Thursday October 17, 2019

Forward with Education & Reason

Wisconsin is Ready for Medical Marijuana PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jon Erpenbach. State Senator 27th District   
Friday, 22 February 2019 17:04

chronic-pain-mgmtSen. Jon Erpenbach tells a very personal story on why he supports Governor Evers’ budget proposal to legalize medical marijuana.

MADISON - Over a decade ago, I was introduced to a woman named Jacki Rickert. She wasn’t the first person to come into my office advocating for the legalization of medical marijuana, that was Gary Storck, but she made a lasting impression. By the end of the meeting she was in terrible pain. Unable to walk or sit comfortably in a wheelchair, her friends and fellow advocates actually lifted her out the window of my ground floor office into a vehicle waiting to take her home. She was a pioneer in the movement to advance the cause of medical marijuana.

critical-illnessJacki had been diagnosed with a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlo Syndrome. At one point, in a tremendous amount of pain, and down to a mere 68 pounds, she discovered that marijuana brought her appetite back and alleviated her pain. Seeing these results, in 1990, in Mondovi, WI, a physician wrote a prescription for Jacki to obtain marijuana, and enrolled her in a small federal program allowing its use for medical purposes. The trouble was, she was never able to legally access that medicine, so she and others started an advocacy and awareness campaigned called “Is my Medicine Legal Yet?”

Along the way, politicians from both sides of the aisle have taken up the mantle of medical use. Frank Boyle (D-Phillips) introduced a bill back in 1997, and Republicans like Greg Underheim, (R-Oshkosh) and Rick Skinrud (R-Mt. Horeb) were also among the first to introduce medical marijuana bills. Then- state legislators Tammy Baldwin and Mark Pocan, were also early champions and it was Rep. Pocan who brought me on board in 2007.

jon-erpenbachWhen I introduced the first Senate companion with Rep. Pocan in 2009, as Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, we held a public hearing and people from across Wisconsin came to tell their heartbreaking stories. We heard from people with debilitating conditions who had found that opiates and other narcotics prescribed by physicians did little to alleviate their symptoms, and the side effects of those legal drugs were more than they could bear. Marijuana, however, had given them relief. Unfortunately, that is when they had to reluctantly break the law, becoming criminals for trying to obtain the one thing working to help them.

medical-marijuanaBack then, and even today, there are legislators who are not ready to allow medical marijuana to go forward, giving in to the many myths surrounding marijuana. However, as usual, the public is way ahead of the politicians. Last fall, nearly a million voters in 16 counties and two cities, answered yes on nonbinding referenda asking if marijuana should be legal for medical or recreational use; and in my office the folder of contacts from people who support medical marijuana has grown so large it needs its own drawer in the file cabinet. Nationwide polling from Quinnipiac in the spring of 2018 showed 93% of Americans support medical marijuana and no state that has passed a medical marijuana program has ever repealed it.

Jacki Rickert succumbed to her long illness the day after Christmas in 2017. She did not live long enough to see her medicine become legal. People like Jacki and Gary Storck, and veterans like Steve Acheson and the other members of Wisconsin Veterans for Compassionate Care; they are the reason I have continued to introduce bills to legalize medical marijuana every session since 2009. They are the reason I support Governor Evers’ budget proposal and they are the reason I will continue to reach across the aisle and work with my Republican colleagues to get Wisconsin to join the 30 other states who allow their citizens to access marijuana to alleviate conditions like glaucoma, cancer, ALS, chronic pain, PTSD, and, of course, Ehlers-Danlo.

“3 white male Republicans vow to block BadgerCare expansion” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 22 February 2019 16:34

wrb7t2-220Group discusses the Spring Primary elections, Republicans shameful use of Koch Brother funded research on BadgerCare, Evers’ new proposal to add $28 million in the budget for women's health care, and more...

MILWAUKEE, WI - We debrief the Spring Primary elections and discuss the latest news in the important State Supreme Court election on April 2nd. The panel tears apart the junk Koch Brother funded research Republicans unveiled this week in effort to provide cover for their shameful opposition to expanding to BadgerCare Expansion. We talk about Evers’ new proposal to add $28 million in the budget for women's health care. We close with an in-depth discussion of Amazon’s decision to back out of a deal to build a headquarters in New York City, and how it is dividing Democrats while providing a false narrative to Wisconsin Republicans desperately trying to defend the Foxconn implosion.

