COVID-19 Update
Dear Friends,

I hope you are well. We have seen continued overall negative trend lines related to COVID-19 hospitalizations and admittance to ICU usage. The percent of positive COVID-19 tests has also been on a downward trend since May 1. Unfortunately, unemployment continues to rise as hundreds of thousands of workers are out of a job, and many small-business owners are worried they may never be able to re-open.
 
According to a recent study by the Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy at the University of Wisconsin, our state is losing $1.5 billion in economic activity every week due to the pandemic shutdown. The report also shows the shutdown is hitting already poor areas of the state the hardest. It shows not every part of our state can afford to keep this lockdown going.
 
Also this week, the Badger Institute released a report that shows our state is losing $178.9 million in lost production every single day. That could add up to more than $10 billion if the state remains closed for two months.
 
The economic effect of the lockdown is also affecting the state's bottom line. On Wednesday, t he nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau released estimates for general fund tax collections for the month of April 2020, and tax collections for the first ten months of this fiscal year. The memo shows April collections were $870 million lower than April of last year. When compared to the first ten months of the previous fiscal year, our tax collections are $313 million lower than last year’s intake. Since tax collections were delayed and many people are holding off we should receive a more clear picture in the coming months.
 
I've heard from many of my constituents about how difficult it is receive unemployment benefits from the state. According to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), the Unemployment Insurance fund might run out by October if claims continue at their current rate. More than a half-million Wisconsin workers have filed for unemployment since May 12th. If you are having trouble getting your benefits, make sure you contact my office so we can help share your situation with the Department.
 
It's clear that we need to reopen our economy in a safe and smart way. We're meeting our goal to flatten the curve and prevent our hospitals from being overloaded. Now, it's time to flatten the curve of the economic damage being dealt to our working families.

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!
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.