Wisconsin will receive $700 million less in federal coronavirus dollars than was originally projected for the most recent stimulus package — which Democratic leaders in the state have said could slow the state’s pandemic recovery efforts.
In a letter sent Tuesday, Gov. Tony Evers and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin asked Secretary Janet Yellen of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, to reconsider the lower allocation, which would be split between two payments separated by a 12-month span. The Democratic lawmakers called the reduced allocation “problematic” for the state as it looks to rebuild from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“This will significantly reduce the funding that will be available for Wisconsin’s current pandemic response operations and to continue to meet immediate needs and restore economic well-being,” Evers and Baldwin wrote in the letter.
While the Congressional Research Service had estimated earlier this year the state would receive $3.2 billion under the most recent stimulus package, the Treasury Department on Monday informed the state that the final allocation will instead be $2.5 billion, split into two payments.
“This split and timing does not necessarily reflect the urgency or the level of need that many businesses, families, workers, and community organizations have right now,” Baldwin and Evers wrote. “Over the past year, we have been clear that our response to the pandemic must be robust and it must be flexible to meet the specific needs that our state faces.”