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COVID-19 Update

Dear Neighbor,

In order to support your families being able to take a deep breath, turn away from constant news updates, and create a new temporary normal, my office will continue sending a daily COVID-19 update and will post online on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

It is my hope that one reliable update each day will allow you to take a deep breath, oversee all that is happening in your own life and home, and have a reliable source of news you can count on to be up to date and accurate. As always, previous updates are on our website and linked beneath the graphic below. 

My greatest concerns right now are your lives and livelihoods. We are working hard to keep you and your loved ones safe, and to fight for our small businesses in an unprecedented crisis. 

In solidarity,

Rep. Robyn Vining 

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Past email updates can be found HERE

Vote By Mail

Vote by Mail 4 (002).pngWhen weeks ago seeing the science behind the COVID-19 pandemic and the very likely implications that an in-person election on April 7th would be dangerous and possibly even make a public health crisis even worse,  I began advocating for a vote-by-mail election.

The April election was not postponed nor shifted to vote-by-mail, leaving people to choose between their health and their constitutional right to vote. Clerks responding to unprecedented absentee ballot requests were overrun, and thousands of registered voters didn't receive their ballots in time for the election. Simply put: we cannot let that happen again.

So, as we look forward into 2020, we must be prepared for our elections in August and November during this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. Today, I signed onto legislation that includes the following provisions:

  • All registered voters will be sent a ballot that must be postmarked by the day of the election and returned no later than 5 PM on the Tuesday following the election.
  • Witness signatures, which have proven difficult for many self-isolating voters to obtain, will not be required.
  • Polling locations will remain open for limited use by voters who are unable to use a mail-in-absentee ballot due to disability or difficulty reading, writing, or understanding English.
  • To accommodate the increased need for registration under a vote-by-mail system, the deadline for registration is extended to the 5th day prior to an election for all forms of registration.
  • The bill provides adequate funds to local governments for vote-by-mail operations. It also appropriates $1 million to the Wisconsin Elections Commission to cover the costs associated with updating the voter registration system as a result of extending registration, and $3 million for a public information campaign. 

Elections should be safe and fair, and moving to vote-by-mail elections during this unprecedented public health crisis is the best way to ensure the safety and fairness of our elections.

I understand the feelings of loss related to not voting in-person on Election Day. Voting in-person on Election Day is something my family has done together for decades, and I share that feeling of loss. But, we, as the legislature, have the power to protect human life, and the constitutional right to a fair election, and I think we should make sure what happened this week never happens again. 

Democracy serves the people. I will always fight for a democracy that serves the people.

Read my full op-ed on the April 7th election HERE

Additional State Legislation

We are hoping we can agree on bipartisan COVID-19 legislation soon. We are told that the Speaker has requested one omnibus bill, and that Republican leadership will call a vote soon. It is our understanding the Speaker plans to call an "extraordinary session," or a session called by the legislature, because extraordinary sessions do not require public hearings to pass a bill. We understand the urgency in voting on various items related to unemployment, federal dollars, state taxes, local property taxes, among others. 

We will keep you updated. 

Department of Natural Resources Update 

DNR Update 4-9-2020.jpgWe are very sad to pass along that due to unprecedented crowds, littering and vandalism, the following Wisconsin State Parks are now closed effective Friday, April 10 for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency:

High Cliff State Park

Big Foot Beach State Park, Harrington Beach State Park, Havenwoods State Forest, Kohler-Andrae State Park, Kettle Moraine State Forest Lapham Peak, Loew Lake, Mukwonago River, Northern Unit, Pike Lake, Southern Unit, Lakeshore State Park, and Richard Bong State Recreational Area

Aztalan State Park, Belmont Mound State Park, Blue Mound State Park, Cadiz Springs State Recreational Area, Capital Springs State Recreational Area, Cross Plains State Park, Devil’s Lake State Park, Fenley State Recreational Area, Governor Dodge State Park, Governor Nelson State Park, Lake Kegonsa State Park, Lower Wisconsin Riverway, Mackenzie Center, Mirror Lake State Park, Natural Bridge State Park, Nelson Dewey State Park, New Glarus Woods State Park, Rocky Arbor State Park, Sauk Prairie State Recreational Area, Tower Hill State Park, Wyalusing State Park, and Yellowstone Lake State Park, Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area, Pewits Nest State Natural Area, Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area and Dells of the Wisconsin State Natural Area

The goal of DNR is to maintain the safest environment for visitors and staff. If you’re looking to take a break in the outdoors, public health officials are advising you to walk, run, hike and bike in your local neighborhoods and maintain a social distance of 6 feet or more.

Questions? Contact DNR Customer Service.
7 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily

Community Blood Drives 

The Elmbrook Schools Community continues to meet a critical need by donating blood in this time of crisis. There are only a few donation slots available at Brookfield East for next week, but two
more donation opportunities have been added at Brookfield Central. 
● April 15, Brookfield East High School Blood Drive
● April 22, Brookfield Central High School Blood Drive
● May 6, Brookfield Central High School Blood Drive

50 Piece Rule
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As of now, the 50 piece rule is still in effect starting on April 15th (NEXT Wednesday!). If the legislature does not act and pass legislation before April 15th to change the rule, I will no longer be able to send email updates directly. I will continue post them as a link to our website and social media. So we will do everything we can to get as much information to you, as long as we are able, and intend to send emails next Monday and Tuesdays as those might be our final emails in 2020. 

This is also why the legislative report was sent out this week - we had to send it prior to April 15th as well. 

DHS COVID-19 Update 4-9-2020.png CURRENT COVID-19 CASES


2,885 confirmed cases

843 hospitalizations (29% of cases)

31,424 negative test results

111 devastating deaths

14th District Counties

Milwaukee - 1,484 confirmed cases
Waukesha -  184 confirmed cases

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


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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