LaTonya's Legislative Updates Final Border.png 

Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

The new coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has changed our day-to-day lives in a profound way. While this situation continues to evolve rapidly, one thing remains clear: staying home will save lives!

Staying home not only protects yourself and your loved ones, but it also gives our health care professionals and other frontline workers the best chance to be able to care for those who do become ill. 

Because this is a global pandemic, elected officials at all levels of government are working around the clock to provide resources and security. Below I have listed trusted places where you can get information about the resources available.*


Sincerely, 

LJohnson sig.bmp
LaTonya Johnson
State Senator


*This information is up-to-date as of 10 a.m. April 1. Please note that this situation is always changing, so please utilize the resources provided below and check them periodically for the most current information. I will also post updates on my Facebook and Twitter accounts. 

Contents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip of the Month 2.png (1)
Take Care of your Mental Health during this Pandemic

If all the COVID-19 news is making you feel overwhelmed or frightened, contact the SAMHSA Disaster Helpline:

Call DistressLine at 1-800-985-5990
Text TalkWithUs to 66746

The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7 365 day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human caused-disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents of the United States and its territories.

 

Safer at Home

 

Safer at home means just that: you can and will save lives, possibly your own, if you remain in your place of residence as much as possible. Under the order, you are required to stay at home except to do essential tasks, like getting groceries. Individuals do not need special permission to leave their homes, but they must comply with this Order as to when it is permissible to leave home. Similarly, if a business is an Essential Business or Operation as defined in this order, it does not need documentation or certification to continue its work that is done in compliance with this Order.

If you do leave your home to complete an essential task, it is critically important to follow 'social distancing' guidelines. That is, keep yourself at least 6 feet from others at all times. Currently, the Safer at Home order will remain in effect until April 24 unless another order is issued. 

Click here for more information about essential activities outlined in Governor Evers' Safer at Home order.

Social Distancing.jpg


If you do become ill and think you may have COVID-19, please contact your regular doctor's office. While there are several locations in the area that are now offering drive-through testing, such as Ascension St. Joseph, you will need to be screened first. If you do not currently have a doctor, Ascension St. Joseph will be able to connect you to one. It is crucial that you do not go to the testing site without an appointment.

Click here to read important information from Ascension about the testing process as well as to get information about their commitment to ensuring everyone, regardless of insurance status, can access care for COVID-19 should they need it.

As with any medical emergency, if you have severe symptoms, such as persistent pain or pressure in the chest or bluish lips or face, contact your health care provider or emergency room and seek care immediately. 

Click here for more information on what to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, shortness of breath, and cough are some of the symptoms). Click here for additional information about symptoms.
 

Information for Survivors of Abuse
I understand that home may not always be a safe space for some members in our community and that right now is an especially difficult time for survivors of domestic violence. I am grateful to all of the advocates around the state who are working tirelessly to offer support and make sure people are safe. Those who are looking to make a safety plan or someone to talk to can find an advocate by visiting www.endabusewi.org/get-help.

 

Voting Information for the
April 7 Election

 

absentee voting- facebook 1.png 

At this time, there are no plans to postpone Wisconsin’s primary election on April 7. Voters are encouraged to take precautions and continue mitigating the spread of COVID-19 by taking advantage of requesting a ballot by mail.

Governor Evers has called for the Legislature to come together to take up a number of proposals, including allowing all eligible voters to vote by mail using an absentee ballot for an election held during a public health emergency. Unfortunately, Republicans in control of the Legislature have made it clear they are not likely to take up any of these safety proposals. Faced with Republican inaction, the governor is taking other steps to make Election Day as smooth and as safe as possible, including using members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard to help work the polls. 

The safest way to participate in the April 7 election is by requesting an absentee ballot by mail, but please note that the deadline to request an absentee ballot is tomorrow, April 2. An absentee ballot allows you to receive a ballot in the mail, cast your vote, and mail it back to your local election officials. If you are registered to vote at your current address, you can request an absentee ballot at myvote.wi.gov. A copy of your photo identification may be required. 

I share the concerns of those who have contacted me in recent weeks about the safety of this election, but I am proud of the local efforts to ensure Milwaukeeans have other options to cast their ballot, including:

Drive-up Early Voting  
City of Milwaukee residents can utilize the drive-up early voting option at the Zeidler Municipal Building through Sunday, April 5, 2020. Click here for more information. 

Absentee Ballot Drop-off 
If you requested an absentee ballot by mail, but have concerns about it being returned on time to be counted, you can drop it off at one of five drop-off locations in the city of Milwaukee. These locations will be open to take absentee ballots until Election Day and staff will be available to witness voter signatures if needed. Click here for more information. 

Voting on Election Day
Please note, if you must vote on Election Day rather than voting early, the number of polling locations will be dramatically reduced from previous years. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee is expected to have just 10-12 polling locations operational next week, rather than it's typical 180. Be sure to check myvote.wi.gov to find what polling location you should go to on April 7 if needed. 

 

Resources Round-Up

 

I am glad to see Governor Evers taking initiative to ensure that Wisconsinites are not prevented from receiving the treatment and support they need to weather this public health emergency. Key to this is removing statutory barriers and legal red tape so our public health experts have the flexibility to act swiftly to keep our communities safe. 

Additionally, I appreciate the work of U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore who are working hard to ensure Wisconsinites have access to federal resources. 

All of the aforementioned officials have done a great job creating a catalog of resources currently available and also have answers to many of the frequent questions community members have. 

  • Click here for Governor Evers' webpage that includes resources from across state agencies, including information about filing for unemployment benefits, resources for small businesses, information about telehealth services, and more.  

  • Click here for Congresswoman Gwen Moore's list of resources, which includes how to cover basic necessities like food, child care resources for health care workers, and more. 

  • Click here for U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin's list of resources, which includes information about direct cash payments approved by the federal government (CARES Act), resources for small businesses, resources for veterans, and more. 

You can also call 2-1-1 or visit their website, here, for information and assistance during this unprecedented time.  

Click here for Milwaukee County's COVID-19 webpage.

Click here for the City of Milwaukee's COVID-19 website.

I hope you find the above resources helpful. However, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any additional questions at Sen.Johnson@legis.wi.gov.  My Democratic colleagues and I are continuing to work with legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle as well as Governor Evers to address this ongoing public health emergency for all of Wisconsin’s citizens and businesses.

 

StayHomeFBEN.jpg


Want to help spread the message to #StayHome?

Take the pledge on the StayHomeMKE webpage. Once you take the pledge, you can share it on your social channels. Tag friends and family and invite them to take the pledge too.

 

Useful Phone Numbers

There are many levels of state and local government that can help answer questions and get you connected with resources you may need. I have listed some useful phone numbers below. You can also see a comprehensive list of numbers by clicking the link below. If you see a change needed or an important number that should be added, please let me know! 

Congresswoman Gwen Moore.............................414-297-1140
Governor Evers.....................................................608-266-1212
Milwaukee Common Council...............................414-286-2221
Milwaukee County Board....................................414-278-4222
Milwaukee Police Department.............................414-933-4444
Poison Control......................................................800-222-1222
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program..............800-815-0015

Medigap Helpline.................................................800-242-1060
Consumer Protection Hotline..............................800-422-7128
Department of Health Services............................608-266-1865
Workforce Development......................................608-266-3131
Public Service Commission..................................800-225-7729
SeniorCare Wisconsin.........................................800-657-2038
WI Commissioner of Insurance Complaints.......800-236-8517


For other useful phone numbers, click here!