Sen. Smith Supports Governor Evers’ Call to Expand BadgerCare

Legislation Includes Funding for New Mental Health Beds, Resources in Eau Claire

MADISON – Today, Governor Tony Evers announced a special session to expand BadgerCare in Wisconsin. BadgerCare expansion would bring in $1 billion in cost savings from the American Rescue Plan Act, which could be reinvested in economic development projects across Wisconsin.

If passed, this bill will provide a $15 million grant to renovate existing facilities to add 22 new mental health beds at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire. A full list of the governor’s projects can be found here.

Sen. Jeff Smith (D – Brunswick) released the following statement in response to Governor Evers’ call for a special session:

“BadgerCare expansion is the right thing to do for our state. We have an opportunity right in front of us to improve healthcare access for Wisconsinites, save taxpayer money and help our local communities in their post-pandemic recovery.

“I’ve heard from countless advocates in western Wisconsin about the critical need to add new mental health beds and additional support services in the region. I’m grateful for Governor Evers’ support for this initiative and other key projects in this plan to help our state move forward from the pandemic.

“Wisconsinites are still waiting for the legislature to act. It’s time the Republican Majority makes the moral and fiscally responsible decision to expand BadgerCare.”


The 31st Senate District includes all of Buffalo and Pepin counties and portions of Trempealeau, Pierce, Dunn, Eau Claire and Jackson counties and very small portions of Chippewa and St. Croix counties.