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COVID-19 SPECIAL UPDATE
"SAFER AT HOME" ORDER

Yesterday, Governor Evers announced a "Safer at Home" order for all of Wisconsin, going into effect today, March 25 at 8:00 AM and ending on Friday, April 24 at 8:00 AM, or until a superseding order is issued. The full order can be found by clicking here.

Here are some key takeaways:

Stay Home Except for Necessary Travel
You do not need special permission to leave your home, but all Wisconsinites are expected to comply with the order's directions on when it is permissible to leave home. Some permissible reasons to leave home include: getting groceries at the store, going to and from an "essential" workplace, caring for family members in another household, and more. As a reminder, you are still allowed to go outside, walk the dogs, go for a run, etc., as long as you are still practicing social distancing of 6 feet or more from others outside of your household.

Essential Businesses Remain Open
The list of businesses deemed 'essential' is long - you can access full information on what is and isn't an essential business, as well as find information on requesting to be deemed 'essential' by visiting the WEDC webpage.

 

Please continue to find the most current information on the Department of Health Services (DHS) website. You can also get updates from all the state agencies and what they are doing by clicking here.

 Early Voting

As many of you know, Wisconsin's spring election is set for Tuesday, April 7th.

Voting Absentee By Mail: Thursday, April 2 is the deadline to request a ballot be mailed to you. You can request a ballot be mailed to you online here. If you haven't voted absentee before, you will need to upload a picture of your photo ID. It's also important to include a phone number or email so the clerk can contact you if there is an issue with your application!

Voting Early in Person: Many local municipalities also offer in-person absentee voting by appointment which means you can go to to the polling location and vote early. Contact your local clerk and see where the polling location is and what the hours are. If you go in to vote, some extra precautions you could take include bringing your own black pen with you to vote and making sure you wash your hands.

For more information visit the Elections Commission website.

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Helpful Resources
Job Center of Wisconsin

Do you anticipate a change in employment status or have you recently become unemployed? There is a two-step online process that involves FIRST registering, and SECOND filing a claim. You can save some time and avoid overwhelming the system by registering now and then go back and file a claim if/when you have a change in job status.

Registering also gives you immediate access to the job center website including job search engines, workforce data and other helpful resources for job seekers and employers. It isn’t just for people on unemployment, anyone can use it!

Click here and choose “signup” to create an account!

 

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

WEDC has launched a website with current COVID-19 programs and resources for small businesses in Wisconsin. It's important to also work with your current financial institution first to see if they can give you some flexibility to meet your obligations. They likely already have an excellent relationship with you and may be able to respond more quickly and appropriately to your needs. We're hearing Wisconsin lenders are already sharing information about additional lines of credit and deferred payment options they are offering to help get their customers through this difficult time.

 

Department of Revenue
Both federal and Wisconsin income tax payment and return due dates are automatically extended to July 15, 2020. Wisconsin law will automatically extend time and waive interest and penalties for taxpayers due to a presidential declared disaster.

  • Tax filers do not have to file any extension forms to be eligible for this new due date. 
  • There is no limit on the amount of payment to be postponed, and there are no income exclusions.
  • This applies to individuals, trusts, estates, partnerships, associations, companies or corporations.
  • This relief is solely for income tax payments, estimated income tax payments and returns due April 15, 2020.
  • There will be no interest or penalty for the period of April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.
  • Interest, penalties, and underpayment interest for failure to make quarterly estimated tax payments with respect to such postponed federal income tax filings and payments will begin to accrue on July 16, 2020.

For more information, click here.

 

Public Service Commission

Several Internet Service Providers are offering free or low-cost internet access options in response to the COVID-19 health emergency. Please visit the Public Service Commission website to learn more about available options.

How you can help

Last week I volunteered with Meals on Wheels in Beloit. They have an amazing roster of volunteers who deliver daily nutritious meals to homebound individuals who are elderly, ill or disabled. Some non-profit organizations may no longer be able to operate during the “Safer at Home” emergency order, but others will. 

Serve Wisconsin has compiled an excellent list of volunteer opportunities across the state. Check it out here, and if you’re able to volunteer safely, please consider it!

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 you are healthy please consider giving blood by calling 1-800-RedCross or click here to find a blood donation location nearest you!

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 Do you need help?

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 COVID-19 may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety and the unknown can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. The CDC has a website with helpful tips for dealing with COVID019 anxiety.

If you need to talk to someone right away, contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.

Click here for more information.

Important Office Update

With the "Safer at Home" order and the CDC recommendations of working from home, I am allowing my staff the flexibility of doing just that.

The legislative technology team has done a great job in facilitating secure remote work connectivity. We will still be able to retrieve voice mail and respond to your emails. Our response time may be a few hours longer than normal but please don't hesitate to contact us if need be.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact my staff at (608) 266-9967 or toll-free: (888) 534-0031. You can also email my office at Rep.Loudenbeck@legis.wi.gov

 ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

WCLO: Episode with Tim Bremmel on COVID-19

 

You may have recently received my spring newsletter in the mail. I had planned on hand delivering them to some of you, unfortunately that is no longer possible. For those of you who haven't seen it, you can see it here. It's full of updates from this legislative session.

My capitol office is here to help you with general inquiries as well as questions and concerns regarding legislative matters. Feel free to contact me or my staff. We are always ready to assist you in your needs. Please visit my website for press releases and other Capitol updates.

 If you have any comments regarding the subject of this E-Update, please feel free to contact me.   


Rep. Amy Loudenbeck 
State Capitol, Room 304 East
PO Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

Toll-Free (888) 529-0031 or (608) 266-9967
Rep.Loudenbeck@legis.wi.gov| |