Change Lame Duck Law, Baldwin Urges Legislators
Republican law passed to limit governor’s power prevents him from getting federal funding for COVID-19.
Baldwin is asking the Legislature to convene ASAP to remove impediments to Wisconsin securing federal waivers related to COVID-19. The governor and the state Department of Health Services (DHS) currently cannot access federal Medicaid funds because of the changes Republicans made during the Dec. 2018 lame-duck session to give the Legislature the power over such waivers.
Without legislative action, the state could miss out on “an estimated $150 million per quarter in federal Medicaid funding made available by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” Baldwin says.
“In order to ensure that our state’s health care system, including our Medicaid program, is prepared and supported, I call upon you to immediately convene a special session of the legislature and work with Governor Evers,” Baldwin wrote. “Now that Congress has acted, it is time for Wisconsin to take action and ensure our state receives the federal Medicaid funding and flexibility it needs to respond to this crisis.”
As Wisconsin Examiner reported, Republicans changed the law so that Evers and his administration could not directly apply for waivers without the Legislature meeting and approving the action.
Legislators have known for some time that COVID-19 would require states applying for what are called “1135 waivers” a reference to the section of the Social Security Act that applies in a public health crisis. These waivers are specifically designed, as Baldwin points out, for “major disasters or public health emergencies.” In March, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provided states with information and a comprehensive checklist so they would be ready to apply for the emergency waivers to ensure access to healthcare items and services.
Baldwin worked with Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson to insert a fix into the federal CARES Act to ensure that Wisconsin is eligible for federal funds — but the state needs to take action to ensure access to the increased Medicaid funding that is available.
“In this time of crisis, it is vital that elected officials take decisive action,” Baldwin wrote. “Legislation is necessary in order to ensure that the state of Wisconsin is fully equipped to respond to the challenges ahead.”
Reprinted with permission of Wisconsin Examiner.
- DHS Announces Groups Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine on March 1 - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Feb 25th, 2021
- Milwaukee Health Department Adjusts Testing Hours at American Family Field - City of Milwaukee Health Department - Feb 25th, 2021
- WI Daily: 747 New COVID-19 Cases - Urban Milwaukee - Feb 24th, 2021
- State Creates 4 Community Vaccine Clinics - Megan Hart - Feb 24th, 2021
- State Vaccination Rate Increasing - Graham Kilmer - Feb 24th, 2021
- Wisconsin’s Emergency Powers Laws in Urgent Need of Reform - Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty - Feb 24th, 2021
- Souls to the Polls Urges Sen. Johnson to Vote ‘Yes’ on COVID-19 Relief Bill in the U.S. Senate - Souls to the Polls Milwaukee - Feb 24th, 2021
- WI Daily: 566 New COVID-19 Cases - Urban Milwaukee - Feb 23rd, 2021
- Gov. Evers Orders Flags to Half-Staff to Honor the More Than 6,300 Wisconsinites and 500,000 Americans Lost to COVID-19 - Gov. Tony Evers - Feb 23rd, 2021
- WI Daily: 423 New COVID-19 Cases - Urban Milwaukee - Feb 22nd, 2021
Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here
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- AG Kaul Announces Legal Action to Allow DOJ to Again Enforce Wisconsin Laws Without Unconstitutional Legislative Interference - Josh Kaul - Nov 23rd, 2020
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- The State of Politics: Court Rulings Against Evers Sow Confusion - Steven Walters - Jul 20th, 2020
- Court Tosses Dems’ Lame-Duck Suit - Laurel White - Jul 16th, 2020
- Op Ed: State High Court Nullifies 2018 Election - James Rowen - Jul 12th, 2020
- WI Supreme Court Upholds GOP Lame-Duck Laws - Laurel White - Jul 9th, 2020
- Gov. Evers Releases Statement on State Supreme Court’s Ruling on Lame Duck - Gov. Tony Evers - Jul 9th, 2020
- Lame Duck Supreme Court Upholds Lame Duck GOP Power Grab - State Sen. Chris Larson - Jul 9th, 2020
- Fitzgerald Reacts to Wisconsin Supreme Court Decision in SEIU vs. Vos - Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald - Jul 9th, 2020
Read more about Lame Duck Laws here