Madison, WI – On Friday, Governor Evers signed a number of bills into law, including AB 765, AB 874, AB 909, and SB 520, all of which were authored by Senator Mary Felzkowski (R-Tomahawk). These bills received strong bipartisan support in the legislature earlier this year, as they are common-sense pieces of legislation that will benefit Wisconsinites throughout the state.
AB 765, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 225, creates and modifies administrative rules which will allow Group Physical Therapy to be covered under the state Medicaid program. “Group Physical Therapy is already covered under the federal Medicaid program, so it only makes sense to create parity between state and federal services. In rural areas of Wisconsin, access to medical services such as physical therapy is extremely limited. This bill will allow healthcare providers to see more Medicaid patients at a time, despite a shortage of therapists in many parts of the state.”
The second bill signed by the Governor, AB 874, now known as 2021 Wisconsin Act 228, will furnish public and private EMS providers with the ability to invest industry dollars, which will pull down a federal match for the Medicaid services that they provide to the people of Wisconsin. “The ease of access to emergency medical services can mean life or death to those waiting for quick care, yet many of our rural EMS providers are severely underfunded. While this won’t solve all of the issues plaguing our public and private service providers, it’ll be a step in the right direction when it comes to alleviating some of the financial pressure.”
The third bill, AB 909, signed into law as 2021 Wisconsin Act 230, makes a number of improvements and updates to the Managed Forest Land program in Wisconsin based on input from the DNR and private woodland owners throughout the state. These changes improve an already strong program that provide ecological and economic benefits to Wisconsin.
Lastly, SB 520, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 252, funds the creation of a new Type 1 juvenile correctional facility in Milwaukee County. This is the crucial next step needed for the closure and conversion of Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake. “The state is long overdue in taking this action and I’m excited we were able to get this bill across the finish line. I have faith that the Department of Corrections will move quickly to take the next necessary steps and get the new facility built.”