Dear Friends,

The COVID-19 outbreak is leading to big changes in all of our lives. In the past weeks, we’ve experienced unprecedented changes across our state, all done to try and protect vulnerable Wisconsinites. There are a lot of important measures to remember during this crisis.

I gathered many useful links for you to stay on top of up-to-date information, useful websites for parents and kids, and ways you can help. Please take a moment to review these links.

Everyone needs to do their part to make sure we get through this as quickly as possible. Our local businesses, economy, and more importantly many lives depend on us to make smart and selfless decisions. Make sure you follow the CDC guidelines of good hygiene to help avoid getting the virus.

I'm thankful we were able to expand access to Telehealth before the pandemic. I'm grateful that Governor Evers is using the tools in the bill to make sure Wisconsinites stay safe.

I'd like to thank all of the doctors, nurses, and health care professionals that are on the frontline of this battle. I know we will get through this. Take care of yourself and each other.

Also, don't forget about all of our great local businesses. You can find ways to support them including ordering food for delivery or pickup. There is a link to those great restaurants below.

On, Wisconsin!
Staying Up-to-Date on Coronavirus
Wisconsin is now under a public health emergency to deal with the virus. That designation will help make our state eligible for federal funding to combat the Coronavirus.

I will continue to work on smart solutions to help people get the care they need such as telehealth, direct primary care, and other innovations.

Click on the picture above to get the most recent updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC also has recommendations to help prepare your household for the coronavirus.

Governor Issues "Safer at Home" Order
Beginning at 8:00 am on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 everyone in Wisconsin must stay at their home or place of residence. The order will remain in effect until Friday, April 24, 2020 or until another order supersedes it.
The order will be enforced by law enforcement and may carry a $250 fine or 30 days imprisonment.
The order prohibits gatherings that are larger than just the members of a single household - no sleepovers, play dates or dinner parties.
Interactions allowed under the order must still adhere to the social distancing requirements of keeping 6 feet away from another person.
Non-essential business and operations must cease. 
  • Does not apply to:
  • Minimum Basic Operations - to maintain value of inventory, preserve condition of the physical plant/equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits.
  • Any operations consisting exclusively of employees or contractors performing activities at their own home or residences (i.e., working from home).
  • All businesses shall use technology whenever possible to avoid meeting face to face.
  • No door-to-door solicitations allowed.
  • All essential businesses are encouraged to stay open but must maintain 6 feet between people.
These are considered essential businesses: 
  • Healthcare and Public Health Operations
  • Human Services Operations
  • Essential Infrastructure
  • Essential Government Functions
  • Any business identified in the US Dept of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in a memo on COVID-19 response
  • Stores that sell groceries and medicine
  • Grocery stores, bakeries, pharmacies, food banks/pantries, convenience stores, pet supplies, butchers, alcoholic beverages
  • Food and beverage production, transport and agriculture
  • F&B manufacturing, processing, farming, fishing, baking, animal shelters, kennels, farm and agricultural equipment, supplies and repair services
  • Restaurants shall close except for take-out or delivery service only
  • Bars, breweries, distilleries, wineries, brewpubs must close but are allowed to do carryout sales, if already permitted by state law
  • Delivery of alcohol beverages is prohibited
  • Child care shall prioritize care for families of workers in health care, military, residential care centers, pharmacies, utilities, grocery stores, etc.
  • Organizations that provide charitable and social services
  • Weddings, funerals and religious facilities are allowed except the gathering must be fewer than 10 people in a room
  • Media - newspapers, television, radio
  • Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation 
  • Banks, credit unions and other financial institutions
  • Hardware and supply stores
  • Tradesmen and Tradeswomen - plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc.
  • Post offices and other shipping and delivery services
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners
  • Businesses that sell or manufacture supplies for people to work from home
  • Businesses that sell or manufacture supplies for other essential businesses and essential governmental functions
  • Airlines, taxis, Uber/Lyft, car rental companies, and public transit
  • Home based care for seniors and people with disabilities, including meal delivery
  • Legal, accounting, insurance and real estate services
  • Manufacturing and distribution for supplying essential products for health care, pharmacies, food and beverage, waste pickup and disposal, food and beverage, energy, mining, construction
  • Critical labor union functions
  • Hotels and motels - must close swimming pools, hot tubs and exercise facilities
  • Higher educational institutions for purposes of distance learning
The order closes:
  • All schools and public libraries.
  • Amusement parks, swimming pools, zoos, playgrounds, theaters, concert halls, country clubs and gyms and fitness centers.
  • Salons and spas.
Who and when you can leave your home:
  • Anyone seeking medical care. 
  • Anyone taking care of a family member, friend or pet in another household.
  • Anyone picking up prescription medication.
  • Anyone going to the grocery store for themselves or for others to get necessary supplies
  • Anyone engaging in outdoor activity and exercise. State parks are open; playgrounds are closed.
  • Workers at healthcare facilities, pharmacies, blood donation centers, eye care centers, home health agencies
  • Long list of places in this category - see the order for more details 
  • Workers at manufacturers and warehouse operators and distributors of medical equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), pharmaceuticals, blood and blood products, vaccines, testing materials, laboratory supplies, cleaning, sanitizing disinfecting or sterilization supplies, and tissue and paper towel products.
  • Individuals may leave their residence to work for or obtain services at any state, institutional, or community-based setting providing human services to the public.
  • Long list of places in this category such adult day care, adoption agencies, shelters for victims of domestic abuse, people with disabilities - see the order for more details
  • Individuals may leave their residence to provide any services or perform any work necessary to offer, provide, operate, maintain, and repair Essential Infrastructure.
  • Distribution facilities, construction companies, airports, utilities - again a long list of examples in the order 
  • Veterinarians can go to work; non essential animal services should stop

