MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul released the following statement today after the Wisconsin state Senate passed AB1038, legislation intended to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The men and women on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus make a remarkable sacrifice every day they go to work: they put their own health, and in many cases the health of their family members, at risk. The front-line workers making this sacrifice are protecting our communities and helping to save lives.
“We should be doing more to support these essential workers than simply ensuring that they’re able to receive worker’s compensation benefits if they contract COVID-19. But, because of an amendment that gutted a protection for first responders that originally had been included in the coronavirus bill, the legislation that passed the state legislature doesn’t even do that.
“To be clear, the full bill that the legislature has passed is a good first legislative step in addressing the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus. Suspending the waiting period for unemployment benefits and obtaining a substantial amount of additional federal funding for Medicaid, as well as other aspects of this legislation, will make a real difference for many Wisconsinites. But the legislature should return and pass new legislation that provides meaningful worker’s compensation protection for front-line workers in Wisconsin.”