In the coming weeks, Wisconsinites will face some of the most difficult times in recent memory. I wanted to point out some of the steps that are being taken to help Wisconsin residents and businesses, and highlight some resources for the coming weeks.
At the time of writing this column, the U.S. House of Representatives is working to pass a relief bill that will provide every American making under $75,000 a check for $1,200, expand unemployment insurance from three to four months, and provide $500 billion in loans to businesses. If this bill is approved, small businesses will be able to get loans from banks to cover 8 weeks of payroll and overhead. Those loans will then be forgiven if the businesses retain their employees.
Millions of people across the nation have been laid off in recent weeks through no fault of their own. If you’ve lost your job, you may be eligible for unemployment. These benefits can help bridge the gap in employment that so many will face. To apply, visit dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/apply.
Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission has also prohibited utilities from disconnecting customers, assessing late fees, and required utilities to allow deferred payment plans. If you think you may have trouble paying your heat or electric bill in the coming months, reach out to your provider and ask for a deferred payment plan.
In stressful times, getting outside can be helpful. Fishing is still allowed under the Governor’s order, and Wisconsin state parks have waived their entrance fees. I’ve also signed on to a letter to Governor Evers requesting that he allow golf courses to open during the stay-at-home order.
If you have the means to do so, please consider ordering a takeout or delivery meal from a local restaurant. These local businesses employ our friends and family, sponsor our local sports teams, and work tirelessly to provide our community with places to meet and spend time together. My office has compiled a list of local restaurants that are still open for delivery and takeout, which can be found on my @RepMagnafici Facebook page.
As always, please reach out to my office if you have any questions. These are uncertain times, and we will all have neighbors who need help. Reach out to them, and remember there are better days ahead.