Evers’ Stay at Home Order Kicks in Tomorrow

By John Forester | March 24, 2020

From WisPolitics.com …
Gov. Tony Evers’ order shutting down nonessential businesses will kick in at 8 a.m. tomorrow and last through April 24, or until a superseding one is issued.

The order includes a host of businesses that will be allowed to remain open from grocery stores and pharmacies to auto repair shops and banks.

The order also doesn’t apply to those businesses that provide food, shelter, social services and “other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise vulnerable individuals.”

Evers’ order lays out details of the “safer-at-home” order he previewed yesterday. It also bans nonessential travel.

See reaction throughout the day at WisPolitics.com and in the PM Update.

See the release here.

See the order here. 

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Legal Update: Additional Guidance on Educating Students with Disabilities

By John Forester | March 24, 2020

From the Legal Side…

In its most recent Legal Update, the Buelow Vetter Law Firm provides us with updated analysis on guidance provided to school districts on educating students with disabilities during COVID-19 school closures.  You might recall the SAA posted Buelow Vetter’s first update on this issue on March 17th and we are pleased to provide SAA members with this update.

The SAA regularly receives these legal updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of the Buelow Vetter Law Firm.

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Evers to Issue “Safer at Home” Order Tomorrow

By John Forester | March 23, 2020

From WisPolitics.com …

Gov. Tony Evers announced via Twitter he will issue tomorrow what he’s calling a “Safer at Home” order shutting down all non-essential businesses and travel.

In a series of tweets this morning, Evers laid out some of what the order means. Health care professionals, grocers, family caregivers and others will still be allowed to travel to and from work.

Evers also wrote residents “can still get out and walk the dogs,” but travel will be limited to essential needs such as going to the doctor, getting groceries and obtaining medication.

On Friday, Evers told reporters he wasn’t considering an order to shelter in place, but “will follow the science on that.” Today, he wrote he was giving people notice now so they have the opportunity to prepare.

Final details will be released tomorrow, when the order is issued.

“I know this has been difficult and has disrupted the lives of people across our state,” Evers wrote. “That’s why issuing a #SaferAtHome order isn’t something I thought we’d have to do, and it’s not something I take lightly. But here’s the bottom line: folks need to start taking this seriously.”

Evers’ move comes two days after GOP legislative leaders indicated they wouldn’t support any additional steps restricting business activity beyond what the guv had previously ordered.

The virus has killed four people in the state and infected nearly 400.

See the tweet thread here.

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School Law FYI: Employees on FMLA Leave Before School Closure

By John Forester | March 20, 2020

From the Legal Side…

In its recent School Law FYI, the BoardmanClark Law Firm addressed the question of how the current Wisconsin school shutdown impacts employees who were on an authorized leave of absence pursuant to the state and /or federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) prior to the closure of schools.

The SAA regularly receives these updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of BoardmanClark.

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School Law FYI: Remote Participation in School Board Meetings

By John Forester | March 18, 2020

From the Legal Side…

In it’s most recent School Law FYI, the BoardmanClark Law Firm addresses issues surrounding remote participation in school board meetings.

The SAA regularly receives these updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of BoardmanClark.

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State Revenue Likely to be Lower Due to Coronavirus

By John Forester | March 18, 2020

From WisPolitics.com …

The January projection that the state will take in an additional $818.2 million through mid-2021 will almost certainly be lower than anticipated due to COVID-19’s impact on the economy, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

LFB Director Bob Lang told WisPolitics.com that he would need to gather at least several months more of data before completing another full economic forecast report, if he decides to make one.

“I’m not going to do one every two weeks,” Lang said. “Just look at the economy and the markets. I’m certain with small businesses there will be some impact, but I’m not prepared to say what the magnitude will be.”

Lang said the bureau looks at national moderating forecasts for tax collections to help reach an estimate. He said collections from annual personal income filings will be particularly important to review.

