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Learn about Project Air Bridge - click the graphic!

Personal Protective Equipment

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My colleague, Rep. John Nygren, had his office do a comparison of the PPE requests made by the Governor the the fulfillment made by the Federal Government. His office tallied these numbers based off of reports the legislature receives from the Governor and from the White House. 

There are a variety of ways these items can be procured. When the Governor requests items through FEMA, those are typically going to police and fire departments. Requests made by the Governor from the Strategic National Stockpile, also are processed through FEMA, but are allocated directly to health care workers and hospitals. The state can also directly procure items as well and has a buyback and donation program also running to assist with fulfilling requests. 

Prioritizing Funds for Ag

Earlier this week, a number of the Agricultural Groups sent a letter to Governor Evers asking for immediate assistance to the farming industry to offset some of the losses the various commodities are taking as a result of the pandemic.

 

Senator Howard Marklein led a coalition of lawmakers to support the requests by the Ag groups via formal letter as well - I was honored to be included on it. 

DWD

The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) recently provided my office with some helpful information regarding Unemployment Insurance (UI) and filing for UI.  

Federal Programs/Benefits

As you know, the federal government has passed several COVID-19 response packages. As part of these developments, some Wisconsinites will be able to access additional unemployment benefits that had not been able to before.

 

DWD is now capable for taking applications for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). PUA temporarily expands UI eligibility to those who are otherwise ineligible for state UI benefits, including those who are self-employed, free lancers, independent contractors, and part-time workers impacted by COVID-19. Workers will be eligible for retroactive benefits (as far back as Feb. 2, 2020) and can receive benefits for up to 39 weeks. The PUA benefit amount is calculated as 1% of last year's total income earned, with weekly minimum and maximum benefit rates of $163 and $370, respectively.

 

The CARES Act also created the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which provides an additional $600 per week through July 31, 2020 to those who are eligible for UI or PUA benefits. DWD hopes to take initial claims the week of April 21, 2020 and start making these payments the week of April 26, 2020.

 

UI Application Process

First, applicants apply by making an "initial claim." Approximately 99 percent of the time, this occurs online. If need be, someone can apply by phone as well. Please note that the vast majority of payments are made by direct deposit, with the remainder by issuing re-loadable debit card. If you encounter a problem or are confused when applying, please feel free to reach out to my office as well. My staff and I are here to assist. 

 

You can always consult the list of Frequently Asked Questions on the DWD main page. And, in particular, if you need help applying, be sure to check out DWD's videos, "How to Apply for Unemployment," "How to File Weekly Claims," and "How to Create a Username and Password."  

WHEDA

Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) has put together a list of resources for homeowners, renters, and property managers during this pandemic.

You can access the website of resources, here.

Business and Financial Resources

The United States Chamber of Commerce has put together a guide to assist small businesses during the pandemic. You can access the guide, here. You may want to bookmark the website as it is updated daily with new resources and webinars. 

 

The University of Wisconsin-Extension has compiled some resources to help individuals manage their personal finances during tough times. You can also access the Mindful Money Moments on UW-Extension's Facebook Page

 

A couple of weeks ago, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh conducted a survey of businesses throughout the state. This week, they have published their findings. You can look at the results in a few different way: state-wide, for a particular region, or for a particular county.