Boots & Sabers

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Category: Politics – Wisconsin

Assembly Passes Budget

Moves on to the Senate.

MADISON – Assembly Republicans approved a state budget late Tuesday that would cut taxes by more than $3 billion over two years, clear the way for an expansion of I-94 in Milwaukee and end the 8-year-old freeze on in-state tuition at University of Wisconsin schools.

 

Their $87.5 billion plan passed 64-34, with four Democrats joining all Republicans in support. The Republican-run Senate is to take it up Wednesday.

 

The Legislature’s version of the budget would increase spending by 5.4% over current levels. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers sought to spend about $3.7 billion more than lawmakers.

 

The Republican version of the budget has at its heart a series of tax cuts.

 

It would reduce income taxes by $2.75 billion over two years, primarily by lowering one tax bracket from 6.27% to 5.3%.

Evers Retards Economic Recovery with Veto

It’s difficult to think he’s this stupid, so it must be intentional. I expect that he is playing the game that the longer the pain lasts, the longer he can push for socialist “solutions.” Screw those suffering Wisconsin business owners, right?

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a Republican bill Tuesday that would eliminate a $300-a week federal bonus for unemployed people.

 

The bonus was designed to help the unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s scheduled to end on Sept. 6 but Republican legislators pushed the bill through the Assembly and Senate earlier this month, insisting that business can’t find workers and the bonus is keeping people from seeking work.

Madison Government Schools Set Priorities

This is what your taxes are being spent on.

For now, the preliminary budget approved includes the maximum possible raises for staff, investments in equity programs like full-day, 4-year-old kindergarten, an online school for students in grades 6-12 and student-led initiatives like menstrual products distributed for free in school buildings.

The Legislature takes up the budget

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

This columnist has been following Wisconsin’s budget- making for over two decades and two things really stood out this time. First, there is no real spending restraint in Madison, but there is a marked difference between the parties.

 

The current Republican version of the state budget spends $87.5 billion over the biennium. That is a $6.05 billion, or 7.4%, spending increase over the previous budget of $81.5 billion. The previous budget was a 7.8% spending increase over the budget before that. Throughout that period, the Republicans had strong majorities in the Legislature.

 

By contrast, Governor Evers’ budget proposal would have spent $92.2 billion, or 12% more than the previous budget. It is safe to say that while both parties eschew the frugal mores of most Wisconsinites, the Republicans are slightly less extravagant.

 

On the other hand, Republicans do support real tax cuts while Democrats do not. In the current fiscal environment, the increase in spending in the state budget is bolstered by borrowing and the fact that tax collections are at record highs. To write that another way, the state government is taxing Wisconsinites more than ever. The Republican budget gives most, but not all, of those record tax collections back to the people who pay them. The Democrats just want to spend or redistribute the money.

 

The other aspect of this budget cycle that drew attention is how little actual negotiation took place between the Legislature and the executive. The fact that Governor Evers and Republican leaders do not have a working relationship has been evident for some time. In the previous budget cycle, there was at least some attempt at real discussion. This time, it was evident that Evers was unwilling to even pretend to negotiate. His method of negotiation is to wage rhetorical war through the media without ever picking up the phone.

Kenosha City Council Votes Unanimously to Reject Paying Damages to Blake

It’s just the first step before the lawsuit, but good for the City Council. Justified means exactly that… justified. The police have nothing to apologize for and the city taxpayers do not owe Blake a thing.

Kenosha, WI – The Kenosha City Council voted 17-0 on Monday night to reject a $50,000 damages claim by 29-year-old Jacob Blake for his officer-involved shooting in August of 2020.

 

A claim filed by Blake’s Chicago-based legal team at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. on March 11 sought to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and “pain and suffering and disfigurement,” the Kenosha News reported.

 

Attorneys also submitted an itemization of “special damages” totaling $776,614.67, but Wisconsin state law caps the claim at $50,000.

Evers Blasts Johnson for Straying from Government Doctrine

Huh.

Wisconsin’s governor blasted the state’s senior senator Friday for giving a platform to six people who claim they’ve had adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines instead of promoting the millions who haven’t reported serious side effects and avoided sickness and death.

