Today Governor Tony Evers announced a second proposed legislative package of solutions for COVID-19 relief. The Governor released a first package several days ago including additional funding and flexibility for public health professionals and healthcare professionals, a repeal of the one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance, expanding and improving access to telehealth services, among many other proposals.  

“What the federal government has passed is a great start, but I am concerned it does not go nearly far enough. We need to take aggressive legislative steps here in Wisconsin for not only the health and safety of our families and workers, but for our state’s economy,” said Gov. Evers. “I’m calling on the Legislature to convene without any further delay to take up these proposals supporting our healthcare providers, essential workers, small businesses, and families across our state who need our help during this difficult time. These are unprecedented times, but we must remember that we are all in this together. We need to do everything we can to support those who need it.”  

The new legislative proposal from the governor includes:

  • Increasing funding for Medicaid providers via supplemental payments and rate increases to support the healthcare system’s response to the public health emergency;  
  • Establishing a fund to reduce providers’ uncompensated care costs targeting reimbursement for treatment-related costs for uninsured individuals;
  • Establishing a COVID-19 reinsurance program to reduce health insurance premiums; 
  • Providing grant funding to provide food assistance and meal delivery;  
  • Prohibiting utility cooperatives from disconnecting customers and prohibiting land-lord directed disconnections from rental units during a public health emergency; 
  • Ensuring workers receive back payment for any lost unemployment insurance benefits as a result of the delay in suspending the one-week waiting period; 
  • Providing supplemental payments to child care providers, if that provider needed to shut down during the public health emergency;  
  • Allowing households to apply for heating assistance under the low-income energy assistance program anytime during the 2020 calendar year; 
  • Increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income families;  
  • Providing municipalities the flexibility to implement multiple installments of three or more payments for 2020 property taxes;  
  • Waiving interest and penalties on delinquent property taxes included in the 2019 payable 2020 tax roll, on and after April 1, 2020;  
  • Creating a fund through the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Association to provide 6 months of support for prevention of single-family foreclosures and providing refinancing opportunities to current borrowers; and  
  • Providing grant funding for small businesses and workers through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. 

Last week the Governor released a first proposal, LRB-5920, which is available here.

A brief explanation of this second round of legislative proposals is also available.

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Steve Hanson
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Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Consortium, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley

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