Final E-Update, Unemployment Filing, K-12 Reopening, Policing, State Campgrounds

 

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In This Issue

  1. Final E-Update
  2. Unemployment Filing Assistance
  3. K-12 Reopening
  4. Police and Protests
  5. Campgrounds
  6. State and Federal Services
  7. Contacting My Office

Final E-Update

Pursuant to state law, this will be my final e-update of the 2019-2020 legislative session. Under the "50-piece rule," after April 15th all mass communications from legislative offices using state resources are prohibited, as it is the campaign season. 2019 Act 185 extended this period to allow for communications related to the COVID-19 public health emergency, but these provisions expire today. I will not be able to send out another E-Update until after the November elections. 

Do not hesitate to contact my office at any time. My staff and I are available for your assistance. 


Unemployment Filing Assistance 

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My office has received dozens of cases of individuals having waited 10+ weeks for their unemployment benefits after filing their initial claim. If you find yourself in this situation, I can submit an inquiry to the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) on your behalf.

To get the process started, please e-mail my office at rep.wichgers@legis.wisconsin.gov with all of the following information:

• Full Name of Claimant (Last, First, Middle Initial):
• Address:
• Phone Number:
• Date of UI Application:
• Date of Birth and Last Four Digits of SSN:
• Status of Application (trying to file initial claim, in appeal, etc.):
• Reason for Inquiry (can't get through by phone, unanswered questions, etc.):

At the same time, my colleagues and I continue to push DWD to do its job and scale up its efforts to tackle the enormous backlog of unemployment claims, which has hovered above 700,000 unpaid weekly claims representing approximately 150,000 individual claimants. The latest unemployment statistics are available at the DWD website, with their most recent release available here.

If you need to file your initial claim, you may do so here.


K-12 Reopening

I would like to extend congratulations to the class of 2020 and a heartfelt thank you to the educators and staff who mobilized so rapidly to adapt to this situation.

As we look ahead to the fall, one of the most common concerns I hear from parents is uncertainty about plans for reopening schools.

Some schools have already made progress toward reopening by hosting face-to-face summer courses. Some have opened facilities such as weight rooms and are hosting summer day camps.

Promoting the safety of our kids must be the guiding principle in our decision-making.  

As the data comes in revealing that learning retention has been suffering as a result of the sudden switch to virtual learning, and as school districts reveal the many challenges to providing a quality academic experience during the present crisis, I am in support of reopening in the fall.

I also support reopening extracurricular activities to promote friendship and learning and to combat the negative psychological effects, drug overdoses, and even suicides this lock down has had on some of our kids in the community.

Waukesha County, as well as, Milwaukee, Racine, and Walworth continue to provide updates from their health departments and local leaders. Here is a link to County Executive Farrow's "Stay Safe to Stay Open" guidance. 


Police and Protests

This has been a difficult couple of weeks for our nation after the shocking death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25th. As our nation, our state, and our local communities grapple with the difficult task of healing and rectifying the pernicious effects of racism and institutional prejudice, I know that we will come together to listen to one another and respect each others' lived experiences.

I encourage everyone to pray, go to church each Sunday and read the Gospel of peace, and walk the walk for the rest of the week.

Furthermore, I commend those members of law enforcement, the overwhelming majority, who honorably carry out their duty in protecting our communities.

Radio broadcaster Paul Harvey addresses the issue so well. His eloquent speech can be found here

The transcript is below:

Policeman. A policeman is a composite of what all men are, mingling of a saint and a sinner, dust and deity. 

Gulled statistics wave the fan over the stinkers, underscore instances of dishonesty and brutality because they are "new". What they really mean is that they are exceptional, unusual, not commonplace. 

Buried under the frost is the fact: Less than one-half of one percent of policemen misfit the uniform. That’s a better average than you’d find among clergy!

What is a policeman made of? He, of all men, is once the most needed and the most unwanted. He’s a strangely nameless creature who is “sir” to his face and “fuzz” to his back.

He must be such a diplomat that he can settle differences between individuals so that each will think he won. But…If the policeman is neat, he’s conceited; if he’s careless, he’s a bum. If he’s pleasant, he’s flirting;if not, he’s a grouch.

He must make an instant decision which would require months for a lawyer to make.

But…If he hurries, he’s careless; if he’s deliberate, he’s lazy. He must be first to an accident and infallible with his diagnosis. He must be able to start breathing, stop bleeding, tie splints and, above all, be sure the victim goes home without a limp. Or expect to be sued.

The police officer must know every gun, draw on the run, and hit where it doesn’t hurt. He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age without damaging his uniform and without being “brutal”. If you hit him, he’s a coward. If he hits you, he’s a bully.

A policeman must know everything-and not tell. He must know where all the sin is and not partake.

A policeman must, from a single strand of hair, be able to describe the crime, the weapon and the criminal - and tell you where the criminal is hiding.

But… If he catches the criminal, he’s lucky; if he doesn’t, he’s a dunce. If he gets promoted, he has political pull; if he doesn’t, he’s a dullard. The policeman must chase a bum lead to a dead-end, stake out ten nights to tag one witness who saw it happen - but refused to remember.

The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy and a gentleman.

And, of course, he’d have to be genius... For he will have to feed a family on a policeman’s salary.


Campgrounds

State campgrounds reopen today!

Bathrooms will be open and cleaned daily. Other facilities, including offices, observation towers, concessions, and shelters will remain closed.

You can make your camping reservation by phone (1-888-947-2757) and online only to eliminate face to face interaction with DNR staff. Staff will be checking occupancy and there is no need to check in.

Note that staff will also be monitoring social distancing, and some areas may be closed where this is impossible. Capacity limits will also be in place--staff may close off access temporarily when the number of visitors reaches the limit.

You will need to bring your own firewood. To prevent the spread of invasive species, firewood should be purchased within ten miles of your campsite.

Learn more here and check on your park's special conditions before planning your trip.

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State and Federal Resources

State and federal authorities are assembling policy responses to address the hardships to individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19. Below are some links to resources you may want to bookmark and check regularly.

State

You can find valuable, up-to-date information from the state government here.

The Department of Health Services maintains a COVID-19 page with updates on the outbreak here.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association has a great dashboard displaying data related to the outbreak in different areas of the state here.

You can find all of Governor Evers' emergency orders here.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporations (WEDC) maintains a regularly updated page with information related to current federal/state/local programs for small business relief.

Federal 

The White House released a set of common-sense recommendations for what we can all do to help slow the virus's spread.

I also encourage you to review the resources below, which contain up-to-date information from the federal government on the outbreak. 

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Contacting My Office

My Capitol office is here to help you with general inquiries as well as questions and concerns regarding legislative matters. Feel free to contact me or my staff. We are always ready to assist you in your needs. Please visit my website for press releases and other Capitol updates.