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How Wisconsin Should Spend the Federal Money

The State of Wisconsin will be receiving $5.7 billion from the federal government’s American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). Currently, Governor Evers can spend it with no oversight. It’s a little disturbing to think that one man, one part of our government, can make this huge 5.7 billion dollar decision without consulting the legislature.

The legislative and executive branches are co-equal segments of government. All financial decisions first go through the legislature, while the executive branch has the power to approve or veto those decisions. The ARPA funding has reversed the way financial decisions are made in Wisconsin, giving the Governor exclusive power of the finances. Our forefathers have always wanted us to work together on financial issues and this has left the Governor and Legislature at odds. We still don't have the full accounting of the last 2.3 billion dollar funding so it makes sense to ask for oversight on this second massive spending plan. The legislature will continue to fight to have a voice in this process.

That’s why the Assembly and Senate passed the bills below, allowing the legislature to have oversight on this second, federal, mega-funding initiative.

  • Aid to Households: $1 billion to provide a 10 percent payment to all property taxpayers
  • Small Business Assistance: $200 million for small business grants
  • Debt Repayment: $250 million to pay down state debt and $250 million to pay off transportation revenue bonds
  • Local Road Funding: $308 million to give $2 million per county and $2,000 per road mile to cities, villages and towns for road improvements
  • Long-term Care Assistance: $150 million for grants for nursing homes and assisted living facilities and worker bonuses
  • Rural Economic Development & Farmer Assistance: $50 million for rural economic development grants and $50 million for farmer support funds
  • Strengthen Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund: Requires the use of recovery funds to keep UI taxes at lowest tax schedule
  • Broadband Expansion: $500 million in broadband expansion grants
  • EMS and Mental Health: $68.2 million for EMS technology upgrades and a psychiatric hospital in Eau Claire
  • Clean Water Investments: $61 million for water infrastructure projects

Resolution to Join Multi-State Lawsuit

On the floor, we also passed a resolution to join a 13-state lawsuit relating to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The federal government will fund Wisconsin 5.7 billion dollars BUT attaches strings that we cannot raise state taxes for the next four years. That’s a complete overreach by the federal government. Who knows what will happen in the next four years? We cannot commit to this deal. We need Attorney General Josh Kaul to join other states and add Wisconsin to the lawsuit to remove this stipulation.

Green Bay Elections Lawsuit

A group of Green Bay residents filed a lawsuit against Green Bay officials and Meagan Wolfe of the Wisconsin Election Commission due to the allowance of third party election operations. It appears the third party group took over the election and followed their own processes and procedures. In doing so, election laws may have been violated. The lawsuit explains the situation thoroughly.

Campaigns & Elections Committee

The Campaigns & Elections Committee met on April 14th to hear the proposed legislation below. The committee will continue to hold hearings on legislation as well as the election investigation.

AB 51: Currently, there is no requirement to provide public notice of an open seat for county and local elections - only state elections. This bill would require public notice of such openings.

AB 172: Requires the Wisconsin Elections Commission to publish meeting minutes on their website within 48 hours.

AB 173: Prohibits local election officials from receiving private funds to run Wisconsin elections. It also requires ballot tabulators to take an oath of office like every other election official and prohibits employees of political campaigns from serving as poll workers.

AB 94: Currently, most students who are 16 or 17 years of age and in good school standing can serve as an election inspector. This bill simply allows homeschooled students the same privileges.


Representative Janel Brandtjen
State Capitol, Room 12 West
PO Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

Toll-Free (888) 534-0022 or (608) 267-2367 | |