Priorities for Federal Stimulus Dollars

This week, I held a press conference with area legislators to announce how part of $3.2 billion in federal stimulus funding from the American Rescue Plan Act should be prioritized to help Wisconsinites. 


As part of this effort, I introduced legislation that would create a  Summer Sales Tax Holiday - a one-time sales tax holiday between June 1st - August 31st - for restaurants, taverns, brewpubs, theaters, amusement parks and arcades. These businesses were devastated last year and the Summer Sales Tax Holiday would provide them a needed boost this summer.


The Legislature would also use these funds to provide $1 billion in aid to property taxpayers, $500 million for broadband expansion, fund long-term care, and aid our small businesses and tourism industry.

Unfortunately, Governor Evers vetoed the legislation that would have given the legislature the input to ensure these federal funds are spread equitably around the state. However, I will continue fighting to ensure these federal funds are used to responsibly support Wisconsinites. 


Children and Families Committee Holds Executive Session and Informational Hearing

This week, I chaired a Public Hearing of the Assembly Committee on Children and Families. The Committee voted and passed the following bills:

Assembly Bill 26: which would prohibit the out-of-home placement of a child with a person with a record of a crime against a child. Known as "Ethan's Law" this legislation is based on the tragedy that befell Ethan Hauschultz in Manitowoc. 


Assembly Bill 138: which would reform the adoption process in Wisconsin by providing a disclaimer of parental rights in the adoption process. Wisconsin is currently considered one of the least "adoption friendly" states in the country, and this change would help improve the process and place children in caring homes. 

Assembly Bill 142 and Assembly Bill 143 are bills that incorporate into state law new federal requirements. One relates to protections under the law for those reporting child abuse, and the other updates standards for congregate care facilities.  


Additionally, the Committee held an informational hearing on child care in Wisconsin. The hearing included testimony from the Department of Children and Families, business leaders, industry experts, and local child care providers. The Hearing highlighted the struggles many communities in Wisconsin face to provide adequate child care. I am committed to finding ways to help address the lack of child care options across Wisconsin.   


Supreme Court Strikes Down Mask Mandate

This week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate, ruling that the Governor exceeded his authority by issuing the order.  The court ruled 4-3 that Evers violated state law by unilaterally issuing multiple emergency orders to extend the mandate for months. The statewide mask mandate was set to expire Monday but now ends immediately following Wednesday's ruling.

Last week, Wausau City Council members approved extending a mask resolution that does not carry any penalties through May 31st, 2021. The City of Wausau's resolution was written to take effect when a statewide order ends. Other local or county ordinances may be in effect across the state.


COVID-19 Vaccine Update


The Marathon County community vaccination clinic will open on April 6th at Northcentral Technical College's Center for Business and Industry from 11 am to 7 pm, Monday through Saturday.  The clinic will first schedule vaccination appointments for those on the Marathon County Health Department’s waitlist, with priority for those who are age 65 and older, educators, and child care staff. After those appointments are scheduled, the clinic will begin scheduling appointments for anyone currently eligible for the vaccine. To make an appointment, please use the WI COVID-19 registry.


Additionally, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced everyone age 16 and over will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting April 5, 2021. While everyone will be eligible starting April 5, some areas of the state may have a higher demand for vaccinations and may have waitlists. Vaccine providers will prioritize anyone previously eligible such as public-facing essential workers and people with medical conditions.



2019-2020 Blue Books & maps (paper highway maps or laminated maps) are still available in my office! The Wisconsin Blue Book contains information on all things Wisconsin, including census information, state history, official state symbols, and everything about Wisconsin government! Contact me for your free copy today!