Governor's Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction
In the world we all want to get back to, the scholarship recipients would have been invited to the auction stage to be recognized. I am happy to report that the 2020 Blue Ribbon Sale of Champions Foundation scholarships were not cancelled. Here is a picture of me at last year's auction with Alice in Dairyland Abigail Martin, and Gov. Tony Evers. Read more.
Removing Barriers to Unemployment
Last week I signed onto a package of bills to remove hurdles to unemployment compensation for Wisconsinites. Since March, the Department of Workforce Development has experienced an unprecedented number of unemployment claims due to the pandemic. The legislation, if enacted, will eliminate obstacles people are facing in receiving their unemployment pay. Read more.
National Guard - Citizen Soldiers
Approximately 60 members of the Wisconsin National Guard make up one of the Guard’s more unique units – the 132nd Army Band. Approximately 30 have responded to meet the needs of the local community by either supporting the state’s response to COVID-19 or assisting local elections throughout the spring of 2020. Read more.
Youth Apprenticeship Grants
The Department of Workforce Development announced the awarding of $4.9 million in Youth Apprenticeship grants to 37 groups which include 395 school districts in Wisconsin. Youth Apprenticeships couple on-the-job training with classroom instruction. Students are hired by participating employers and receive instruction related to their job through their high schools, technical colleges, or other training providers. Read more.
Arts Board Grants
In April, as the pandemic forced arts organizations to cancel their seasons and close their doors, the Wisconsin Arts Board developed a grant program using CARES Act funds for salary support, fees for artists, and facility costs. The UW-Whitewater Young Auditorium (pictured here) received $8,000 in grant money. Read more.
Governor's Broadband Task Force
The Governor signed an Executive Order announcing the creation of a Task Force on Broadband Access. During this pandemic, it is clear high-speed internet is not a luxury but a necessity. Read more.
Free COVID-19 testing in Jefferson County
Jefferson County is offering free drive-through COVID-19 testing at Fair Park, July 22-25 from 11 am to 7 pm. More information here.
Funds for Roads
Local governments will receive quarterly payments this week totaling $160 million for general transportation aids, connecting highway aids, and expressway policing aids. Local road funding is important for economic development, whether it’s getting to work or school or transporting goods to market. An investment in infrastructure is an investment in our state’s economy for years to come.” Read more.
Grants for Food Pantries
An estimated $5 million in grants is available to food banks and pantries. Applications can be completed online at FoodSecurity.wi.gov. Grant funds will be distributed through a competitive review process, and will be awarded for costs that are related to COVID-19 and are incurred between March 1, 2020-December 30, 2020. Pantries are strongly encouraged to work through their respective food banks to ensure their needs are represented and demonstrate partnerships, rather than submit their own separate application. Payments are estimated to be issued beginning in mid-August. Read more.
Longest State of Emergency in Wisconsin History
Gov. Tony Evers applauded the State Emergency Operations Center on its diligent response to the COVID-19 pandemic. June 21 marked the 100th day that the Center has been activated in response to the pandemic. This is the longest continuous activation in Wisconsin history. Read more.
Personal Protective Equipment
Gov. Tony Evers announced additional efforts to distribute personal protective equipment to schools, food processors, and businesses across the state. Wisconsin Emergency Management will begin shipping more than 2 million cloth face masks and more than 4,200 infrared thermometers to K-12 public, charter, and private schools throughout the state. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection is also helping to facilitate the delivery of approximately 60,000 masks to local food processors and businesses. Read more.
The State of Wisconsin is partnering with Wisconsin Community Action to provide crisis counseling services to people experiencing anxiety and stress from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily changed the way we work and live, go to school, and spend time together,” said Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm. “Limiting close contact with each other protects everyone’s health. This funding will be used to promote healthy ways to cope and stay strong.” View the entire news release.
Extended Unemployment Compensation
Wisconsin residents who exhausted their regular unemployment compensation may apply for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. PEUC provides up to 13 additional weeks of payments to individuals who have exhausted 26 weeks of regular benefits or had their benefit year expire without requalifying for a new benefit year. Individuals who receive PEUC will also receive Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, an additional $600 to their weekly benefits through the week ending July 25, 2020. Read the full news release here.
Farm Support & Food Security
As of June 19, the Department of Revenue had received 7,708 applications for Wisconsin Farm Support grants. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture is putting together a $15 million Food Security Initiative. The Wisconsin Farm Support Program provides $50 million for direct aid payments to farmers to help them respond to the challenges presented by COVID-19. Producers who are eligible will apply through the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR), which is working closely with DATCP. Read more here.