Tag Archives: Wisconsin

Evers Closes A Deal With Feds To Keep Millions Of Food Aid Coming To Wisconsin | Instant News

Governor Tony Evers said Tuesday that his administration has reached an agreement with the federal government to allow Wisconsin to continue to receive more than $ 70 million per month in food aid.

Funding – set aside for countries with statewide COVID-19 emergency declarations – has been in limbo since the Wisconsin Supreme Court crushed Last statewide emergency order and Evers mask mandate.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Evers said his administration had reached an agreement with the US Department of Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Services to ensure the state would continue to receive the benefits of food aid.

According to Evers, the USDA and FNS agreed to continue providing increased funding after Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Karen Timberlake issued a new emergency declaration. That document, which Timberlake signed on April 8, directs the department to continue to lead Wisconsin’s COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts among other steps. The department has overseen the effort without a declaration.

“I am proud we are able to work with our federal partners to reach an agreement that will ensure we can continue to provide this vital resource to Wisconsinites across our state,” Evers said in a statement.

The prospect that Wisconsin could lose upgraded federal food aid came to light earlier this year, just before GOP lawmakers were scheduled to vote to lift Evers’ emergency order.

In a memo prompted by state representative Evan Goyke, D-Milwaukee, the Legislative’s nonpartisan budget office wrote that nearly 243,000 households in Wisconsin received the funds in January. Without a declaration of state emergency or disaster, the budget office wrote, the household would lose this additional benefit.

Register for daily news!

Stay informed with the WPR email newsletter.

Evers’ office said the federal funds in question now amount to more than $ 70 million per month. When the matter was first reported in January, the Legislative budget office said the total was around $ 50 million.

When they learned of the prospect of losing federal funds, GOP lawmakers had their own proposal on how to preserve it, even though the idea turned out to be short-lived.

Republicans amended the broad COVID-19 bill to allow governors to issue emergency orders solely for the purpose of receiving federal funds. But they attach it to a controversial provision such as mandating bans on public and private vaccines and measures to give Legislative budget committees veto power over federal funding for COVID-19. Evers vetoed plan.

Republicans also voted to cancel Evers’ previous emergency declaration, but the governor declare a new one on February 4 which remains in effect until the Supreme Court hit him on March 31.

In the absence of an emergency governor’s order, and federal funds in jeopardy, Chairman of the Robin Vos Assembly, R-Rochester, said Tuesday morning that the solution would override the governor’s veto over the COVID-19 bill.

While Republicans can still try to override the veto for other reasons, Evers’ deal with President Joe Biden’s administration appears to clear up the federal funding question.

Vos spokesman and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, did not immediately respond to requests for comment late Tuesday.


image source

Fashion design students think outside the box | Instant News

MILWAUKEE – The CREO fashion show at Mount Mary University it will look a lot different this year for several reasons.

It will be virtual, as almost every college in the country has to do. It is also the first time students tackle social problems through their designs.

“It’s important to encourage our students to think about that and think about who their customers really are,” said Assistant Professor Jessica Frantal. “Who are the underserved customers and who can they really make a difference for?”

Students are faced with three challenges: gender neutrality, sustainability, and body positivity. They must make clothes that reflect these three social problems.

Sustainability is their last challenge and presented to them through the use of recycled denim.

“Sustainability has been in my family for a long time,” said Mako Shidad, a junior. “I mostly leave things to me and I designed this denim project for my little sister, as a gift for her.”

Mako is Somali and plans to open a bridal company only for Somali women when he graduates. She says her culture is often neglected in the fashion world.

“I want to show my culture on the map,” I plan to make my senior capstone a Somali bridal collection as well. “

Asma Dasan is Palestinian and echoes the same sentiments about what most people see as traditional fad. It doesn’t represent who he is and he wants to change it.

“This is one of the main reasons I do fashion design because I’m tall, but I’m not thin,” said Asma. “If I find a nice garment, it’s too loose, too tight, or too short.”

He admits it was difficult to start pursuing this career because of his culture.