If you believe your company deserves to be on the list of essential businesses, please visit the  Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's website. I am also sending letters to Governor Evers asking for exemptions for golf courses and more consistency on what jobs landscapers are allowed to do under the order.
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.
Help for Businesses
Disaster loans are available from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Click not 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.
If You Need Food
Many schools and food banks are available if you need meals.

If you or someone you know needs food dial 2-1-1.

The Hunger Task Force also provides meals and help for low-income seniors.

Many schools are continuing to provide meals for students. Click on your school district for more information. Please contact your district directly for more information if they are not listed below.

If You Need Testing
If you need testing for COVID-19,  a number of local health care providers are providing tests.

Please call your health provider before going to a hospital or clinic.
Help for Parents and Students
Do you or anyone you know need internet access? The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has resources to help people find broadband access at a free or reduced rate during this crisis.

Find out more by clicking the picture.
Bored kids? Click on the picture to visit more than forty websites that offer virtual tours and experiences of everything from National Parks, to the White House, to the a tour of Laura Ingalls Wilder's home in Pepin.

Click on the picture to see what's available.
March is Women's History Month. The Wisconsin Historical Society is telling the amazing stories of women who helped shape our great state.

Click on their logo to read and learn about these incredible ladies and their contributions to Wisconsin.
The Milwaukee County Zoo has several games and fun activities on their website.

Click the picture to find out more.
Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19
Voting Information
Some of our communities are allowing in-person absentee voting. Click on the button to see if you can vote early in your area.

Nearly every community needs poll workers for the April 7th election. If you are willing to help, please contact your local clerk for more information.

Recently, Governor Evers directed the Legislature to send millions of ballots to voters in Wisconsin. 

The Governors' actions created more confusion for Wisconsinites throughout our state. Earlier this week he released a "Safer-at-Home" order with little detail and today he offered a "simple solution" to send millions of ballots in just 10 day.

You can read the rest of  my statement here .

Changes to State Government Services and Executive Orders
The Coronavirus is affecting many of state agencies on how they provide services to taxpayers.

(DMV) will close their facilities on Friday, March 20th for cleaning. They will reopen on Monday, March 23rd with only limited services.

Only new driver licenses and identification cards services will be available on location. All other services are available online. Also, anyone needing a renewal of their drivers license will have a 60-day extension.

For an up-to-date listing of changes for state services, please click not the picture above.

So far, Governor Evers has issued several executive orders in an attempt to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. You can find a list of them here.
Tax Deadlines Extended
Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for? (Audience) Why should they care? (Benefit) Both the  Internal Revenue Service and the  Wisconsin Department of Revenue are extending the deadlines to file your taxes to July 15th.

You will not have to file an extension.
Federal Stimulus Bill Passed
Recently, Congress passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill that could send you $1,200 per person and $500 per child under 17.

The National Conference of State Legislatures has a breakdown on what the legislation could mean for you.

Click on the picture for more.
How to Help
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.
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 Hunger Task Force is looking for volunteers to help get food to low-income seniors in our area. They need to provide 10,000 boxes a month to meet the need. Click on the picture for more information and to fill out an application to help.
Many restaurants are still delivering and providing take out. The Wisconsin Restaurant Association maintains a statewide list of where you can still order takeout from great restaurants.

Click open the picture to find a location near you.
You can still support small business owners purchasing from by shopping from their website or by buying a gift card to use later.

Many local businesses rely on positive online reviews. Giving your favorite shops an encouraging rating can help drive more customers to their websites and help them through this difficult time.