April 10, 2020

KnodlBanner2018.jpg

Coronavirus Updates

Covid.jpg

 

Wisconsin state law prohibits elected officials from distributing more than 49 pieces of identical literature after April 15th, the day that a candidate can begin collecting nomination signatures to get on the ballot in November. 

As most of you know, Governor Evers issued a safer at home order that runs through April 24th. While that is still two weeks away, I think it is necessary that we begin to formulate a plan for how to reopen our society as well as our economy. The International Business Times recently published a piece on Germany and Austria and their plans for return to normal daily life. With a lack of guidance from the federal government, some states have already begun preparing to re-open. 

In the meantime, my colleagues and I have been working on crafting legislation at the state level that will help to capture additional federal funds available and fill some of the voids left in the recent federal legislation. Wisconsin is already slated to receive about $1.9 billion in federal funds. Governor Evers has broad authority to direct these funds so my colleagues and I recently delivered a letter to the Governor outlining suggestions that we have received. Wisconsin will undoubtedly see a decline in tax revenue moving forward so we must be very prudent and not overstretch ourselves since we are required to balance our budget and are not able to borrow money to cover operating expenses. 

Earlier this week Governor Evers directed the DNR to close 40 state parks, forests, and recreational areas. He explained that it was done, "Due to unprecedented crowds, litter, vandalism and the need to protect the health and safety of our visitors and staff". Many of these locations are in the DNR's southeast region so be sure to check the list before you head out. 

The Wisconsin Hospital Association has created a Situational Awareness Update that allows you to obtain data on the Coronavirus and how it is impacting different areas of the state. This was developed in partnership with the Department of Health Services and includes many different data points. 

While the SBA has been accepting applications for the Paycheck Protection Program, many businesses have been struggling to complete and submit the applications and many lenders are overwhelmed with the number of requests. SBA lenders in Wisconsin can be found here

When the federal government passed the CARES Act, they included Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. This is the $600 in additional weekly benefits available to everyone who qualifies for unemployment assistance in Wisconsin. It is also available to some who do not qualify in Wisconsin, like the self-employed. You can apply for traditional UI benefits online here. The Department of Workforce Development recently received guidance from the US Department of Labor and they are programming their website so those self-employed individuals can apply for benefits. This should be completed in the next couple weeks. Any eligibility will be backdated once the system is running. More information on this can be found here

Please reach out to my office if you have questions or we can be of assistance to you on any of these or other programs. 

Happy Easter!

HappyEaster9.JPG

I want to wish a Happy Easter to all those celebrating this weekend! Governor Evers recently issued clarification on religious services under the safer at home order after legislators sent a letter to the Governor requesting a re-interpretation. Some services around the state had been prevented from meeting outdoors or through drive-in even though they do not violate the safer at home order. 

Blood Donations Desperately Needed 
blood-donation-facts.jpg

Right now, the Red Cross is experiencing blood drive cancellations like no other time in recent history and their inventory is at critical levels. Their sites are taking extra precautions to make sure giving blood is safe. If healthy please consider giving blood by calling 1-800-RedCross (73327677) or going to redcrossblood.org to find a blood donation location nearest you that is currently open by simply putting in your zip code.

We also have a local community blood bank, Versiti, where many of the area hospitals obtain their blood supply. They are still accepting donations, you can find out how and where to donate on their website. 

Local Dining Options 

 Dine2.PNG

 

Many of you have been looking for ways to support the local economy during these trying times. One easy way is to patronize the area bars and restaurants that are still providing service either through takeout or delivery. You can always purchase gift cards for later use as well. 

My office has created a list of area establishments that are still running and would greatly appreciate your business. If you notice that we've missed any restaurants on our list, please let us know. Click the picture above to view the list. 

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association has also compiled a list of establishments around the state.