IN FOCUS – A key aspect to the effect of the coronavirus is the road to recovery.
Many ideas are being thrown around from both sides of the political spectrum when it comes to the virus and how to recover from it. Wisconsin legislative leaders say both controlling the spread of the virus and recovering from its effects are priorities.
“We have to do our best to make sure people stay home when they feel sick. When they are out and about, they should be masking up and being careful if they are in close contact with other folks,” said Republican Rep. Jim Steineke of Kaukauna, majority leader of the Wisconsin Assembly. “Those are reasonable things that we all should be doing to ensure the spread starts to slow.”
Other state Republicans have also endorsed the idea of mask wearing as well, but have opposed mandates to require the practice.
“The Evers administration never worked with law enforcement at any level on how to enforce these measures,” said Rep. Steineke, “law enforcement across the state were taken aback by it and said they wouldn’t enforce it.”
The state legislature so far has not put forth any plan at all to control the spread of the virus or provide any financial relief. Both would require legislative action of some kind. Gov. Evers called the legislature to session earlier this year to address the virus and its effects on Wisconsinites. Both houses of the legislature gaveled in then immediately adjourned for the duration of the special session.
“The governor has the tools at his disposal to deal with testing and tracing and all these things that are really necessary in getting communities the help that they need,” said Rep. Steineke.
WEDC and other leaders in the fields of business are saying some changes need to be made in order for a lot of business as a whole to recover from the pandemic. To that end, WEDC is advocating for investment in more job training initiatives to assist workers put out by the pandemic, either from their businesses shutting down completely, or being laid off due to lack of funding from the company. These training investments are planned to include education and training facilities around the state.
The issue of funding these ideas is a key factor in getting them started or expanded. Rep. Steineke said there is not a lot of extra funding available at the state level, but if relief came from the federal government, he said it could likely be used to fund these investment measures.