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One Million Wisconsinites Have Been Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 30 March 2021 14:42

covid-19-vaccinationStrong indicator that our vaccine program is working, says DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake.

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 April 2021 14:55
Plan to Invest Federal American Rescue Plan in Wisconsin Presented PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 30 March 2021 10:23

high-voltage-lines-farmsGovernor's plan invests in restoring economic well-being, expanding broadband and building infrastructure, and continuing statewide pandemic response.

Thousands of Wisconsinites Sign Petition in Support of Cannabis Legalization PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melissa Agard Press   
Monday, 29 March 2021 14:06

marijuana-farmer-jobsPetition from over 2,500 Wisconsinites saying they support legal recreational and medicinal cannabis and taxing it like alcohol presented to Joint Finance Committee.

Gov. Evers Hosts Badger Bounceback Live Session PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Monday, 29 March 2021 09:52

road-repair-wiVirtual listening session will cover topics including fixing roads and bridges, investing in transit and transportation alternatives, and expanding access to broadband.

Gov. Evers Signs Fourteen More Bills, Vetoes Two PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 26 March 2021 16:14

evers-signsIncludes licensure processes adopted during the COVID-19 health emergency, teaching hours at certain UW System institutions. Vetoes uniform timeline for state employee return to work.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today, in addition to signing Senate Bill 3, now Wisconsin Act 9, this morning in Wausau, signed fourteen more bills, including Assembly 148, which continues licensure processes adopted during the COVID-19 health emergency for healthcare providers who hold licenses in other states to serve Wisconsinites until their permanent license is instated. 

“Wisconsin's healthcare providers have done extraordinary work over the past year and it's been all hands on deck,” said Gov. Evers. “Communities across Wisconsin are experiencing a healthcare workforce shortage, and this bill will help us expand that workforce during this critical time.”

Assembly Bill 148, now Wisconsin Act 10:

  • Requires DHS to provide Medicaid reimbursements to a hospital for providing nursing facility-level custodial care; and
  • Authorizes, in certain situations, healthcare providers licensed in another state or territory to provide services for which they are licensed or certified.

The governor also signed today Senate Bill 79, relating to extension and outreach hours as countable teaching hours for state specialists at certain UW System institutions. 

“Our state specialists are doing amazing work on the ground and in their communities, helping farmers adapt and grow their businesses and supporting the agricultural industry that is the backbone of our state,” said Gov. Evers. “I am glad to sign this bill today so they can continue doing their good work and be recognized for going above and beyond for our farmers and our state.”

Senate Bill 79, now Wisconsin Act 11:

  • Allows for the extension and outreach hours of state specialists at UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, or UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences to be utilized for the purpose of teaching hours on the UW System's accountability dashboard.

Additionally, the governor acted on the following bills.

Senate Bill 10, now Wisconsin Act 12:

  • Allows hours at non-bachelor degree awarding institutions to count towards the required 150 semester hours to become a CPA in the state of Wisconsin.

Senate Bill 28, now Wisconsin Act 13:

  • Clarifies state statue to reflect that any person who is placed at Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center, not only those committed, and who intentionally causes bodily harm to an officer, employee, agent, visitor, or other resident of the facility is guilty of a Class H felony.

Senate Bill 45, now Wisconsin Act 14:

  • Amends Administrative Code to allow certain man-made materials to contain bear bait.

Senate Bill 48, now Wisconsin Act 15:

  • Allows an individual to win a certificate for a Class A bear hunting license more than once.

Senate Bill 54, now Wisconsin Act 16:

  • Prohibits the DNR from limiting the use, possession, or control of shot shells based on shot size for hunting fur-bearing animals during the designated open season.

