Today (April 14th) the Assembly met to take up Assembly Bill 1038 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The bill makes several changes to state law to ensure that federal dollars can be utilized to the fullest potential, and that our state agencies can respond as efficiently as possible, while ensuring proper accountability is in place. 

Among other things the bill will: 

  • prohibit health insurance coverage discrimination based on COVID-19
  • allow pharmacists to extend certain prescriptions during the public health emergency
  • temporarily waive the one week waiting period for unemployment insurance
  • provide flexibility for health care professionals that are recently retired or from neighboring states to enter/reenter Wisconsin's workforce
  • ensure SeniorCare covers vaccinations
  • set aside $75 million for responding to COVID-19 for expenses not covered under federal funds  
  • ensure that Governor Evers can promptly utilize federal funding to the fullest potential

The bill passed the Assembly 97-2. It will be taken up by the Senate tomorrow (April 15th). The legislation can be viewed, here.  

50 piece rule

On April 15th of each even numbered year, the 50 piece rule goes into effect for the State Assembly, which limits communications from certain office holders to the public. The rule states that no elected official "who becomes a candidate for national, state, or local office may use public funds for the cost of materials or distribution for 50 or more pieces of substantially identical material" (wis. stat. 11.1205 (1)(a)). Materials may include letters, e-updates, newsletters, etc.

Due to the 50 piece rule, this e-update will be the last regular update that you receive from me until after the November election. Despite not sending my regular e-updates, please feel free to continue reaching out with your thoughts on new legislative ideas, if you're having trouble with an agency or other thoughts, questions or concerns; I am still here to be a resource during this time! 

While my regular updates will cease, legislation passed today (April 14th) makes an exception for updates related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These communications may continue for the duration of the public health emergency and within 30 days afterwards. I will continue to send important updates relating to the public health emergency. 

Financial Literacy Grants 

The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions has extended the deadline to apply for the Financial Literacy Innovation Grants! The competitive grant program seeks to award up to $10,000 per school for improving financial literacy among our youth. The new deadline to apply is May 27, 2020. Click here for more details! 

COVID-19 Data

The Wisconsin Hospital Association, in collaboration with the Department of Health Services, is providing data regarding the COVID-19 epidemic in Wisconsin. Their dashboard includes information about the number of cases, fatalities, hospitalizations, availability of critical supplies, and more. Click here to view the dashboard. 

In addition, John Hopkins University tracks worldwide COVID-19 data. The information includes cases by country, fatalities, number of active cases and number of recovered individuals. View the John Hopkins data here. For United States specific information, view their recently launched U.S. data page here

State Park Update


Last week, Governor Evers ordered the closure of 40 state parks and recreational areas. While this order primarily impacts southern Wisconsin, it is important for individuals in our area to take note. The primary reasons cited for the closure was over-crowding, vandalism and litter. 

While Rib Mountain State Park remains open for those in our area to enjoy, I urge visitors to maintain social distancing measures during their visits to the park. Additionally, please be sure to keep track of any trash and dispose of it in proper receptacles. These practices are crucial for ensuring visitors can continue enjoying our beautiful outdoor areas for the duration of the public health emergency.