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Press Clips

Sen. Jennifer Shilling: "Close corporate loopholes and treat homeowners fairly" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jennifer Shilling, State Senator 32nd District   
Thursday, 21 February 2019 16:54

menardsWe need to build a brighter future for working families, seniors, small-business owners and family farms in Wisconsin. The wealthy and corporations have had enough tax relief.

Democratic Radio: Wisconsinites Support Medical Marijuana PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
Thursday, 21 February 2019 16:39

medical-marijuanaLegalizing medical marijuana will provide safe, legal, and regulated options to help address debilitating medical conditions says Erpenbach.

Wis Democracy Campaign “Trump’s Emergency” PDF Print E-mail
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Wednesday, 20 February 2019 09:04

donald-trumpLet’s insist that Trump follow the Constitution – on the Census and on the border wall.

MADISON - Yesterday I spoke at a rally on Donald Trump’s “national emergency” declaration on Friday. There were about 100 people in the Rotunda at the State Capitol, and it was an inspiring event.

Here are the remarks I gave:

Trump’s in Touch with his Inner Fascist

Please contact your members of Congress, both in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and urge them to take immediate action to pass a resolution of disapproval to overturn the national emergency declaration. Restrain this man before he goes any further down the hill toward authoritarianism.

And, on a related subject, please ask your members of Congress to vote to remove the citizenship question from the 2020 Census. Adding that question to the Census is aimed at intimidating undocumented immigrants and would lead to an undercounting, which would further disadvantage communities that have a high percentage of immigrants.

matt-rothschildWe have a Constitution. And it says to count all persons. Let’s insist that Trump follow the Constitution – on the Census and on the border wall. It’s pretty basic: Do we have a democracy or not?

Thanks for your activism.


Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

P.S. If you appreciate our outspokenness on the threat that Trump poses, please send us a tax-deductible gift here. Or you can send it the old-fashioned way to: Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, 203 S. Paterson St, Suite 100, Madison, WI 53703. Thanks!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 February 2019 10:09
Domestic Violence A Real Emergency PDF Print E-mail
Written by End Domestic Abuse WI, Chase Tarrier   
Tuesday, 19 February 2019 12:06

domesticviolenceIf President Trump needs an Emergency, domestic violence victim advocates in Wisconsin suggest an option based in reality.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 February 2019 12:41
Erpenbach Applauds Medical Marijuana Proposal PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jon Erpenbach. State Senator 27th District   
Tuesday, 19 February 2019 11:15

medical-marijuanaWe should legalize medical marijuana, as an ever growing list of organizations and individuals support decriminalization for medical use.

MADISON - Since 2009, I have been the author of legislation to legalize marijuana for medical use. In that time I have heard heartbreaking stories from people across the state who are using marijuana to alleviate serious medical conditions; People breaking the law to get their loved ones a medicine that works.

Legislators have long been behind the public on this issue. Recent polling showed that 59% of Wisconsinites support the legalization of all marijuana, but broken down into medical use the numbers are even higher.

In addition, thirty States and Washington, D.C., both red and blue, have passed effective medical marijuana programs, and no state has ever sought to repeal it. It is time for Wisconsin to join them in passing these regulations.

jon-erpenbachThe bottom line is that seriously ill patients should not have to break the law to access their medication. Marijuana can provide relief to those suffering from cancer, glaucoma, PTSD, ALS, chronic pain and can even help in the fight against opiate addiction. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2014 found that opioid overdose deaths were reduced by 25% in states with an effective medical marijuana law. This is a common-sense solution to a crisis that impacts both urban and rural areas of our state.

There are a multitude of reasons why we should legalize medical marijuana, and an ever growing list of organizations and individuals that support decriminalization for medical use. This proposal will help individuals seeking to alleviate chronic pain in a safe and legal way, and I applaud Governor Evers for listening to the people of Wisconsin.

