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Contents

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Welcome to my Weekly Pandemic Update. Throughout the week, my office does its best to collect and disperse information that may be of aid or interest to you from both state and federal entities. 

Information from Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Legislative Council and Legislative Reference Bureau

Legislative Fiscal Bureau:

LFB released a publication detailing the realities of lower tax collections during the pandemic. This means there are going to be some tough choices to make in the future, especially as it is related to the General Fund. 

 

Legislative Council:

Having trouble keeping track of all the various Executive Order and Emergency Orders? And what does it all mean? Legislative Council has put together a very handy, dandy timeline and informational memo explaining it all. 

 

Legislative Reference Bureau: 

LRB recently released an interesting publication examining the first 30 days of the public health emergency. 

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

Wisconsin Economic Development COrpartion (WEDC) has begun releasing a serious of guides for businesses to keep them informed of the best prcacitces and safety tips as they get ready to "turn the dial" towards reopening. Those guidelines can be found here.

 

The guidelines include general guidelines for all businesses to follow, as well as, industry-specific advice, such as for restaurants, retailers, manufacturers, professional offices, farmers, builders, hotel and motel operators, barbers, and other fields.

They provide actionable advice for businesses, especially small businesses, as they begin the road back to reopening by answering basic questions, such as how to handle transactions at cash registers, what to do about merchandise that’s been handled by customers, and how to set up an office using social distancing strategies.

Federal Updates

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a major expansion of Meals to You, USDA’s partnership to feed low-income kids in rural areas. Now, the initiative will serve nearly 5 million meals per week to rural children impacted by COVID-19-related school closures – five times its original goal.

 

The U.S. Department of Treasury has updated its FAQ regarding the CARES Act. Read the updated document here.

 

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue sent a letter to governors across the nation outlining the expectations related to President Trump’s Executive Order directing meat packing facilities to continue operations while maintain worker safety during COVID-19.

Information from the University of Wisconsin System

The University of Wisconsin System has compiled numerous links to resources that may be of interest to you during this pandemic. 

Center for Research On the Wisconsin Economy (CROWE): Reopening Wisconsin

CROWE: Additional Economic Data Briefs

Division of Extension: Stay at Home Tips

UW-Madison: CALS Experts Discuss Impact on Meat Industry

School of Business: PPE & COVID-19

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Click on the picture to learn about the Class of 2020, who graduate in a virtual ceremony this weekend!

Department of Motor Vehicle Pilot Programs

This week the Department of Motor Vehicles announced two pilot programs that will assist in the backlogs accumulated due to the pandemic. These two pilot programs are an online drivers license renewal program and the road test waiver for 16 and 17 year-olds. Watch DOT's press conference here

DMV typically conducts approximately 2,100 road tests per week. Nearly 65 percent of these tests are for people under the age of 18, with 98 percent passing their road test on their first or second attempt. Wisconsin also has a Graduated Driver License (GDL) law that places strict expectations on drivers under 18. The GDL requirements have improved safety and will remain in place. Beginning May 11, road tests may be waived for 16- and 17-year-olds who complete the required training and have their parent or guardian sign the road test waiver. As with everything in government, there are some strings attached, this is not just a free pass -  this does not just give them a regular driver's license, this only gives them the ability to obtain a probationary license

Requirements:

  • You are a U.S. Citizen​
  • Your Regular Instruction Permit is unexpired or has been expired for less than one year​
  • Customer must have held the Regular Instruction Permit for 6 months violation free
  • Customer must have completed a Driver Education Course and Behind the Wheel and the records are on file with DMV
  • Completed 30 hours of supervised driving
  • Customer will be required to have an adult sponsor. You will be asked to provide your adult sponsor information, including their driver license or ID card number, during this transaction.
  • DMV may require a road test for drivers who used the waiver in the future

You will NOT be able to waive your road test:

  • If there is a failed road test on record
  • Your driver license is suspended, revoked or canceled in Wisconsin or any other state
  • If you are age 18 or over
  • If you are moving to Wisconsin from another state
  • If you have not successfully completed an approved Driver Training Education Course or Behind the Wheel
  • For students who don’t qualify for the road test waiver or whose parents or guardians prefer a road test, DMV road tests resume May 26, 2020, by appointment only, and should be scheduled online.

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Approximately 80,000 people whose driver license expired have received an extension to renew. Those extensions, with late fees waived, expire July 25, 2020. This pilot program allows many customers who have delayed visiting a DMV to renew their driver license quickly and easily online at wisconsindmv.gov/renewDL.

To be eligible for this program, drivers must meet all the following:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen with a regular (Class D) driver license (Commercial Driver Licenses do not qualify)
  • Must be 64 years of age or under
  • No new medical restrictions
  • Has not had a negative change to their vision since the last renewal

Customers who renew online will receive a confirmation email they can print and use until their new card arrives by mail within 10 days. The $34 renewal fee remains the same. After the next normal renewal cycle of eight years, customers will need to visit a DMV for a new photo to complete the renewal.

Renewing online may not be an option for everyone. While the deadline for a REAL ID has been extended one year to October 1, 2021, customers wanting a driver license that is REAL ID-compliant will need to visit a DMV Customer Service Center. Without a REAL ID designation on a driver license or ID, travelers will need another form of identification, like a passport, for domestic air travel.