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 Economic Impact of COVID-19

While COVID-19 remains a threat, so does the economic impact due to Gov. Evers’ order. Small businesses are beginning to close down permanently. A survey conducted by the University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh says that if current economic conditions persist for more than three months, 35% of Wisconsin businesses said they will have to close their doors.


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 Plan to Reopen Wisconsin

Instead of listening to the resounding outcry from the people of the state, Governor Evers is making it harder to reopen Wisconsin. He claims to be following the CDC guidelines, but instead is expanding on them, saying we need to hire 1000 new contract tracers when positive cases aren’t significantly increasing. The governor also wants to postpone reopening until we increase testing when we are currently using only around 20% of our testing capacity. These are not criteria for reopening, they’re roadblocks.

While DHS reports that 60% of counties have fewer than 10 cases, and 10% have none, Governor Evers is doubling down on his plan to keep the entire state locked down until after Memorial Day, well past every state in the region. 

We continue to call on the governor to retreat from his one-size-fits-all approach and allow the state to safely open up regionally so people can get back to work. Wisconsin is a diverse state; obviously, the Northwoods can’t be treated like Dane and Milwaukee counties. Using the CDC guidelines, it appears portions of the state would be only days away from the first phase of reopening.

Wisconsinites need certainty during these uncertain times. As we have seen too often throughout the pandemic, the governor says something one day and the opposite the next. That is why we can’t afford to withdraw our impending legal action. Too much is at stake. It’s clear one person shouldn’t be allowed to unilaterally rule over businesses, families and the state’s future.

Letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture 

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

This week, I received a response from Secretary Perdue. In his letter, USDA Secretary Perdue assured me that funding from the CARES Act will be used by the USDA to provide direct support based on actual losses for agriculture producers where prices and market supply chains have been significantly impacted and will assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19. 

In addition, the USDA will partner with regional and local distributors to purchase and distribute up to $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat products

I am proud to advocate for the agriculture industry on behalf of the farmers in my district. 

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