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Weekly E-Update

Dear Neighbor,

Welcome to my latest e-update. Here is a summary from the past week as your State Representative. 

As always, previous updates are available on our website and social media. 

Please contact my office with any questions or concerns.

Forward together,

Robyn Vining   

Signing of Sexual Assault Kit Reform Legislation Into Law

On Monday, December 6th, we got two very important bills across the finish line. Governor Tony Evers signed into law Senate Bills 71 and 94, which relate to the storage, processing, and tracking of sexual assault kits. These bills aim to address the sexual assault kit backlog in Wisconsin. Both bills passed the Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly unanimously or by voice vote, with broad bipartisan support.  I was honored to join Governor Evers, Attorney General Josh Kaul, and my legislative colleagues for Monday’s bill signing. 

Wisconsin must be a state with zero tolerance for sexual violence. With that goal in mind, these bills, now signed into law, are an important and necessary step toward a safer Wisconsin for all our residents.

Years of research and work, teamwork from Attorney General Josh Kaul & the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Governor Evers, and a bipartisan coalition of legislators not willing to let these bills die until they crossed the finish line. Survivors deserve this work done on their behalf. This is how it is supposed to work at your state government. It’s work like this that you can expect and demand from your leaders. A special thanks to my dear friend and colleague and her office, Senator Melissa Agard — well done and thank you. 

See my full press release HERE.

 Recently Co-Sponsored Legislation

Here are some bills that I have recently signed onto as a co-sponsor:

  • LRB-4556 (Reps. Tittl & Goyke, Sens. Jacque & Ringhand)- relating to: expanding the treatment alternatives & diversion programs
  • LRB-3357 (Reps. Baldeh, Goyke, & Hong, Sens. Johnson & Agard) - relating to: prohibiting excessive charges for inmate telecommunications
  • LRB-4417 (Reps. Brostoff, Bowen, & Moore Omokunde, Sens. Larson, Roys, & Agard) - relating to: requiring the installation and identification of diaper changing stations in public buildings and places of employment. 

COVID-19 Hospital Update

Many Wisconsin hospitals are already operating at full capacity due to COVID-19. And this time of year we can expect hospitalizations to increase due to seasonal illness. It is important that you continue to seek medical care when you need it, and also to do your part by getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu so we can protect our healthcare workers and preserve space in our hospitals for our friends, neighbors, loved ones, and even ourselves.

Booster Shot Reminder– Public Health is a Team Sport

I understand that this is very hard to hear. People have worked so hard, for so long, to fight COVID-19, and each wave of news related to a new variant, or a surge in COVID-19 cases, can be deeply discouraging. This is a very difficult time in our country's history. And -- please, please, please do everything you can to stop the spread: get vaccinated, get your booster, wear a mask, and be careful. We love you. Public health is a team sport.

DHS Recommends COVID-19 Booster for Everyone
Ages 16+ 

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) supports the recommendation that 16- and 17-year-olds receive a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech (Pfizer) COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after having received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech (Pfizer) COVID-19 vaccine.

This recommendation supplements the previous CDC recommendation that anyone 18 and older receive a booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after the completion of their Pfizer or Moderna vaccine primary series and two months after the single Johnson & Johnson dose. The previous CDC recommendation allows for mix-and-match dosing for booster doses for those 18 and older. At this time, the Pfizer vaccine booster dose is the only one recommended for 16- and 17-year-olds.

Read the full announcement from DHS HERE

First Case of the Omicron Variant Identified in Wisconsin

Governor Evers and DHS urge vaccination and continued public health practices to reduce the spread of the Omicron variant.

On December 4th, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) detected the newest variant of concern, the Omicron variant, in Wisconsin. The Omicron variant, B.1.1.529, was classified as a variant of concern by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on November 30, 2021. Variants are classified as variants of concern if they show evidence of being more contagious, causing more severe illness, or resistance to diagnostics, treatments, or vaccines.

Gov. Evers Awards More Than $14 Million in Grants to Movie Theaters, Summer Camps, and Minor League Sports Teams

On December 7th, Governor Tony Evers announced more than $14 million in grants were awarded to movie theaters, summer camps, and minor league sports teams throughout the state. These grant awards are a part of the governor’s more than $140 million investment to support the recovery of Wisconsin’s tourism and entertainment industries from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

The Movie Theater Assistance Grant Program is a more than $10 million program that provides approximately $15,000 per screen to 49 theater companies. This is the second pandemic relief program to assist the movie theater industry in Wisconsin, bringing the total investment in Wisconsin’s movie theaters to $20 million. Additional information on the Movie Theater Assistance Grant Program, including a list of grant awardees, is available here

The Minor League Sports Teams Grant Program provides $2.8 million to 17 minor league teams across the state, utilizing federal pandemic-relief funding to help teams recoup lost revenue during 2020. Additional information on the Minor League Sports Teams Grant Program, including a list of grant awardees, is available here.

The Summer Camp Assistance Grant Program will provide a total of $1.8 million to 37 eligible summer camps operating in Wisconsin to offset pandemic-related losses. Each camp recipient will receive $50,000. This is also the first pandemic relief program targeting summer camps in Wisconsin. Additional information on the Summer Camp Assistance Grant Program, including a list of grant awardees, is available here

All three programs are funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA). Applications for all three assistance grants opened Sep. 16, 2021, and closed on Oct. 15, 2021. 

For updates on other recovery-related grant opportunities, sign up for the Badger Bounceback update list.

Read the full announcement HERE.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

As of December 10th, 7,958,447 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Wisconsin and 59.3% of Wisconsin residents have received at least one dose, with 56.4% fully vaccinated. Additionally, 1,250,722 additional or booster doses have been administered.

DHS has reported that new data indicates that unvaccinated individuals are 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19, are 11 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19, and die from COVID-19 at 15 times higher rates than fully vaccinated individuals.

If you have not yet been vaccinated, now is a critical time to get your vaccine. The vaccine protects individuals and communities from getting seriously ill or dying of COVID-19, including the variants. Find more information of COVID-19 variants HERE.

As of November 3rd, the Pfizer Biontech pediatric vaccine has been approved for children ages 5-11. This gives us another tool to protect kids and their teachers, caretakers, and peers from Covid-19. See the full statement from DHS HERE

The new omicron variant is cause for concern, but not panic. The best protection against this new variant, or any variant of COVID-19, is to get fully vaccinated and get a booster shot. All Wisconsinites 18 years or older who had their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago, or got their Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least two months ago, are eligible for a free booster shot. Getting your booster shot will provide the best protection from COVID-19, including this new variant.

Find additional information on booster shots HERE.

En español, AQUI¿Tiene preguntas sobre la vacuna contra el COVID-19? Llame al 844-684-1064 (llamada gratuita)

For more information about where you can get a vaccine, visit the DHS website HERE.

For more information about where to get vaccinated in Waukesha County, visit their website HERE.

For more information about where to get vaccinated in the city of Wauwatosa, visit their website HERE.

For more information about where to get vaccinated in the city of Milwaukee, visit their website HERE. En español AQUI

COVID-19 Case Update

For daily updated information on COVID-19 in Wisconsin, visit the DHS website HERE.

14th District Counties

Milwaukee -  150,872 confirmed cases (increase of 697*)
Waukesha - 63,430 confirmed cases (increase of 282*)

*Changes over day prior


Forward together,

Rep. Robyn Vining


Contact Us: 

State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708 

PH: (608) 266-9180
TF: (888) 534-0014

Email: Rep.Vining@legis.wi.gov 
Web: www.vining.assembly.wi.gov 

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