Wisconsin Family Council was honored to host a tele-townhall on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, with special guests US Senator Ron Johnson, State Senator Dave Craig, and constitutional law experts attorneys Rick Esenberg with Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty and Michael Dean, a sole-practitioner. The subject was the impact on churches and ministries of recent federal and state decisions and orders related to the COVID-19 situation. Following is important follow-up to that call.
- The audio of the March 25 call is available HERE. We encourage you to listen to this call because it will help you untangle some of the mind-boggling details especially of Governor Evers’ Emergency Order No. 12, which is the “stay-at-home” order.
- To further help pastors and ministries with the implications of this order, Attorney Mike Dean has given us a memo that gives background information on the governor’s power and highlights the portions of the order that deal specifically with religious entities. We are incredibly grateful for Attorney Dean’s help on this important matter. We encourage you to read this memo, which is available HERE.
- Attorney Rick Esenberg has published a more general analysis of this emergency order, which you can read HERE.
- US Senator Ron Johnson’s office has informed us that because most churches are 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations, they qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program that is part of the COVID-19 relief bill just passed in Congress and awaiting the President’s signature. This is a forgivable loan. We realize not all churches will be comfortable with this type of government program. However, we do believe it’s important you know what is available so you can make wise decisions. The Paycheck Protection Program is Section 1102 of the bill (p. 9).
- Our CPA, Dr. Corey Pfaffe, who runs a CPA firm (Ministry CPA) that specializes in helping ministries, highly recommends that all churches take a close look at the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and be sure they are in compliance with all aspects of this law. To that end, Dr. Pfaffe has made helpful resources available HERE.
- A sister organization, Florida Family Policy Council, recently told us about a website they have launched to help specifically churches deal with the federal-level aspect of this issue, in particular the bill that authorizes loans to churches and other not-for-profits. Access that website HERE.