Update (4:30 p.m., March 9, 2022): Congress has dropped the spending bill provision that would have cost the state $225M in COVID-19 aid. See the updated story here

Gov. Tony Evers today knocked the omnibus spending bill now before Congress, saying Wisconsin would lose $225 million of the $2.5 billion in ARPA funds it had expected to receive.

The bill includes about $15 billion that the White House has requested for COVID-19 relief. Under the bill, some of that would be funded with unallocated money from about 30 states that received their ARPA funding in two payments. That includes Wisconsin.

“That is just not acceptable. I also understand this provision is perhaps rooted in the mistaken belief that these funds are not being spent. I can speak for Wisconsin when I say that is simply incorrect,” Evers wrote in a letter to congressional leaders. “I have directed the state to move quickly and purposefully to disburse funds in ways that meet the moment.”

The reduction, if approved in the omnibus proposal, would be the second hit to Wisconsin’s ARPA allocation. The state had originally expected to receive $3.2 billion before the feds reduced that by $700 million. The state lost that money because it was based on the unemployment rate and Wisconsin’s was better than other states.

That money was also split into two payments rather than the one allocation that was originally anticipated. The first one was received last spring. The second payment is expected in May.

See the release here.

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