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Legislative Action Alert - Support Public Health in the 2019-2021 Budget

Tuesday, April 30, 2019  
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Legislative Action Alert – Support public health priorities in the 2019-2021 State Budget

 

Contact your legislator and ask them to support WPHA and WALHDAB’s priorities in the 2019-2021 biennial budget!

 

The State Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance has concluded its public hearing process and will now begin to craft their version of the budget in the coming weeks. We need you help in urging lawmakers to support our priorities and accept federal Medicaid expansion dollars.

 

Please call or email your legislators and tell them to fund public health priorities in the 2019-2021 biennial budget. If you need assistance in identifying your legislators, please visit this website and input your address in the upper right corner.

 

Heading into the 2019-2020 legislative session, WPHA and WALHDAB decided to detail specific priorities and actively engage in policy next legislative session that will focus on the four social determinants of health. Below are the four categories with a few corresponding proposals in the Governor’s budget, which we want the legislature to support.

 

·         Justice Reform

o   Provide an additional $1 million in each fiscal year for the Treatment, Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) program. Of the $1 million, set aside $500,000 for counties that currently do not have a TAD program.

·         Early Childhood Education

o   Fully fund the school breakfast program

·         Housing

o   Authorize $40.0 million in bonding authority to provide forgivable loans through the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program. The forgivable loans can pay for up to 50 percent of the cost of the replacement of a lead service line.

o   Increase funding homeless prevention programs, consistent with the recommendations of the Interagency Council on Homelessness

·         Income Stability and Employment

o   Increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to bring Wisconsin’s credit closer in line with other states.

 

Additionally, WPHA and WALHDAB support efforts to accept federal Medicaid expansion dollars. Medicaid expansion will provide funding to support prevention initiatives that address social determinants and will provide health care coverage to more than 82,000 residents living between 100 and 138 percent of the federal poverty level. According to DHS, the proposal generates $324.5 million in savings which will be invested back into health initiatives focused on prevention. 

 

Accepting federal Medicaid Expansion dollars allows the state to invest in a wide variety of initiatives including the Healthy Women - Healthy Babies Initiative, Lead Poisoning Elimination, Dental Care, Community Health Benefits, and Tobacco Cessation.

 

If you plan on emailing, please use the following language as a template. Or, if you plan on calling, please use the following language as a template for your call:

 

Dear (LEGISLATOR),

 

My name is (INSERT NAME). I am a constituent and a (WPHA or WALHDAB) member.  We are a statewide professional organization representing hundreds of public health professionals.  I am also (professional role in public health).

 

I urge you to fund priorities in the 2019-2021 state budget that can support health in a way that is cost effective and results in better quality of life for the people that live and work in Wisconsin.

 

The research shows that in order to be healthy we must have good healthcare but we must also have the conditions that make health possible like employment, education, housing, and a safe environment.

 

WPHA and WALHDAB supports the following initiatives in Governor Evers’ 2019-2021 budget proposal:

·         Justice Reform

o   Provide an additional $1 million in each fiscal year for the Treatment, Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) program. Of the $1 million, set aside $500,000 for counties that currently do not have a TAD program.

 

·         Early Childhood Education

o   Fully fund the school breakfast program

 

·         Housing

o   Authorize $40.0 million in bonding authority to provide forgivable loans through the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program. The forgivable loans can pay for up to 50 percent of the cost of the replacement of a lead service line.

o   Increase funding homeless prevention programs, consistent with the recommendations of the Interagency Council on Homelessness

 

·         Income Stability and Employment

o   Increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to bring Wisconsin’s credit closer in line with other states.

 

We need to prioritize prevention in Wisconsin.  We also know that we need new revenue to pay for prevention.  Medicaid expansion will help pay for critical programs like (pick something that you can tell a local story about).

 

Thank you for the work you do for people in Wisconsin. We hope you prioritize keeping people healthy and safe, rather than just responding once they are unhealthy and in trouble.  We need that kind of urgent response but we also need to find a way to prevent these types of emergencies happening so regularly. Please let me know if you have questions or would like more information about public health.

 

Sincerely,

 

(INSERT NAME)

 

Thank you for your help in fighting for public health priorities. If you have any questions, please contact WPHA/WALHDAB’s lobbyists Erik Kanter and Tim Hoven at erik@hovenconsulting.com or (608) 310-8833.



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