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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 update on the COVID-19 public health emergency 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

Small Business Assistance - We're All In

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Today, Governor Evers and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) unveiled the “We’re All In” initiative, a Rapid Execution Small Business Grant Program utilizing $75 million of funding from the federal CARES Act. These grants will provide cash grants to Wisconsin small businesses to assist with the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages, and inventory. 

Here are the details: 

  • The $75 million in assistance will be administered through the WEDC
  • Businesses will be able to apply starting in early June
  • The cash grants will be $2,500 each
  • 30,000 grants will be awarded
  • Small businesses with 20 or less full-time equivalent (FTE) employees and less than $1 million in annual revenue will be eligible to apply
  • Businesses that have not yet received federal assistance will have priority in receiving WEDC Rapid Execution Small Business grants

For more information, read the Governor's announcement HERE

Read my full statement HERE

WI CARES - WEDC Info (003).pngNOTE: This was the first (of several) announcements on how the state will utilize funding from the federal CARES Act. We will continue to provide updates as they are announced. 

We want to hear from you! 

Tell us how you, as a small business owner, would use this grant, and how it would help your business, your family, your community. 

 Child Care Payment Program - CARES Act

Below is information from the Department of Children & Families announced today: 

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) was approved to begin a $51 million payment program to support Wisconsin’s early care and education community. The funding comes as part of the state’s federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) monies.

The Child Care Counts: COVID-19 Emergency Payment Program is broken into three smaller programs targeted at the most common circumstances early care and education providers are facing in the wake of the public health emergency. The individual payment programs are detailed below and cover the March 12 to May 26 period. The department is issuing payments across three application periods: May 18 to May 29, June 8 to June 19, and June 29 to July 10. Providers are encouraged to apply during all phases and can do so by visiting the department’s web site.

Funding to Care for Essential Workforce Families

This program is designed to support the costs of providing care for essential workforce families. Funds are to be used for paying staff, reimbursing families, or other allowable expenses.

Incentive Pay

The Incentive Pay program provides additional wages for child care providers and individual educators. Funds are required to be used to increase base pay during the State of Emergency for current employees, providers, and individual educators.

Support for Temporarily Closed Child Care Programs

To assist providers who were forced to close, this program helps defray costs associated with retaining staff and reopening child care programs as Wisconsin’s workforce returns to work. Funds are required to be used for reopening within 30 days of receiving funding. The money received is required to be used for paying staff, reimbursing families, or other allowable expenses.

A copy of the department’s approval letter from the Joint Committee on Finance is available online. The final program reflects a requested change to the department’s original proposal that gave the department authority to spend a portion of funds on supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for child care providers. DCF is still working to secure these items for child care providers who cannot access them locally. To learn more about DCF, visit www.dcf.wisconsin.gov and follow @WisDCF on Twitter and Facebook. This release is also available as a pdf file.

NOTE: The department recently launched an initiative to connect families with local child care, including an interactive map that displays open, available care and an application for families in need of child care. 

Department of Workforce Development Updates 

The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced on Friday that they have secured contracts with outside vendors to expand efforts to directly assist more claimants faster as more Wisconsinites have applied for unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To assist with calls and processing the extraordinary number of claims for unemployment benefits, DWD is working with two call center vendors and a processing and adjudication vendor. 

With additional staff on board, DWD will extend its call center hours to 7:00 a.m.to 5:00 p.m. (hours were previously 7:35 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.). 

For more information, read their full statement HERE

DWD also put out information last week addressing concerns of Wisconsinites about how to safely return to the workplace after the Safer at Home order was stuck down. This information can be found HERE

 MCW COVID-19 Town Hall
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The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) will host the next in its series of weekly virtual community town halls tonight, Monday, May 18, at 6 pm CST, to talk about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), staying safe and healthy, and to answer your questions. This week the panel will also share information about Next Steps for the Milwaukee County Region.

Christy L. Brown, MCW Board Trustee, Chief Executive Officer Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast is our host this week.

Featured panelists:

  • John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, MCW President and CEO
  • Kirsten Beyer, PhD, MPH, MS, Associate Professor, Division of Epidemiology Institute for Health & Equity, MCW
  • David Crowley, Milwaukee County Executive

Register at: https://cor.vc/mcw-community-townhall-202004 Please spread the word, the event is free and open to all.

Following the live event, a recorded version of the town hall will be uploaded to the MCW YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4wWwyPyavVpBGXJEwO76nA 

**NEW** UPDATES to the MCW COVID-19 Resource Center at: https://covid19.mcw.edu/

Department of Health Services Updates 

Our office will continue sharing information provided by the Department of Health Services regarding COVID-19. DHS updates their website daily with new information, and continues to provide information about the Badger Bounce Back gating criteria.  

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

Updates on the Badger Bounce Back plan gating criteria can be found HERE.  

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12,687 confirmed cases

2,068 hospitalizations (16% of cases)

144,502 negative test results

459 devastating deaths

14th District Counties

Milwaukee - 5,005 confirmed cases
Waukesha - 482 confirmed cases


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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