June 10, 2020

  

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Overview of Wisconsin's CARES Act Funding

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The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provided about $2 billion in federal funds to states to help respond to the pandemic. Over the last month, Governor Evers' administration announced a number of plans for the funding from the federal level. The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau wrote up a helpful break down of the money that Wisconsin is to receive along with details about what the money could be used for. Below are links to the announcements that have been made so far regarding where the $2 billion in federal funding is being allocated: 

Grants for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 

COVID-19 has hit small businesses around Wisconsin hard. In an effort to provide further support for businesses that were negatively impacted by COVID-19 and the subsequent closures, I signed onto a bill that will allocate $75,000,000 in CARES Act Funding to help small businesses.

The grants would be awarded to small businesses in Wisconsin that were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with awards of $10,000 available to eligible small businesses to cover certain business expenses. Priority would be given to small businesses that have not received other COVID-19 related public assistance and weren't considered essential businesses or in operation during the shut-down. It's my hope that we can make this program a reality and provide more relief for our small businesses, and the families that run them. 

DWD Unemployment Update 

With the high number of unemployment claims being filed in Wisconsin and nationwide in recent months, delays in determinations and payments have been a too common occurrence. As a legislator, I'm able to reach out to DWD and make an inquiry on your behalf if you are experiencing issues or delays with your unemployment claim.

Click here to request an Unemployment Claim Inquiry

DWD has also provided some additional updates on programs that I want to share with you. DWD began issuing determinations and payments for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) applications on May 21, and a new PUA-specific hotline has been created. This hotline is available for those who need help completing their PUA claims or information on the PUA program only. The PUA Hotline is 608-318-7100

One of the unemployment programs created by the federal CARES Act, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) Program, is still being added to the DWD's computer system and has not begun making payments. The PEUC program provides an additional 13 weeks of unemployment to those who exhausted their regular benefits. Unfortunately, I've been informed that it may be around late June or early July before we see PEUC payments getting to Wisconsinites. 

Wisconsin's increased unemployment rate also automatically triggered the Extended Benefit (EB) program, which provides additional unemployment benefits to those who exhaust previous benefits. The EB program does not apply to individuals collecting Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). DWD still needs to program it's system to begin making EB payments, which will be done after PEUC programming is completed this summer. However, those who are eligible for EB will receive all back payment for which they are eligible. Check out the DWD's website for more information on the EB program

Camping Update

Last week, I talked about how the DNR is re-opening campgrounds around the state, while taking measures to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 on their properties. I want to share an update I just received on their new camping policies, particularly for campsites that are traditionally 'first-come, first-serve.' 

All camping in Wisconsin State Parks now requires a reservation. However, same day reservations will be accepted if sites are available. All reservations can be done through either the DNR's online reservation system, or by phone at 1-888-947-2757 from 9 am to 11 pm. 

Last E-Update

According to Wisconsin state law, legislators who are candidates for re-election are prohibited from sending out mass communications after April 15 of an election year. However, 2019 Wisconsin Act 185 exempted communications related to the COVID-19 public health emergency through June 10 of this year. As a result, this will be my last e-update until after the elections

My staff and I remain available if you or anyone you know in the 36th Assembly District have questions or concerns related to state government. You can contact my office at 608-266-3780, by email at Rep.Mursau@legis.wi.gov, or through my website contact form. Feel free to contact me or my staff if you ever need anything. I'm always ready to assist you in your needs. 

You can also visit my website for more information, press releases, past e-updates, and more! 

COVID-19 Quick Links

Below are some quick links to essential COVID-19 resources and information:

Follow the Legislative Action

In order to stay up to date on any legislation, proposals, or your legislator, a free notification service is available through the Wisconsin State Legislature's website. You can sign up for nightly personalized email notifications based on our state's legislative activity. This is a wonderful way to stay informed about state politics and proposals that you are interested in.