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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.

In solidarity,

Robyn Vining    

Small Business Assistance Announcement

On Monday, I hosted Governor Tony Evers in our district at Miss Molly’s Cafe in Milwaukee to honor the hard work of small businesses across Wisconsin. Over the last year, we have looked on as small business owners facing a devastating public health and economic crisis have pivoted, innovated, and hustled in a fight to survive.

Governor Evers made a HUGE announcement that he's investing $2.5 billion from the American Rescue Plan in economic recovery in Wisconsin, $600 million of which will go to support small businesses, $200 million in infrastructure and expanding broadband, and $500 million in statewide COVID-19 response efforts. 

Gov. Evers also vetoed Senate Bill 183, preserving the ability to direct the federal relief funds quickly and effectively. 

Read my full statement on this announcement HERE. 

Watch the full press event HERE

I'd like to thank Governor Evers for visiting the district, and to thank my staff for working over the weekend to make this event run beautifully Monday morning.

Main Street Alliance, Citizen Action, & Progress North Advocacy Day

As the ranking Democrat on the Assembly Committee on Small Business Development, and a small business owner myself, my thanks to the Main Street Alliance, Citizen Action, and Progress North for inviting me to your legislative day of action on Tuesday.

I’m a strong supporter of BadgerCare expansion— expansion that helps everyone from small business owners to the uninsured to those who would love to see a decrease in their private premiums and opens up $1.6B in the state budget. 

I’m a legislator inspired by the hard work and brilliant pivots we have seen in the small business community this past year when facing wildly difficult challenges. We have a lot of work to ensure a transition from small businesses surviving to small businesses thriving, but we are Wisconsinites, and we are up for the challenge. Let’s go! 

This Week in Committee

This week the Assembly Committee on Children & Families held an informational hearing on Wednesday on childcare. We heard from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the Department of Children and Families, the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce and others.

WEDC Secretary Missy Hughes stated it well: there is a direct correlation between Wisconsin’s economy and Wisconsin’s childcare system. For the economy to be healthy, resilient, strong and growing, we must create a system that works for the children, the parents, the providers, and our businesses.

In addition, we passed 4 bills through committee. 

Thanks to my daughter for taking this photo. It was her Spring Break and so I had the honor of sharing the day with her at the Capitol.

The Assembly Committee on Health met on Thursday, for a public hearing on Assembly Bill 95, Assembly Bill 96, and Assembly Bill 116.

 COVID-19 Vaccine Update 

Great news everyone! Governor Evers announced on Tuesday that all Wisconsinites ages 16+ will become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine this coming Monday, April 5th! Wisconsin is among the best states in the nation for getting available shots in arms. Thanks to the hard work of Wisconsin’s vaccinators and an increased supply, the state is able to push the eligibility date four weeks earlier than expected.

This week the state passed an important benchmark of over 1 million Wisconsinites fully vaccinated. As of April 1st, 2,890,231 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Wisconsin and 31.1% of Wisconsin residents have received at least one dose, with 18.5% fully vaccinated. 

On Wednesday, Governor Evers and FEMA announced that the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee will transition to a federal pilot community vaccination clinic on April 6th. The site will receive resources and staffing to be able to do 3,000 vaccinations per day, with all of the vaccine supply coming directly from the federal government instead of the state allocation. Read the full announcement HERE.

For more information about what groups are eligible, visit the DHS website HERE.

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

As of March 25th, 2,516,716 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Wisconsin and 27.3% of Wisconsin residents have received at least one dose, with 15.8% fully vaccinated. 

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

Wisconsin Supreme Court Ruling 

On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled 4-3 blocking Governor Evers from issuing multiple emergency orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic and declared the statewide mask mandate invalid.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court decision does not change the fact that we are still in the midst of a deadly pandemic. This decision also puts about $50 million a month in federal food benefits at risk for Wisconsin families in the midst of a public health and economic crisis.

I encourage my fellow Wisconsinites to continue good public health practices, such as wearing a mask, physical distancing, and getting vaccinated when you can - we are heading in the right direction, and it will take all of us working together. Now is no time to take the foot off the gas.

For folks in Wauwatosa and Milwaukee - local mask ordinances are still in effect.