It’s kind of like when activists give a platform for victims of police violence instead of the millions who have been protected by police and had positive interactions with them.

Facts are facts. In the short term, there are people who have adverse reactions to the vaccines while most people are just fine. We don’t know the long term effects yet. Shouldn’t people know with facts? We want people to know that nut juice isn’t milk so that they can make an informed consumer choice. Don’t we want them to know that they might have an adverse impact from a vaccine so that they can make an informed choice?

Wisconsin Supreme Court Punts on Another Important Ruling

Hagedorn is the Souter of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday tossed out an election lawsuit brought by a conservative businessman in an effort to halt the use of absentee ballot boxes in future elections.

The 4-3 decision is another decided by conservative Justice Brian Hagedorn’s swing vote. Hagedorn joined liberal justices in declining to hear the lawsuit filed in March against the Wisconsin Elections Commission, Madison, Milwaukee and others by Jere Fabick, a prominent Republican donor and president of Fabick Cat, the Caterpillar equipment and engine dealer.

Justices in the majority relied upon procedural reasons not to hear the case over concerns from a minority of conservative justices that the state’s highest court is avoiding taking on important cases.

Republicans add massive tax cut to budget

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News last week:

Bolstered by new financial projections that show a massive influx of taxes, the Republicans on the Wisconsin’s legislative Joint Finance Committee voted to do the right thing – give the money back. More precisely, they voted to never collect the excess taxes in the first place by lowering tax rates for the people paying the bills. Especially after a very tough year for so many Wisconsinites, the Republicans’ respect for taxpayers is laudable.

 

The largest proposed tax cut is a very simple cut in the state income tax for most taxpayers. Wisconsin is one of 41 states that continues to impose an income tax. Wisconsin’s income tax is progressive in that it is divided into four brackets and taxes at progressively higher rates as people’s income increases. The Republicans focused their income tax cut at the largest bracket.

 

Under the Republican tax cut proposal, individuals earning between $23,930 and $263,480 and married couples earning between $31,910 and $351,310 would see their tax rate reduced from 6.27% to 5.3%. That bracket covers the majority of Wisconsin’s income taxpayers and directly impacts the middle class by letting them keep more of their hard-earned money. The proposed income tax cut would allow a large percentage of taxpayers to keep a total of $2.75 billion of their money instead of sending it to Madison for politicians to spend. That is $2.75 billion that will be put into Wisconsin’s economy and directly benefit families and businesses throughout the state. The second tax cut that Republicans put into the budget is a reduction in property taxes by $650 million over the biennial budget. This tax cut proposal is more of a shift than a real tax cut. The budget would push more state taxpayer spending to technical colleges and local schools through the state equalization aid formula but would require those government units to reduce their property taxes by a total of $650 million. The budgetary maneuvering would not reduce aggregate state and local government spending, but it does secure federal COVID relief money for schools while also extending a property tax decrease for taxpayers.

 

All told, the two tax cuts inserted into the budget add up to $3.4 billion is tax relief for a wide swath of taxpayers. According to lawmakers, the average Wisconsin taxpayer would see $1,200 in tax savings over two years. That is $900 in income tax savings and $300 in property tax savings. That is real money left in the pockets of real Wisconsinites.

 

The Republican tax cuts were added to the proposed state budget after all of the state government’s government programs had been funded and spending increased. The Republicans voted to increase spending on schools; on higher education; on law enforcement; on shared revenue; on almost everything. The Republicans are advancing a budget that increases spending throughout state government and spends more overall than any other budget in the history of the state of Wisconsin. All of the taxpayers’ commitments have been met – and then some.

 

Yet, despite unprecedented spending, the state is still projected to collect record high taxes. The state government is already going to collect all of the taxes it needs to pay for the record spending. All the Republicans are doing is what any honest cashier would do when a customer accidentally hands them a $20 instead of a $10. They are giving the taxpayers their change back.

 

The Democrats, on the other hand, want to take those record taxes and spend them or redistribute them. In their world view, every dollar spent by a politician in Madison is better spent than if it were spent by a farmer in Allenton or a teacher in Brillion. It is a philosophy rooted in arrogance and avarice.

