MADISON -- Today, the State Assembly passed a legislative package co-authored by Representative James Edming (R-Glen Flora) that allocates one-time federal stimulus funding to meet some critical needs of Northern Wisconsin. The 11 bill package provides funds for broadband expansion, supports long-term care facilities, helps rural economic development, and provides assistance to farmers, small businesses, and the tourism industry.
“These bills advance a number of critical priorities for the people I represent,” said Rep. Edming. “I am particularly excited about the funding for rural economic development and the bold funding needed to expand broadband in rural Wisconsin. This package of bills I co-authored also provides assistance for tourism and small businesses that will make a big difference for my constituents and help our area recover from the effects of the pandemic.”
This package uses the $3.2 billion coming to Wisconsin as a part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and includes the following:
- Broadband Expansion: $500 million in broadband expansion grants
- Small Business Assistance: $200 million for small business grants
- Tourism Assistance: $50 million for tourism grants and $25 million for advertising grants for amusement parks
- Rural Economic Development & Farmer Assistance: $50 million for rural economic development grants and $50 million for farmer support funds
- Long-term Care Assistance: $150 million for grants for nursing homes and assisted living facilities and worker bonuses
- Aid to Households: $1 billion to provide a 10 percent payment to all property taxpayers
- Strengthen Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund: Requires the use of recovery funds to keep UI taxes at the lowest tax schedule
- Local Road Funding: $308 million to give $2 million per county and $2,000 per road mile to cities, villages, and towns for road improvements
- EMS and Mental Health: $68.2 million for EMS technology upgrades and a psychiatric hospital in Eau Claire
- Clean Water Investments: $61 million for water infrastructure projects
- Debt Repayment: $250 million to pay down state debt and $250 million to pay off transportation debt
After today’s votes, this package of legislation advances to the State Senate for further consideration.