Federal response to COVID-19
The president signed four federal response bills to address the COVID-19 health emergency. Key components include support for farmers and the food supply chain and new loan programs within the Small Business Administration. Farms have been able to broadly utilize one of the programs, the Paycheck Protection Program, to cover short-term expenses.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a $19 billion plan for farmers that includes direct payments to farmers with a May sign-up and a program to purchase food and distribute to food banks.
State response to COVID-19
On April 15, Gov. Evers signed legislation that delays property tax payments, without penalty or interest, until Oct.1. Two days later, he issued an extension of Wisconsin’s safer-at-home order until May 26. The governor subsequently rolled out a Badger Bounce Back plan to reopen the state’s economy. The Wisconsin Republican Party filed a lawsuit with the state Supreme Court to block the safer-at-home extension. The case is being briefed by the parties.
Regular state legislative session
The state Senate delayed its final session day, scheduled for March 24. Several bills DBA supports have already passed the Assembly and await action in the Senate. Those bills include truth-in-labeling for milk, dairy products and meat, increased funding for the dairy export initiative, additional funding for small dairy processors, and several water-quality