 

For this reason, Governor Tony Evers is likely to use his powerful line-item veto to veto part or all of the tax cuts. If he does veto the tax cuts, the money will still not be appropriated to spend on anything. It will merely be collected by the government to create a surplus for a future legislature and governor to spend or return. Evers would be taxing excess tax money from taxpayers for no other reason than because he could.

 

Wisconsinites can do far more good for their families, businesses, and churches with $3.4 billion and any politician in Madison ever could. Let us hope that Governor Evers cares more about Wisconsinites than some of his fellow Democrats in the Legislature who voted against the tax cuts.

 

Assembly Unanimously Passes Nut Juice Bill

It’s clear protectionism of a state industry, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad idea. Generally, however, I don’t think that consumers are confused that almond milk doesn’t come from cows.

MADISON, Wis. —  Wisconsin is known as America’s Dairyland, but the rising popularity of plant and nut-based dairy alternatives is becoming a concern for many in the dairy industry.

 

Yesterday, three bills that would block dairy and meat alternatives from using the labels “meat” or “cheese” on their packaging were passed unanimously by the state assembly. Now the bills move to the senate.

 

Many in support of the bills are concerned that labeling alternative products as “meat” or “dairy” can be misleading to consumers. In a study done by the Wisconsin Cheesemakers Association, about one-fourth of consumers who picked up a plant-based cheese alternative believed that it contained dairy milk due to the cheese label.

WIAA Rules Punishing Student Athletes

This is a rule that needs to change. Or, at the very least, leave the rule and allow an appeal process whereby someone put on their “common sense” hat. The rule is designed to prevent schools from recruiting athletes. That is a tiny “problem” that might not even be a problem, but that isn’t what is going on here.

A 16-year-old from Oconomowoc is shining light on an issue that is preventing student athletes all over Wisconsin from playing the sports they love this upcoming school year.

 

It got the attention of a state lawmaker, who is pushing for a new law.

 

“I couldn’t learn virtually, and my mental health was suffering,” said Blake Thelen. “I knew things had to change and I talked to my parents about it.”

 

This past January, in the middle of last school year, Thelen transferred from Oconomowoc High School to Lake Country Lutheran, less than 10 miles away, where classes were fully in-person.

 

“Once I transferred, it was my new home, and I made many friends,” Thelen said. “It’s been much better for me. I still see my friends from Oconomowoc High School, but this is just a better fit.”

 

But recently, when Thelen tried to sign up for Lake Country Lutheran’s football team, which starts practicing later this summer, he was told he can’t play.

 

A rule set by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, or WIAA, says if a student athlete chooses to transfer mid school year, he or she can’t play sports at their new school for a full year.

 

“That rule is designed to prevent schools from forming super teams,” said Republican Senator John Jagler, who represents Wisconsin’s 13 District, which includes Oconomowoc. “Unless you switch schools for a specific reason, like your family changed addresses because of a job change, which there are waivers for. But there is no waiver covering the COVID-19 situation.”

As a side note, I’m hearing a lot of anecdotal examples like this. Churches, schools, favorite coffee shops, etc… the ones that opened to in-person sooner saw people move there in droves. For those that remained closed, they are struggling to get their customer base back.

Republicans add massive tax cut to budget

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a sample:

All told, the two tax cuts inserted into the budget add up to $3.4 billion is tax relief for a wide swath of taxpayers. According to lawmakers, the average Wisconsin taxpayer would see $1,200 in tax savings over two years. That is $900 in income tax savings and $300 in property tax savings. That is real money left in the pockets of real Wisconsinites.

 

The Republican tax cuts were added to the proposed state budget after all of the state government’s government programs had been funded and spending increased. The Republicans voted to increase spending on schools; on higher education; on law enforcement; on shared revenue; on almost everything. The Republicans are advancing a budget that increases spending throughout state government and spends more overall than any other budget in the history of the state of Wisconsin. All of the taxpayers’ commitments have been met – and then some.

 

Yet, despite unprecedented spending, the state is still projected to collect record high taxes. The state government is already going to collect all of the taxes it needs to pay for the record spending. All the Republicans are doing is what any honest cashier would do when a customer accidentally hands them a $20 instead of a $10. They are giving the taxpayers their change back.