“The climate of democracy in Wisconsin” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Saturday, 16 February 2019 10:17

the-climate-of-democracy-in-wiCitizen Action panel discusses Gov. Evers plan to expand access to dental care, what the Godlewski does the state treasurer do, and more...

STATEWIDE - We discuss the latest state news including Gov. Evers plan to expand access to dental care for low income people and fixing lead pipes throughout the Wisconsin. We welcome state treasurer and Citizen Action member Sarah Godlewski for the 2nd installment of “What the Godlewski does the state treasurer do? This time Sarah has some shocking news about censorship on climate issues. State Senator Chris Larson joins us to unveil his new package of campaign finance bills to start restoring democracy to our elections.We announce some important political endorsements, including Judge Lisa Neubauer for State Supreme Court and several key local races. We close the show with a discussion of tax cuts, the Colin Kaepernick/Black History Month controversy in the Legislature, and Gov. Evers' refreshing action on to the Paris Climate targets.

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Press Clips

Wisc Democracy Campaign "Valentine to Democracy" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Thursday, 14 February 2019 10:41

spendingThe latest commentary from Matt Rothschild at the Democracy Campaign.

MADISON - This morning, in the Wisconsin Senate Parlor, Sen. Chris Larson unveiled nine crucial campaign finance reform bills.

Here’s a list of the bills, and I urge you to contact your legislators and ask them to co-sponsor and support them:

2019-20 Campaign Integrity Package

At the press conference, I praised Sen. Larson’s efforts, and I noted that his bills are desperately needed because Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald rewrote our campaign finance law in 2015 and turned it into “an open invitation to corruption, which the wealthy and the corporations promptly and gladly accepted.”

WisconsinEye recorded the event live on Facebook. My statement begins at the 8 minute mark. Or read my statement here:

Vos and Fitzgerald Made Corruption Easier

matt-rothschildI also offered a valentine to democracy in Wisconsin, which I hope you’ll enjoy, though it’s a little schmaltzy:

A Valentine

I’d like to thank the activists who showed up to support the event, especially the brilliant organizers with Wisconsin United to Amend.

It was a Valentine’s Day to remember.


Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Democratic Radio: "2019: The Year of Clean Drinking Water" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Thursday, 14 February 2019 10:27

clean-drinking-waterMADISON - This week, State Rep. Katrina Shankland (D - Stevens Point) discusses clean water access in Wisconsin.

Audio File of Radio Address

katrina_shanklandHi, I’m State Representative Katrina Shankland with this week’s Democratic Radio Address.

This week has been ground-breaking when it comes to prioritizing clean water access in Wisconsin.

One in ten wells across our state are contaminated, and too many people can’t access clean drinking water from their taps.

No one should have to buy bottled water because they can’t drink from their tap, and that’s why Governor Evers has declared 2019 the “Year of Clean Drinking Water,” showing true leadership on this critical issue.

The governor’s new water quality initiatives announced this week will significantly expand access to clean drinking water.

He announced $70 million in bonding for clean water initiatives to help farmers, homeowners, and local governments, and his proposal also invests money to remediate the most contaminated private wells across Wisconsin.

Since I have authored legislation to expand our state’s Well Compensation Grant Program, I am thrilled that Governor Evers has decided to include portions of my legislation, investing in the grant program in his budget.

The governor’s actions reinforce his commitment to the people of Wisconsin who cannot access safe drinking water, and I thank him and commend him for it.

I also want to thank Lieutenant Governor Barnes for touring UW-Stevens Point’s water lab, talking to private well owners, and discussing water quality issues with scientists and stakeholders earlier this week with me.

It’s clear that this administration is making clean water access a huge priority.

This week, I was also named the Vice-Chair of the Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality.

We will travel across the state, hold hearings, and work to address the water quality issues facing people in Wisconsin.

Everyone deserves access to clean, safe drinking water. I encourage everyone to make their voices heard throughout this process.

Governor Evers has taken several meaningful steps to make that happen, and I am grateful for his tremendous leadership and look forward to working with stakeholders to find meaningful science-based solutions to the water quality challenges facing our state.

Last Updated on Saturday, 16 February 2019 10:39
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