The Wisconsin Assembly today passed multifaceted legislation in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
No legislative package is perfect, but Wisconsinites can be grateful that the end result of this bipartisan bill makes the state eligible for necessary federal funds to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Fortunately, GOP leadership removed the Liberal wish list demanded by extremists in the Evers Administration. Those provisions, such as eliminating voter ID and extending emergency powers indefinitely, were repugnant to the very idea of a constitutional republic under the rule of law, and had nothing to do with addressing the problem associated with COVID-19. Free people do not acquiesce to a dictator simply because of the threat of an enemy—be it a foreign army or a disease.
“If we seek to find agreement we can find agreement, if we seek controversy, we see partisan proposals. How unfortunate that we had to address partisan amendments on an otherwise cooperative, bipartisan bill.” said Rep. Allen
This legislation is an example of working with the governor to find common ground. It addresses some important challenges. Some of the provisions that will provide immediate help include:
· Easing licensing requirements for healthcare professionals and emergency medical responders
· Allowing pharmacists to extend prescriptions
· Expanding SeniorCare to include coverage of vaccinations
· Ensuring no co-pays for COVID-19 testing
· Prohibiting health insurance coverage discrimination based on COVID-19
· Providing the needed 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).
“Today we passed common sense measures to help Wisconsin citizens and state government through this situation. We are all anxious for a return to normal. Until then, we will continue to monitor circumstances and adjust accordingly.” said Rep. Allen.