Our leadership in the legislature needs to commit to protecting the lives and livelihoods of Wisconsinites by implementing a statewide mask order for the duration of the national public health emergency.

Read the CBS 58 news article on the ruling HERE

Transgender Day of Visibility

Wednesday March 31st was Transgender Day of Visibility! I am a co-sponsor of LRB-2322/1, a resolution which proclaims March 31, 2021, as Wisconsin’s Transgender Day of Visibility.

Today we recognize our transgender and non-binary neighbors in Wisconsin, who are essential members of our community and empower others to be their authentic selves despite discrimination and hate. To my transgender neighbors - you are loved, you are welcome, and you belong.

Department of Workforce Development - Unemployment Assistance Updates

This week, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is unveiling an upgraded claims portal to the thousands of Wisconsinites applying for unemployment insurance benefits. The upgrade will allow for a better functioning portal with new features such as a secure document upload, a message center for direct communication from claims specialists and adjudicators, text notifications, and a mobile friendly design. Read the full announcement HERE.

DWD also announced this week that they launched the federal PEUC and PUA benefit extensions. Some individuals may see that they have exhausted their benefits, as the pandemic continues. DWD updated their FAQ on this subject, click HERE for questions about PUEC and HERE for PUA.

In addition, DWD has seen a large increase in fraudulent activity this week. Fraudsters try to trick claimants into providing them with their personal information through phishing emails, social media activity, and spam calls. If a fraudster tries to contact you, do not respond. Remember, DWD contacts claimants only through their claimant portal if information of the case is needed. To read DWD’s full statement on this fraud, click HERE.

State Budget Updates

Governor's Budget Listening Sessions

Thank you to everyone who has tuned in to Governor Evers’ virtual Badger Bounceback live sessions thus far. If you want to take action, there are still 3 opportunities to attend these sessions. In these sessions, Wisconsinites can discuss, provide feedback, and share personal experiences as it relates to Governor Evers’ proposed 2021-2023 Biennial Budget. These meetings will take place at 6PM on the following dates: 

  • April 8th - What’s Best for Our Kids, register HERE.
  • April 14th - Justice Reform & Marijuana Legalization, register HERE.
  • April 21st - Climate Change & Our Environment, register HERE.

Joint Committee on Finance Public Hearings

Next week, the Joint Committee on Finance will be holding agency hearings to hear from representatives of state agencies on the Governor’s 2021-2023 Biennial Budget (Assembly Bill 68). On Tuesday, they will hear from the Department of Public Instruction and the Department of Workforce Development and on Wednesday they will hear from the Department of Natural Resources and the Public Service Commission.

Watch these hearings live on wiseye.org. Both start at 10am.

Additionally, JFC will be holding it's first public hearing next week Friday in Whitewater. All hearings will be streamed on WisconsinEye.

Hearing attendees must follow the COVID-19 safety protocols at each host facility, including wearing masks and maintaining social distance. Available seating may be limited due to social distancing guidelines. 

Friday, April 9, 2021 (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)*

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Irvin L. Young Auditorium
930 West Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190

Public Parking Available in LOT #1

105 North Prince Street

Whitewater, WI 53190

Prior to visiting UW-Whitewater, attendees are encouraged to review the Warhawks Return website for COVID-19 guidelines https://www.uww.edu/warhawks-return

*The Committee will conclude taking testimony at the time specified. Written comments can be emailed to the Committee at Budget.Comments@legis.wisconsin.gov or www.legis.wisconsin.gov/topics/budgetcomments, or sent via U.S. mail to:  Joe Malkasian, Room 305 East, State Capitol, Madison, WI  53702. 

COVID-19 Case Update

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


578,587 confirmed cases (increase of 875)

20.9% of total tests are positive, by person (for 4/2/2021)

27,685 hospitalizations (4.8% of cases- increase of 47)

564,597 recovered cases (97.6% of all cases)

2,739,782 negative test results (increase of 3,316)

6,633 devastating deaths (increase of 8)

14th District Counties

Milwaukee - 101,011 confirmed cases (increase of 188)
Waukesha - 42,144 confirmed cases (increase of 73)

*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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