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In This Edition...

  • Safer at Home Order Extended

  • Letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

  • Tax Deadline Extended

  • Coping with COVID-19

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Ron's Recap: April 17, 2020

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This week, I proudly cast my vote in favor of the Wisconsin COVID-19 Response Bill. The bill ensures that Wisconsin can capture the $2.3 billion allocated to the state under the federal stimulus bill, including higher Medicaid payments. The measure also eliminates the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits and allocates $75 million in emergency funding. 

 

This bill is an excellent start toward helping Wisconsinites get the help they need during this pandemic. 

 

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 Safer At Home Order Extended

Yesterday, Governor Evers announced that the "Safer at Home" Order has been extended through May 26, 2020. An extension to May 26, 2020 appears arbitrary to me.  Further, he has not yet provided any model or metrics to explain it.  If he provides an explanation, I will send it in a future newsletter.  However, it is important to me that you have accurate information on its components.  The new components of this order include: 

  1. Schools: Public and private K-12 schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
  2. Public libraries: Libraries may provide curb-side pick-up of books and other library materials.
  3. Golf courses: Golf courses may open, with restrictions including scheduling and paying for tee times online or by phone only. Clubhouses and pro shops must remain closed.
  4. Local parks and open space: Local health officials may close public parks and open spaces if it becomes too difficult ensure social distancing or the areas are being mistreated.
  5. Safe business practices for Essential Businesses and Operations: Essential Businesses and Operations must increase cleaning and disinfection practices, ensure that only necessary works are present, and adopt policies to prevent workers exposed to COVID-19 or symptomatic workers from coming to work.
  6. Safe business practices for retailers that are Essential Businesses and Operations: Retail stores that remain open to the public as Essential Businesses and Operations must limit the number of people in the store at one time, must provide proper spacing for people waiting to enter, and large stores must offer at least two hours per week of dedicated shopping time for vulnerable populations.
  7. Non-essential businesses: Non-essential businesses can do more things as Minimum Basic Operations, including deliveries, mailings, and curb-side pick-up. Non-essential businesses must notify workers of whether they are necessary for the Minimum Basic Operations.
  8. Arts and craft stores: Arts and craft stores may offer expanded curb-side pick of materials necessary to make face masks or other personal protective equipment (PPE).
  9. Supply chain: Essential Businesses and Operations that are essential because they supply, manufacture, or distribute goods and services to other Essential Businesses and Operations can only continue operations that are necessary to those businesses they supply. All other operations must continue as Minimum Basic Operations.
  10. Aesthetic or optional exterior work: Aesthetic or optional exterior lawn care or construction is allowed, so long as it can be done by one person.
  11. Travel: People are strongly encouraged to stay close to home, not travel to second homes or cabins, and not travel out of state if it is not necessary.
  12. Tribal Nations: Tribal Nations are sovereign over their territory and can impose their own restrictions. Non-tribal members should be respectful of and avoid non-essential travel to Tribal territory. Local government must coordinate, collaborate, and share information with Tribal Nations.
  13. Duration: The changes in this order go into effect on April 24. The order will remain in effect until 8:00 a.m. on May 26, 2020.
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 Letter Sent to the Secretary of Agriculture 

This week, I sent a letter to United States Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, requesting that the U.S. Department of Agriculture use the extensive purchasing power afforded it via the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to bring urgently-needed relief to the stressed Wisconsin dairy industry.  

You can read the full letter by clicking here. 

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Tax Deadline Pushed Back to July 15 

April 15th is traditionally Tax Day, but due to COVID-19, both federal and Wisconsin income tax payment and return due dates have been extended to July 15, 2020. Tax filers do not have to file any extension forms to be eligible for this new due date. This relief is solely for income tax payments, estimated income tax payments and returns originally due April 15, 2020.

 

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Coping With COVID-19

The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. Sharing the facts about COVID-19 and understanding the actual risk to yourself and people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful. Learn more about taking care of your emotional health.  Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.  How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.  

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