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May 29, 2020

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Meeting with Governor Evers on Unemployment Delays

I joined my colleagues in the legislature on a Zoom call with Governor Evers and DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman to discuss the ongoing delays with Wisconsin's Unemployment Insurance program. Since the start of this pandemic, our office has been receiving calls from constituents who have been waiting weeks, and even months, for their unemployment benefits. According to a news release from DWD on Monday, the Department of Workforce Development is experiencing a backlog of over 700,000 claims. If you are having difficulties reaching the unemployment office, do not hesitate to call or email my office at (608) 237-9151 or Rep.Novak@legis.wisconsin.gov and my staff will be happy to assist.

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COVID-19 Relief Funds Directed to Local Governments

Governor Evers has announced that $200 million will be allocated to Wisconsin counties, cities, villages, and towns for unbudgeted expenditures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These expenditures include emergency operation activities, personal protective equipment, sanitizing supplies and services, temporary isolation housing, and more. Funding for this program comes from the $1.9 billion Wisconsin received in the Federal CARES Act. Counties in the 51st Assembly District will receive the following amounts. The amounts are based on population.

Lafayette Co: $276,411

Iowa Co: $388,490

Green Co: $602,927

Richland Co: $292,749

Sauk Co: $1,028,793

Click here to view the complete list of allocations for all counties, cities, villages, and towns and for more information about this grant program.

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Coronavirus Update

Testing:

As of May 29, The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has received 233,588 negative test results and 17,707 positive test results for COVID-19. Of those who tested positive for the virus, 2,499 (14%) were hospitalized. The most up-to-date testing information can be found here.

 

The Department of Health Services has launched a website that shows community testing locations around the state. The searchable map, updated daily, allows users to locate their nearest testing location.

 

If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 click here to complete an online screening and receive feedback from a medical professional.

 


State Updates:

Federal Updates:

Business Owners:

  • The Small Business Administration has approved over $4.4 million Paycheck Protection Program applications, resulting in $511.2 billion available to assist businesses and their employees.

Education:

  • Milwaukee Public Schools, the state's largest public school district, has released a blueprint for a possible return to the classroom for students in the fall.

Unemployment:

Agriculture:

  • The USDA is now accepting applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program which provides direct payments to farmers to offset impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. Click here for more information.


Other Developments:

Useful Links:

 

 

 

Best Practices:

The Centers for Disease Control have posted the following tips to protect yourself:

  • Wash your hands and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily

More information on coronavirus from the CDC can be found here

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Happy Birthday Wisconsin!

On this day 172 years ago, Wisconsin became the 30th state in the Union.

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How You Can Help

  • Support Local Business - Do your part to make sure your favorite spots are around when we get through this. Many restaurants are offering generous discounts and providing pick up and delivery service. Call your favorite spot to see what they are offering and tip a little more than usual as restaurants are serving fewer people. If you prefer to dine in, consider purchasing a gift card for later use. The Wisconsin Restaurant Association is compiling a list of restaurants remaining open for pick up and delivery. If you are a restaurant owner or you know of a restaurant offering these services, feel free to add their information.

 

  • Give Blood - The American Red Cross reports that they are facing a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during the coronavirus outbreak. Click here to learn more about how you can donate and locate a blood drive taking place in our area.

 

  • Give to Food Banks and Delivery Services - Organizations like Feeding America and Meals on Wheels are in need of donations and volunteers to provide food to those in need during this difficult time. Charity Navigator has also compiled a list of trustworthy charities in need of resources. Below is a list of food pantries in and near the 51st Assembly District:
    • Iowa County Food Pantry (Dodgeville) - Facebook Page
    • Green County Food Pantry (Monroe) - Phone: (608) 329-7511
    • St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry (Monroe) - Phone: (608) 329-7837
    • Sauk Prairie Area Food Pantry (Sauk City) - Phone: (608) 571-7737
    • Reedsburg Food Pantry (Reedsburg) - Phone: (608) 524-6272
    • Spring Green Community Church Food Pantry (Spring Green) - Click here for website.
    • Mazomanie community Food Pantry (Mazomanie) - Facebook Page
    • Heights Unlimited Community Resource Center (Black Earth) - Click here for website
    • Southwest CAP's Food Pantries - Click here for a list
    • Lafayette County Food Pantries - Click here for a list

 *Please reach out to my office using the information at bottom of this newsletter if you are aware of additional pantries not included on this list.*

  • Volunteer - Volunteers are needed to staff shelters and provide food delivery services throughout the state. United Way Wisconsin has provided a dashboard to connect volunteers with organizations looking for help. Click here to view.

 

 

Stay Well and Be Safe!