What Would You Do?

As I write this COVID-19 e-update, residents across the state of Wisconsin are anxiously awaiting the decision of the WI Supreme Court regarding the “Safer at Home” Emergency Order. Oral arguments were heard on May 5, 2020.

As you are likely aware, on April 21, 2020 the Wisconsin Legislature challenged DHS Secretary-designee Palm's authority to unilaterally close “non-essential” businesses, forbid all “non-essential” travel, and require Wisconsin residents to stay home. The legislature argues that by doing so, the secretary has overstepped her power and taken away the voice of many Wisconsinites by circumventing the rule making process which allows for both public and legislative input. While we aren't sure how or when the WI Supreme Court will rule, we're continuing to prepare to safely reopen Wisconsin and assist those who reach out with questions and issues they are facing.

The Supreme Court decision is an important one, but while we await the ruling, there are important decisions I hope Wisconsin residents are also considering. Regardless of what the court decides, individual actions and personal responsibility will remain paramount in how you and your family choose to conduct and protect yourselves going forward.

Ask yourself, how can I prepare to keep myself, my family, my business, my school, my customers/clients/patients, and my employees safe? In the absence of an “order” state government can continue to provide guidelines to help us make these decisions. In fact, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has already published guidelines and best practices for reopening all types of businesses and activities in Wisconsin.

Ask yourself, if stores and restaurants reopened again would I be comfortable going? Would I take my kids with me or my grandmother with underlying health conditions? Again, these are individual decisions that require an internal risk-assessment that government does not need to be a part of. If you want to find out more information about COVID-19 cases and test results before making a decision that information can be accessed here. If you are concerned about health care system capacity in your part of the state you can visit the Wisconsin Hospitals Association COVID-19 dashboard here.

Knowledge is power. When all of this started 60 days ago there was not a lot of information and way too many unknowns. Staying safer at home to flatten the curve made sense so that we could give ourselves time to plan and prepare, procure testing supplies and PPE, and learn more about how to protect ourselves and our families.

Personally, I am ready to turn the page on this phase of our COVID-19 response in Wisconsin and allow Wisconsin to reopen safely. Perhaps there will be a “phasing in” approach to make sure the new best practices and recommended guidelines are adequate and sustainable. It is also possible there will be a few parts of the state that don’t feel they are ready yet and others that are ready now. I feel strongly that we should not be classifying businesses or institutions as “essential or non-essential”, but we should expect them to minimize, mitigate and manage risk at all times. We should also continue robust monitoring of test results, PPE and hospital capacity. We have a safety net of public health departments supported by the state Department of Health Services that will remain to assist with outbreaks, testing, tracing and guidance.

In the midst of all the uncertainty, I am certain that we will all continue to remember first and foremost to wash our hands, cover our coughs, and stay home when we are sick. That is just good common sense!

Rule of 50

I appreciate the opportunity to communicate with you through E-Updates over this legislative session. Pursuant to s.11.33, of Wisconsin Statutes, a Representative who becomes a candidate for office may not use public funds to distribute 50 or more pieces of identical material after the first day for circulation of nomination papers.

This means that after April 15th, I can no longer send out the E-Update to you as it conflicts with the beginning of campaign season. However, Assembly Bill 1038 makes one change to this, which will allow me to send E-Updates relating to the public health emergency, which I will do if there are important updates to share.

Over the summer, I will post informational updates on my website and social media accounts, so please be sure to follow those if you don't already!

 ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

For all the most recent information from the state agencies on COVID-19, click here and all updates from the Dept. of Health Services can be found by clicking here.

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| |