOPE agenda today.

 
Limited Republican Response to Opioid Epidemic Discouraging PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Tony Palese   
Tuesday, 02 May 2017 15:15

opioid-epidemic-big-pharmaProposals don’t go nearly far enough, say Democrats.


MADISON, WI – As the Senate adopted a package of bills to address the opioid epidemic, community advocates and Democratic lawmakers argued the proposals don’t go nearly far enough. Efforts to expand access to mental health and drug treatment services, invest in preventive health care and improve rural health care access were rejected by Republican legislators on the Senate floor.

jennifer-shilling“After years of Republican budget cuts to prevention efforts, the opioid epidemic has spiraled out of control,” said Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “These bills simply don’t go far enough to address the root of the problem. After years of struggles, we’re taking baby steps when we should be making major strides to improve outcomes and strengthen community safety.”

Local leaders, law enforcement officials and community advocates have urged lawmakers to approve additional funding and a more comprehensive plan to address mental health and substance abuse challenges. Democratic amendments to increase rural access to treatment, expand health care coverage and improve treatment services were rejected by the majority party.

“The opioid epidemic has devastated families and communities across our state,” added Shilling. “We are past the point of pilot programs and trial balloons. We know what works to reduce drug abuse and we need immediate solutions to overcome this crisis. It’s unfortunate that these limited measures are all the majority party is willing to do when there is so much more that is needed.”

Funding cuts in recent years have hampered drug abuse and prevention efforts in Wisconsin. The 2011-13 budget approved by Republican lawmakers and signed into law by Gov. Walker eliminated the successful Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) grant program which provided grants to address alcohol and drug abuse among school-age children. That decision has resulted in a $26 million cut to drug abuse prevention efforts across Wisconsin communities.

 
Senate Committee Votes to Eliminate Wage Protections PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by State Senate Democrats   
Tuesday, 02 May 2017 14:19

workersRepublican Legislative Leader Debunks Prevailing Wage Savings Claims.

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