Friends and Neighbors, 

I hope you are doing well. We have reached a new milestone this month as we continue to move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic – those who are vaccinated can safely gather without masks or social distancing. This is a huge step towards returning to normal and I am grateful for the work done by Governor Evers to ensure we can enjoy the summer with family and friends.

I have been quite busy in Madison attending committee meetings and working with the Democratic Labor Caucus. The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee began their action on Governor Evers’ proposed budget by gutting nearly 400 key provisions, without any public input or debate on the issues. Some of these proposals were: restoring worker protections, raising the minimum wage, legalizing marijuana, creating a nonpartisan redistricting process, and accepting federal funds to expand BadgerCare.

Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee have been clearly playing politics as many of the provisions cut from Governor Evers’ Budget, Wisconsinites support. It is disappointing that Republicans cannot see the importance of providing a budget that is supported by a majority of the people in our state and instead put their own interests first. This is not how an effective government operates.

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


Wisconsin Vaccine Distribution

Vaccine distribution in Wisconsin has increased over 10% since my last report. Below is the latest data:

  • In Kenosha County, 42% (71,291) residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. 36.7% (62,260) residents have completed their second vaccine.
  • In Wisconsin, 47.4% (2,758,291) residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. 41.5% (2,416,757) residents have completed their second vaccine.
  • 204,723 Johnson & Johnson doses administered
  • 2,147,223 Moderna doses administered
  • 2,759,120 Pfizer doses administered

Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grants

Small businesses are a cornerstone of our community. Owners know operating a small business has never been easy, but it has become even more difficult as our nation responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As many businesses have started a return to normal, the losses they have endured over the past year are significant. Governor Evers in collaboration with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Revenue announced Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grants, an effort funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

These grants will provide as many as 84,000 Wisconsin small businesses with annual gross revenue between $10,000 and $7 million with a flat award of $5,000. The online grant application will be accessible until June 7th, 4:30pm at

Please contact my office at 608-266-0455 or if you have any questions regarding these grants or any other state related issues.

Honoring Firefighter Samuel Wenger

My heart goes out to the family, friends, and colleagues of Firefighter Samuel Wenger who passed away from complications of post-traumatic stress disorder. The ceremony honoring Samuel was truly special. We need to be sure we offering as many resources as possible in Wisconsin to help those struggling with job related post-traumatic stress disorder. As Governor Evers recently signed a bill helping first responders get treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder by making them eligible for workers compensation, we still have a lot of work to do to ensure our first responders have the resources they need to combat the struggles that come with the job.

BadgerCare Expansion

I have been a huge advocate for expanding BadgerCare in Wisconsin. Republicans have refused expansion in Wisconsin for a decade, even after a pandemic. If you bought a lottery ticket from your local convenience store and won $1 billion – would you throw it away? Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee did just that - the federal government offered our state an extra $1 billion if we chose to expand coverage; however, Republicans passed it up. This $1 billion is in addition to the $624 million Wisconsin would save over the next two years by expanding BadgerCare.

Our neighboring states have taken the step to expand coverage: Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, and Illinois. We need to catch up to our neighboring states and the 38 other red and blue states who have recognized the benefit of making healthcare more affordable and accessible. Expanding BadgerCare would not only help 90,000 Wisconsinites afford healthcare, but also would save taxpayers money and help support our economy after such a tough year. 

Nonpartisan Redistricting 

Elected officials should not be able to cherry pick their voters; however, gerrymandered maps over the past decade have silenced voters and have resulted in noncompetitive elections. 70% of Wisconsinites support nonpartisan redistricting yet Republicans still refuse to take up fair map proposals. I was pleased to cosponsor legislation to create a nonpartisan legislative redistricting process based on the successful model used in Iowa. It is time we end gerrymandering and give the power back to the voters. As Republicans have already rejected this proposal, it will not stop me and my colleagues in the fight for fair maps.

Elimination of Federal UI Benefits

2020 was a year no one expected. We were away from our friends and family and on top of that, many lost jobs. The federal UI benefit has helped thousands of unemployed Wisconsinites make ends meet - I have heard from many of my constituents who do not know what they would have done without it. Republicans in the legislature have introduced a proposal to cancel the federal UI benefits, costing an estimated 137,000 jobless Wisconsinites almost $650 million. As of March 2021, 65.7% of Wisconsinites were either employed or looking for employment, and for Republicans to suggest the extra $300 is why businesses cannot locate workers is pure politics.

Senate Financial Institutions and Revenue Committee

Last week I was pleased to give testimony before the Senate Financial Institutions and Revenue Committee with Representative Armstrong in support of the bipartisan legislation we have authored to address a tax disparity that penalizes certain federal retirees collecting a pension.

Kenosha Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony

I was grateful to be able to attend the Kenosha Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony this month. This important even pays tribute to the sacrifice and courage of fallen officers and their families, as well as acknowledging the commitment and bravery of all members of law enforcement who work to protect our communities.

Unemployment Assistance

While wait times and payment processing have significantly improved, I’m aware there are still many issues. It is 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 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 


Memorial Day Events 

Thank you to the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

I will be attending numerous events in Kenosha on Monday honoring our heroes. Below are some events happening in the area:

Memorial Day Ceremony: Sunset Ridge Memorial Park and American Legion David Leet Post 552

  • Sunset Ridge Memorial Park, 4300 Green Bay Road
  • Sunday, 11am

Memorial Day Ceremony: American Legion Post 21

  • Green Ridge Cemetery, 6604 Seventh Ave
  • Monday, 10am

Memorial Day Ceremony – includes singing of the National Anthem and “Eternal Father,” a flower dedication

  • Navy Park, Sixth Avenue and 54th St
  • Monday, 11am

Memorial Day Ceremony: VFW Post 1865

  • Library Park, 711 58th Place
  • Monday, 12pm

Memorial Day Ceremony – includes POW/MIA Service

  • Old St. Mark’s Cemetery, Ninth Court and 78th Street
  • Monday, 12pm




Phone: 608-237-9530           







































































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