Contact: WisDems Communications (

MADISON, Wis. — Today, Gov. Evers called for a special session of the legislature to expand BadgerCare and reinvest cost savings into much-needed projects throughout the state to support economic development and Wisconsin’s economic recovery. Expanding BadgerCare would cover 90,900 Wisconsinites and save the state $1.6 billion over the next two years.

The projects in the governor’s proposal include:

  • Broadband Expansion: $200 million increase in broadband expansion grants
  • Economic Development Loans: The proposal would fund WEDC loans to local cooperatives to purchase the VERSO paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids and Park Fills Mill.
  • Rural Emergency Services: $11 million in support for rural EMS service.
  • Mental Health Services: The proposal funds renovations to add mental health beds at facilities across the state and provide $50 million for statewide mental health programming.
  • Supporting Veterans: $50 million to support additional veteran housing development projects.
  • Black Historical Society: The governor would increase funding for the state’s Black Historical Society, after Republicans stripped funding from the budget.
  • Strengthening Wisconsin Agriculture: In addition to a tuition assistance program for current and prospective farmers, the proposal funds the Food + Farm Exploration Center in Stevens Point and improves facilities at the state’s Cranberry Research Station.

“Gov. Evers is following through on his promise to fight like hell for BadgerCare expansion and make sure Wisconsin bounces back,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Rapid Response Director Kayla Anderson. “His proposal for the special session will make health care more accessible and fund economic development projects that will support Wisconsin’s economic recovery by reinvesting in communities across our state. If Republicans continue to block BadgerCare expansion, they should come clean that they’re choosing to reject $1.6 billion and risk Wisconsinites’ lives in the name of partisan politics. It’s time for Republicans to end the political games and take this opportunity to do the right thing.”

The full list of the economic development projects in the proposal is available here.

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