The statewide COVID-19 website is a one stop shop that consolidates information from state agencies, and provides up-to-date information and guidance regarding COVID-19. DHS has also offered information on their website on How and Where to Get Tested.

If you're not busy, please make a call, send a card, or write a letter to someone you know who lives alone or may need assistance.

Bless each of you during this difficult time of uncertainty and suffering. Take good care!

See previous eUpdates

Contents

Everyone 16+ now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

All Wisconsinites who are age 16 or older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Wisconsin has been national leader with regard to our vaccine rollout, and this is one more sign that we are continuing in the right direction.

Currently 33% of Wisconsin residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine, and 20% of residents have completed their vaccination. For those 65+, 63% are fully vaccinated.

Let's keep Wisconsin at the top of the rollout rankings!

To find out how you and your family can get signed up for a vaccine appointment visit:

dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/vaccine-get.htm

Without a new emergency order, WI will soon start losing $50 million a month in federal food aid

In 2020 Congress increased funding for food programs like FoodShare in our state, but they made that funding contingent upon a state having an emergency order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in place.

After the State Supreme Court struck down Governor Evers' emergency orders last Wednesday, Wisconsin is now no longer eligible to receive that funding, which for our state totals about $50 million a month.

The reason that our state is in this position is because the majority party in the State Legislature doesn't agree with the Governor that there is an emergency in our state. Their repetitive attempts to stop the governor from being able to use this tool, despite the fact that Coronavirus has made 2020 the deadliest year in U.S. history, is what led to the Supreme Court ruling last week.

Many lower-income senior citizens who are currently receiving $204 a month for food will see their monthly benefit drop to $16 according to the Director of the Hunger Task Force Sherrie Tussler.

Read more.

Governor Evers announced his plans to invest the federal American Rescue Plan funds into small businesses and communities

In a radio address last week, Governor Evers announced an overview of his administration's plans to put $2.5 billion of the funds towards economic recovery and well-being with $600 million going toward supporting small businesses, $50 million to the tourism industry, $500 million for the state's continued pandemic response, and $200 million toward building infrastructure and expanding broadband internet.

Governor Evers stated: "We're going to be working to get these funds out the door as quickly as we can. We know these American Rescue Plan funds will be critical to making sure our state can bounce back and better than we were before this pandemic hit."

Listen to the address.

In addition to the funds received by our state at large, Wisconsin's counties and municipalities also received a portion of the ARPA funds to spend within their local jurisdictions. For the communities that touch the 3rd Senate district, Congress and President Biden approved the following amounts:

Milwaukee County: $183.4 million

City of Greenfield: $3.6 million

City of Milwaukee: $405.7 million

City of West Allis: $32.2 million

Village of West Milwaukee: $404,892

Additional funds will come to our state through specific programs directed towards: Unemployment Insurance; Health and Family Services; Children and Families; K-12 and Higher Education; Transportation; Arts; Business Assistance; Emergency Management; Environmental Grants; Housing Assistance; and Utility Assistance.

Read more from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau about ARPA funds coming to Wisconsin.

Some stimulus checks have been delayed

Some have still not received their latest round of the federal stimulus. It is important to note, that even if you had previously received your stimulus through a direct deposit payment, you should be on the lookout for your check to come in the mail this time and vice versa.

Delays are especially affecting those who have lost work, and those who rely on Social Security. Although the IRS and the Social Security Administration have been working closely to address this issue, the IRS has not given an expected timeline for when people might receive their stimulus payment.

You can use the IRS Get My Payment tool to check on the status of your payment.

Read more.

A bill that I cosponsored providing funding to the Citizen's Utility Board was signed into law

The Citizen's Utility Board (CUB) is an independent nonprofit organization that was established by the Legislature to represent utility customers in disputes that come before the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Recently the PSC approached the legislature with a bill to restore funding to the CUB, which Republicans had defunded in 2015. Even with the new funding, Wisconsin still provides less funding for consumer advocacy than any other state in the Midwest.

The CUB's director explained that the additional revenue will be used to expand the organizations staff so that it can better represent ratepayers.

I was very frustrated when the CUB was defunded, and so gladly sponsored this legislation to bring balance to the voices that come before the Public Service Commission.

Read more.

Recent increase in scams targeting those on Unemployment

Recently, the Department of Workforce Development warned that there has been a "significant increase" in the number of scams that they are seeing targeting people who are receiving unemployment compensation.

Some of the scams that they are seeing are presented with false information that is designed to make it looks like it is an official communication coming from DWD. These scam contacts have been sent through social media, via email, and over the phone.

If you have a claim with DWD, look for official communications from the Department in your claimant portal, and do not respond to emails, social media, or phone calls asking for personal information. If you believe that a contact may have been legitimate, do not respond to it, but instead contact a claims specialist at 414-435-7069 or toll free at 844-910-3661.

See the press release from DWD.

Governor's Budget Listening Session on education

This week's budget listening session: What's Best for our Kids will cover topics such as ensuring every kid has access to a high-quality, public education, providing mental health supports for students at schools, special education reimbursement rates, expanding access to early childhood education and childcare, and investing in our higher education institutions.

The session will take place virtually, April 8th at 6pm

More info and registration here.

Second rail service between Chicago-Milwaukee-Twin Cities has been proposed

The proposal would add a second daily round-trip passenger train between Chicago and the Twin Cities, with stops in Milwaukee and La Crosse. Construction for this service would begin in 2022 and would go into use in 2024.

The Wisconsin DOT is currently accepting public comments about the proposal.

Read more.

Anniversary of Hank Aaron's home run record

April 8th marks the 47th anniversary of the day that Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's career home run record. At the time the Atlanta Braves planned out the event so that Aaron could break the record at their home stadium. 

As the MLB looks to honor Aaron at the upcoming All-Star Game, here are some trivia facts about Hank Aaron that you might not have known!