MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers on Monday sent a letter to the Wisconsin State Legislature asking members to approve his proposed COVID-19 response legislation as the first bill of the 2021-22 legislative session.
“As we begin a new year and you begin a new legislative session, I write today to ask for your urgent consideration and support of legislation to aid in our state’s continued response to COVID-19,” the governor wrote. “I respectfully request that you prioritize the COVID-19 compromise bill—LRB-6592—that I introduced several weeks ago now, and ask that the bill as drafted, which includes provisions agreed upon by Republican leaders and me, be the first bill taken up and passed by both respective houses so it can be sent to my desk without delay.
“Time is of the essence, and frankly, we cannot delay any longer. It is time to move forward on legislation where there is agreement.”
31-page bill called ‘compromise’
Evers, a Democrat, released the 31-page legislation, which his office described as a “compromise bill,” in December. Its provisions include:
- Creating a call center – that would operate 12 hours a day, 7 days a week – to handle unemployment claims;
- Making sure to sure to cover pharmacist-administered COVID-19 vaccines, and that the state Department of Health (DHS) reimburses them;
- Authorizing first- and second-year pharmacy students to administer COVID-19 vaccines;
- Establishing coverage limits on certain prescription drugs;
- Providing for liability coverage for physicians and nurse anesthetists;
- And allowing the transfer of employees among state agencies.
Republicans control both houses
Republicans hold the majority of seats in both houses of the Legislature. They control the State Senate 21-12 and the State Assembly 61-38. GOP leaders in the Senate and Assembly have issued their own proposals to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Legislature has not voted on anything in 264 days.
The Senate and Assembly will both meet Monday afternoon, kicking off the new two-year session and swearing in new members. They didn’t plan any other activity.
“Wisconsinites expect and are counting on perhaps now more than ever a state government that works effectively and efficiently for them,” Evers wrote.
“As the pandemic continues to have effects on our small business owners, our workers, students and parents across the state, and every aspect of Wisconsinites’ daily lives, it would be inexplicable after more than 260 days of inaction for any other issue or topic to be taken up by the legislature prior to passing a bill to address COVID-19—especially one on which we’ve already been able to find common ground.”
Also in the News
RACINE – Thursday, a group of five Racine voters announced the filing of a formal complaint alleging that Racine Mayor Cory Mason was behind an election administration plan last year that violated the U.S. Constitution. The 28-page complaint is against Mason, Racine City Clerk Tara Coolidge, and Wisconsin Elections Commissioner Meagan Wolfe. Those bringing the […]
Moving to a rural area can certainly be a large adjustment for most people. Here are some key things to do before you move out to the country.
Robert, also known as Bob Mainland, had various roles in his life that impacted the community and those around him. Mainland, who was 72 years old, recently passed away. This week, the Racine County Eye honors him as the Educator of the Week. Mainland earned a degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin Parkside […]