 

The Democrats, on the other hand, want to take those record taxes and spend them or redistribute them. In their world view, every dollar spent by a politician in Madison is better spent than if it were spent by a farmer in Allenton or a teacher in Brillion. It is a philosophy rooted in arrogance and avarice.

Stroebel Highlights Cash Raining on Milwaukee Public School District

Senator Duey Stroebel is spot on.

During its final meeting on the budget, the Joint Finance Committee voted to increase general state aid for K-12 schools by $650 million. As a result of this action, the state will fulfill the federal government’s “maintenance of effort” requirement for the $1.5 billion windfall that Wisconsin K-12 schools are set to receive through the most recent COVID-19 spending bill (the American Rescue Plan Act). Absent a veto from Gov. Evers, the state will cover over two-thirds of K-12 funding during the second year of the budget. Two-thirds state funding for K-12 education has been one of the oft-repeated goals of Gov. Evers.

 

Across the three federal COVID-19 spending bills (the CARES Act, the Consolidated Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan Act), $2.6 billion will be provided to K-12 schools. The lion’s share of these funds ($2.4 billion) were allocated through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER funds).

 

Congress directed 90% of the ESSER funds be distributed through a formula based on the number of low-income students residing in each school district. As a result, MPS will be by far the largest beneficiary of the infusion of federal dollars. Per the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, MPS is estimated to receive 38% of these funds, or $797 million. This amounts to an increase of $11,242 per student, which comes in addition to the $15,844 MPS already spends per student. Put another way, the federal funds alone amount to 79% of the $1 billion operations budget approved by the MPS School Board for the 2020-21 school year.

Some in the public school lobby have been quick to characterize the federal COVID-19 funds as “one-time” money that should be given no consideration in the Legislature’s deliberations on the next state budget. However, Congress authorized the third round of funding ($1.5 billion through ARPA) to be spent through September 30, 2024. Moreover, the authorized uses of these funds are very broad.

The MPS School Board is in no position to complain about a lack of taxpayer funding for K-12 education. The sum of these federal funds makes the $87 million property tax increase through 2023 that MPS secured via referendum last year look “paltry.”

Milwaukee Alderman Proposes Using COVID Money for Cheap Housing

Without going into whether or not this is a good use of taxpayer money, it is clear that it has nothing to do with the pandemic. The COVID relief bills have very little to do with COVID relief.

The legislation proposes using $150 million the city received through the American Rescue Plan Act. The city is getting more than $394 million in ARPA funding, and to date it has received an initial infusion of more than $197 million.

 

According to a news release, $105 million would be given to the Department of City Development to rehabilitate the city-owned single-family and duplex homes. The homes would specifically be those that were already foreclosed on because of unpaid property taxes. Renovations would cost $150,000 per home on average. It would provide about 1,000 housing units.

 

Another $35 million would go to the Housing Trust Fund to develop new and renovated affordable housing in partnership with private developers, non-profit organizations and other groups.

 

Another $9 million would be used to increase capacity with various DCD affordable-housing programs. They include, among others, the rental rehabilitation program, homebuyer assistance program and Bronzeville homeownership program.

 

“There are thousands of Milwaukeeans struggling to pay their rent and mortgages, and members of the public frequently expressed their support for the city to invest in and expand affordable housing throughout Milwaukee during three recent town hall-style ARPA virtual listening sessions hosted by members of the Common Council,” Bauman said in a statement. “The ARPA funds are meant to be transformative, to be used for helping communities recover by addressing vital needs. In my view, directly addressing our affordable housing crisis and providing shelter is absolutely what the funding is meant for.”

 

The city owns a substantial inventory of one- and two-family homes that have been acquired through in-rem foreclosure. They are mostly vacant and in various states of disrepair.

Evers Vetoes Education Expansion

Given the utter failure of so many government schools during the pandemic, it is unconscionable that Governor Evers would lock so many kids in failing schools by not allowing them access to the financial resources that taxpayers provide. Taxpayers gladly pay to educate kids, but Evers if forcing them to pay for failed government institutions

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers on Friday vetoed a bill that would have opened the door to more children going to private school using a voucher paid for by taxpayers.