“I have to wake up every morning and become the person I know I want in the future because other people don’t see me for who I am,” said Asma. “I was lucky enough to touch the fabric and sew and put it all together.”

Professor Frantal added that the pandemic has led many designers to explore alternative methods of creating fashion.

“That’s what we want to emulate this semester for our students,” he said. “Whether it’s not being able to go to your local fabric shop, or looking for the material you’re looking for, or not having the same workforce.”

Classes 2020 and 2021 will host virtual fashion shows in May. The 2020 show was canceled due to the pandemic. There will be more than 100 pieces of clothing displayed.


image source

Without a COVID-19 Emergency Order, Wisconsin Could Lose $ 50 Million In Food Aid Each Month | Instant News

Discussions are ongoing in the state Capitol to avoid the loss of an estimated $ 50 million in federal food aid in May after the Wisconsin Supreme Court canceled. Governor Tony Evers’ COVID-19 emergency order on March 31.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program has allocated additional emergency assistance to states that have issued COVID-19 emergency orders.

Since the state’s top court overturned Wisconsin’s existing emergency order, it is estimated that residents could lose an estimated $ 50 million in additional aid by May if the Republican-controlled state Legislature and Democratic governors can’t agree on a way to restore it.

In January, the Republican leadership in the state Senate introduced a COVID-19 compromise bill that would extend the state’s pandemic emergency order, which Evers had initially supported. But the bill face opposition in the Republican-controlled State Assembly, which led to amendments and a veto from the governor.

Evers then issues an executive emergency order, which keeps federal food aid intact. On Wednesday, a conservative majority in the Wisconsin Supreme Court drop that order, which ruled that Evers had overstepped his authority under state law.

In a statement emailed to WPR, Evers’ spokesman, Brit Cudabeck, blamed the Republicans.

“The governor’s public health emergency will remain in effect today, thereby ensuring our states will continue to receive these funds, if Republican allies do not file a lawsuit – supported by Chairman Vos and Republican legislators – that ultimately results in the governor being unable declared a state of public health emergency amidst the ongoing pandemic, “said Cudabeck.

Robin Vos Assembly Speaker, R-Rochester, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that funding would not have been called into question had Evers not vetoed the law earlier this year. Vos also said his Republican counterparts would discuss options when the body reconvenes in the coming weeks.

The Vos office said there would be no further comment other than what has been reported.

A communications director for the Majority Leader of the State Senate Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, said senators would not be available to comment on a possible loss of federal food aid and also pointed to Evers’ veto power in February.

Register for daily news!

Stay informed with the WPR email newsletter.

State Senator Melissa Agard, D-Madison, said any resolution against the potential forfeiting of the benefits of supplemental food should come from Republicans.

“And frankly it’s up to them to move forward with the legislative plan,” said Agard.

Wisconsin Hunger Taskforce Executive Director Sherrie Tussler told WPR that federal food aid would not be affected in April. He said additional federal allowances were disbursed during the third week of each month and that if emergency orders were enacted one day in May, they would reach residents of the state.

Tussler said an order from the governor or a compromise with the Legislature could solve the problem. But he said there were ways to remove politics from the equation.

“We can stop all of this if we make the decision to issue a non-binding emergency order that is not legislative, but as a rule that will be issued from the Department of Health Services,” said Tussler. .

Tussler said he was “pressing” DHS to issue a non-binding emergency order.

Tussler said in practical terms, without additional federal funding, some senior Wisconsin residents living in public housing could see their food aid drop from more than $ 200 per month to $ 16.He praised the added benefit of a 20 percent reduction in demand in soup kitchens in and around Milwaukee.

