Friday September 18, 2020

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WI opening many state parks

Posted by Sarah Godlewski, State Treasurer
Sarah Godlewski, State Treasurer
Sarah Godlewski, State Treasurer has not set their biography yet
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on Saturday, 02 May 2020
in Wisconsin

sarah-godlewski-inparkGet out of the house and stay healthy says State Treasurer.


MADISON - It’s no secret that Wisconsin has unbeatable natural resources and stunning state parks, and now, I’m happy to announce that as of today (May 1) many of these wonderful state parks will be once again open to all Wisconsinites while still maintaining the social distancing guidelines to keep us all healthy.

As the Chair of the Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, this is an issue that is near and dear to my heart. I know how important it is for Wisconsinites to be able to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty of our state. Not only that, but it’s also critical to maintaining both mental and physical health.

Best of all, these parks are being opened in a safe, responsible manner that will continue to keep us healthy as we combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

These are uncertain times, but if we do our job as responsible citizens and continue to respect social distancing guidelines while at these wonderful parks -- then we can all once again enjoy the natural beauty of our state.

To read more about these guidelines, and to learn which parks are open check out this Press Release from Governor Evers’ office.

I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe.

Talk soon,

Sarah

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Trump Lets Down Small Businesses With Botched Rollout

Posted by Khary Penebaker, DNC Member WI
Khary Penebaker, DNC Member WI
Khary Penebaker, DNC Member WI has not set their biography yet
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on Saturday, 02 May 2020
in Wisconsin

coronavirus-small-businessSmall businesses struggle with the process to get loans or weren’t able to get any loans at all.


Waukesha, WI - For the second time in a span of the month, the Trump administration botched the rollout of its small business loan program.

The Trump administration once again botched the PPP rollout, which was riddled with glitches, and crashed almost immediately.

NPR: “Small Business Loans Site Crashes On First Day Of Reopening”

Bloomberg: “Gears Jammed Again During Relaunch of Small-Business Relief Program”

Washington Post: “Trump administration's small business rescue has a rocky rollout. Again.”

Wall Street Journal: “The government on Monday resumed taking applications for its $660 billion aid program for small businesses hit by the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak—and with the resumption came a fresh chorus of complaints over delays and glitches in the process.”

coronavirus-small-busn-loanIn the first round of loans, many small businesses struggled with the process to get loans or weren’t able to get any loans at all.

“The application said that we would have funding within three days, and that didn’t happen… I still haven’t seen a dime.” - Washington small business owner

“My question is, What was wrong with the first application submission?” - Massachusetts small business owner

“We applied the minute the portal went live. We did everything right. How come we weren’t at the top of the queue?” - California small business owner

“I lost it. How is it possible that Shake Shack and many other mega-chains got millions of dollars, and small restaurateurs like me, who collectively provide jobs for millions of people, were left with nothing?” - New York small business owner

“We had all our paperwork ready to go and submitted our applications on the very first day they were accepting them, and we’re still processing.” - Virginia small business owner

Meanwhile, big corporations and well-connected companies got the loans intended for small businesses instead.

CBS News: “Paycheck Protection Program billions went to large companies and missed virus hot spots”

Associated Press: “Publicly traded firms get $365M in small-business loans”

NBC News: “Firms with Trump links or worth $100 million got small business loans”

CBS News: “Phunware, a data firm for Trump campaign, got millions in coronavirus small business help”

GQ: “One Trump Donor’s Hotel Companies Got $96.1 Million Meant for Small Businesses”

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Continuing Outbreak Demonstrates Need for Continuing Safer at Home

Posted by Dave Hansen, State Senator Dist 30
Dave Hansen, State Senator Dist 30
Dave Hansen, State Senator Dist 30 has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 01 May 2020
in Wisconsin

covid-19-protest-madisonWithout vastly expanded testing, you really have no way of knowing how many people around you are infected. That's why early reopening plans by Republicans and others who oppose the Safer at Home order are so dangerous, says Green Bay Senator.


GREEN BAY - Here’s the thing about the coronavirus, one day you don’t have it and then you do. One day a county or community is free of it then it isn’t. And when it shows up if you aren’t taking the necessary precautions you go from having a few cases to a lot…in a very short period of time.

Until we have vastly expanded testing and the ability to trace each case, you really have no way of knowing how many people around you might have it because most people who are infected don’t show symptoms. That’s why the coronavirus is so dangerous.

For weeks we heard from Republicans and others who oppose the Safer at Home order that the virus is really only a problem in Dane and Milwaukee counties. And for a while that may have been true. Until it wasn’t. Don’t believe it? Ask the people who live in and around Brown County. Only mere weeks ago Brown County was in the group of counties where it appeared there was nothing to worry about. Then cases started showing up in JBS and other meat packing plants and the number of cases is now at 968.

A significant number of people work in Green Bay but live elsewhere in places like Oconto, De Pere, Pulaski and other communities outside of Green Bay. If there is no social distancing in place the likelihood that they will become infected in Green Bay and take it home to their families and communities in neighboring communities becomes a very real possibility.

dave-hansen-senateGreen Bay and Brown County are not unique. Anywhere that people work or live in close proximity to each other is at risk of spreading the virus if social distancing isn’t followed. All it takes is one employee to test positive and your community is at risk of becoming the next hot spot.

scott_fitzgeraldRepublican leaders Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald say that Minocqua is not Milwaukee. Not that long ago South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said South Dakota isn’t New York City. Now South Dakota has 2,245 cases and 11 deaths. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said, “we aren’t California. We are not New York.” Alabama now has 6,499 cases and 222 deaths and nearly the same ratio of cases as New York has. So just because Minocqua “isn’t Milwaukee” now doesn’t mean it won’t become a hot spot if we don’t act responsibly.

