This Week in the Assembly

Senate Committee on Human Services, Children, and Families

This week I was able to testify before the Senate Committee on SB 24, "Ethan's Law." This bill especially hits close to home, as the legislation was created due to a tragedy in our own back yards in Manitowoc.

See my testimony below:

In the District:

Pastries and Politics

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to be joined by my colleagues, Rep. Janel Brandjten (Menomonee Falls), the Chairwoman of the Campaigns and Elections Committee and Rep. Shae Sortwell (Two Rivers) for "Pastries and Politics." 

A big thank you to the American Vets Club for allowing us to use their facility, and the Republican Party of Manitowoc County for hosting the group. Thank you to the constituents who attended to listen to Rep. Brandjten who spoke on the recent audit of elections and procedures. As well as discussed some of our legislation proposals. Rep. Brandjten did a phenomenal job encouraging my constituents to not only participate in voting but suggested more ways voters can get involved in the election process, such as volunteering.

Voted to Improve Wisconsin's Unemployment Software

This week, I voted for Governor Evers to upgrade the Unemployment Insurance (UI) computer systems at the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The legislation was amended to include provisions to protect businesses, schools, and local governments from frivolous lawsuits and provide more relief to those who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. 

It's worth noting that several nonpartisan legislative audits showed less than 1% of the calls were answered at the call center during the height of the pandemic and DWD was responsible for 85% of the delays in payments.

Throughout the pandemic, there have been many missed opportunities and a lack of urgency by the Evers administration to address many of the issues with the unemployment insurance process. Here is an important timeline that was shared on the floor by Speaker Vos that outlines the process and why we had to pass bill:

  • October 2019 - DWD meets with IT companies about updating the UI benefits system (nothing moves forward)
  • March 12, 2020 - Governor Evers declares a state of emergency and unemployment claims spike to more than 100,000 a week
  • May 15, 2020 - DWD finally announces an expansion of call center hours to 7AM – 5PM (previously 7:35AM -3:30PM)
  • May 27, 2020 - UI Administrator Mark Reihl says they are doing a “great job” managing UI
  • June 23, 2020 - The governor said he has no answers for those on unemployment
  • July 9, 2020 - Republicans roll out a plan to provide federal aid to the unemployed waiting in adjudication. Evers calls it a "stunt"
  • September 15, 2020DWD state agency budget request does not include new funding for IT improvements
  • September 18, 2020 - DWD Secretary Frostman resigns
  • September 25, 2020 - Legislative Audit Bureau releases an audit showing less than 1% of calls were answered by DWD during the height of the pandemic
  • December 14, 2020 - Legislative Audit Bureau releases an audit indicating DWD was largely responsible for delays when processing UI claims
  • December 28, 2020 - DWD announced they are seeking public input to update the UI application process. Republicans had been calling on them to review the process since June

Wisconsinites have waited far too long for the state to fix the issues at the Department of Workforce Development.

Important Links Regarding COVID-19 
• Wisconsin Department of Health Services
• COVID-19 State Services
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
• Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development


Manitowoc County Residents:

For those that wish to receive the vaccine, fill out this form. Manitowoc County will then contact you when you become eligible to receive the vaccination.


Calumet County Residents: There is currently no form at this time. However, you can sign up here for updates from Calumet County Health and Human Services. 


State News --
News in the 25th district! Check out the following links--

Stay Connected

As a reminder, we encourage you to follow the representative on social media, including Facebook, and Twitter, for all of the up-to-date information on important issues. His legislative website can be found at: