Madison…Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and his Assembly Republican colleagues are putting forward policy initiatives to help address the COVID surge in Wisconsin. The package of ideas include building a robust testing system, doubling the number of contact tracers, assisting the healthcare industry, ensuring an efficient distribution of a COVID vaccine, requiring Unemployment Insurance reform and helping small businesses.
“We have to get on the same team; the virus is the enemy, not each other. Wisconsin needs some bipartisan answers,” said Speaker Vos. “These proposals are from our constituents, stakeholder groups and lawmakers. We look forward to discussing these legislative initiatives with our Senate colleagues and the governor.”
Speaker Vos and members of the Assembly GOP leadership team highlighted their priorities at a press conference on the floor of the Assembly chambers. Their goal is to find a consensus so the legislature can act on a bipartisan package in order to better utilize the CARES Act funding that runs out at the end of the year.
At the press conference, the legislators also echoed the call from health officials that citizens need to follow CDC guidelines: wear a mask, socially distance, wash your hands and stay home, away from social gatherings.
“We must dramatically increase our testing with more community and rapid testing,” said Speaker Vos. “We’d also like to make at-home testing possible so we can find the virus faster. We want to ensure that if you think you may have the virus, you can get a test and the results quickly.”
These initiatives would be part of the second Coronavirus Relief Bill in Wisconsin. The first comprehensive package received near unanimous approval within the first month of the pandemic. The governor immediately signed that legislation into law in April.
“We should work to find bipartisan solutions to help slow the spread and keep our communities safe but, at the same time, not bankrupt families or devastate our economy,” said Speaker Vos. “Unfortunately, the coronavirus will be here even after there’s a vaccine; we have to find ways to keep moving Wisconsin forward.”