Mask mandate extended + a record number of pardons

Good morning, Madison.

It's been about three weeks since we moved our newsletter to Bulletin. It's been a mostly pleasant experience so far, but there's been one big bump in the road: our replies go a black hole.

What do I mean? If you hit "reply" and respond to this message, we won't get your reply. It's super weird. You have to start a new message and send it to for us to see your message.

The developers are working on a solution, but it might be a couple months before we have a fix.

We're dealing with this in the most Madison Minutes way possible. We've commissioned Wisconsin-based artist Rachal Duggan to design a series of educational art pieces for us to include in the newsletter.

Here's the first one:

Keep the conversation going by starting a new message and sending it to We still want to hear from you! This is just a weird technical glitch.

- Sam

😷 Dane County's mask mandate has been extended for another month.

🗳️ Former lieutenant governor Rebecca Kleefisch just announced a run for governor.

  • Kleefisch was lieutenant governor during the Scott Walker years.
  • Her campaign announcement includes promises to "stand with law enforcement," keep schools open, and send the National Guard to the border with Mexico.
  • She's the first prominent Republican to enter the race.
  • Read more about her run in the Cap Times.

📋 Governor Evers is on pace to grant a record number of pardons, the Wisconsin Examiner reports.

  • Evers has pardoned 263 people so far during his time as governor.
  • Activists are pushing for more pardons.
  • Quote from Abolish MKE: "We will not let people think these baby steps are a sufficient response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis and systemic white supremacy in the Wisconsin prison system.”
  • Evers also recently signed an executive order to expand pardon eligibility and speed up the process, the Examiner reports.

🔊 The Cap Times just released its full schedule for Idea Fest 2021.

  • The festival features business leaders, journalists, politicians and more in a variety of panels and seminars.
  • There will be both in-person and virtual elements to the event this year.
  • Dates: September 13-18
  • Tickets: $10 general admission, $60 VIP admission

🍂 The City of Madison's Fall yard waste pickup schedule is now available.

👀 One thing we'll be watching in the coming days: how the new federal vaccine mandate affects Wisconsin businesses and their employees.

  • Amidst a deadly surge in Covid-19 cases, President Biden announced a new federal rule yesterday that says employers with 100 or more employees must require employees to get vaccinated or be tested for Covid-19 on a weekly basis.
  • The move will likely face legal challenges, but experts say the president's rules will likely withstand the challenges. (Source: Business Insider, Barron's)
  • Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce told Green Bay TV station WBAY it doesn't support the new mandate, claiming it "unfairly pits employers against their employees."
  • More info: Who's covered by Biden's new vaccine mandates? When do they go into effect? Here's what we know. (USA Today)

🧑‍⚖️ Three local reporters have been served subpoenas in the trial against two women accused of attacking a state senator.

  • All three were present the night that state Sen. Tim Carpenter was attacked for filming protesters at a racial justice rally in the summer of 2020.
  • Chali Pittman of WORT-FM, Lance Veeser of WKOW-TV, and Dylan Brogan of Isthmus have been served subpoenas that require them to testify about what they saw that night.
  • State law sets a high bar for requiring journalists to testify in court. Prosecutors say those standards have been met; the reporters' attorney says they haven't. The judge sided with prosecutors, but the reporters are considering appealing the decision, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

📚 Your lunchtime read: Meet the immigrants keeping Latin American clowning tradition alive in Wisconsin (The Cap Times)

🦠 Covid-19 Resources

Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 52.1%

Dane County Vaccination Rate: 69.8%

Here's where to find a COVID-19 vaccine near you.

Need a COVID-19 test? PHMDC has you covered.

Are you eligible for a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna? Find out here.