Friends and Neighbors, 

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! This is the time of year I look forward to most – seeing family, friends, and celebrating the joys in life. However, it’s going to look a lot different for me this year. It will be a much smaller circle of friends and family because I want to keep them safe and healthy; I encourage you to do the same. 

With the vaccine starting to get administered to front-line workers, we are finally rounding the corner on our way back to normal. I am hopeful by the middle or end of summer the vaccine will be widely available to the public.

Not much has happened in the Capitol since my last update, as Republicans are still refusing to meet to debate COVID-19 relief and have made it clear we will have to wait until 2021 to pass any sort of proposal to help struggling families. As I expect we will be meeting sometime in January, I am very disappointed in the Republicans inaction on COVID-19.

I always welcome your feedback and opinions, so please feel free to contact me. Also, if you would like something to be included in future e-newsletters, just let me know at (608) 266-0455 or



$900-Billion COVID-19 Relief  

Earlier this week, Congress passed a 900-billion COVID-19 relief package. As of this writing, President Trump is now threatening it. This bill is not perfect; however, there are many good proposals in this package which I will briefly discuss below.

Direct Payments

The package did included direct stimulus payments of $600 to individuals, which is expected to start next week if President Trump signs the package this week. 

  • Payments will phase out for individuals making more than $75,000. Those making more than $99,000 will not receive anything.
  • Payments will be based on 2019 incomes. If you filed your 2019 taxes, you will receive money automatically, as well as Social Security recipients and those who uploaded bank account on the IRS’s portal.

Unemployment Benefits

I am very pleased unemployment benefits were extended in this new deal, as benefits were expected to stop the day after Christmas. Claimants will continue to receive an extra $300.

Small Business Loans

  • Select businesses will be able to apply for a second loan – those who have less than 300 employees and had a drop of at least 25% of their revenue.
  • $12 billion was also passed for minority owned businesses.  

Live Venues & Theaters

  • A $15 billion grant program will be established for live venues, theaters, and museums who have lost at least 25% of their revenue.

Child Care & Schools Funding

  • $82 billion in aid for K-12 schools and colleges.
  • $1 billion in loans to Black colleges to be forgiven

Rental Assistance

  • An extension of eviction protection until January 31st
  • $25 billion in rental assistance for individuals who lost their jobs during the pandemic.

Nutrition Assistance

  • Raise SNAP benefits by 15% for six months.
  • $400 million to food banks and pantries.
  • $175 million for Meals on Wheels, and $13 million for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program – another nutrition program for the elderly.

Vaccine & Hospital Funding

  • $20 billion for vaccine purchases, ensuring the vaccine remains free to those who want it.
  • Give states $20 billion to assist with testing.
  • $178 billion for hospitals and health care providers for reimbursements of health-care related expenses or lost revenue.

What Else is Happening? 

Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson

After battling pancreatic cancer for many years, Wisconsin lost the longest-serving justice in state history. Justice Abrahamson impacted many lives throughout her career. She was not only an inspiring role model for me, but more importantly she was a champion for so many women in Wisconsin. Justice Abrahamson was a true public servant who will be missed tremendously.

Sworn into Office

I had the great pleasure and honor getting sworn in by Judge Mary K. Wagner, who prior to her distinguished career as a Kenosha County Judge served in the Wisconsin State Legislature. Usually, members and members-elect gather at the Capitol to get inaugurated and have a celebration, but it looked a little different this year.

Senator Wirch and Rep. McGuire also got sworn in – it was great to share this experience with them in our beloved community.

Unemployment Assistance

I understand there are serious issues with the unemployment system here in Wisconsin. No one should have to wait months to receive their payments or wait hours upon hours on hold in attempt to reach the assistance line. It’s important Wisconsinites are able to use this critical program when they need it most.

If you or someone you know is struggling to get their unemployment payments, my staff is able to help. Please call my office at 608-266-0455 or email My office will be sure to send your claim directly to the Department of Workforce Development.

Updates on COVID-19 in Wisconsin

Every week, I try to get on Channel 14 and discuss the current state of the pandemic in our state. It’s uploaded on YouTube by Kenosha Community Media and also on my Facebook Page.

YouTube Channel:

Facebook Page

Shop Local

If you're able, please pick up a Christmas present for a family member or friend from one of our many locals. Your support will help maintain jobs, allow more money to be invested into our community, and continue to make our community a destination. 


Labor Times Column 

Every month I write a column in the Labor Times Newspaper where I discuss my legislative priorities, events I participated in, and what's happening in our community. I encourage you to subscribe to Labor Times by liking their Facebook page. You can also read my December report by clicking here. If you would like to subscribe to the Southeast Wisconsin Labor Times Newspaper, call (262)-595-0329 or email 


Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and the best in the New Year! 

Upcoming Events 



Phone: 608-237-9530           



Copyright © 2017 State Representative Tod Ohnstad, 65th Assembly District. All rights reserved.