No plans for Legislature to come back soon

Associated Press
Wisconsin lawmakers say they need time to examine federal stimulus package before coming back to take action at state level.

MADISON – Wisconsin's Republican legislative leaders said Wednesday they want to understand what's in the $2 trillion federal stimulus package before coming back to take any action at the state level in reaction to the coronavirus, but there are discussions about waiving a one-week waiting period to receive unemployment benefits.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos urged caution given the national economic downturn, saying he doesn't know if the state's current budget will be able to balance next year and he assumes that the state's projected budget surplus of $620 million will never materialize.

Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald both said they hoped Gov. Tony Evers "safer at home" order would not be extended beyond its projected end date of April 24. They said there has been no discussion of the Legislature cutting short any of Evers' emergency orders that have resulted in the closure of all K-12 schools and nonessential businesses.

Fitzgerald, who is running for Congress, also broke with President Donald Trump's statement this week that the country would "reopen" by Easter on April 12. Fitzgerald said decisions about loosening restrictions can't be made based on dates, but rather where things stand trying to stop the spread of COVID-19.