Letter to the Editor: Regarding Joint Finance Committee’s Political Delay

I am in receipt of a letter from Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald regarding my statements about the Joint Finance Committee’s inaction in providing the resources to help rural Wisconsin.

This is not a partisan issue – this is an emotional issue. I’m the head of the agency that regularly receives phone calls from farmers struggling to navigate the toughest economic conditions in recent memory. I’ve logged a lot of miles since taking this position to meet with farmers in rural Wisconsin, and time and time again they tell me that times are tough. 

We have an opportunity for bipartisan support in making investments in mental health assistance throughout the state. The governor proposed – and the legislature agreed – that these resources should be made available. For some reason, the legislature delayed release by putting these funds into a supplemental fund for the Joint Finance Committee to distribute at some later date. DATCP provided the Joint Finance Committee with its plan, and for some reason they delayed again. We continue to look for ways to work together on this issue, but I hope that the legislature can share my sense of urgency on this issue. The need is now.

Brad Pfaff, Secretary-Designee 

Wisconsin Department of Agricultural, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP)