Finance Committee Continues Building State Budget; Tax Cuts, Education Funding Are Highlights

The Wisconsin Legislature remains focused on assembling a state budget for the 2021-2023 fiscal biennium. In his executive budget proposal, Governor Tony Evers (D) included a two-year operating budget of more than $90 billion and a long list of changes to various state laws and programs. Immediately following the governor’s budget address in February, legislative leaders indicated they would […]

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Republican Lawmakers Seek to End Federal Unemployment Supplements; Governor Likely to Veto

A group of Republican state legislators are working on legislation to end Wisconsin’s participation in several federal programs that provide new or additional unemployment benefits, including the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. The FPUC program provides recipients of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits with an additional $300 per week on top of the regular state […]

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Legislature Reinstates Work Search Requirement for Those Receiving Unemployment Benefits

A legislative committee has voted to end a temporary rule that suspended the work search requirement for people receiving unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. By a 6-4, party line vote on May 19, the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) ended the emergency rule promulgated by the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). Without committee […]

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PFAS Update: Legislators Reintroducing CLEAR Act; DNR Releases Economic Impact Analysis for Cycle 10 Groundwater Rule

A group of Democratic state legislators backed by Wisconsin’s governor are reintroducing legislation called the Chemical Level Enforcement and Remediation or “CLEAR” Act. The bill includes a variety of provisions to regulate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a family of thousands of manufactured chemicals commonly known as PFAS. In addition to legislative efforts regarding PFAS, the […]

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Governor Calls for Special Session on Medicaid Expansion; Legislative Leaders Plan to Gavel Out Immediately

On May 19, Governor Tony Evers (D) signed Executive Order 116, directing the Legislature to convene a special session on his proposal to expand Wisconsin’s Medicaid program, also known as BadgerCare. The bill put forward by the governor, LRB-3568, would accept federal money to expand Medicaid coverage to about 90,000 additional people. Over the next […]

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Gov. Evers Rejects Republican Plans for Spending Federal Funds, Announces Additional Details

On March 11, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the third federal bill to include substantial grants, aids, direct payments, and other relief measures related to COVID-19. Totaling $1.9 trillion, the ARPA follows the CARES Act ($2.2 trillion, passed in March 2020) and the CRSSA ($900 billion, passed in December 2020). […]

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Against Gov. Evers in Public Health Emergency Case, Ending Statewide Mask Mandate

On Wednesday, March 31, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a ruling in Jeré Fabick v. Tony Evers, holding 4-3 that the governor cannot issue successive emergency declarations on the same subject. Petitioner Jeré Fabick sought a declaratory judgement on Governor Tony Evers’ authority to issue multiple public health emergency declarations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. […]

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Gov. Evers Signs PBM, PSC, and Several Other Bills

On Friday, March 26, Governor Tony Evers announced that he had signed 14 bills into law, including several key healthcare-related bills. One of these bills was Senate Bill 3, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 9, which we last covered here. The law authorizes the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) to license and regulate pharmacy […]

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PA Modernization Bill Signed Into Law

On Friday, March 26, Governor Tony Evers signed into law 2021 Wisconsin Act 23, a bipartisan piece of legislation to update how Wisconsin regulates physician assistants (PAs). The bill (Assembly Bill 125) passed the Assembly on March 16 and the Senate on March 23, both on voice votes. Most of the provisions will take effect […]

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PBM and PA Bills Head to the Governor; Senate Considers Dental Therapy Bill

On Friday, March 19, Governor Tony Evers was presented with Senate Bill 3, a bill authorizing the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) to license and regulate pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). The governor can now choose to sign the bill into law or veto it. The Assembly passed the bill on March 16 on […]

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