Dear Friends,

I hope you are well. The head of the Medical College of Wisconsin believes the COVID-19 pandemic is showing a clear deceleration. Dr. John Raymond, Sr., told the Milwaukee Business Journal that hospitalizations are slowing down. He added that hospitals are in "really good shape" for personal protective equipment. That is encouraging news.

I had the honor of chairing the Joint Committee on Finance this week as we met in the State Capitol in Madison. I'm also happy to report grants are now available for a bill I authored into law that helps prepare at risk children for kindergarten.

Keep reading below for updated statistics on COVID-19 in our area. There is also information below on testing, updates on local reopening plans, and more. A comprehensive list of helpful information and links is available on  here.

As always, if you have any concerns or ideas on how to improve our great state, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone at 608-266-5830 or by email at Sen.Darling@legis.wisconsin.gov.

On, Wisconsin!
Budget Committee Meets to Review Spending Plans
On Tuesday, I chaired a meeting of the Joint Committee on Finance. We met, while safely socially distancing, to review plans from the Department of Administration, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), and some settlements from the Department of Justice.

WHEDA had a surplus of nearly $17 million. The agency will now use the surplus to help more people into housing throughout Wisconsin.
Grants for Online Learning Available Thanks to Darling Bill
Students who start school without basic skills are more likely to drop out and never graduate from college. This session, I authored a new law that creates a pilot program to create an online early learning program to help children better transition into kindergarten.
 
Especially during these times, it’s important to have online learning options with proven results. This new law will help make sure students are ready for school and are less likely to fall behind.
 
I’m happy to report the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is now accepting applications for the grant.  Find out more here.
Districts Still Waiting on Back-to-School Guidance
During a recent COVID-19 briefing, Governor Tony Evers told the media that his administration is working on a back-to-school plan that will be released in “the next couple weeks.” We are still waiting.

I’m glad Governor Evers is finally working on a back-to-school plan, but our schools need guidance now. Many states and communities throughout the country have already released similar plans. September will be here before we know it, and we can't set up our children to fail. As many families begin going back to work they will need to prepare for the upcoming school year but more importantly, feel comfortable sending their children back to learn.

Recently, I spoke with local school officials in my area. To no surprise, they have already been working on their own plans for the fall. I applaud their proactive work and am very impressed with their preparation and response.

Our school officials are working directly with their local health departments and surveying parents to build their plans. Most schools are preparing for multiple scenarios depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not only do our schools need guidance right away, but districts need time to inform parents and students to give them reassurance that school districts are doing everything they can to make them feel comfortable with their plans. Learning must go on safely and responsibly.
COVID-19 Cases in Our Area
The table above contains data from June 17, 2020 from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on coronavirus cases in our area.
COVID-19 Testing Available
Update on Local Safer at Home Orders
Several of our area communities have some restrictions in place. Here is a summary of where those orders stand.

Washington and Ozaukee Counties have lifted their lock down of long-term care facilities.

Suburban Milwaukee County: (Includes Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point, Glendale, River Hills, Whitefish Bay)
  • The area remains in Phase C with the following restrictions:
  • Gatherings limited to 50 people
  • Masks are required at all Milwaukee County facilities
  • Child Care to follow DCF guidelines
  • Retail occupancy limited to 50% of capacity
  • Restaurants and Bars occupancy limited to 75% of capacity
  • Gyms occupancy limited to 50% of capacity
  • Places of Worship Follow guidelines of faith-based leadership organization 
  • Phase C will last at least 14 days and the next stage will begin if gating measures (PPE, hospital capacity, testing, tracing, etc.) are met.
  • Phase C will be re-evaluated on June 26th.


  • "Moving Milwaukee Forward" mirrors Governor Evers’ "Safer at Home" order with no end date.
  • The city is currently in Phase 3.
  • Bars and restaurants may open at 25% of capacity.
  • Stores are allowed to be at 50% of capacity.
  • Click here for more information.

Check with your community or anywhere you plan to travel for more details and guidelines. We are all encouraged to continue practice social distancing, wash hands, and stay home if you have any symptoms.
Around the 8th...
On Saturday, the Village of Thiensville is hosting its annual Village Rummage sale 8 a.m. to noon.

Maps with addresses are available at Village Hall, 250 Elm St., or Port Washington State Bank, 197 S. Main St. You can also find the map here.
Mequon-Thiensville Family Fun Before the 4th