Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you are doing well and staying warm during the coldest month of the year. The 2021-2023 Legislative Session is underway. The Assembly has met a few times this month to debate the mask mandate, COVID-19 response policy, and more. In addition, Governor Evers introduced his budget this week which prioritizes an economic recovery from COVID-19, public school funding, agriculture, and more. 

As always, please contact my office if you have any questions or concerns. Continue reading for updates on the legislative session, rural broadband, the COVID-19 vaccine, and more.


Assembly Passes Assembly Bill 2

On Tuesday, the Assembly voted on several bills including Assembly Bill 2 (AB 2). If signed into law, AB 2 will allow PPP recipients in Wisconsin to deduct all of the expenses they paid for using PPP funds from their taxes. More than 85,000 Wisconsin businesses received a PPP loan and AB 2 has a fiscal impact of almost $500 million.

Read my full statement on AB 2 here.  

Governor Evers' Budget Proposal

On Tuesday night, Governor Tony Evers introduced the 2021-2023 Biennial Budget which invests:

  • $200 million in WEDC programs for our communities and businesses
  • $20 million for sparsity aid so our rural schools are better funded
  • $43 million in the agricultural economy and food supply chain
  • $15 million in Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) programs so it can expand statewide
  • Additional funds for expanding the Opening Avenues to Reentry Success (OARS) program to provide wraparound services to individuals in need of mental health support
  • Funds to modernize the unemployment insurance system so that future claimants receive better and faster services

I am eager to hear from you about your thoughts on this budget. Please reach out to me at or by phone at (608)266-7746.

Read my full statement on the budget introduction here.

Legislative Excellence Award

Earlier this month, the Dairy Business Association awarded me a Legislative Excellence Award. As the ranking member of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture and a former farmer, advocating for producers and processors is one of my priorities each legislative session.

Read my full statement on this subject here.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Last week, the Department of Health Services announced that nearly one in three Wisconsinites over the age of 65 have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.  As of February 17th, Wisconsin has administered 1,023,576 COVID-19 vaccines and 12.7% of Wisconsin residents have received the vaccine. This puts Wisconsin at 11th in the nation for the number of residents that have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for every 100,000 people. DHS also recently updated their COVID-19 vaccine data page. The dashboard is available on the COVID-19 vaccine data page and shows vaccination rates by county, along with the demographics of those who have received the vaccine by county and statewide. In addition, DHS announced the launch of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program in which 178 Walgreens locations in Wisconsin will receive vaccine from the federal government to accelerate local vaccination efforts in underserved communities. This additional vaccine is separate from Wisconsin’s allocation.

Rural Broadband Update

I have heard from many of you about the difficulties of getting quality internet from our rural homes. As a member of the Assembly Committee on Rural Development, improving rural broadband is one of my priorities. On the state level, I will continue to advocate for rural broadband expansion funding. Our state budget process will be difficult this year as we continue to face the pandemic. For this reason, I also have advocated for more federal funding. I sent a letter to Sen. Baldwin advocating for federal programs that support the expansion of broadband infrastructure in rural areas. Sen. Baldwin affirmed her commitment to programs that expand rural broadband in Wisconsin. If you are concerned about broadband, I encourage you to reach out to your federal legislators and urge them to expand rural broadband funding.

Unemployment Benefits Update

A new emergency rule allows the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) to continue to waive work searches for people who apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits.

In addition, in December Congress passed the Continued Assistance Act which creates new unemployment programs and provisions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. DWD has created an online progress tracker, so that we can see the progress of programming the new programs.

If you have been waiting longer than 21 days for your claim to be processed, please reach out to me at or (608)266-7746. My staff and I can submit an inquiry to DWD on your behalf.

Mask Update

Earlier this month, the Senate and the Assembly passed Senate Joint Resolution 3, ending Governor Evers’ Public Health Emergency mandating masks. Shortly after, Governor Evers created a new Public Health Emergency mandating masks statewide. The Wisconsin Supreme Court is considering the legality of Governor Evers’ authority to issue multiple public health emergencies.

Read my full statement on SJR 3 here.

Speaking on the floor in support of the Mask Mandate.

Black History Month Events

February is Black History Month and the Wisconsin Legislative Black Caucus (WLBC) has been celebrating by hosting events throughout the month. This week, the focus is on health and mental health, and next week the events will be on the subject of criminal justice.

  • Friday, February 19th, noon – 1pm : Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association
  • Friday, February 26th, noon – 1pm : Wisconsin Legislative Black Caucus Update by Members
  • More events to be announced on the subject of criminal justice

For more information about these events, I encourage you to go to WLBC’s Facebook page at

People's Maps Commission

I have heard from so many of you that you want fair maps this time around. I agree. Citizens should elect their representatives, not the other way around. If you feel strongly about fair maps, you still have time to voice your opinion. There are two public hearings left for the People’s Maps Commission.

  • 6th Congressional District – Thursday Feb. 25th, 5:30-8:45pm
  • 2nd Congressional District – March 11th, time TBD

If you would like to testify or submit a written public comment regarding the fair redistricting of these congressional districts, go here. I look forward to see the People’s Maps Commission’s recommendations for non-partisan redistricting. Fair redistricting plays an important role in fair elections in Wisconsin.

COVID-19 Update

Wisconsin’s COVID-19 activity level is the lowest it has been in five months. We must continue this momentum by continuing to follow public health guidance. As vaccinations continue, we must remember all the tools we have to slow the spread of COVID-19 including masks and social distancing.

On February 17th, the weekly average for new daily COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin was 731.

Source: Department of Health Services

DNR Update

The Department of Natural Resources has opportunities for you to get out of the house and do some winter camping! Check out their list of winter campsites here.


During these uncertain times, you may not know where to look for assistance. You can call 211 for assistance on many topic such as paying your bills, mental health resources, and more. 211 is a resource managed by the United Way of Wisconsin. Call 2-1-1 or visit their website.

Office of Crime Victim Services

End Abuse Wisconsin 

National Domestic Violence Hotline: Call 1-800-799-7233, text LOVEIS to 22522, or go to for free and confidential support.

Disaster Distress Hotline 

Coping Resources for Kids and Parents Amidst COVID-19 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Veterans Crisis Line 

Vets for Warriors 

Military One Source 

Resilient Wisconsin

Department of Corrections Helpline: The call center can be reached by members of the public Monday through Friday from 7:45am–4:30pm at (608) 240-5700.

Wisconsin Farm Center 

24/7 Farmer Wellness Hotline

LGBTQ Crisis Line 

HopeLine Text Service 

Wisconsin Elder Abuse Hotline 

Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline 

I encourage you to reach out to my office with any questions or concerns during this time. It is important to me to hear from you on issues at the state level.