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State Capitol Report


Friends and Neighbors,

I’m thinking of our community members in this time of uncertainty and hope this message finds you well. 

There have been several new developments since my last update to you. In this update, I have included additional information on the impact of COVID-19 on our state and community.

For more frequent updates, you can check out my Facebook page, which has information from community partners and organizations, as well as real-time updates from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. 

Please feel free to contact my office with any thoughts, questions, ideas, or concerns. I am happy to be a resource for you in whatever you need and look forward to staying in touch.



Katrina sig.png

Katrina Shankland

State Representative

 71st Assembly District



I still have plenty of 2019-20 state highway maps & Wisconsin Blue Books available for free. Please click here to request either or both! 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #3

I continue to be in daily contact with the governor's office, state agencies, and other legislative offices and am listening carefully to what our scientists and public health officials are telling us as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Wisconsin and the country.

Wisconsin has now seen 1112 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including the first confirmed case in Portage County. We also have now unfortunately seen the first few COVID-19 related deaths in Wisconsin.

Below, you can find important updates on local, state, and federal responses to our public health emergency, as well as information and resources that may be helpful to you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office with any questions that you may have.

Looking for the most up to date information and FAQs on COVID-19 in Wisconsin?

 Safer at Home Order

Governor Evers announced the "Safer at Home" order early last week, and the order went into effect on Wednesday, March 25. You can read the full text of the order HERE and see some comprehensive FAQs on the order HERE.

Here are a few key reminders about the Safer at Home order: 

  • You do not need special permission or documentation to leave your home, but you must comply with the order as to when it is permissible to leave home

  • You can still go out to obtain necessary services or supplies, like to grocery stores and pharmacies or to see a doctor (call first!)

  • You can still go outside to exercise or walk the dog as long as you stay six feet from others

  • Restaurants are still able to provide curbside takeout and delivery service

  • Businesses providing essential services and operations as defined in the order can remain open, and do not need special documentation or certification to continue work that is done in compliance with the order

  • No sleepovers, no playdates, and no dinner parties with friends or neighbors  

  • If at all possible, stay home


If a business has a question about the order or is not exempted but believes their business is doing essential work, they should visit to review relevant information and/or submit an inquiry. Wisconsin Economic Development Council will review any inquiries and will make all final determinations. 


If you are worried about your work environment not implementing adequate social distancing/preventative sanitation measures, then the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development recommends contacting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA's contact information is HERE. Portage County is served by the Appleton area office, which you can reach at (920) 734-4521.



 What To Do If You Feel Sick: Call Your Physician

If you are experiencing symptoms, please call your physician. If you do not currently have a physician, consider using Marshfield Clinic's online screening tool,  Aspirus' COVID-19 call center, or Ascension's 24/7 COVIID-19 hotline at 1-833-981-0711. Some insurance companies and health care providers also offer virtual visits. It's important that you call ahead before seeking treatment.  More information from the CDC here



March 30 is the Last Day to Register to Vote Online for the April 7 Election

TODAY (March 30) is the last day you can register to vote online before the April 7 election. You can still request a mail-in ballot through April 2. See for more information, to online register, or to request your absentee ballot.



Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Signed Into Law

Last week, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and President Trump signed it into law.

The CARES Act is a $2.2 trillion package designed to provide relief to American individuals, families, healthcare workers, small businesses, corporations, and state, local, and tribal governments. It includes direct cash payments to qualifying individuals, makes major changes to unemployment assistance to increase benefits and broaden who is eligible, creates new emergency grants and a forgivable loan program for small businesses, sets aside significant funding for big corporations, supplements community and private health systems, invests in food security and education, and much more. The new law includes:

  • $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund for state, local and tribal governments. Wisconsin will receive over $2.2 billion.
  • $30 billion for an Education Stabilization Fund for states, school districts, and institutions of higher education for costs related to the coronavirus.
  • $45 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund for the immediate needs of state, local, tribal and territorial governments to protect citizens and help them respond and recover from the overwhelming effects of COVID-19.
  • $1.4 billion for deployments of the National Guard. This level of funding will sustain up to 20,000 members of the National Guard, under the direction of the governors of each state, for the next six months in order to support state and local response efforts.
  • An additional $4.3 billion, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to support federal, state and local public health agencies to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus.
  • $25 billion for transit systems.
  • $400 million in election security grants to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus in the 2020 federal election cycle. States must provide an accounting to the Election Assistance Commission of how the funds were spent within 20 days of any 2020 election.
  • Expands unemployment insurance from three to four months, and provides temporary unemployment compensation of $600 per week, which is in addition to and the same time as regular state and federal UI benefits.
  • Establishes a $500 billion lending fund for businesses, cities and states.
  • Provides a $1,200 direct payment to many Americans and $500 for each dependent child.

You can read more about the changes made by this legislation HERE and read a helpful FAQ about the stimulus checks and unemployment changes HERE.



Small Business Sales Tax Payment Extensions

On March 28th, the DOR announced measures to help small businesses with sales tax payments due on March 31st. Small businesses can immediately request an extension to file sales and use tax returns due March 31, 2020 until April 30, 2020, and returns due April 30, 2020 until June 1, 2020. Requests can be sent to You can find the DOR’s full release with additional details HERE.


Business owners looking for other resources can check out WEDC's COVID-19 business resources page here:



Evictions and Foreclosures Suspended for 60 Days

 On March 28th, the governor announced he had directed DHS Secretary-designee Palm to issue Emergency Order 15, ordering the suspension of evictions and foreclosures. Under the order, landlords cannot evict tenants for any reason unless there is a threat of serious physical harm, and mortgages cannot commence civil action to foreclose on real estate for 60 days. However, the governor urges those who remain able to meet their financial obligations to continue to do so. The order does not in any way relieve a person’s obligation to pay their rent or mortgage. 



