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Monday is Memorial Day. On Monday and everyday, let us remember and honor those who gave their lives for our country.

You can learn more about how Wisconsinites are commemorating Memorial Day, including a virtual ceremony, by visiting the Wisconsin Veterans Museum's site. 

Additionally, the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs has stated that cemeteries are open and accessible to the public from sunrise to sunset every day. The WDVA encourages visitors to observe social distancing guidelines when visiting. You can learn more here. 

Sincerely,

 

JON ERPENBACH
State Senator
27th District

 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month 

Help us celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month by checking in with yourself and your loved ones. Mental health is especially important right now, given the COVID-19 crisis, and it is vital that we continue to de-stigmatize mental health issues and provide everyone with the support they need to navigate this pandemic.   

 

Online screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition.

Take a confidential mental health test here.


 


 

Resources - 

During this difficult time it is worth reminding Wisconsinites that 211 exists to help when you don’t know where to turn. 211 is a resource managed by the United Way of Wisconsin. Call 2-1-1 or visit their website.

Office of Crime Victim Services

End Abuse Wisconsin 

National Domestic Violence Hotline: Call 1-800-799-7233, text LOVEIS to 22522, or go to thehotline.org for free and confidential support.

Disaster Distress Hotline 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Veterans Crisis Line 

Vets for Warriors 

Military One Source 

Resilient Wisconsin

Department of Corrections Helpline: The call center can be reached by members of the public Monday through Friday from 7:45am–4:30pm at (608) 240-5700.

Wisconsin Farm Center 

LGBTQ Crisis Line 

HopeLine Text Service 

Wisconsin Elder Abuse Hotline 

 


CARES Act funding for long term care and emergency medical services providers

Governor Evers announced a $100 million dollar grant program funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The funding will support providers most at-risk for financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. The providers targeted for financial assistance include emergency medical services, home and community-based services, and long-term care providers such as skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities.

Learn more. 

 

 

CARES Act funding for Wisconsin Farm Support Program & Food Security Initiative

Governor Evers announced the Wisconsin Farm Support Program, a $50-million investment to provide direct payments to Wisconsin farmers in support of the agricultural sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a $15-million Food Security Initiative to combat hunger in Wisconsin.

Eligible farmers will be asked to apply for the aid through the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, which is working in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Farm support payments could begin arriving as early as June.

Learn more.

 

CARES Act funding for (W.R.A.P.) Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program

W.R.A.P. provides short term financial assistance to Wisconsinites who experienced income loss as a result of COVID-19 to prevent evictions once rent moratoriums expire. 

The Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources within the Department of Administration will oversee the distribution of up to $25 million of COVID-19 relief funds for financial assistance to individual households to help pay for costs associated with rent payments.

In general, an eligible applicant must be an adult Wisconsin resident with a household income at or below 80% of the county median income in the month of or prior to the application date. The applicant must provide documentation showing they have had a significant loss of income due to COVID and are unable to pay their rent. Rent costs will be paid directly to the landlord on behalf of the tenant.

Financial assistance will be awarded on a first come first serve basis, however, in the case that demand exceeds funding, a waiting list will be established.

Learn more. 

 

CARES Act funding for COVID-19 Testing, Contact Tracing, Operations, and Resources for Local Communities

Governor Evers announced a robust $1 billion statewide effort to support COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, acquisition of needed supplies, emergency operations, and resources for local communities throughout Wisconsin.

Recognizing that testing and contact tracing are essential to Wisconsin’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus, the state has allocated approximately $260 million for testing efforts and $75 million for contact tracing.

Learn more.

CARES Act funding for small business assistance 

Governor Evers announced the We’re All In initiative, which will provide $75 million in assistance for small businesses. 

These $2,500 cash grants to 30,000 Wisconsin small businesses will assist with the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages, and inventory.Businesses will be able to apply for grant assistance in early June.

Learn more. 

 


Ethnic Minority Emergency Grant

In response to the strain placed on small businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic, WEDC has funded the Ethnic Minority Emergency Grant (EMEG) initiative as part of the Minority Business Development Program. The EMEG initiative will award grants of $2,000 per company to ethnic minority-owned businesses with five or fewer full-time equivalent employees (including the owner) in the retail, service or hospitality sectors that have not received assistance through the Small Business 20/20 Program or the federal CARES Act and/or Paycheck Protection Program.

This one-time, temporary initiative will accept applications from May 18-26, 2020.

Learn more. 

 

Child Care Counts: COVID-19 Emergency Payment Program

In order to ensure parents are able to return to work, Wisconsin needs child care programs to be open, fully staffed, and able to care for children, ages 0-13.

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families is supporting the growing demand for child care access for essential workforce families by assisting in the launch of a number of payment programs to support child care providers.

Application Period 1 - May 18 - May 29, 2020

Application Period 2 - June 8 - June 19, 2020

Application Period 3 - June 29 - July 10, 2020

Learn more.

 

Wisconsin State Park Update

Starting May 23, most Wisconsin state park properties will return to regular hours of 6am - 11pm, 7 days a week. Properties will no longer be closed on Wednesdays. 

A limited number of day-use area restrooms at park properties will reopen for public use beginning June 3. 

View all DNR State Park updates and learn more here. 

 

DWD Detects, Prevents Instances of Identity-Fraud Against Unemployment Insurance Program

From DWD: DWD has identified 342 unsuccessful attempts to access the system with a stolen social security number as of May 15. Out of the 1.4 million claims totaling more than $1.1 billion that the Department has paid since March 15, DWD has flagged 171 claims as potential fraud with payments estimated to be around $26,000.

The instances of fraud that began in late March involve an individual using another's identity in an attempt to claim benefits on their behalf. The bad actors have stolen personal information from sources outside of the agency, such as from massive external data breaches like the Equifax breach, and then use it to apply for benefits and attempt to route those payments to their own bank accounts. DWD's anti-fraud team recognizes this imposter fraud from past attacks on the system.

The public can learn more about how to recognize and report suspected fraud here.

Learn more.


 

Looking for additional resources? If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to my office at Sen.Erpenbach@Legis.WI.Gov, or call (608) 266-6670. 

 

 
 
Contacting My Office

Feel free to contact me with any inquiries. Please visit my website for press releases and other Capitol updates.