“And so the good news is, the food stamp program, or SNAP, as it is federal, works and works because it ends up paying off enough money so people don’t have to visit soup kitchens,” said Tussler.


image source

Public health publishes travel advice for spring and summer activities | Covid-19 | Instant News

As spring weather continues to improve in the Stateline area, public health officials are urging caution during spring and summer activities as COVID-19 still poses health risks. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) posted advice online at dhs.wisconsin.gov for “As we begin to resume some of the activities that we love this spring and summer, it’s critical to keep following. best public health practices, ”said Julie Willems Van Dijk, Deputy Secretary of DHS. “Continue to wear a mask in public, keep six feet apart, get tested for symptoms and get vaccinated when you can. These are necessary strategies as COVID-19 continues to spread and most of our state remains unvaccinated. Whether you are fully vaccinated or not, if you choose to attend or organize a rally, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19: • Keep the gathering small, preferably with a only other household. • Hold the gathering outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces throughout the gathering. • Wash your hands frequently before and after touching common surfaces. • Avoid crowds and large events. • Avoid congregating if you are sick or think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Meanwhile, 33% of Wisconsin residents have received at least one dose of the COVID -19 vaccine, according to data released Sunday by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). More than 1.92 million people in the Wisconsin have received at least one dose of the vaccine. at least one vaccine injection since 30,698 residents (18.8%) completed the series of two injections. In Winnebago County, Ill., A total of 130,914 doses were administered with 50,166 people (17.66%) completing the vaccination, over 1.1 million people (20.1%) in Wisconsin and more than 2.36 million people (18.59%) in Illinois have completed it. Overall, a total of over 3.08 million doses of vaccine in Wisconsin and 6.29 million doses in Illinois have been administered since December. Nationally, over 165 million doses vaccine were administered on Sunday, with more than 103.67 million people having received at least one injection and 59.81 million having received both doses, CDC data showed. Rock County has reported 45 new cases and one additional virus-related deaths since April 2, bringing the county’s total to 14,882 cases and 164 deaths since the start of the pandemic. recent local data was available, 14,441 people in Rock County have recovered from the virus and 75,370 negative tests have been reported. As of March 30, last-day hospitalization totals were updated, nine patients in Rock County hospitals were receiving treatment for COVID-19, according to data from the Rock County Wisconsin Department of Health , 584 new cases and no additional deaths were reported on Sunday, bringing the state total to 579,877 cases and 6,576 deaths. Statewide hospitalizations increased by 28 admissions on Sunday as 27,767 hospitalizations due COVID-19 have been reported to date. Wisconsin has a 97.6% cure rate as an estimated 7,297 cases remain active. On Sunday, the state has a seven-day test positivity rate of 3.3%. Across the state of Illinois, Winnebago County added 123 new cases and no additional deaths from the virus on Sunday, bringing the county total to 29,618 cases and 455 deaths, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). In Illinois, the IDPH reported 2,449 cases and 14 additional deaths on Sunday, bringing the total to the State to over 1.25 million cases and 21,373 deaths. The state’s positivity rate is 4.1%. CDC data shows there have been over 30.49 million reported cases of COVID-19 in the United States and 448,010 deaths have been attributed virus on Sunday. .

image source

Tom Still: 4 ideas to help stimulate the startup economy | Business news | Instant News

For an economy to develop and continue to freshen up itself, new ideas, products and companies must rise to replace the old. It’s a phenomenon economists call “creative destruction” and has driven the American and Wisconsin economies for generations.

Startups and scaling up from the bottom of the economy, creating most of the net new jobs in the United States as older companies mature, sometimes lose their jobs or close down.

The number of US businesses that are one year old or younger has been tracked by Statistica since 1994, when the total was roughly 570,000. It rose sharply in the late 1990s and early 2000s, starting to fall again in the late 2000s when the Great Recession took its toll. From a low of 560,000 in 2010, the total has steadily increased since becoming 804,000 in 2020.

In Wisconsin, startup growth has been less robust, even though the survival rates for young companies are among the strongest in the country, according to sources such as the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

Other organizations have noted emerging startup hubs in Wisconsin. Recent examples include the Brookings Institution, Chicago Council for Global Affairs, and CompTIA, which named the Madison area as one of the 20 most dynamic information technology centers.

Whatever the ranking, Wisconsin could do more to establish itself as a state that rewards entrepreneurship, startup, and scale-up. Here are a few ideas:


image source