An LFB report released in January, well before the WHO declared the virus a global pandemic, projected the state would pull in an additional $818.2 million in tax revenue for the 2019-21 biennium. That resulted in a projection of an extra $451.9 million in the general fund at the end of the current biennium and a deposit of $409.1 million into the state’s rainy day fund.

The GOP-controlled Legislature passed a bill in February that would’ve used $392.4 million of the projected surplus to cut income taxes and property taxes for manufacturers, as well as pay down $100 million in state debt.

But Evers vetoed the proposal, saying the funds should’ve instead gone towards raising K-12 education to two-thirds state funding. He had proposed a $251.9 million plan that included $130 million of the money going into education resulted in a property tax cut.

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Tobacco 21 Clears Senate Committee

By John Forester | March 18, 2020

The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services recommended Senate Bill 364 (Tobacco 21) for passage yesterday by paper ballot.  At this time, it is uncertain when the full Senate may take up the bill.  The SAA supports SB 364.  A summary of the Committee’s action on the bill appears below.

SB-364 Raising Tobacco Age (Marklein, Howard) Raising the legal age for sale, purchase, and possession of cigarettes and nicotine and tobacco products, providing a legal age for sale, purchase, and possession of vapor products, and providing a penalty. Sub. 1 adopted, 4-1.   Passage as amended recommended, 4-1.

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Legal Update: Covid-19 School Shutdown — Compensatory Education Guidance for Students with IEPs or 504 Plans

By John Forester | March 17, 2020

From the Legal Side…

This Legal Update from the Buelow Vetter Law Firm discusses the circumstances, process and considerations according to which school officials should determine whether compensatory services are required for eligible students under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act or Section 504.

The SAA regularly receives these legal updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of the Buelow Vetter Law Firm.

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Fitzgerald Postpones Senate Floor Session

By John Forester | March 17, 2020

From WisPolitics.com …

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald today said he is postponing the March 24 floor period “out of an abundance of caution” for senators and their families during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Juneau Republican said he and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, plan to call an extraordinary session of the Legislature sometime in spring.

Next week was the final general business floor period of the legislative session.

“This coronavirus is a public health issue that should be taken seriously,” Fitzgerald said.

See the release:
https://www.wispolitics.com/2020/sen-fitzgerald-postpone-march-floor-session/

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Senate Committee Votes Today on Tobacco 21

By John Forester | March 17, 2020

From WisPolitics.com …

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee votes today on a bill that would raise the legal smoking age.

AB 364 would raise the legal age for the purchase and possession of cigarettes, vape pens and all nicotine products to 21 from 18.

Its sister bill, AB 422, already passed the Assembly last month by voice vote.

Organizations registered in favor are: Altria Client Services LLC; American Heart Association; American Lung Association, dba American Lung Association in Wisconsin; Ascension Wisconsin; Association of Wisconsin School Administrators; Aurora Health Care Inc; Badger State Sheriffs’ Association; Boys & Girls Clubs of Wisconsin; Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin; Community Advocates, Inc.; DCI Group AZ L.L.C.; JUUL Labs, Inc.; March of Dimes; Marshfield Clinic Health System; Medical College of Wisconsin; Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce; Southeastern Wisconsin Schools Alliance; SSM Health; Walgreen Co; Wal-Mart; WiRSA; Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians; Wisconsin Association of Distributors Inc; Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards; Wisconsin Association of School Boards Inc; Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials; Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators; Wisconsin Association of School Nurses; Wisconsin Association of School Personnel Administrators; Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (WIAAP); Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association Inc; Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association Inc; Wisconsin Council for Administrators of Special Services; Wisconsin Dental Association; Wisconsin EMS Association; Wisconsin Grocers Association; Wisconsin Medical Society; Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association; Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association (WPHCA); Wisconsin Public Health Association; Wisconsin Retired Educators Association; and Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association.

Meanwhile, Vapor Technology Association, SI Group Client Services, Cigar Association of America Inc. and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) are registered in opposition.

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