June 4, 2021 — The American Rescue Plan is a historic opportunity for Wisconsin to invest in an equitable economic recovery that leaves all communities better off. State and local lawmakers can use federal aid to help communities hit hardest by the pandemic and address the long-term inequities that have kept too many people of color, women, and those paid the lowest wages from reaching their potential. This factsheet includes categories of federal aid directed by the American Rescue Plan to Wisconsin state and local governments for which estimated dollar amounts are available, and selected categories of aid for which Wisconsin-specific amounts are not available.
July 30, 2020 — The Republican plan for the next round of COVID relief does not go far enough to meet the needs of Wisconsin families, and ignores the hardship of people who are struggling to get by during the recession caused by the pandemic. The GOP proposal also prohibits some immigrants from receiving benefits, which would make it harder for those families to make ends meet, and would also slow the economic recovery. The new GOP COVID relief plan is better described by what’s not in it than what is.
July 14, 2020 — Without additional federal assistance, Wisconsin state and local governments will be forced to lay off teachers and other workers, cut important services like health care and education, and take other actions that would make the recession longer and more painful. These budget cuts would fall most heavily on families with low incomes and people of color, who have already been hit the hardest by the pandemic and the recession.
Republican Litigation Seeks a Slower Process for Pandemic Planning, Concentrating Power in a Handful of Legislators
May 4, 2020 — A lame duck law passed by the legislature in 2018 has impeded Wisconsin’s ability to respond to the pandemic. A lawsuit backed by Republican legislators would further impede the ability of the state and local governments to respond to the health challenges during the pandemic.
Comparison of Public Benefit Changes Proposed by the Governor and Adopted in the Legislature’s Coronavirus Response Bill
April 16, 2020 — To help ease the disastrous health and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Evers proposed legislation to make wide-ranging changes in the state’s public assistance programs, including budget increases and policy measures. This issue brief compares the Governor’s proposals relating to public assistance programs with the far narrower bill approved by the legislature.
April 15, 2020 — The recently developed federal stimulus package known as the CARES Act put in place an unprecedented amount of financial support for many workers who filed taxes in the United States. However, some groups have been excluded from this stimulus effort and others will have to jump through extra hoops to receive their benefit. For example, lawmakers completely excluded immigrant workers without Social Security numbers — and their families — from receiving the benefit, and they also put administrative hurdles in the way of those who did not file taxes in recent years. Another group of people that will be denied full stimulus payments are parents, specifically parents who owe the government for child support.
April 9, 2020 — The COVID-19 pandemic is creating severe economic hardship for many Wisconsinites, and especially for those who were already furthest from opportunity. It has helped reveal the stark disparities in our nation, particularly for people of color, because it has amplified the disparities and has given them potentially fatal consequences. To help ease the disastrous health and economic consequences of the pandemic, Governor Evers has proposed a number of budget increases and policy changes in the state’s public assistance programs.
April 6, 2020 — Wisconsin faces a deadline of April 16 to qualify for hundreds of millions of dollars from federal Medicaid funding. Almost all of the other states have already qualified for the funding, and they have typically done so by executive branch action, but a lame duck law has impeded that in Wisconsin.
Direct Stimulus Payments Would Deliver Quick Financial Assistance to Most, but Blocks Some Families from Receiving Aid
March 27, 2020 — The bipartisan economic response bill that has passed the U.S. House and the Senate would provide direct payments to Wisconsin residents, with the dual goals of helping people afford basic needs and stimulating the economy. The additional cash would be a welcome relief for families that are out of work or struggling to get by, but the provision delivers aid slowly to some, and blocks some immigrants from getting any aid at all.
March 18, 2020 — Communities across the country are scrambling to mitigate the harm done by the coronavirus. But local governments in Wisconsin are finding that the state government has tied their hands by blocking several steps that communities could take to protect the health and well-being of their residents.