COVID-19 Update
Dear Friends,

I hope you are well. As you may know, Wisconsin is open again. On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled the Evers’ Administration acted illegally to extend the safer at home order without going through the existing emergency rule process. I believe this ruling is a victory for the people of Wisconsin. We should not lose our rights as Americans or Wisconsinites in the middle of a pandemic.
The ruling does not mean people and businesses in the state should abandon smart and safe practices. I encourage people to continue to follow social distancing guidelines, and people with underlying health concerns to take extra precautions. People need to make the best decisions for themselves and their families. 
It's important to note that right before the ruling, our state was meeting nearly every benchmark set up by Governor Evers. Ninety-five percent of Wisconsin hospitals can treat all patients without crisis standards of care, test staff for COVID-19, and cases among workers are continuing their downward trend. 
Moving forward, my goal is to minimize the impact of the shutdown on our struggling families, businesses, and taxpayers. I have faith in the great people of Wisconsin. Together we will rebuild our economy.

If you are still having trouble getting through to claim your unemployment benefits, I'm happy to report Governor Evers is finally adding more staff to field your calls. Last month, the Legislature approved a bill that allowed the governor more flexibility to transfer staff between agencies. So far, 243 employees were transferred to the Department of Workforce Development to help handle calls. However, please feel free to contact my office if you are having difficulty getting your benefits.
Keep reading below for answers to frequently asked questions about the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling, updates on new local restrictions in our area, and many helpful links.

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

On, Wisconsin!
Supreme Court Ruling Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What did the Supreme Court decide?

A: The majority opinion of the Supreme Court stated that they considered Executive Order #28 issued by Secretary Andrea Palm to be considered a rule and therefore should have been promulgated through the statutory rule making procedures. They also stated that Palm exceeded her statutory authority when she confined people to their homes, forbade travel and closed businesses.

The final conclusion was that, “Emergency Order 28 is declared unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable.”

Q: I thought the legislature was asking for 6 days to work on a new plan with the administration.

A:The legislature had asked for a stay, if the Supreme Court was to rule in their favor, in order to allow DHS to promulgate a rule and work with the legislature on the best way to address this pandemic. The Court did not grant this stay, so the decision is effective immediately.   

Q: How does this affect my business?

A. All businesses can now open with no restrictions. That being said, we would suggest that you review the recommended industry specific guidelines put together by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and implement as many as you can to protect both your employees and customers. You can find those guidelines here:

Q: What if my city or county has issued an order continuing the Safer at Home order?

A: Local public health officials do have the authority to issue local ordinances to protect the public. So far some local counties and municipalities such as Dane County, Milwaukee County, City of Milwaukee, Brown County, City of Racine and Kenosha County have implemented restrictions similar to the Governor’s Safer at Home order. We would recommend you check with your local authorities to see if they have issued any local ordinances as they can vary as to what restrictions are put in place.  

Q: Does this mean schools are now allowed to open?

A: No, the decision specifically states that it does not apply to schools. Schools are still closed. I understand the importance of making sure families are confident sending their love ones back to school. We will be working with legislative leaders to develop the best plan for the summer and fall school sessions.  

Q: Can I go to church? Visit my extended family? Get my hair cut?

A: Yes, there are no longer restrictions on gatherings or travel (as long as your local authorities have not issued a local order as stated above). Some nursing home facilities may still have protections in place to protect residents and staff. Please check with each individual facility before visiting.  

Q: I’m grateful I can now open up my business, but how can I do so safely?

A: As a business owner, it is your decision when and how to best open your business. WEDC has put together industry specific recommendations on how to safely operate. You can find those recommendations here:

Q: What if there is a flare up again in a certain part of the state?

A: DHS could promulgate a rule to implement such regulations. We will begin working with leaders to begin the process to promulgate a rule to address future issues universities opening up in the fall, large summer concerts/events, summer camps etc.  
Local Safer At Home Orders Issued
While the State Supreme Court ended Governor Evers' extension of his restrictions under his Safer at Home lock down, many communities in our area issued their own restrictions.