Emergency Order to Bolster WI Healthcare Workforce

In an effort to address anticipated shortages of healthcare workers in responding to COVID-19, Gov. Evers and Secretary-designee Palm issued Emergency Order 16 to bolster the healthcare workforce during the public health emergency. Among other measures, the order:

  • Simplifies the healthcare license renewal process
  • Encourages recently retired professionals with expired licenses to re-enter practice
  • Provides an avenue for licensed out-of-state practitioners to practice in Wisconsin without first requiring an in-state credential
  • Eliminates time limits for temporary licenses
  • Enables nursing students close to graduation to be a part of the state’s COVID-19 response by adjusting some clinical education requirements
  • Suspends practice restrictions for advanced practice nurses to allow them to more efficiently and effectively respond 
  • Provides increased flexibility to physician assistants



New State PPE Donation/Buyback Portal

On March 26th, Gov. Evers announced a new initiative to acquire additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline COVID-19 workers. Wisconsinites can now go to: to either donate or sell large quantities of PPE to the State of Wisconsin and the SEOC to distribute supplies to high-need communities.

They are currently seeking: 

  • Surgical Gowns (S, L, XL, and XXL) 
  • Face/Surgical Masks (adult, pediatric) 
  • Gloves (Nitrile, Vinyl, or Butyl) 
  • N-95 Particulate Respirators 
  • Isolation Gowns 
  • Face Shields
  • Tyvek Coveralls 
  • Thermometers 
  • Foot Coverings

NOTE: If organizations or businesses have quantities of fewer than 50 of any of these items, they are encouraged to donate them to local health organizations instead of going through the buyback website.

First responders and other non-medical organizations should communicate their PPE needs to their county or tribal emergency management office, which will then forward those requests to the SEOC for fulfillment.

Medical facilities, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and clinics, should continue using the established process for requesting supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).


Unemployment Resources

If your workplace shuts down due to COVID-19, you may be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits through the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. The department has directed folks to apply online if possible since call volume is extremely high. However, DWD will also have staff available to help via phone if filing online is not possible.You can find comprehensive FAQs HERE and can apply HERE

DWD has also created a new webpage to connect job seekers to currently in-demand jobs posted on Highlighted jobs include healthcare occupations like registered nurses and pharmacists, as well as laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, light truck or delivery service drivers, and more.

Visit to connect to in-demand jobs in Wisconsin.

Employers looking to connect with job seekers can also post positions for free on


Additional COVID-19 Resources & Ways To Help

  • This can a stressful time. If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or scared, please feel free to call Distressline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746


  • If you are struggling with bills or need resources, please call 211


  • The Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is keeping a regularly updated list of changes to local businesses, attractions, and events here


  • Students who need school-provided meals, regardless of where they attend school, will still have access to those services through local schools (except for during spring break) and the Boys & Girls Club of Portage County


  • Central Transportation in the Stevens Point area will continue to operate all regular city bus routes and paratransit service fare free during the public health emergency


Ways to Support Our Community Members

United Way of Portage County and the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin have partnered to establish the Portage County COVID-19 Relief Fund (PCCRF). The fund will provide flexible resources to organizations assisting individuals who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak.

United Way of Portage County and the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin have each contributed $20,000 to launch this fund. Community members are encouraged to join this effort by donating online at . Checks can be mailed to United Way of Portage County at 1100 Centerpoint Drive #302 (ATTN: PCCRF), Stevens Point, WI 54481.

100% of money raised through the relief fund will be used to assist local community members with critical needs resulting from fallout due to the coronavirus. Stakeholder and community needs continue to be assessed to determine a transparent, timely process for relief fund distribution.



Volunteer Opportunities 

To connect potential volunteers and organizations addressing these pressing concerns, the United Way of Wisconsin, Serve Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Volunteer Coordinators Association created the COVID-19 Response Initiative on the Volunteer Wisconsin website. 


For more local opportunities to help, visit the United Way of Portage County website.



Donate Blood If You're Able

The American Red Cross is experiencing a severe blood shortage and donors are urgently needed. Blood drive cancellations are happening at an unprecedented rate and inventory is at critical levels.  If you are healthy and can donate blood, call 1-800-Red-Cross or go to to find a blood donation location closest to you. 



Support Local Businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic has been exceptionally difficult for local businesses. I encourage those who can support our local businesses and restaurants to do so at this time. Here are some ways you can help out small businesses in our community: 

  • Purchase gift cards to local restaurants to use at a later date. 
  • Order delivery or takeout where possible. 
  • Visit the websites of your favorite local businesses. Many are offering discounts or telling their customers how they can support them. Other businesses are offering services remotely or shipping merchandise to their customers. 
  • If you're online shopping, seek out local businesses to make these purchases.

Every dollar means a lot right now, so please do whatever you can to help support our local community. 

Get Counted! Fill out the 2020 Census

Take 10 minutes to make sure you and your community get counted by visiting

A complete and accurate 2020 Census ensures that Portage County gets the resources and representation we deserve. For each person counted in the census, our communities get funding for crucial services like health care, transportation, schools, child care, and affordable housing. We need each and every Wisconsinite to count! This includes citizens and noncitizens, newborns, seniors, students, homeowners, renters -- everyone.

Filling out the 2020 Census is safe and your data is protected by strict confidentiality laws. It’s also incredibly convenient. You can fill out the census online (visit, by phone, or on paper. Check your mail for the instructions or visit the U.S. Census Bureau website for more information!  

Thank you for following along. I hope you stay healthy and safe. I appreciate you and our community. Please don't hesitate to reach out if I can help you in any way. All the best!

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