MADISON – Following the extraordinary session of the Assembly today, State Representative Mark Spreitzer (D-Beloit) released the following statement:
“Today, I am proud that the Assembly passed a bipartisan relief bill in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I voted in support of this important legislation, which includes provisions to retroactively suspend the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits, expand health services to protect our most vulnerable Wisconsinites, authorize the transfer of up to $75 million for pandemic response, and extend various deadlines and give schools and local governments the flexibility to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. I have heard from many constituents who urgently needed us to accomplish these things, and I am glad the legislature was able to set aside partisanship to get this done.
“While I am grateful that the Assembly passed this legislation today, we know that there are other things that we need to do, including protecting public safety and voter rights by making it easier to vote by mail in the rest of our 2020 elections, providing hazard pay and healthcare/sick leave benefits for frontline and critical care workers who are putting their lives on the line in the face of the pandemic, making additional grant and loan funding available as soon as possible to support Wisconsin’s small businesses and nonprofits, and giving Governor Evers the authority to ensure that when it is safe to do so, we can reopen our state in a planned way that will protect public health and not create a second peak in COVID-19 cases. My Democratic colleagues and I offered amendments today to address many of these issues, and I will continue to push for action on them in the days to come.
“Congress needs to do more and so does the state of Wisconsin. The state legislature should meet again as soon as possible to better support our frontline healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential workers who are putting themselves at risk every day. Once the gaps in federal assistance have been fully identified and we have a better sense of state budget projections, the legislature must also meet again to address these and other gaps in today’s legislation. I look forward to continuing to work with the Governor and my colleagues in the legislature on these critical issues.”