Governor proposes second coronavirus relief package.

Governor Evers proposed legislation designed to mitigate the economic damage caused by COVID-19. Graphic: Sam Buisman

Author: Sam Buisman

Governor Tony Evers introduced a second coronavirus relief bill aiming to give financial and infrastructural support to Wisconsinites.

The governor’s proposal would pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the state’s economy in the hopes of fortifying it against pandemic-related damages.

The proposed legislation includes multiple provisions to improve access to healthcare in Wisconsin. According to a summary of the bill’s provisions, the administration is asking for a $368 million dollar Medicare expansion to expand the state’s healthcare capacity, over a quarter which would go directly to hospitals.

The bill also seeks millions of dollars to pay the medical bills of Wisconsinites afflicted by the virus. If passed, it would divert $30 million in existing funds to pay for insurance costs related to COVID-19 and create a $10 million fund to pay for treatment for the uninsured.

Outside of paying for treatment, the bill would fund other programs designed to help Wisconsinites during the coronavirus crisis. The legislation would increase the earned income tax credit for low-income families, provide $125 million in grants for small businesses and $10 million in grants to food banks, and create an $8 million fund to protect Wisconsin families from foreclosures amidst the fallout from the crisis.

“What the federal government has passed is a great start, but I am concerned it does not go nearly far enough,” Governor Evers said through a press release. “We need to take aggressive legislative steps here in Wisconsin for not only the health and safety of our families and workers, but for our state’s economy.”

At press time, top state Republicans have not yet commented on the Governor’s proposal, but intense debate and significant changes to this bill are almost inevitable as it begins to work through the Republican-controlled legislature.

WSUM will continue to follow this story and issue updates as they emerge.