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June 10, 2020

Final Newsletter

Wisconsin state law prohibits legislators who are candidates for re-election to send out mass communications after April 15th. This session, Wisconsin Act 185 provided an exemption to this rule for communications related to the COVID-19 public health emergency through June 10th. Due to this, this will be my final newsletter until after the November election.

While I can no longer send newsletters, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office with any questions or concerns related to state government. You can contact my office at (608) 237-9151 or email Rep.Novak@legis.wisconsin.gov. Additionally, you can follow my Facebook page for updates from Madison.

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Congratulations on Retirement

Congratulations to Green County Clerk Mike Doyle on his upcoming retirement. Following his final county board meeting last night, Mike was presented with a plaque recognizing his more than 30 years of service as Green County Clerk. Mike's public service also includes time as a Green County Board member, Green County Administrative Coordinator, and a member of the Business Improvement District for downtown Monroe. It has been an honor and a privilege to work closely with Mike during my time in the Assembly. His depth of institutional knowledge will be missed.

Department of Workforce Development Update

The Department of Workforce Development continues their work to approve the more than 600,000 unemployment claims that have been filed in Wisconsin since the start of the pandemic. This increased workload has led to many applicants finding it impossible to reach the department or receive any update regarding their unemployment claim. If you or someone you know is having problems with your unemployment claim please reach out to our office at Rep.Novak@legis.wisconsin.gov with the following information:

-Full name (First, Middle Initial, Last)

-Phone Number

-Date of Birth and Last 4 digits of your SS#

-Address

-Date of Initial UI Application

-Status of Application (ex: pending review of separation)

-Reason for Inquiry (ex: unable to reach DWD)

If you would prefer to reach us by phone, please call (608) 237-9151

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Coronavirus Update

Testing:

As of June 10, The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has received 357,112 negative test results and 21,593 positive test results for COVID-19. Of those who tested positive for the virus, 2,943 (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:

  • The Grant County and Green County Fairs are following the trend throughout Wisconsin and have decided to cancel for 2020. Click here for an up-to-date list of County Fair Cancellations.
  • Today, Lafayette County Fair organizers announced the fair will go on as scheduled in July.
  • On Monday, the state Department of Health Services reported that new COVID-19 cases have fallen by more than 20% to 203. Monday was also the first time in over three weeks that no new deaths were recorded.
  • More Wisconsin families may now be eligible for the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), as the income eligibility requirements were raised to households below 300% of the federal poverty level.
  • Milwaukee began phase three of its reopening plan allowing restaurants to offer indoor seating at 25% capacity and businesses to operate at 50% capacity. Dane County has announced it will not move into its next phase of reopening before June 12.
  • DHS has announced that it will begin accepting applications from home and community-based service providers, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and emergency medical service providers for the $100 million set aside from the $2 billion the state received from federal CARES Act funding. The application period will run from June 5 to June 30.

Federal Updates:

Business Owners:

  • The application window for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's "We're All In" Small Business Grant Program will be open for one week beginning at 8:00AM on Monday, June 15 and ending at the end of the day on Sunday, June 21. Wisconsin-based businesses with 20 or fewer full-time employees and less than $1 million in annual revenues will be eligible to apply for $2,500 grants to cover business operating costs. Click here to view frequently asked questions about the grant program.

Child Care and Education:

Unemployment:

Agriculture:

  • U.S. meatpacking facilities are operating at more than 95% of capacity compared to 2019. This news prompted the applause of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture as he released a statement thanking those who worked quickly to get these facilities up and running again.
  • A reminder that applications for Wisconsin's Farm Support Program will be accepted starting on June 15th and and ending June 29th. Wisconsin farmers with gross income between $35,000 and $5 million in 2019 will be eligible to receive payments ranging from $1,000 to $3,500. DATCP notes that farmers should apply as soon as possible to allow for time to resolve any potential issues in their application.Click here to view the release and additional information on how to apply for these grants. DATCP has also published FAQs related to the program here.

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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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!