Gov. Tony Evers unveils new COVID relief bill; Vos calls it ‘more of the same’ | Local Government

“Many of the things that Gov. Evers put on the table, not bad ideas, but they were things that we had already done in the spring. So from my perspective, what we have been doing so far has not been anywhere near enough,” he said.

As Speaker, Vos has the ability to convene the Legislature in extraordinary session at any time to pass further legislation, though he hasn’t done so. 

Assuming a compromise is reached on the legislation, Vos said he was open to convening his chamber in a December lame-duck session to act on it, though it’s unclear for now where the Senate stands on that possibility. 

Evers last week teased his COVID legislation in a primetime address, but didn’t share details of what would be included at the time. He had also renewed his call for Wisconsinites to stay at home, releasing an executive order saying as much, though it didn’t feature any additional restrictions limiting gatherings or business activity.

The new legislation seeks to build on some of the same areas covered in the first COVID bill, again seeking to suspend standardized testing in schools and extend the timeline for allowing the unemployed to immediately claim benefits (rather than waiting a week) til Jan. 1, 2022. It also aims to bring back some measures that expired in May, such as the state’s coronavirus eviction ban. Under the bill, the Department of Health Services would be able to issue an order prohibiting evictions and foreclosures for any period before Jan. 1, 2022. 

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