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Assembly GOP announce priorities for federal relief funds

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 4:51 PM CDT
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ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WBAY) - Governor Tony Evers recently announced his plans are for federal funding coming to Wisconsin through the American Rescue Plan.

Several Wisconsin GOP Assembly members held a press conference at the Resch Expo Center Tuesday, laying out what they did and didn’t like about the governor’s plans for up to $3.2 billion.

“One of the things that we did agree with Governor Evers on is to make an investment in broadband in Wisconsin. Unfortunately Governor Evers was not big enough, he was not bold enough,” said Rep. David Steffen (R - Green Bay).

Rep. Steffen proposed spending $500 million for broadband expansion, as opposed to the governor’s plan of about $200 million.

Other areas where GOP members could find common ground included investing in the tourism industry and small businesses.

“Those are good ideas that, as we work with the details with them, we believe we can support and further along,” said Rep. Kevin Petersen (R - Waupaca).

But Rep. Kevin Petersen said they felt relief for homeowners and investment in long-term care facilities is lacking in Gov. Evers’ plan.

“We need to invest more of the recovery money into taking care of those that are most vulnerable,” said Rep. Petersen. “And not only taking care of the vulnerable, but taking care of our workers and facilities that take care of those individuals.”

The governor did address spending for long-term care facilities in a briefing Tuesday, saying the industry has been a top priority and what’s invested under his budget is historically high - adding long-term care is included in his plan for the relief funds.

“We will also be prioritizing nursing homes especially as it relates to the things they need in order to maintain a safe environment,” said Gov. Evers.

Though the governor vetoed a bill that would give the state legislature control of spending the relief money, GOP members are hopeful about the path ahead.

“I always believe there is working with the governor,” said Petersen. “He may have vetoed that bill, but we can still move forward and help him prioritize how the money is spent.”

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