State Sen. Jon Erpenbach
Press Release

Republicans Abandon Small Family Farmers

Farmers are asking for our help, and the majority party’s inaction yesterday was absolutely a matter of abandoning our farmers by putting politics before their lives.

By - Jul 24th, 2019 03:42 pm

WEST POINT – Yesterday Republicans on the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) neglected to act on an urgent request from the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to fund their farmer mental health assistance programs, in order to push off the issue until they receive recommendations from a separate suicide prevention task force.

DATCP told the members of JFC that without supplementing these programs, they only have enough funding left to help five farmers. With the data showing that the utilization of counseling through these programs has been on the rise, it is frankly indefensible to turn a blind eye.

Republicans are saying that action may be taken this fall, and that we have to go through the full legislative process in order to address this issue. However, this is a matter of $200,000 dollars now, while we wait for Republicans to form their recommendations and propose legislation.

Plain and simple, we have the funding to do both. We have the ability to integrate the farmer mental health assistance programs into the suicide prevention task force, while moving forward with utilizing the funds that have already been designated for the programs to use. Both matter. However, we need to fund these programs now.

Farmers are struggling in Wisconsin, and giving them access to mental health care is the least that we can do. This is not, and should not, be a partisan issue. This should be an issue that we work across the aisle, swiftly and immediately, to address.

This isn’t about legislators, this is about the people who elected us. Farmers are asking for our help, and the majority party’s inaction yesterday was absolutely a matter of abandoning our farmers by putting politics before their lives.

Mentioned in This Press Release

Recent Press Releases by State Sen. Jon Erpenbach

The Time for Universal Background Checks is Now

"81% of voters support background checks."

A day after gutting health care programs around the state, GOP criminalizes reproductive care

Democrats have introduced and promoted initiatives aimed at improving access to preventive care like basic health exams, cancer screenings, and STI testing.

Public Hearing Held to Honor Wisconsin Hero, Staff Sergeant Daniel D. Busch

The bill honors the service and heroism of a young veteran who gave his life for his country.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us