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The first day of session opened with the privilege of being sworn in as your state representative for the next two years. I am humbled by the position and will do my best to serve all of you.

Covid Relief Bill

The Assembly passed AB1, containing 44 provisions and here are a few of them:

• Provides liability protections for employers in the public, churches, schools and universities.
• Ensures vaccines are not mandated.
• Permits families to safely visit their loved ones in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
• Allows schools to be open for in-person learning, and has school boards more involved if schools go longer than 14 days of virtual learning.
• Keeps churches open.
• Allows dentists and pharmacy students to administer vaccines.
• Asks the Governor to make a plan to reopen state buildings as well as clarify the vaccine plan, providing about $100 million to help with implementation and employment.

Later, the Senate passed an amended, slimmed down version of AB1. The main agreement between Governor Evers and the Senate’s new Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, was to provide liability protections for small businesses as they rebuild. There will have to be a compromise between the houses, so more work will need to be done.

Governor Evers' State of the State Address

The Governor held his State of the State Address this week. He is asking for money to help solve the now 10-month backlog issue of unemployment benefits, which we offered assistance with several months ago. He did not address his lack of a vaccine program for those most at risk - seniors. I'm often asked why the legislature does not step in, but this falls under the executive branch’s role. Governor Evers appoints people to handle these day-to-day operations and are paid well, however, he has struggled to get competent people in these positions. It's as frustrating for me as it is for you. My role is oversight, but many times the Governor is not interested in my concerns and is far disconnected from public suffering.

Campaigns & Elections Committee

I have been given a different chairmanship this year, from Small Business to Campaigns & Elections and I look forward to the challenge. The 2020 Presidential Election in Wisconsin was filled with many inconsistencies. The Wisconsin Election Commission voted to keep Special Voting Deputies out of nursing homes, which led to stolen seniors votes. Clerks in Madison and Milwaukee had the WI Supreme Court stop them from registering voters without an ID. Clerks were given directions to add witness information to ballots to make them legal. We have a lot of material to sort through to look for facts. We need to bring attention to inconsistencies so we can have fair and transparent elections, for both republicans and democrats; it is bedrock to our republic. We will continue to hold public hearings to discuss our findings, such as this MacIver story.

 

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

Toll-Free (888) 534-0022 or (608) 267-2367
Rep.Brandtjen@legis.wi.gov | |