(The Center Square) – Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers says it is time for the full force of state government to react to the coronavirus outbreak.
Evers on Wednesday introduced the second of his coronavirus relief packages.
"We need to do everything we can to support those who need it during these challenging times, and we need comprehensive legislative solutions here at the state level," the governor said on Twitter.
Evers' first proposed package would provide flexibility for doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. It would also send them more money. The governor also wants to repeal the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits.
His second package would make sure to pay anyone who had to wait a week to get unemployment benefits; spend more money on healthcare providers (particularly Medicaid providers), and give people protection from evictions because of unpaid rent or shutoffs because of unpaid utility bills.
"We need to take aggressive legislative steps here in Wisconsin for not only the health and safety of our families and workers, but for our state’s economy," the governor said. "I’m calling on the Legislature to convene without any further delay. I look forward to working with legislators to find bipartisan solutions."
Wisconsin's top Republicans told reporters at a statehouse news conference Wednesday they are planning to come back to the Capitol but don't have a date yet.
Sen. Dan Feyen, R-Fond du Lac, said lawmakers are working on something that they can all agree on that the governor will be able to sign.
"My colleagues and I have been analyzing the federal [stimulus package] and the governor's request, and working quickly to get a bill drafted that we can pass to help you," Feyen said in a YouTube message Thursday.
Feyen said he hopes to vote on something as early as next week.
"I understand the importance of getting help to the people who are out of a job through no fault of their own," Feyen added. "We need to get you help as soon a possible."