MADISON — Today the Wisconsin Senate voted on an amended version of Assembly Bill 1.
While passed on a bipartisan basis, Republicans rejected an amendment by Senate Democrats that would have added critical provisions such as rental assistance, small business grants, hazard pay for healthcare workers, funding for community testing and more. Rather than put the interests of Wisconsinites first, Senate Republicans kept to party politics and failed to deliver a comprehensive legislative package that would save lives.
Representative Hong (D-76) released the following statement regarding the Senate amended bill:
“When it comes to decisive action to counteract the Covid-19 pandemic, legislative Republicans continue to put profit over people.
“I am disappointed that this bill lacks the urgency and substance needed to provide meaningful economic relief for those hit the hardest in our communities. Instead of hazard pay to protect essential workers, Republicans have prioritized liability shields and put corporate interests over those of hard working Wisconsinites. Instead of relief and loans for small businesses, Republicans have abandoned them in favor of bureaucratic stakeholders. This is disheartening — we could do so much more than this.
“Assembly Democrats and Governor Evers have encouraged and introduced mandates that follow universal health precautions yet Republicans are set on putting science to the wayside and forcing a reopening that will only endanger more lives. It is past time for them to do the right thing and walk the walk they talk, preserve life and serve the people. We are losing lives and letting livelihoods crumble right in front of us.
“I urge my colleagues to continue forward in a spirit of public service and center real Covid-19 relief in their policy making. As for now, the Amended Senate Bill serves merely as a push to the starting line of that policy-making; my colleagues in the Assembly should pass the amended bill, as barebones as it is, in order for all of us to get to work on the issues that matter.