Capitol Update
by Senator Howard Marklein
April 10, 2020

 Legislative Action On COVID-19 

The Wisconsin Legislature has been working hard on legislation to take immediate action on COVID-19 related issues.  For the past several weeks, we have been analyzing the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), reviewing Governor Tony Evers’ requests and listening to our constituents. 
I believe we are getting close to a first bill to deal with priority issues. I expect to be – virtually – on the floor of the Senate very soon.
As your State Senator, my priorities for this legislation include enabling Wisconsin to maximize the benefits we can receive from the Federal government, to provide emergency-response flexibility to state agencies, to provide emergency-response regulatory-relief where it is needed and to protect consumers and citizens as we weather the pandemic.
First and foremost, the Federal CARES Act provides significant financial resources to help our state respond. However, there are a couple of statutory changes that are necessary for Wisconsin to receive the maximum financial benefits we are eligible for in the CARES Act. We are working hard to analyze the Federal package and make the necessary changes to do this.
We are also working with state agencies to understand the flexibilities they need to respond to the Public Health Emergency, as well as regulatory relief for businesses, organizations and individuals who are engaged in the response. These details are key to giving health care, licensing and other entities the tools they need to act.
Finally, consumers and citizens of Wisconsin will be protected and supported as our state government continues to respond. But I guarantee that this is not the only legislation we will write in response to the pandemic. This is an initial bill to address some of the most pressing issues, but we know that there is much more to do.
As the legislature takes action on COVID-19, we are talking to our hospitals, farmers, business-owners, school district leaders and citizens in our communities, as well as the state agencies and Executive branch of our government. Again, this first bill is to take necessary initial steps. We will continue to work on other ideas and concepts in the coming weeks.
As always, please do not hesitate to connect with me to provide input, ideas or to seek assistance.  My team is working remotely but continues to be available to serve you. Send an email to sen.marklein@legis.wisconsin.gov or call 608-266-0703. Leave a message and a member of my team will follow-up with you.