Calvin Callahan

Rep. Calvin Callahan (R-Tomahawk) voted in favor of Assembly Bill (AB) 1, which will assist small business owners and other Wisconsinites who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation contains 44 provisions, including providing $100 million to combat the virus.

MADISON—Rep. Calvin Callahan, newly sworn into office, didn’t waste time getting his feet wet in the halls of the Capitol.

On Thursday, Callahan (R-Tomahawk) voted in favor of Assembly Bill (AB) 1, which will assist small business owners and other Wisconsinites who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation contains 44 provisions, including providing $100 million to combat the virus.

“Wisconsin and the 35th Assembly District were not excluded from the harsh implications of COVID-19,” Callahan said. “Through no fault of their own, Wisconsinites have become unemployed, waiting for months for state assistance. Meanwhile, their children have been kept out of school and sheltered from their friends. And through all this, many of us have even lost loved ones who we were not allowed near in the end.”

Provision in the bill include:

— Addressing the backlog with unemployment insurance claims at the Department of Workforce Development by extending call center hours to 12 hours a day seven days a week and requiring the governor to provide a plan to reduce the outstanding claims to the levels they were at before he required businesses to close last year.

— Prohibiting employers, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and local health officers from mandating the vaccine or closing places of worship.

— Ensuring the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine throughout the state by allowing pharmacy students and dentists to administer the vaccine.

“I am proud to co-author and support this important piece of legislation that will be of help and comfort to so many in my district,” Callahan said. “I hope to see the Senate act soon on AB 1.”

Many of the provisions included in AB 1 will conclude when the national emergency declaration has ended or June 30, whichever is earlier.