COVID-19 UPDATES FOR COUNTY OFFICIALS

As issues continue to develop and change at a quick rate with COVID-19, the Coronavirus, we at the Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA) are working alongside Governor Tony Evers, the Administration, the National Association of Counties (NACo) and our general counsel, von Briesen & Roper, s.c., (von Briesen) to provide the latest resources and updates to assist county officials during this unprecedented time.

COVID-19 Daily Update: 4.17.2020

April 17, 2020

COVID-19 DAILY HEALTH UPDATE
(Information from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) current as of 1:00 p.m. Central, Friday, April 17, 2020)

Total people with negative results: 42,365 (+1,391)
Total people with positive results: 4,045 (+170)
Hospitalizations: 1,153 (+32) or 29%
Total deaths: 205 (+8)

SENATOR TAMMY BALDWIN SUPPORTS GOVERNOR EVERS AND WISCONSIN LOCAL OFFICIALS IN CALLING FOR ADDITIONAL FEDERAL RESOURCES FOR THE STATE AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO COMBAT COVID-19
Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is echoing calls from state and local officials to President Trump requesting that he work quickly with Congress to support additional resources for all states and localities to respond to COVID-19 and cover budgetary shortfalls that have resulted from the public health emergency and economic downturn.

“There is a public health and economic crisis devastating our state and Wisconsin needs President Trump to step up and provide real leadership to make our state whole and provide the resources we need to combat this pandemic and save lives,” said Senator Baldwin. “I stand with Governor Evers and local officials in every county, municipality and town in Wisconsin in calling for the President to work with us in Congress to get the job done to make sure Wisconsin receives robust and flexible funding in this next emergency coronavirus package.”

Governor Tony Evers, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, Wisconsin Counties Association and the Wisconsin Towns Associations have all sent letters to the White House this week calling on the President to take action and provide more funding and resources for state and local officials.

“With debate surrounding a package that will assist local units of government, we know you understand the critical role Wisconsin counties play in the arena of public health and human services,” wrote Mark O’Connell, executive director of the Wisconsin Counties Association. “Allocating funds to address the ill effects of the pandemic is important. Even more important is ensuring that the funds are delivered to those areas of local government which are most in need and on the front lines of fighting the pandemic.” The Wisconsin Counties Association full letter to the White House is available here.

OFFICE OF STATE TREASURER: STATE TRUST FUND LOAN PROGRAM
This morning Wisconsin State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski joined over 170 county officials, along with WCA staff and general counsel, on a Zoom meeting to review the property tax implications of Act 185. In particular, she presented on the State Trust Fund Loan Program.

State Trust Fund Loan Program OverviewThe Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) offers fixed rate loans with competitive interest rates. Our application process is extremely simple, and borrowers pay no fees, including application and prepayment penalties. Of course, the best part of the loan program is that interest earned is distributed annually to fund public school library materials throughout Wisconsin. 

  • No fees, interest rates are locked at application for up to 6 months at no cost to the borrower.
  • Loan prepayment is allowed without penalty.
  • Fast, efficient process typically takes 30-45 days and can be expedited.

For more information:

LEGAL UPDATE: UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS AND WORK-SHARE PROGRAMS
Since Governor Evers first declared a public health emergency in the state on March 12, 2020, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (“DWD”) has experienced an unprecedented spike in the number of claims for unemployment insurance benefits. This abrupt increase in unemployment claims has prompted a legislative response, and on April 15, 2020, Wisconsin enacted Senate Bill 932. The bill is wide-sweeping and impacts employment, agriculture, economic development, local government, public utilities, education, insurance, and public health and human services in Wisconsin.

Among numerous other changes, Senate Bill 932 makes significant modifications to Wisconsin’s unemployment insurance program. The bill’s amendments to existing unemployment insurance laws appear to provide temporary economic relief to both claimants and employers by waiving certain requirements and restructuring the way in which benefits related to the public health crisis are charged.

DCF: WATCHING OUT FOR WISCONSIN’S CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
As Wisconsin keeps physically healthy by staying Safer at Home, children have fewer interactions with many of the professionals trained to observe and mandated to report suspected child abuse.

It is critical now, more than ever, for families, friends, and neighbors to be aware of the signs of child abuse and neglect and to know how to report those signs to their local child welfare agencies. 

This one-page flyer from the Department of Children and Families can help you and your partners understand the signs of abuse and neglect and know how to report suspected incidents. If you suspect abuse or neglect, contact your county’s child protective services (CPS) agency immediately. Your local CPS agency’s contact information can be found online or by calling the United Way’s resource line by dialing 2-1-1.

MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS COVID-19 RESOURCES
Motorola Solutions, a WCA Services, Inc. partner, is committed to supporting the critical communications, safety and security needs of counties and other public safety customers.

Motorola Solutions has launched a COVID-19 Resources website that will walk counties through properly cleaning radios and discussing quickly deployable resources to help manage your county’s COVID-19 response as well as assistance for applying for available grants.

If your county has a Motorola Software Solution deployed, this website also has specific information on how each of those platforms can be used to manage a COVID-19 response (at the bottom of the landing page). These platforms include: Emergency CallWorks and VESTA 911; Spillman CAD, Flex RMS, and Jail; PremierONE CAD, Mobile, & RMS; CommandCentral Aware, Analytics, Community, and Jail.

Beginning April 14, 2020, Motorola Solutions began hosting an on-line webinar series on Mission-Critical Ecosystem Demonstrations. This webinar series will be covering solutions within Command Center Software, Mission Critical Communications, Video Analytics & Security and Managed & Support Services. For more information contact Motorola’s Derek DiPietro, Senior Account Manager at 262.666.2756 or via email.