Boots & Sabers

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1853, 21 Dec 20

Evers Pushes Legislature to Pass Spending Bill in Lame Duck Session

I thought that Governor Evers considered legislation passed during a “lame duck” session to be unconstitutional.

Gov. Tony Evers is calling on Wisconsin’s two Republican legislative leaders to act “expeditiously and without delay” on COVID-19 relief legislation the Democratic executive says amounts to a “compromise bill” among the trio.

The proposal, which includes measures to cover vaccinations under the SeniorCare program for elderly individuals, extend unemployment insurance call center hours and allow the Legislature’s powerful budget committee to move money around to cover public health expenses, represents a collection of provisions Evers said lawmakers “have been able to find some agreement” on.

“Moving forward on these provisions results in a piece of legislation that responds to some of the needs of Wisconsinites,” Evers wrote in a letter to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and incoming Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu Monday. “Therefore, I believe we must forward with a bill based on the items we can agree on, and it is imperative that the Legislature do so expeditiously.”

As it is, many of the provisions look like a rehash of his earlier bad ideas and some of them are new bad ideas. Here’s a copy of the bill. Let’s cherry-pick a couple:

Under the bill, requirements to administer various pupil assessments do not apply in the 2020-21 school year. The bill also prohibits the Department of Public Instruction from publishing a school and school district accountability report for the 2020-21 school year.

I guess we’re just going to admit that education isn’t really important and that our government schools gave up on it this year.

The bill allows the Department of Health Services to issue an order prohibiting the commencement of actions for eviction or foreclosure for any period before July 1, 2021.

Evers would force property owners to allow people to live for free for half a year, thus redistributing the economic damage and precipitating a wave of bankruptcies and (ironically) foreclosures. You’ll notice that there isn’t a provision to waive property taxes as property owners can’t collect any income to pay it.

Current law allowed a state entity to waive any requirement that an individual appear in person during the public health emergency declared on March 12, 2020. The bill expands that provision so that a state entity may waive such in-person requirements through June 30, 2021, if enforcing the requirement would increase the public health risk.

This is the attempt to force a virtual-only election in April.


We do need the legislature to step up and pass specific legislation to address some of the impacts of the pandemic. There are needs. But let’s get out of the idiotic motion of creating these massively expensive omnibus “compromises.” Come up with an idea; write a bill; vote on it. Let each idea stand on its own merit and let each legislator vote their conscience.

 

 

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1853, 21 December 2020

1 Comment

  1. steveegg

    Under the bill, requirements to administer various pupil assessments do not apply in the 2020-21 school year. The bill also prohibits the Department of Public Instruction from publishing a school and school district accountability report for the 2020-21 school year.

    WEAC is going to WEAC.

    Evers would force property owners to allow people to live (f)or free for half a year…

    Er, that’s nearly a year and a half given evictions have been off the table since April (unless you meant to type “for another half a year”).

    There’s more craptacular ideas, such as giving paid leave to state workers who didn’t even work 6 months to earn it, permanently expanding “work-share” unemployment benefits to 12 months in a 5-year period from 6, and automatically making undefined “critical workers” who come down with the Wuhan in the next 6 months automatically eligible for worker’s comp at the expense of the employer unless said employer can prove beyond the shadow of doubt the “critical worker” didn’t get the Wuhan at work.

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