Assembly Passes COVID-19 Relief

It was an "extraordinary" day in the state capitol this week as the State Assembly met virtually to pass bipartisan legislation addressing COVID-19 relief for Wisconsin residents.

During this challenging and unusual time in our state and country, meeting together in a virtual session was very important. Key to our gathering was to eliminate the one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits. Key to our gathering was to allow the state to capture more Medicaid dollars from the federal government, which will give individuals much needed access to health care coverage due to work loss during the pandemic. Key to our gathering was to emphasize the bipartisan effort put forth during this very stressful time to help all Wisconsin residents.

The COVID-19 bill also provides the following:

  • Eases licensing requirements for health care professionals and emergency medical responders

  • Allows pharmacists to extend prescriptions

  • Expands SeniorCare to include coverage of vaccinations

  • Ensures no co-pays for COVID-19 testing

  • Prohibits health insurance coverage discrimination based on COVID-19

  • Provides necessary flexibilities to school districts to complete the school year online

  • Sets aside $75 million to address future, unexpected needs that federal dollars don't cover

  • Requires the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to develop a plan to assist the state's main industries (tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, construction and retail)

Wisconsin will receive $2 billion in federal assistance that Governor Evers has sole discretion over spending - the legislation we passed ensures it - and my colleagues and I have asked the Governor to prioritize the needs of the health care industry, workers, small businesses and local governments when allocating these federal dollars.

I am proud of the bipartisan negotiations that went into crafting this bill. Providing this level of certainty will be beneficial during these uncertain times.

Trusted Websites: Accurate and Up-to-Date Information

  • The Center for Disease Control

  • The WI Department of Health Services

  • Whitehouse and Federal Agencies Clearinghouse