Friends and Neighbors, 

I hope everyone is well. Spring is almost here and like many of you, I am looking forward to the warmer weather. February was a very busy month, especially since Governor Evers delivered his Budget Address. I was pleased to hear the Governor speak to the important concerns that are on the minds of people of Wisconsin. Our state, like every state across our nation, face tremendous challenges related to the pandemic as we respond and recover from the health and economic impacts.

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



2021-23 Budget Address

Like Governor Evers’ State of the State Address, the 2021-23 Budget Address was delivered virtually. A major cornerstone of the Governors’ budget proposal is the investment in the economic recovery for small businesses and access to resources for entrepreneurs.

Advancing Wisconsin’s Healthcare System

I was pleased to see the Governor announce proposals to advance Wisconsin’s healthcare system such as substantial funding for mental health, reforms to lower prescription drug prices while controlling costs, and accepting the federal dollars to expand BadgerCare coverage. Wisconsinites need our help and these proposals are a start to helping thousands of families across our state.

Climate Change

Another major focus of the Governors’ budget address was climate change. Protecting our environment is crucial if we want to ensure generations to come can enjoy the beautiful natural resources our state offers. I was pleased to see the Governor call for investments into clean energy production and environmental conservation.

As Republicans are already rejecting many of the Governors’ budget proposals, I look forward to working with the Governor and the Assembly Democrats to make his key investments a priority in Wisconsin.

Criminal Justice Reform

Criminal justice reform was also an important aspect of the Governors’ address. From reducing the cost burden of incarceration through diversion programs to fully legalizing marijuana, these proposals will undoubtedly create jobs while generate revenue for community reinvestment.

I encourage you to join Wisconsin Assembly Democrats for the Forward Wisconsin budget action meeting. The first meeting is regarding Criminal Justice Reform and Democracy on March 3rd. You are welcome to attend all the meetings below on March 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, and 31st. See below on how to sign up!

COVID-19 Relief Bill

Over the past few months, the legislature has convened to debate the COVID-19 Relief Bill several times, but as Republicans continued to add controversial provisions the final version of the COVID-19 Relief Bill was vetoed by the Governor because it ultimately limited the state’s ability to respond to the pandemic. Passing a COVID-19 Relief Bill still remains a priority for Assembly Democrats as we introduced a series of proposals this month to help the thousands of Wisconsinites struggling with the pandemic.

Paycheck Protection Program

President Biden has announced a focused, new two week enrollment period for small businesses with 20 or fewer employees for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This started on February 24th. I will note the new modifications also ease eligibility requirements for small businesses and independent contractors. You can apply here.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Beginning today, new groups will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Frontline Health Care Personnel
  • Residents of Long-term Care
  • Police and Fire Personnel along with Correctional Staff
  • Adults ages 65 and Older
  • Educators and Child Care
  • Individuals enrolled in Medicaid Long-term Care Programs
  • Some public facing essential workers
  • Non-frontline essential health care personnel
  • Congregate living facility staff and residents
  • Grocery Store Workers
  • Public Transportation Employees

Wisconsin has recently announced Additional Community-Based Vaccination Clinics which will be opening in Racine County, La Crosse, Marathon, and a split site between Douglas and Barron counties. These clinics are expected to start opening over the course of March and April. On top of this, the Department of Health Services released a COVID-19 vaccine provider map last week which displays vaccine sites that are actively vaccinating around the state.

Assembly Bill 2 | 2021 Wisconsin Act 1

A few weeks ago, Governor Evers signed Assembly Bill 2, a bipartisan tax reform bill I co-authored. This bill aligned state and federal tax laws while provided $450 million in tax relief to Wisconsin businesses and $30 million for working families. This legislation was a great example of what can be done when both sides of the aisle work together. I was pleased to team up with our Republican counterparts on the Ways and Means Committee and Secretary Barca to deliver the much needed relief to our business owners. Wisconsin Act 1 was the first bill signed into law and I am proud to have co-authored such an important bill.

Kenosha STEM Innovation Center

Governor Evers recently announced he is proposing a major investment in Kenosha. The Kenosha STEM Innovation Center project will be located at the former Chrysler site and will focus on growing opportunities in education, workforce development, job training, and entrepreneurship. The auto industry was once the heart of Kenosha, so bringing the Innovation Center to the former Chrysler engine plant site is huge both practically and symbolically. I look forward to construction starting in early 2022.

Kenosha Coalition for Dismantling Racism

In honor of Black History Month, I was pleased to honor the life and legacy of activist, US Representative John Lewis (1940-2020) in one of the many events I participated in last month. You can view my video by clicking here.

The Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Last week, Governor Evers announced over $322 million in federal funding will be invested to the Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program to assist individuals with rent assistance, utility and home energy costs, and wraparound services. If you want to apply, please contact the Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency at or by phone in Kenosha at 262-657-0840.

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

Small businesses need your support during this tough time. Your generosity 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. If you would like to subscribe to the Southeast Wisconsin Labor Times Newspaper, call (262)-595-0329 or email 


Upcoming Events 



Phone: 608-237-9530           



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