 

The bill Evers vetoed would have raised the income eligibility for the voucher program to three times the federal poverty level.

 

Conservatives said the change was needed given increasing interest in sending students to private schools during the pandemic, which led many public schools to reduce in-person classes.

 

But the change was opposed by the statewide teachers union and groups representing public school administrators, school boards and rural schools — all traditional opponents of growing the voucher program. Evers said in his veto message that he objects to diverting resources from school districts to private schools.

What to do with a surplus?

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News last week. I’m glad to see that the legislative Republicans were of the same mind as they pushed a $3.4 billion tax cut into the budget.

A new estimate from Wisconsin’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) shows that Wisconsin state government will collect billions of dollars in taxes above their original estimates. The political wrangling between Republicans and Democrats over this unexpected windfall reveals the yawning divide between the political camps.

 

Whenever the state legislature crafts a budget, they must estimate the taxes that the state will collect. As the national and state economy changes and actual collections are counted, the LFB periodically updates these estimates to inform the Legislature. In January, the LFB issued an estimate for general fund tax collections and made adjustments to them when various state and national laws were passed changing the tax laws.

 

As the state nears the end of the current budget and fiscal year, the LFB prepared its most recent estimate that records “unprecedented” tax collections through May of this year and forecasts that for the time period encompassing the remainder of this fiscal year and the 20212023 biennium will exceed previous estimates by almost $4.5 billion.

 

To put it another way, the state of Wisconsin is projecting to collect the equivalent of $762 more in taxes from every man, woman, and child in Wisconsin than what they thought they would collect a few months ago. While politicians welcome this unexpected surplus, the people actually paying the taxes do not share their joy.

 

Democrats throughout Wisconsin are championing ways to spend the projected tax surplus on more and bigger government. Democrat Governor Tony Evers and legislative Democrats are pushing to pump more money into thinks like the government education system, transportation, welfare, and the normal litany of liberal priorities.

 

Meanwhile, Republicans in the Legislature are championing ways to cut taxes to ensure that the projected surplus never materializes. With the philosophy that it is the people’s money, Republicans are exploring how to make sure that the people never send the money to the state coffers in the first place.

 

The difference in philosophy is stark. Democrats see record tax collections as free money to spend. It is as if they won the lottery and the only question is how they will spend their good fortune. Republicans, for the most part, see record tax collections as evidence that the government is confiscating too much from the people and they should cut taxes to make sure that the government does not over collect.

 

Both parties must remember that an estimate is just that: an estimate. The LRB gave an estimate in January that said one thing. Six months later, they have calculated another estimate based on what has changed since January. In that short time, the estimate went up dramatically based on actual tax collections and an improved economic forecast. An estimate is as good as it can be the day it is written, but change by the next morning.

 

Things change. Economies slip into recessions. War, or the threat of war, can change the economy. Trade policies impact some areas of the economy more than others. Key Wisconsin industries may be disrupted. When politicians make decisions to spend money that is not actually in the bank, they are obligating taxpayers to spend that money whether the projected surplus materializes or not.

The other economic wild card that is rearing its head in Biden’s America is a potential return to double-digit inflation. The trillions of printed dollars spewing out of Washington are having the unavoidable effect of devaluing the dollar. It is a simple principle. If the government is printing currency faster than the underlying economy can absorb it, the value of each dollar decreases. This inflation hits the lower and middle classes the hardest as they see the price of normal goods and services increase faster than their incomes. Inflation has been increasing at the fastest rate in decades and does not show any sign of slowing.

 

As Democrats salivate over spending a projected tax surplus, the families paying for that surplus will also be having their budgets squeezed by raging inflation. It is a budgetary pincer that will squeeze the middle class at a time when the middle class is just recovering from a pandemic.

 

The decisions for the Legislature should be a very simple one. If the state collects more taxes than it planned to, then give it back to the people who paid it. They should not redistribute it to people who did not pay the taxes and they should not spend it on things that make politicians feel good about themselves.

 

Just give it back. It’s not yours.

Wisconsin Republicans Release Tax Cut Plan

It’s a nice start

Legislative Republicans on Thursday announced plans to use Wisconsin’s unprecedented surplus to implement more than $3 billion in tax cuts.

