MADISON — Assembly Speaker Robin Vos outlined Republican COVID-19 priorities Tuesday, but did not release specific proposals while pledging to find common ground with Evers.
Gov. Tony Evers released a package of proposals to tackle the surging pandemic Tuesday as Wisconsin announced a daily record 92 deaths from the coronavirus and health officials cautioned that even when a vaccine becomes available it will be months before most people receive it.
Republican leaders in the state legislature say Governor Evers' plan lacks new ideas. Assembly Speaker Vos shared several of his own ideas today but admitted Republican leaders don't have any new legislation drafted to counter Evers' proposals.
Vos said he thought Republicans could find agreement with Evers on some ideas, but raised concerns about relying on state funding rather than federal money. Republicans want to prioritize areas such as increasing contact tracers, providing more resources to health care providers, and additional assistance for businesses.
"One of the things that I did notice which was disappointing is that we noticed there is really no discussion of the huge problems we are having with unemployment," said Vos.
Governor Evers' coronavirus relief initiatives include suspending the one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance through 2021.
Vos says it's time to put people who are unemployed to work in an effort to double the state's amount of contact tracers.
Some of Evers' legislative proposal includes unemployment benefits assistance, including allowing those who are unemployed to immediately claim benefits, allowing DHS to issue an order to prohibit evictions and foreclosures through 2021, waive student assessment and school report card requirements for the 2020-21 school year and more.
Read the full Evers bill summary below:
Governor Evers communications director sent this tweet in response to speaker Vos' agenda:
.@GovEvers has consistently tried working in good faith with Republican leadership on our state’s response to COVID-19, as we did yesterday by sharing our legislation and asking for their input and feedback.— Britt Cudaback (@BrittCudaback) November 17, 2020
Speaker Vos and Governor Evers are expected to meet later this week.