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This week, DWD reported that the state missed out on $25 million in federal funding to cover unemployment claims, because Republicans delayed suspending the onerous one-week waiting period the GOP imposed on Wisconsinites who work for a living.  Due to their month-long inaction before approving the COVID-19 Relief Bill, those funds will be paid out of the state's UI trust fund, which is funded by employers, rather than by the federal government.


Their delay comes after years of Republican policies that have made it more difficult to apply for unemployment, and now workers are dealing with the repercussions of their bad legislation. Wisconsin workers and businesses deserve better, and Democrats are ready reach across the aisle to take action to address the economic and workforce challenges ahead.  




State Senator
27th District


Newly Released: Best practices and safety tips to minimize the spread of COVID-19 once businesses are allowed to reopen 

WEDC has released industry-specific guidelines for businesses to use once they are allowed to reopen. 

"Working toward that future will require the gradual adoption of new business practices that reflect the evolving reality of the COVID-19 pandemic and our success in mitigating the effects of this unprecedented global health emergency."

Additionally, you are encouraged to check WEDC's page often for any updates. 




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 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 * 


Updates from the DNR:

As you know, state parks and forests reopened on May 1. The DNR has released the following updates: 

  • State parks and forests will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, a change from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Properties will be closed to the public every Wednesday for maintenance and upkeep.
  • Restrooms at all state properties will be closed. 
  • DNR released a capacity updates site, for you to check prior to traveling to a state park. You can find the website here. 
  • During the public health emergency, annual vehicle admission stickers and state trail passes can be purchased over the phone by calling 1-888-305-0398. Someone will be available to assist you from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days per week. Learn more here. 

  • Admission stickers and trail passes can also be purchased online. Learn more here. 

  • Get more information on visiting state parks and forests. You can learn more here.


Wisconsin Department of Transportation offers new ways to obtain driver licenses without visiting DMV

From the DOT: The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) announced two pilot programs that will safely address a backlog of demand:

  • Eligible persons with a Wisconsin driver license will be able to renew it online
  • Individuals under age 18, who successfully complete their required training and have the endorsement of a parent or guardian will be able to get their probationary driver license without completing a road test

The pilot programs begin May 11. Each program eliminates the need for in-person visits to a DMV service center by enabling drivers to complete the tasks online.

Learn more. 


Where can I get tested in my community?

Gov. Evers announced a searchable map which allows Wisconsinites to search for COVID-19 testing site locations in their community to get tested.

Each site may have different requirements. Some sites may ask you to stay in your car. Other sites will screen you before you come indoors. Many sites will require an appointment before you arrive in order to ensure they’ve collected your contact and insurance information.

Learn more here.


Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) now open to agricultural enterprises

The first round of EIDL funding through the SBA for COVID-19 did not allow agricultural enterprises to apply. Now farms with 500 or fewer employees are able apply for these loans. You can learn more here. 

You can apply for the loan here. 

For more resources, the Wisconsin Farm Center provides additional support and resources for Wisconsin farmers and their families. 


Avoid Unemployment Scams

​From DWD: On occasion the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) receives notification of potential scams aimed at Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants and their current or former employers. Learn more about known unemployment benefit scams here. 



Looking for additional resources? I have added a tab to my website title "COVID-19 Updates," where I have been compiling helpful resources and information. The page is updated frequently with new information. 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. 




 Governor Evers Emergency Orders 

5/4/2020: Emergency Order #35: Relating to the Department of Health Services and Department of Safety and Professional Services 

4/27/2020: Emergency Order #34: Interim Order to Turn the Dial 




4/20/2020: Emergency Order #31: Badger Bounce Back



View more.


What Can I Do to Help 

* Apply to be a Contact Tracers: The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), Division of Public Health (DPH) is recruiting a large team of Contact Tracers to assist in tracking and limiting the spread of COVID-19 in the State of Wisconsin. Apply here.

COVID-19 Volunteer Program: The state is seeking volunteers to support Wisconsin's healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Active and retired healthcare professionals and those who wish to help in non-clinical support positions are encouraged to sign up to volunteer through the Wisconsin Emergency Assistance Volunteer Registry (WEAVR)

PPE Donation/Buyback program: We are looking for companies, educational facilities and other organizations that may have personal protective equipment (PPE) that could be used in the state’s response to the COVID-19 emergency. Sign up here: 

United Way - To connect potential volunteers and organizations, the United Way of Wisconsin, Serve Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Volunteer Coordinators Association created the COVID-19 Response Initiative on the Volunteer Wisconsin website.

Red Cross -  If healthy, please consider giving blood by calling 1-800-RedCross or going to

WRA - Establishments around the state are offering services during COVID-19. Find a list of restaurants open for delivery/pick-up and add yours to the list here.

Contacting My Office

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