The Republican-authored plan includes cuts to income and sales taxes, and puts in place plans to eliminate the state’s personal property tax, which applies to businesses. Republicans also said their proposal, which was unveiled on the final day of the committee’s budget deliberations, meets federal guidelines for education spending to allow the state to receive an estimated $2.3 billion in coronavirus stimulus funding.

 

[…]

 

The GOP proposal would bring down the income tax rate from 6.27% to 5.3% for individuals making between about $24,000 and $263,000 a year. That change would begin with the 2021 tax year and result in about $2.7 billion in savings over the two-year period, Republicans said.

State Department of Revenue Secretary Peter Barca, who was appointed by Gov. Tony Evers, said there was some concern over the tax bracket being targeted by Republicans, which covers married couples who make between about $32,000 and $351,000.

“It’s a very broad bracket,” Barca said. “It’s almost essentially a flat tax when you get to that level.”

JFC Approves Broadband Funding

This is dumb.

Republican committee members approved $125 million in borrowing for broadband expansion, along with $4 million over the biennium for broadband expansion grants.

Based on a standard 2.5% interest rate for a 20-year bond, the Republican proposal, the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates the bonding will cost an additional $35 million in interest.

 

Evers proposed spending about $200 million over the biennium on broadband expansion efforts.

The state Public Service Commission first began awarding broadband expansion grants about eight years ago and has awarded a total of $78 million so far to 279 projects.

Three reasons it’s dumb:

  1. Why borrow the money and pay interest when there is available cash?
  2. Programs like this are built for corruption and graft. Let’s see… government handing out massive grants to select companies to build a commercially unviable infrastructure? Who is deciding the winners and losers in that discussion?
  3. While an argument can be made that it is in the public interest for the government to fund broadband expansion, technology is once again outpacing public policy. Ubiquitous broadband options like Starlink are getting close to viable and will likely be widely available before this infrastructure is built. Instead of giving a big corporation a grant for tens of millions of dollars to run fiber to a farmer in Shanagolden that will be available in four years, we could spend nothing and that same farmer might have gig service in a year anyway. I expect that we are about to lay a lot of fiber that will remain underutilized forever.

What to do with a surplus?

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s the gist:

As Democrats salivate over spending a projected tax surplus, the families paying for that surplus will also be having their budgets squeezed by raging inflation. It is a budgetary pincer that will squeeze the middle class at a time when the middle class is just recovering from a pandemic.

 

The decisions for the Legislature should be a very simple one. If the state collects more taxes than it planned to, then give it back to the people who paid it. They should not redistribute it to people who did not pay the taxes and they should not spend it on things that make politicians feel good about themselves.

 

Just give it back. It’s not yours.

GOP Perpetuates Government Land Grab

This program should have been ended years ago. We are allowing our government to borrow money to buy land to take it off the tax rolls to increase the tax burden on the taxpayers funding the purchases. It’s a boondoggle that riddled with the opportunity for graft and corruption. The government already owns too much land.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature’s Republican-controlled budget committee on Thursday voted to extend Wisconsin‘s contentious land stewardship program for four years, rather than another decade as Democratic Gov. Tony Evers wanted.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Strikes Down Dane County School Closings

Huzzah, huzzah. Hopefully the overreaches of government during the pandemic will be pushed back by the courts and at the ballot box.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday sided with private school parents and students in striking down a Dane County order from last August that sought to close all schools to most students to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The 4-3 decision — with all four of the court’s conservatives in the majority — comes with the school year essentially over and as rising vaccination rates appear to have virus in abeyance. The court in September had also placed a temporary hold on the order, meaning religious schools were free to conduct in-person classes for almost the entire 2020-21 school year, as many did.

But the court’s decision could resonate if there’s a resurgence of a virus variant or a completely new pandemic in the future.

The order by Public Health Madison and Dane County barred schools from offering in-person instruction for grades 3 through 12 until the county met certain benchmarks showing the coronavirus is better contained. In effect, it would have applied almost exclusively to private schools because public schools in Dane County had already decided to start the year online for almost all students in almost every grade.

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