Interpreting the Executive Order

COVID-19

According to the Governor’s Executive Order #72 and subsequent Emergency Order #12, effective March 25, 2020, all individuals in Wisconsin are ordered to "stay at home or at their place of residence" unless performing certain functions.

The Emergency Order outlines Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Businesses and Operations, Minimum Basic Operations, Essential Travel, and Special Situations that are exceptions to the stay at home order.

Under provisions for Special Situations, “construction” is considered as Essential Infrastructure (#10). According to the order: “Essential Infrastructure shall be construed broadly to avoid any impacts to essential infrastructure, broadly defined.”

While Architects are not specifically listed, “Professional Services” are included as Essential Businesses and Operations (#13.u.). The order states that: “These services shall, to the greatest extent possible, use technology to avoid meeting in person, including virtual meetings, teleconferencing, and remote work (i.e. work from home).”

AIA Wisconsin sent a letter to the Governor in anticipation of the Stay At Home Emergency Order requesting clarification that architectural services would be considered essential and exempt from the order. While the Governor’s office thanked us for reaching out and commented on how much they appreciate all that architects do to protect the health and safety of the public, additional clarification regarding architectural services was not provided.

You are encouraged to contact the Governor’s office with any specific questions you may have on the impact of the order on your practice.

In compliance with the order, the AIA Wisconsin office will remain closed, with staff working remotely from home, until Friday, April 24, or until a superseding order is issued.

Updates will be posted as we receive clarification.

References:

Executive Order #72 State of Wisconsin, Office of the Governor

Emergency Order #12 Safer at Home  - State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services

AIA Wisconsin Letter requesting Clarification

State is requiring "essential" businesses to have a written "COVID-19 Response Plan." Click here for the actual web directive.

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UPDATE 3/26/2020

Passed by the US Senate 3/25/2020

Contributor: Steve Lyons, SJL Government Affairs and Communications

The details will begin to be released in the next few days (example: some of the money will be determined by an oversight committee - people on the committee yet to be determined).

On the small business loans it appears that they will work through local lenders to distribute - which I think is positive and will expedite the process.

Here's what's in the $2 trillion package, the largest in U.S. history:

  • Direct payments of $1,200 to most individuals making up to $75,000, or $2,400 for couples making up to $150,000. Each dependent child increases the amount by an additional $500. The amount decreases for individuals with incomes above $75,000, and payments cut off for those above $99,000.
  • Expanded unemployment benefits that boost the maximum benefit by $600 per week and provide laid-off workers their full pay for four months. Eligibility is extended to independent contractors and the self-employed.
  • $367 billion in loans for small businesses
  • $150 billion for state and local governments
  • $130 billion for hospitals
  • $500 billion in loans for larger industries, including $25 billion for passenger airlines; $4 billion for carriers; $3 billion for aviation contractors and $17 billion for "businesses critical to maintaining national security.
  • Creation of an oversight board and inspector general to oversee loans to large companies
  • Measure prohibiting companies owned by President Trump and his family from receiving federal relief$25 million for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
  • $400 million for election security grants

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Update March 28, 2020

GOVERNOR’S OFFICE RELEASES DRAFT LEGISLATION (Source: The Wheeler Report)

Governor Evers’ office has released legislation they have drafted pertaining to COVID-19.  There is bill addressing various issues and a graph to explain the necessity of each portion of the bill, and a draft joint resolution extending the public health emergency.

Republican response from both Speaker Vos and Majority Leader Fitzgerald.

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Update April 3, 2020

How to Apply for Paycheck Protection Program Loans – Available April 3rd

Important Information for Employers on Titles II and III of the Cares Act

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Update April 10, 2020  

DSPs Plan Review Updates & Emergency Order #22 Requirements  

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Update April 15, 2020

State Response Legislation – 2019 Wisconsin Act 185

Legislation related to the state government response to the COVID-19 pandemic was introduced on April 13 as 2019 Assembly Bill 1038, passed by both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature in an extraordinary session and signed into law by the Governor on April 15 as 2019 Wisconsin Act 185. Provisions in the new law enable Wisconsin to benefit from recently enacted federal relief legislation. The new state law, among many other items, suspends the one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits beginning March 12, directs the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to submit a plan for supporting major industries, including construction and services, and authorizes state agencies to suspend deadlines and training requirements. Below is link to the state legislation, which includes a summary analysis: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2019/related/proposals/ab1038.pdf

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Update April 16, 2020

Emergency Order #28 – Extension of Safer at Home Order to May 26, 2020

The Governor directed the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to extend the Safer at Home order from April 24 to May 26. The status of architecture and other professional services will remain the same under the extension – considered an essential business. Such services shall, to the greatest extent possible, use technology to avoid meeting in person, including virtual meetings, teleconference, and remote work. Emergency Order #28 and frequently asked questions (April 24 until May 26, 2020)

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Update April 17, 2020

AGC Wisconsin “Forward Construction” Podcast

Interview with DSPS Secretary Crim and Assistant Deputy Secretary Hereth on state plan review, building code councils and Emergency Order #22:

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Update April 20, 2020

Badger Bounce Back Plan  -- Governor Tony Evers announced a plan to slowly reopen Wisconsin.

Image credits

COVID-19

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