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.
- WI Daily: Wisconsin Reports Biggest One-Day COVID-19 Case Increase - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 4th, 2020
- Beware of Contact Tracing Scams - Bridgit Bowden - Jul 4th, 2020
- WI Daily: COVID-19 Spread Keeps Accelerating in Wisconsin - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 3rd, 2020
- Milwaukee Moves Backward In Fight Against COVID-19 - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 3rd, 2020
- State Unemployment Insurance System Failing Many - Bram Sable-Smith - Jul 3rd, 2020
- Racial Disparities Found in Safer-At-Home Arrests - Edgar Mendez - Jul 3rd, 2020
- Johnson Discusses Small Business Recovery at Axios Virtual Event - U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson - Jul 3rd, 2020
- The City of Milwaukee Phase 4 Assessment Update - City of Milwaukee Health Department - Jul 3rd, 2020
- WI Daily: 14-Day Positive Case Rate Continues Upward Climb - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 2nd, 2020
- City Hall: What Should Or Shouldn’t Be in Milwaukee Mask Mandate? - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 2nd, 2020
Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here
- Wisconsin Budget: State Faces April 16 Deadline for Medicaid Money - Jon Peacock - Apr 7th, 2020
- Change Lame Duck Law, Baldwin Urges Legislators - Melanie Conklin - Apr 5th, 2020
- GOP Lame-Duck Law Blocks COVID-19 Aid - Melanie Conklin - Apr 2nd, 2020
- State Supreme Court Reviews Lame Duck Laws - Ruth Conniff - Oct 22nd, 2019
- Kaul Says Lame Duck Law Costs Taxpayers - Melanie Conklin - Sep 10th, 2019
- Democrats’ Bill Repeals Lame Duck Law - Laurel White - Sep 6th, 2019
- GOP Bungling Could Cost Wisconsin Taxpayers Millions - State Sen. Jennifer Shilling - Sep 4th, 2019
- Murphy’s Law: Lame Duck Laws Hurting the State - Bruce Murphy - Sep 4th, 2019
- Questions Swirl Around State Budget Committee Republicans’ Hiring of Lawyer/Lobbyist at Taxpayer Expense - One Wisconsin Now - Sep 4th, 2019
- Lame Duck Laws Opposed Overwhelmingly - Erik Gunn - Sep 4th, 2019
Read more about Lame Duck Laws here