Katsma_websitebanner_2017 resized.jpg

 May 20, 2020


 Map resized.jpg


I don't know about you, but I'm READY for some warm sunshine after a wet, dreary, even damaging week of weather.  State recreational properties are generally open for use, with some remaining coronavirus-related limitations on capacity and hours; a handful remain closed due to park conditions.  Just a few days ago, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) created an online purchasing option for the annual state park pass required to visit some properties; be advised that neither these annual passes nor one-day admission passes are currently available for purchase at park sites.  I spoke on Monday with DNR officials to alert them that families who purchase admission are going to reasonably expect the bathrooms, playgrounds and shelters to be open and to urge them to reopen campgrounds in time for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday.  (Isn't camping, by definition, a socially distant activity?  I really never understood their decision to limit this.)  At any rate, there are definitely opportunities to enjoy the parks this weekend and beyond, but you may want to consult the latest park updates and the status of your intended destination if you're thinking of heading afield.


Last week Thursday, May 14th, after the Wisconsin Supreme Court determined statewide stay-at-home Emergency Order #28 to be invalid, Governor Evers began a new effort to use the emergency rulemaking process to reinstate some or all of the provisions that had been struck down.  (This is the procedure that the Court decided he should have used all along, and which involves the legislature's participation over a period of some days.  In fact, in the weeks prior to the Court's decision, my colleagues and I urged the administration to use this collaborative process with us, but our offer was declined.)


However, this week, Governor Evers has withdrawn that proposal to re-impose statewide limitations on human activity.  There is presently no proposal "on the table" to reinstate any broad statewide restrictions.  Sheboygan County also has determined not to impose any local restrictions, but they strongly recommend that businesses and individuals continue to follow a series of sensible precautions to ensure that our communities' return to normal is gradual and safe.


We're ready for this, much more so, in fact, than we were even a short time ago.  The Wisconsin Hospital Association reports that there is a "night and day difference" between their members' readiness to confront COVID-19 cases today versus two months ago.  Most health care facilities are resuming the countless non-urgent services and primary care appointments that we all routinely depend upon to maintain our general wellness.  Equipment supplies have stabilized.  An alternative care facility stands ready to assist additional patients if necessary; a second site was never constructed because it is no longer believed that it will become necessary.  And we're learning more every day about how to effectively control the spread of the virus; for instance, the CDC has just updated its guidelines to indicate that, although the virus certainly does spread readily among people, it is not as likely to spread via surfaces or objects as scientists recently believed.


Additional resources have arrived as well, further preparing Wisconsin to remain equipped and ready for some time to come.  We received about $1.9 billion in federal funds for combating the virus, and this week, Governor Evers has begun delivering the money.  The bulk of this money is to be used for the purchase of additional protective equipment and testing kits, readying our hospitals and directly assisting local health departments and systems.  Many details are accessible here, and there is still about $600 million left to meet additional emergency-related needs as they arise.  Under state law, the legislature does not have oversight over the expenditure of these funds as we typically would over most funds, but I am pleased to learn that most of the money (your federal tax dollars) appears to be headed directly to the front lines.


This weekend will mark a Memorial Day that looks a lot different from most.  While you're enjoying the warm weather and our first much-needed steps in the direction of normalcy, I hope you'll take a few moments to observe that our way of life and the blessings of our wonderful land have come at great cost.  Promise to help preserve the liberties that our fallen heroes fought to defend.  Pray for those families who lost a father or brother or mother or sister who so generously answered duty's call.  Fly your American flag proudly and in their honor.  Remember them always.


Electronic signature.jpg



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 |