New "Safer at Home" restrictions based on the state guidelines were issued by local health departments for all of suburban Milwaukee County. That includes Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point, Glendale, River Hills, Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, Cudahy, Franklin, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee, St. Francis, Wauwatosa, West Allis, West Milwaukee. Those orders are set to expire on May 21st.

The City of Mequon issued some restrictions. Click on the link for more information.

Waukesha County did not issue restrictions, but are encouraging businesses to follow CDC guidelines. Washington and Ozaukee Counties did not issue restrictions and are encouraging businesses to follow “ Blueprint for Reopening” released last month.

Check with your local businesses to see if they are reopening.
WEDC Issues Reopening Guidelines
As I stated above, the ruling from the Supreme Court does not mean we should abandon smart and safe practices. Businesses need to put practices in place to protect themselves, their employees, and their customers. 
I encourage all businesses to take a look at the reopening guidelines put together by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Click on the picture for more.   
State Park Passes Available Online
While Governor Evers reopened most state parks last month, he made it very difficult to buy admission stickers. I heard from many constituents who tried many times without success to order passes by phone.

I contacted the Governor asking him to allow online purchasing of State Park Admission stickers and I am happy to report now you can. Click on the picture to order a pass.
Get the Latest Information on COVID-19
The Wisconsin Hospitals Association is posting updated information on the pandemic in our state.

Click on the picture to check out their helpful dashboard to see first-hand the effect the crisis is having on our health care providers.
Mental Health Help Available
The lock down is difficult for everyone. TMJ4 News put together a useful list of helpful services available during these tough times.

Click on the picture for resources to help in dealing with this crisis.
COVID-19 Testing Available
If you need testing for COVID-19, a number of local health care providers are providing tests.

Please call your health care provider before going to a hospital or clinic.
Childcare Help for Essential Workers

If you are an essential worker and in need of childcare,
the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families is offering help.

Click on the picture to find out more.
AAA is providing free roadside assistance for healthcare workers and first responders. You do not need to be a member to access this service.

Call 833-222-3284 if you need assistance.
Help for Workers
If your job is being affected by the Coronavirus, help is available from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Click on the picture to find helpful links and answers to many questions.
Thanks to the Federal CARES Act, you may be eligible for benefits even if you don’t qualify for Unemployment Insurance.

Click on the picture for more information.
If You Need Help With Food
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a nutrition program for pregnant women, infants, women who are breastfeeding, postpartum women, and children younger than five.

WIC is encouraging women who were recently furloughed to see if they are eligible for help. Click on the picture of find a WIC office near you.
Help for Businesses
The Federal Reserve is expanding the Main Street lending program to reach more small and medium-sized businesses.

The expansions include:
  • Creating a third loan option, with increased risk-sharing by lenders for borrowers with greater leverage;
  • Lowering the minimum loan size for certain loans to $500,000; and
  • Expanding the pool of businesses eligible to borrow.

Click on their logo to find out more.
Disaster loans are available from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Click on their logo to apply and check your application status.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is created a Small Business 20/20 program to help companies affected by the emergency declaration regarding the COVID-19 virus.

Click on the picture for more information.
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue is allowing small businesses to request an extension to file sales and use tax returns due March 31, 2020 until April 30, 2020 and due April 30, 2020 until June 1, 2020.

Click on the picture for more information.
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce compiled an "Employer Tool Kit" to help navigate this crisis.

Click on the picture for more.
How to Help
The Masked Sewists for SE Wisconsin is a group of volunteers that makes masks for workers in hospitals, group homes, nursing homes, and other organizations in need in our area.

They could use your help! Click on their logo to find more information, patterns, and where to drop off the masks.
Concordia University in Mequon is making sure health care professionals get the equipment they need during this crisis by 3D printing N95 respirator masks.

They've also created a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for the supplies they need to make more masks. Click the picture to donate if you are able.
The Coronavirus outbreak is leading to a major blood shortage. The Red Cross and Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin are looking for healthy donors to give blood and platelets for patients in need.

Click on the links to schedule an appointment.