March 20, 2020


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If you're healthy, please consider giving blood.  Coronavirus-related closures have resulted in far fewer blood drive events than usual (think about it: they're often held at schools or churches), which is in turn causing critical shortages.  The American Red Cross and Versiti are encouraging folks to make appointments online.  Or, if you want to help out but can't donate blood, you can readily donate money via their websites.  You can help save a life!


Also, you're probably hearing it everywhere, but it can't be overstated: small businesses are hurting during the health emergency.  If you're sick, stay home, but if you're healthy, I urge you to find an excuse to shop or dine locally or, if nothing else, buy gift certificates now to use later.  Restaurants are especially struggling; the Wisconsin Restaurant Association is keeping a list of the many places that remain open for takeout or delivery business.  Remember that time when a local restaurant donated to your fundraiser or your kid's sports team?  Now is the time when they could really use a favor in return.


Finally, keep the questions coming.  I've received many good questions this week as the emergency closures continue; in quite a few cases, I've been able to connect folks with answers or resources to make things at least a little easier.  The answer to the most common question is: state law gives the Governor and his administration wide latitude for the first 60 days worth of a health emergency; the legislature's approval would be required for emergency measures, closures, prohibitions, etc. to continue beyond that.


Please read on for a few more updates that you may not have heard anywhere else.  Stay safe!


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More Updates



  • Income tax season is still upon us.  For the moment, you are still required to file your 2019 federal and state income tax returns (or file the federal form that requests an extension) by April 15.  In the past couple days, the federal IRS has put in writing that, if it turns out that you owe additional federal tax (that is, you have to pay in rather than receive a refund), then they won't charge you any interest or penalties between April 15 and July 15.  In other words, you'll have more time to make that extra tax payment if you must make one.  However: just this morning, the U.S. Treasury Secretary wrote on Twitter that the federal government plans to postpone the filing deadline to July 15 instead of April 15.  The IRS hasn't yet made this official, but I expect that it will become official within a few more days.  I am also working with colleagues at the state level to learn what steps would be necessary to adjust the state filing deadline to match whatever changes are made by the federal government.  Stay tuned!


  • The Department of Transportation closed all DMV service centers for a one-day deep cleaning today.  They will reopen on Monday, March 23rd, but only for certain services, and only by appointment.  If your driver's license is going to expire during the emergency, it'll be automatically extended for 60 days without any late fees.  And they are reminding folks that all vehicle-related services may be conducted online.  Read more here.


  • Running out of things to read already?  These 12 museums around the world offer virtual tours that you can take online.  On your couch.  In your pajamas.  Enjoy!



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

(608) 266-0656 |