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July 29, 2021


Recent good news from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that Wisconsin's economy is continuing to strongly recover after a year of government mandated shutdowns and restrictions on businesses. Private-sector jobs are being added and preliminary data from June 2021 shows that Wisconsin's unemployment rate is down to 3.9% for the second month in a row; this is great news!  


But with more jobs being added, Wisconsin's workforce shortage is only growing worse. Employers throughout the 26th Assembly District and across the state have shared their concerns about how the ongoing shortage is impacting their ability to thrive. 


In some communities, restaurants are having to reduce hours or operate for carry-out only simply because they can't get enough staff to operate at normal capacity. Healthcare facilities are straining to provide care for patients because they can't hire enough workers. Manufacturers are working at reduced capacity, despite offering hefty signing bonuses and family-supporting wages. 


And yet, Governor Evers and Assembly Democrats insist on encouraging people to stay out of the workforce and on the unemployment roll by continuing to pay an additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits.


Evidence shows that states which have ended the federal supplement are recovering more rapidly and returning to pre-pandemic employment levels quicker. But despite this evidence Governor Evers vetoed AB 336, which would have joined the 26 other states (including several Democrat-led states!) in stopping Wisconsin's participation in the federal supplement.


On Tuesday, I joined my Republican colleagues in voting to override Governor Evers' veto. Assembly Democrats chose to show their true allegiance to the Governor, instead of with their communities where public opinion overwhelmingly supports ending the extra benefits, making the override attempt fall short of the necessary two-thirds vote.


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ICYMI: Opioid Settlement

ICYMI: Last week, it was announced that Wisconsin stands to see over $400M from a settlement agreement with opioid distributors and manufacturers. These funds will go directly to local governments and the Department of Health Services for opioid abuse prevention, at the direction of 2021 WI Act 57


This legislation clarifies and streamlines the distribution of the Opioid Settlement Funds to ensure that the funds are spent on preventing further opioid abuse and mitigating the impact of the opioid epidemic that has ravaged our state for years. 


The arrival of these funds couldn't be more timely; recent reports show that drug overdose deaths in Wisconsin - and nationwide - increased drastically in 2020, which is largely attributed to the reduction in resources and isolation of individuals during the pandemic. Over 1,500 people in Wisconsin died from a drug overdose last year, up 25% from 2019. It is critical that these Opioid Settlement Funds make it to the frontlines of the fight against drug use to get our state on the path to recovery. 


Mark Your Calendar

Mark your calendars because in two short weeks AugustFest will return to Oostburg! Join your friends and neighbors on August 13th at Veteran's Park for an afternoon of family-friendly activities, such as outdoors games; pony rides and a bounce village for kids; local food and beverages; live music and fireworks. The event runs from 4-9PM with a shuttle service available from the Oostburg High School Parking Lot to the park. Visit the Oostburg Chamber of Commerce's webpage for more details. Hope to see you there! 


Office of Representative Terry Katsma
State Capitol, Room 306 East
P.O. Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

(608) 266-0656
Rep.Katsma@legis.wisconsin.gov|  |