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A Note from Rep. Edming

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In last week's e-update, I mentioned that it would be my last one for a while, due to state law.  However, thanks to the legislation the legislature passed this week, my colleagues and I are allowed to continue sending updates out for the duration of the public health emergency to keep you informed on issues related to COVID-19. I hope to continue providing you all with the most important, up-to-date information I can during these tough times.  

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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Safer at Home Extension

As you have likely heard, yesterday Governor Tony Evers announced the extension of the Safer at Home order until May 26th.  Like many of you, I am concerned about both the short and long term impacts of this extension.  Since this COVID-19 crisis began about one month ago, I have spoken with so many folks around the 87th Assembly District who are hurting.  I have heard the heart-wrenching stories from farmers and small business owners who are running out of options financially to keep their livelihoods alive.  I have also heard from those struggling through the bureaucracy of government to access the unemployment benefits they need to support themselves and their families and how they just want to return to work. Large parts of the economy in much of the 87th District, the agriculture, tourism, and hospitality industries are struggling tremendously.  Many in these industries already did not know if they were going to be able to survive prior to the extension of the Safer at Home order.

Since the governor’s announcement yesterday, my staff and I have spoken with a number of folks around the 87th District who reached out to share their frustrations and concerns with the governor’s actions.  We have also listened to the voicemail messages and read the emails from many more.  The consistent message I have heard from my constituents is that they do not support the governor’s extension of the Safer at Home order.

Governor Evers has not explained why he has extended his order 3 weeks longer than any other Midwestern state.  I believe that the governor and his team need to share with the legislature and more importantly the people of Wisconsin what data and other information they are using to make their decisions.  They also need to layout the benchmarks they are looking for in order to begin lifting the restrictions they have placed upon Wisconsinites.

I sincerely appreciate everyone who has reached out to me to share their thoughts on this very important issue.  My staff and I are doing our very best to assist constituents of the 87th Assembly District and provide answers to your questions as quickly as we can.  Going forward I will continue to advocate on your behalf and can assure you, I hear your concerns.

During this time I think Governor Evers also needs to hear your thoughts and concerns.  I encourage you to contact him at (608) 266-1212 or EversInfo@wisconsin.gov.


COVID-19 Response Bill Now Law

Over the past few weeks, I have heard from a number folks asking about the state's legislative response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After waiting to see how much federal money the state would receive and where this funding would be allocated, the legislature was able to put together the COVID-19 Response Bill. This legislation was drafted with input from Republican and Democrat legislators, as well as business owners, healthcare providers, and other constituents throughout the state. While this legislation did not accomplish everything that everyone was hoping for, it is a step in the right direction. I was proud to support this legislation when the Assembly met in an extraordinary session on Tuesday.  I am pleased that it was approved with a bipartisan 97- 2 vote.  It was approved by the State Senate with a unanimous 32-0 vote the next day and signed into law by Governor Evers as 2019 Wisconsin Act 185.

The provisions of Act 185 include the following measures: 

  • Waives the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits
  • Removes co-pays for COVID-19 testing
  • Expands SeniorCare to cover vaccinations
  • Allows pharmacists to extend prescriptions
  • Sets aside $75 million in state funds for future emergency needs
  • Qualify Wisconsin for extra federal resources to help fund Medicaid
  • Eases regulatory requirements for healthcare professionals and emergency medical responders
  • Asks WEDC to develop a plan to help the state's major industries to recover

As this situation continues, I want to say thank you to all the incredibly important folks in the 87th District who have continued to work through this pandemic, including our first responders, healthcare professionals, grocers, childcare providers, teachers, and more. We truly appreciate everything you are doing to help us all through these extremely difficult times.

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Economic Impact Payments

You've probably heard about the federal stimulus payments, or "economic impact payments", that are headed out to many Americans. The first few waves of these payments have already been sent out by direct deposit to those who have banking information on file with the IRS.  If you normally receive your federal tax refund by direct deposit and have not seen your economic impact payment in your account yet, more are being processed each day. If you haven't filed a tax return in the past couple of years or normally receive your refunds by check the Department of the Treasury has a new web portal.  Here you can check your payment status, confirm your payment type (i.e. direct deposit or check), and enter your bank account information for direct deposit if your payment has not already been processed.  If you choose not to authorize a direct deposit, a paper check will be issued, but this will take longer to get to you. You can find this web portal at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.

In addition, the Social Security Administration has announced that all Social Security recipients will automatically receive their payment in the same way they receive their regular benefits.  If you have any questions or would like more information about your economic impact payment, click here to visit the Economic Impact Payment Information Center. 


COVID-19 Resources

Quick Links to COVID-19 Resources: