A special mention for all of the mothers out there! Make sure to take some time for your self this Sunday. Thank you for everything you do!

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WonderFair Days Ahead!

I was very excited to hear the announcement that the Wisconsin State Fair is planning to be open this year from August 5th through the 15th. There will be rides, animals, and all the great food as always!

Final safety protocols will be determined as we get closer to opening day, but the State Fair administration has already established sanitization procedures throughout the park.

All admission tickets, vouchers, and holiday bundles for the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair are valid for the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair.

Get tickets!

Just 0.03% of fully vaccinated Wisconsinites have gotten COVID-19

At the time the data was reported several days ago, 605 COVID-19 "breakthrough" cases had been identified among the 1.8 million residents who had completed the vaccine series.

This is higher than the national average of 0.008%, but the CDC has clarified that the national figures are likely presenting an undercount of the breakthrough cases from across the nation. These infections occur because no vaccine is 100% effective.

Even though it is still possible, although unlikely, that someone will get the disease after vaccination, vaccines still reduce the probability of serious illness or death resulting from a COVID-19 infection! About half of Wisconsin breakthrough cases reported no symptoms.

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Wisconsin's competitive housing market

Although the number of homes available for sale in Wisconsin is falling, Wisconsin's housing market saw strong sales during the first quarter of 2021. The Wisconsin Realtors Association found that sales were up 0.8% compared to last year, while listings are down 36.9%. This increased demand, and restricted supply has lead to the median price increasing by 10.3%.

Overall the number of days that homes are on the market has gone down, and the number of offers that buyers have to make before getting a home has gone up. And realtors are strategically showing buyers homes that are under their budget to factor in the effects of competitive bidding where offers are often being made $20,000 over the asking price.

Even though the market is hot in Wisconsin, there are still other parts of the country seeing even more competitive demand.

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Republicans plan to remove hundreds of Evers' proposals from the state budget

In their first actions regarding the Governor's budget proposal, the Republican controlled Joint Committee on Finance plans to remove hundreds of items including Medicaid expansion, partial restoration of public sector union bargaining rights, medical and recreational marijuana legalization, and automatic voter registration.

They have also indicated that they plan to remove $80 million that the Governor had proposed for updating Wisconsin's outdated unemployment insurance system.

This move is the first salvo in a tense budget negotiation process where the Republicans have indicated that they plan on scrapping Governor Evers' budget and starting over from scratch.

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Wisconsin's job loss from pandemic was lower than neighboring states, and UI Overpayments

Compared to the national average and all four of our neighboring states, Wisconsin experienced a lower rate of job losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wisconsin saw a 5.2% drop in total jobs while Iowa saw 5.3%, Minnesota was 7.4% Illinois saw 7.8% and Michigan 7.9%. Nationwide job loss was 6.8%. Read more.

Regardless of the state seeing less job loss than its neighbors, the unemployment caused by the pandemic was devastating, made worse by an outdated unemployment system that caused major delays in implementing programs for those who lost work through no fault of their own.

One extremely frustrating result of this situation has come in the form of overpayments, which occur when a claimant is paid unemployment benefits and is later found to not be eligible for those benefits. The Department of Workforce Development is required to recoup these overpayments, even though there may not have been any fraud as the underlying cause of the overpayment.

Currently, a Special Federal COVID-19 Relief Programs Waiver is available for those beneficiaries who received an overpayment while receiving one of the federal unemployment programs. Those are: FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC, or LWA. The claimant is only eligible for the waiver if it is determined that the claimant was not at fault for creating the overpayment. More info about overpayments and the federal waiver.

Currently, several of my Democratic colleagues are seeking cosponsors for a bill that would provide the same type of waiver for the state programs of unemployment compensation, so that everyone can make use of this waiver if they were not at fault for the overpayment. I am supporting this bill, and plan to do everything that I can to make sure that it receives a public hearing and comes to the floor for a vote. We cannot allow the people of Wisconsin who have faced some of the most difficult economic challenges to be on the hook for a mistake made by the DWD.

Wisconsin schools required to teach Holocaust under new law

Under a new law signed by Governor Evers last week, Wisconsin middle and high schools will now be required to include lesson about the Holocaust and other genocides in their social studies curricula. 17 other states have similar laws on the books, and one other state has a similar law that will take effect starting next year.

The bipartisan bill passed both chambers of the state legislature unanimously. It was inspired by educational trends showing that fewer young people are aware of many important details of the history of the Holocaust and the World War II era, as well as a recent uptick in antisemitic incidents since 2015.

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Greenfield and West Allis Farmers Markets Open

The Greenfield Farmers Market will be open every Sunday from May through October (except for May 30th and July 4th) and is located at 

Konkel Park - 5151 W. Layton Ave., Greenfield, WI 53220

The West Allis Farmers Market is open every Saturday from May through the Saturday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 27th), and also Tuesdays and Thursdays. Located at:

6501 W. National Ave., West Allis, WI 53214

History of Mother's Day

The history of Mother's Day is long and filled with customs and traditions going back at least as far as the ancient Greeks and Romans who held festivals in the honor of their goddesses of motherhood.

The modern tradition that we know today is most clearly set out in a festival called "Mothering Sunday" from early Christian culture. This celebration started as a religious holiday celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent, when Christians would return to their "mother church" for a special service. It has since become a more secular holiday, celebrated widely by many different cultures.

Regardless of the source of this wonderful tradition, everyone should take a moment to pick up the phone and give their mom a call this Sunday!

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