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Let's Get Wisconsin Open for Business Again

Today I will vote to support the COVID-19 relief bill, which accepts almost $2 billion in federal funding to offset state unemployment costs, hospital costs and help with purchasing personal protective equipment, often referred to as PPE. The bill removes the one-week waiting period for unemployment and adds money to Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus. It also cuts red tape for medical workers, pharmacists, students and those who donate PPE. It exempts testing for public and private schools that have suspended their school year, although some schools are continuing with virtual programming, while others are not. It is a catchall bill to help patch up a financially devastated Wisconsin.

Those families who have lost loved ones to COVID know all too well the heartache of this sometimes-fatal virus. Wisconsin has other losses too. Hospitals have laid off doctors and nurses for non-emergency services as we planned to flatten the curve. Farmers have rid of their products. Education has come to a halt. Small businesses may fail. Restaurants, hair and nail salons that all depend on private enterprise may go under. Deferred treatment, depression and unemployment have a cost as well. The list goes on and on.

As New York and California talk about getting back to business, so should Wisconsin. Wisconsin's COVID infection projections were dramatically reduced, which is great news for our families, and a signal to move forward. The quarantine was supposed to be about making sure hospitals weren't overwhelmed, not reducing the COVID numbers to zero.

Yet the Governor continues his draconian measures by closing parks and golf courses, and not allowing Easter church services as a drive-in option with the windows rolled up. Yesterday, he eliminated "window visits" to all nursing homes and assisted living communities. Yes, the Governor of Wisconsin outlawed waving to your elderly family members through the window, who may be suffering from dementia. This must stop!

Closing the whole state when many counties have very few cases of COVID has devastated our economy. I am asking the Governor to start the plan of opening all parts of the state, knowing that no one would be required to leave their home, and those at risk will stay quarantined.

The economic health of this State must be a factor when a governor uses his emergency powers to take away the rights of its citizens. Viruses kill, but so does depression, suicide, job loss, domestic abuse, deferred healthcare, and stress. Governor Evers: let's plan to get Wisconsin open for business.


Representative Janel Brandtjen
State Capitol, Room 12 West
PO Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

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