Dear Friends,

I hope you are well.

The School District of Menomonee Falls released their draft plan to reopen schools in the fall. Their plan will have students in the classroom for face-to-face instruction five days a week. The district expects to vote on their plan on July 27th. This is great news for families and kids. 
 
I'm very encouraged to read their plan. We know not being in the classroom jeopardizes their academic futures. We also know not being in the classroom takes an emotional toll on our kids as well. Not only do pediatricians agree, but most countries around the world are sending their kids back to school. It is important we continue to strive to achieve the same.
 
Unfortunately, Milwaukee Public Schools already announced students will not be returning back to the classroom. You can read more about why that could be devastating to students below. You can also find updated information on COVID-19 in our area, testing sites near you, updates on local stay-at-home orders, and more!

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!
Goal #1 is Having Kids Return to the Classroom
Among the most important things currently taking place are discussions that school districts are continuing to have at the local level. Important decisions must be made on what the framework for the upcoming school year will be. I believe it is crucial that schools reopen this fall with as much classroom time as possible. 
 
We don’t have to guess on what will happen if students lose this valuable time in the classroom. The science shows it can be done safely. It’s critically important for the future of students that they be allowed to learn in a classroom again.


The American Association of Pediatrics strongly advised that children should be physically in schools this fall. They released their guidelines which outlined the importance schools play in our society:

“The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020. Lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation. This, in turn, places children and adolescents at considerable risk of morbidity and, in some cases, mortality. Beyond the educational impact and social impact of school closures, there has been substantial impact on food security and physical activity for children and families.”

If schools are opting to have kids learn from home it is crucial they are working on solutions for parents who are returning back to the workforce. COVID has hit many families hard and the struggle to return to work has been felt by many. One of the biggest factors for families returning to work is making sure their kids are being taken care of.
 
I continue to have great dialogue with the local superintendents in our district, and I know there are doing everything they can to support you during this time and keep your kids safe in the fall.
COVID-19 Cases in Our Area
The table above contains data from July 15, 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.

Bayside Village Hall is closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. It is scheduled to reopen on Monday, July 20th.



  • The city of Milwaukee instituted a mandatory mask policy.
  • Everyone three years of old and up must:
  • Wear a mask inside public places
  • Wear a mask if within six feet of a non-family/household member when outside
  • "Moving Milwaukee Forward" mirrors Governor Evers’ "Safer at Home" order with no end date.
  • The city is currently in Phase 4.
  • Bars and restaurants may open at 50% of capacity.
  • Stores are allowed to be at 75% of capacity.
  • Click here for more information.

Glendale is requiring masks in public places, but is not penalizing people for not complying.

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.
Optimistic About Wisconsin's Economy
The COVID-19 pandemic is both a health crisis and an economic crisis for our state. Late last week, the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau released their fiscal estimates for June.

While only a snapshot, the estimates show we are in better shape than previously predicted. Thanks to careful budgeting and preventing the governor’s tax hikes, our state's finances were in better shape to handle this enormous disruption from the economic lock down.

Due to the deadline extensions for numerous tax collections, we won’t have a full picture of our finances until the end of August when preliminary tax returns are added. However, I remain optimistic Wisconsin is positioned for a strong return.
Around the 8th...