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  • COVID-19

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Wisconsin COVID-19 Overview

 

Today will be the final Nygren’s Notes pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under normal circumstances, E-Updates sent to 50 or more recipients are not allowed past a certain date as the campaign season approaches. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this was extended until June 10th, 2020, for COVID-related communication.


In this final edition, I wanted to provide an overview of the state’s response to the pandemic and provide you with resources as we move forward. As always, you can contact my office at 608-266-2343 or at Rep.Nygren@legisl.wisconsin.gov with any questions.


First and foremost, I want to commend you for taking the necessary steps to protect our communities. Wisconsin citizens have done a remarkable job of responding to an unprecedented situation. Together we have helped save lives. However, as we emerge from the pandemic, it’s important that we take care of our friends and neighbors who are struggling as a result of the repercussions from the shutdown. Please continue to support local establishments and businesses who no doubt have had a rough last few months. 


Back in April, the state legislature convened to pass bipartisan legislation aimed at addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and allowing Wisconsin to capture billions of dollars from the federal government.


Some of the changes made were:

  • Implement temporary changes to the Medicaid program to qualify for enhanced federal funding. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates the state will receive $150 million per calendar quarter from the federal government as a result.
  • Suspend the one week waiting period to qualify for unemployment insurance benefits. This change is meant to qualify for enhanced federal funding and help Wisconsinites who suddenly lost their job as a result of COVID-19.
  • Update Wisconsin tax law so that financial benefits from federal legislation will not be taxed at the state level.
  • Require insurers to cover services out-of-network for COVID-19, extend prescription limits, and cover COVID-19 testing without any cost-sharing.
  • Require hospitals to report and make public data regarding COVID-19 infections and capacity.
  • Temporarily reduce licensure and regulatory barriers so that retired and out-of-state health care providers can practice in Wisconsin.
  • Require the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to develop a plan on how to assist businesses that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19.
  • Require the Legislative Audit Bureau to review programs and spending impacted by this bill and report its findings to the Legislature.

As has been well-documented, as a result of Governor Evers’ “Safer at Home” order, many Wisconsinites lost their jobs and had to file for unemployment. Governor Evers and the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) were, and continue to be woefully underprepared to serve the citizens of Wisconsin in a timely fashion.


Over the last few months, my office has received countless calls from constituents who have not heard back from DWD and are now facing dire financial outlooks. Through no fault of their own, the citizens were forced out of work and now unable to claim unemployment and now Governor Evers and DWD are not providing efficient services. 


The buck stops with Governor Evers.  DWD needs to spend more time working to find ways to speed up the claims process and less time making excuses for their inability to effectively process unemployment claims. We have constituents that have been waiting over 60 days for benefits.  Enough is enough.  We need more action and less time passing blame.


Recently, I joined Capital City Sunday to talk about this issue. You can watch that here. If you are a constituent of the 89th Assembly District and need help with your unemployment claim, please contact my office.


Finally, the Wisconsin Hospital Association, along with physicians around the state are encouraging Wisconsin residents to not put off important procedures and other preventative medicine in fear of COVID-19 in hospitals and other care settings. Doing so may cause more harm than the virus itself. Hospitals and other care settings are very safe.

As always, please contact my office with any questions, comments, or concerns. We are here to help. For up-to-date information please follow me on Facebook

Stay healthy and safe, John.

 |State Capitol | Post Office Box 8953 | Madison, Wisconsin 53708 (608) 266-2344 | Toll Free: (888) 534-0089 | Fax: (608) 282-3689 |Rep.Nygren@legis.wi.gov |