MADISON - This week, Democrats in the Wisconsin State Legislature once again took action to deliver COVID-19 relief to Wisconsinites by introducing a package of twenty-two bills, mirroring much of the contents of the strong bipartisan compromise proposal passed by the Senate on January 12 and agreed-to by Governor Evers. Legislative Democrats and Republicans came together last April to urgently respond to immediate needs for Wisconsin on an initial COVID package. 
Legislative Republicans then refused to take action for nearly 300 days and ultimately passed a bill so politicized even its supporters knew it would not get signed into law. In response, legislative Democrats are urging their colleagues to get back to bipartisan compromise and deliver urgently-needed relief for Wisconsinites. 

Sen. Janet Bewley (D-Mason) said, “Wisconsin has lost more than 6,000 of our friends and neighbors in less than a year to this deadly virus. Our communities and many small businesses are still fighting to stay afloat as they continue to struggle to survive and find a way out of this pandemic. We need to fight this pandemic, not one another. Democrats are committed to delivering immediate relief for our constituents who need additional tools and resources to continue the fight against COVID-19. It is way past time for the Republicans to act with urgency, prioritize the needs of their constituents and pass this much needed relief for people across the state.”

 Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) said, “These standalone proposals are solutions with strong bipartisan support and Gov. Evers has already committed to signing them into law. As elected leaders, we all have the responsibility to act. Our state is experiencing a once in a lifetime public health emergency and the lack of urgency to address the pandemic over the last 10 months is disappointing. 
These proposals have bipartisan support, so let’s get them passed and signed into law. The more quickly we do so, the more quickly and easily Wisconsin can recover from this pandemic.”

 Among the bills that were introduced are bills that do the following:

 ● Continuing the temporary moratorium on the one-week waiting period for UI benefits; 
● Allowing for the continuation of UI extended benefits;
● Full coverage of COVID testing and vaccinations for individuals with private insurance and for those with Medicaid; 
● Coverage for vaccinations under SeniorCare; 
● Allowing for insured individuals to use out-of-network services for healthcare and be covered as if in-network; 
● Medical Assistance reimbursement to hospitals for nursing facility-level of care and for outpatient hospital services during the pandemic; 
● Continuing federally funded programs for child welfare in the pandemic; 
● Allowing pharmacists to extend prescription orders for up to 30 days without an order from a physician during the pandemic.