In a rare act, both parties came together in Congress and passed the CARES Act. Included in that legislation are programs designed to help people stay away from each other and to help small businesses and workers make it through the pandemic. Is it perfect? Not by a longshot. More will need to be done.

But in order for us to avoid harm and have any chance of safely getting as much of our economy as possible up and running before we have a cure or vaccine, we all need to do our part and follow the Safer at Home order. And those who are trying to use the pandemic to score political points by urging that the economy be re-opened before it is safe to do so need to stop and think about the innocent lives that will be lost and the economic ruin that will happen if we don’t do this right.

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We Will Bounce Back Together

Posted by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31
Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31
Jeff Smith, Senator District 31 (D - Eau Claire)
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on Wednesday, 29 April 2020
in Wisconsin

coronavirusSen. Smith writes about the Badger Bounce Back Plan, introduced last week by Governor Tony Evers, to help Wisconsin move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic.


EAU CLAIRE - During the COVID-19 public health emergency, Wisconsinites have had to make incredibly challenging decisions, including Governor Evers. On April 17th, Governor Evers’ administration made the difficult, yet responsible, decision to extend the “Safer at Home” order.

Although the “Safer at Home” order was extended, there are some changes from the original order that became effective on April 24th, which include: public libraries may provide curbside pick-up; golf courses may open again; non-essential businesses can do more things such as deliveries, mailings, and curbside pick-up; arts and craft stores may offer expanded curbside pick-up of materials to make face masks, and residents can take care of aesthetic or optional exterior lawn care or construction.

Throughout this crisis, these policy decisions have been made in the interest of public health and safety in consultation with scientists and medical professionals. Several weeks ago, the Department of Health Services projected that Wisconsin could have 440 to 1,500 deaths statewide if we did not practice social distancing to flatten the curve. The collaborative effort made by Wisconsinites in all corners of the state proved that the “Safer at Home” order works to slow the spread of COVID-19. In just the first three weeks of the “Safer at Home” order, Wisconsin saved at least 300 lives and perhaps as many as 1,400 lives.

This pandemic is far too contagious to eliminate the “Safer at Home” order all at once. As Governor Evers said, we must think of getting through this like turning a dial, rather than just flipping a light switch. The more disciplined we are now, the faster we can turn it. If we simply return to life as normal without taking gradual steps and the necessary precautions, we risk a spike in cases and more severe economic impacts.

Rural communities are not immune to the effects of COVID-19. Although the prevalence of COVID-19 is much higher in urban areas, like Madison or Milwaukee, the virus can easily spread to other counties if these safeguards are not in place. A COVID-19 outbreak in rural Wisconsin could have a detrimental impact on our close-knit communities. Our population in rural communities tends to be older and much more at risk of dying from COVID-19. We have fewer resources and less access to health care options to care for the sick than urban areas.

If one area of our state begins to lift the “Safer at Home” order, there could be a rush to those communities which will create a greater danger of COVID-19 transmission. This statewide plan is in place to protect ALL Wisconsin residents and help our state grow more resilient together.

For Wisconsin to get through this safely and become more resilient, Governor Evers introduced the Badger Bounce Back Plan, which outlines a process to help Wisconsin move forward from this pandemic. It is based on federal guidelines released from the White House on April 16th. It includes certain gating criteria each state should meet before gradually restarting its economy in three phases.

jeff-smithTo move from phase to phase, Wisconsin must have a downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses, COVID-19 cases and symptoms, and positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period. Additionally, hospitals will have to treat all patients without crisis care and have robust testing programs in place for at-risk healthcare workers.

The Evers’ administration is working closely with businesses and private partners to reach the gating criteria and re-open Wisconsin. To do this, the Badger Bounce Back Plan has steps in place to expand COVID-19 testing by 85,000 tests per week; increase contact tracing to better understand virus transmission in Wisconsin, and improve tracking systems to keep Wisconsin better informed.

We are all anxious to return to life as we knew it. I fall into that category as well. But, let’s face it, our world is changed forever from this dramatic experience. Getting back too soon or opening up certain regions will not make things better and could only make things worse. Let’s keep up our diligence and consider those who stayed healthy because we stayed safe at home.

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Wis Democracy Campaign - Earth Day/Lethal Protests

Posted by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Matt Rothschild is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a
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on Thursday, 23 April 2020
in Wisconsin

wdc-header-2020-logoMADISON, WI - Happy Earth Day!

Our staff put out a thorough report this week on how, during the Walker Administration, Wisconsin shirked its obligations to combat climate change and to protect the environment. Here’s our press release, with a link to the report:

Wisconsin GOP Leaders Added Fuel to Climate Change Fire, WDC Report Shows

And today, the Wisconsin Examiner printed my op-ed, which summarized the report, showed the progress that Gov. Evers has made on this issue, and briefly discussed the impact of the coronavirus on the environment:

An Earth Day Assessment of Wisconsin's Environmental Progress

Lastly, I wanted to share with you something I just wrote. It’s about the MacIver Institute, here in Wisconsin, ginning up the protests against the governor’s “Safer at Home” order. MacIver’s idolatry of the “free market” extends to flagrantly jeopardizing lives in Wisconsin, as I argue here:

The Lethal Idiocy of the MacIver Institute

I hope you share my outrage about this.

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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