Hamilton Political Tidbits – February 26, 2021

Political Tidbits - February 26, 2021
February 26, 2021
Wisconsin political news for clients and colleagues.
Since the last regular edition of Political Tidbits, Governor Tony Evers has signed the first six bills of the 2021-22 session, including a bill providing COVID liability protections to businesses, schools, and other entities, and another bill federalizing the state's tax code to exempt federal PPP loans.

In this edition of Hamilton Political Tidbits:

If you have any additional questions, please contact a member of the Hamilton Consulting team.
Governor Evers Signs Bill Including COVID Liability Protections, UI Reforms
On Thursday, February 25, Governor Tony Evers signed 2021 Act 4, legislation including both COVID liability protections and reforms to the state’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) system. The bill cleared the Legislature with widespread support, passing the Senate by 27-3 on February 18 and the Assembly by 89-0 on February 23. Senate President Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg), Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester), and Representative Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam), in particular, championed the liability protections in the Legislature.

Legislators Reintroducing PA Modernization Bill
A bipartisan group of legislators are reintroducing legislation to update how Wisconsin regulates physician assistants (PAs). This group includes Senators Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls), Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield), and Brad Pfaff (D-Onalaska) and Representatives Nancy VanderMeer (R-Nekoosa), James Edming (R-Glen Flora), and Dave Considine (D-Baraboo). Similar legislation passed the Assembly on a voice vote in February 2020 but stalled when the Senate cancelled its last floor period due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Signs DOR Bill, Including Provision on PPP Loans
On Thursday, February 18, Gov. Evers signed into law the first act of the 2021 legislative session, a bill making various changes to the laws administered by the Department of Revenue. Among other mostly routine changes, the law conforms Wisconsin tax law with the federal code as of December 31, 2020, for the purposes of state income and franchise taxes.

Vaccine Update: 360,000 Fully Vaccinated; State Announces New Vaccine Sites and Online Registry
As of Tuesday, February 23, Wisconsin had been allocated about 1.6 million COVID vaccine doses from the federal government. About 1.2 million vaccine doses have been administered, and about 360,000 Wisconsin residents have completed the two-dose series. Almost half of Wisconsinites aged 65 and older have received at least one dose.

DWD Announces New Round of Worker Training Grants
On February 12, the Department of Workforce Development announced a new phase of worker training grants under the Wisconsin Fast Forward program. The program provides grants for training programs to help unemployed, underemployed, and incumbent workers learn new skills. The grants are intended to fund training programs that will allow workers to obtain full-time or higher-level employment, increased wages, and/or industry recognized credentials.

ICYMI: Special Edition of Hamilton Political Tidbits - 2021-23 Budget Address
Last week, Gov. Evers unveiled his budget proposal for the 2021-23 biennium. In a special edition of Hamilton Political Tidbits, we covered the highlights from the governor's proposal in each policy area and the immediate reactions from legislative leaders. Read on for our in-depth coverage of the executive budget.

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Economic Development
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