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State's COVID-19 relief package becomes law

The Brillion News

MADISON – The State Senate unanimously passed Assembly Bill 1038 on Wednesday, April 15.

The bipartisan legislation, crafted by leadership from both parties in both houses, addresses many issues Wisconsinites are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill was then signed into law by Governor Tony Evers, and became 2019 Wisconsin Act 185.

It is designed to provide critical support and relief for people in Wisconsin during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The act will provides immediate assistance to those who have lost their jobs by eliminating the one week waiting period for unemployment insurance. It also maximizes over $3 billion from the federal aid packages, including injecting $300 million into Medicaid to help combat the virus.

Evers said the bill didn’t give him everything he wanted, but was a step in the right direction.

The Assembly passed it on Tuesday. Several attempts to amend it were rejected in both houses of the legislature, which are in Republican control.

“Our state is facing significant challenges as we respond to and prevent the spread of COVID19,” Evers said. “The bottom line is that we have to do everything we can to keep our families, our neighbors, and our communities safe while also looking towards our economic recovery. People across our state are hurting.”

If the state had not passed some key provisions of the bill, Wisconsin risked losing over $2 billion in emergency federal aid.

The legislation contained several key elements originally proposed by State Senator Andre Jacque, R-De Pere. His district includes southern Brown County and northern Calumet County.

“I was pleased to vote for this important legislation that includes a number of provisions I previously authored and introduced on behalf of my constituents, including suspension of the one week waiting period for unemployment retroactive to March 12, flexibility for local government board of review and annual town meetings, public safety and corrections support by suspending hour restrictions and financial disincentives for re-hired retired officers, and remote operations for Wisconsin’s court system," Jacque said.

The legislation passed the State Assembly on a 97-2 vote and the State Senate by a vote of 32-0.


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