MADISON – State Representative Jessie Rodriguez (R-Oak Creek) supported the COVID-19 Response Bill in a historic extraordinary session on Tuesday. The Assembly convened in a partially virtual floor session, with members having the option to participate virtually for the first time in state history.

“These have been challenging and uncertain times for Wisconsinites,” said Rep. Rodriguez. “I am proud we were able to come together to support this bipartisan response bill. The proposal provides much needed assistance to our communities, while ensuring that our state is equipped to respond to the public health emergency.”

The COVID-19 Response Bill does the following:

· Temporarily eliminates the one-week waiting period for claimants to receive unemployment insurance benefits

· Requires the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to plan to assist some of the state’s main industries when the time comes to recover from COVID-19

· Provides the flexibility needed for school districts to complete instruction for the academic year online

· Eases licensing requirements so health care professionals from other states or who have retired can support the health care industry

“My colleagues and I have spent the last several weeks listening to our constituents and hearing how the coronavirus outbreak has effected them personally,” said Rodriguez. “This legislation was negotiated with those conversations in mind.”

The legislation ensures Wisconsin will maximize the federal dollars received by the state through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This means $2.2 billion in federal assistance, of which Gov. Evers will have sole discretion on how the money is spent.

“I hope the governor will listen to Wisconsinites and prioritize the needs of our hospitals and healthcare facilities, business owners, workers and local governments,” said Rep. Rodriguez.

The Senate will consider the companion bill tomorrow.

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