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A Note from Rep. Edming

Thank you for reading my e-update this week. I want to wish everyone in the 87th District a Happy Easter! Recent reports have shown that our state is doing a great job of "flattening the curve," but we aren't out of the woods yet, unfortunately. Though we may not be able to spend the holiday with our families, I'm sure this will all be over soon enough. If you're struggling with unemployment insurance (UI) issues, please feel free to check out last week's e-update for information on filing a UI claim online, and more.

As you can imagine with the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, my office has seen a significant increase in the number of constituent contacts. My staff and I are doing our very best to assist constituents of the 87th Assembly District as quickly as we can.

During this time my physical office in Madison will be closed, but our team at the Legislative Technology Services Bureau has done a great job providing my staff the ability to work from home.  We are still able to receive phone calls and retrieve voicemails and emails, however, our response times may be a bit longer than normal.
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Adapting Our Religious Services

The past several weeks have been a challenging and confusing time for many businesses, employees, and non-profit organizations, including our places of worship.  Since the governor issued emergency orders restricting the size of gatherings and his "Safer at Home" order, places of worship throughout the state have been receiving conflicting messages about what they can and cannot do under these orders.  Under the governor's"Safer at Home" order, churches and other religious entities are considered essential and allowed to continue operating, but must still comply with the requirement that any gathering have less than 10 people, if this gathering occurs in a room or confined space.

Recently, some places of worship throughout the state have held outdoor services, in which the congregation remained in their vehicles to avoid person-to-person contact.  In some places, these services have been declared in violation of the governor's orders even though they are taking place outside. With Easter Sunday fast-approaching clarification has been needed on the governor's "Safer at Home" order.

I was pleased to see the Governor's Office release clarification on this matter yesterday. The governor's clarification said that churches and religious entities wishing to conduct services while still complying with the governor’s order may, for example, conduct services via:

  • Parking lots with congregants staying in cars, avoiding person-to-person contact;
  • Streaming online; and
  • Having small gatherings (fewer than 10 people in each room) with multiple services

I thank the governor for issuing this clarification and for providing certainty to places of worship in our state.

Serving as a Poll Worker

Over the past several weeks, I talked to and heard from a number of folks in the district about their thoughts regarding the April 7th election. During this time, I was a strong, vocal advocate within the legislature for the postponement of the April 7th election. While I did my best in representing my constituents and conveying their concerns to legislative leaders, as you are likely aware, the election went forward on April 7th.  I truly appreciate all of the hard work our local officials and poll workers around the 87th Assembly District did to make voting as easy and safe as possible. I even had a new experience myself, serving as a poll worker in my town, the Town of True, in Rusk County.

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COVID-19 Resources

Other Quick Links to COVID-19 Resources

Final E-Update

Thank you once again for reading my e-updates. At this time, this will be my last e-update until after the November elections, as state law prohibits a candidate for office from distributing more than 49 substantially identical pieces of material.  Even though I will not be sending e-updates, I will still try to keep you informed by posting on my Facebook page.

With that said, there has been some discussion in the legislature about amending this law to suspend this rule during a public health emergency, so that we are able to provide updates to our constituents related to the emergency. Regardless if this is part of the final package the legislature considers in response to COVID-19 or not, my staff and I are still available to assist you. Navigating the bureaucracy of state government can be frustrating in normal times, so if you believe that my office can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Stay Up to Date

One of the best ways to stay up to date with what is going on in Madison is to sign up for the legislature's notification tracking service. This service allows you to follow legislative activity in Madison. Once you create a free account, you can sign up to receive notifications about specific bills or committees as well as legislative activity pertaining to a subject area (i.e. agriculture, veterans). You can sign up for this service at notify.legis.wisconsin.gov.