Senate Bill 74, now Wisconsin Act 17:

  • Requires at least 40 hours of instruction for initial registration as a home inspector, but does not require continuing education for a person's first two biennial renewal dates;
  • Specifies that a person who is registered or licensed in good standing as a home inspector in another state must be granted reciprocal registration as a home inspector in Wisconsin, and the other state's requirements must meet or exceed Wisconsin's requirements;
  • Specifies that a written home inspection report must use the term "defect," if the home inspector finds a condition in that home that would impair the health or safety of those living there or who adversely affect the normal life of a home component;
  • Requires certain specific elements of a written home inspection report, including a summary page that contains certain notices, list of conditions of the home that are labeled as defects, the property address, the home inspector's name, and any other items requiring further evaluation or maintenance; and
  • Removes an alternative disciplinary filing procedure, states that the bill is not intended to change the standard of liability for a home inspector, and grants rulemaking authority to the Department of Safety and Professional Services to implement the bill.

Senate Bill 109, now Wisconsin Act 18:

  • Allows a student to attend a fully virtual school option in the 2021-22 school year, if the school board offers the fully virtual option in the school district governed by that board or a charter school offers the fully virtual option in the school district it is located in.

Senate Bill 110, now Wisconsin Act 19:

  • Specifies that for the purposes of open enrollment, an application to a nonresident school board for a student to attend a virtual charter school does not count towards the three district application limit.

Senate Bill 116, now Wisconsin Act 20:

  • Allows a stipulation for legal custody and physical placement of a child that includes modifications to legal custody or physical placement upon the known occurrence of a reasonably certain, specified future event in the child's life that is set to occur within two years, if the parties agree to the modification.

Assembly Bill 32, now Wisconsin Act 21:

  • Allowing certain establishments to sell alcoholic beverages made on premises for consumption off premises if packaged in a sealed, a tamper-evident container.

Assembly Bill 63, now Wisconsin Act 22:

  • Modernizes Wisconsin's psychology licensing laws by streamlining the licensing process, aligning training standards with nationally recognized standards, and allowing psychologists who have received their doctoral degree to apply immediately for their license and individuals who have received their doctoral degree but have not yet completed their supervised training hours to receive an interim license for two years while they complete their supervised training, among several other provisions.

Assembly Bill 125, now Wisconsin Act 23:

  • Creates a Medical Examination Board Physician Assistant Affiliated Credentialing Board;
  • Modifies the requirement for a physician assistant to be supervised by a physician to collaborating with a physician;
  • Eliminates the physician to physician assistance ratio requirement of one physician to four physician assistants; and
  • Allows a hospital or a clinic to establish practice requirements for collaboration to ensure quality of patient care.

Gov. Evers today also vetoed two bills. The governor’s veto messages are available below.

Veto message on Senate Bill 38.

Veto message on Senate Bill 39.

People’s Maps Commission Wraps Up Virtual Hearings PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wisconsin DOA Communications   
Friday, 26 March 2021 14:55

wi-fair-mapsVirtual live hearings have included more than 1,000 people from 65 counties and 245 municipalities, take less than 6 months. Commissioners move into next phase of map-drawing process.

Governor Visits Bridge Community Clinic in Wausau PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 26 March 2021 12:50

bridge-community-clinic-wausauEvers signs Bill to increase transparency in prescription drug supply chain during visit.

WAUSAU — Gov. Tony Evers today visited the Bridge Community Clinic in Wausau to tour their vaccine program and highlight his Badger Bounceback agenda’s investments in affordable and accessible healthcare. The governor also signed Senate Bill 3, which will increase transparency in the prescription drug supply chain by creating licensing and practice requirements for pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) in the state of Wisconsin. 

evers-signs-bridgecc-wausau“The prescription drug supply chain can be a confusing and opaque system that often sends folks jumping through hoops just to access their life-saving medications. That's just wrong. Period,” said Gov. Evers. “PBMs play a critical role in the drug supply chain and determining out-of-pocket costs for patients, but frankly, they don't have a lot of oversight or accountability. This bill takes important steps forward in increasing transparency and looking out for Wisconsin's most vulnerable. 

“I also want to thank former State Representative Deb Kolste for her good work on this bill. While she couldn't join me for the bill signing today, she championed this bill in the Legislature for years and I don't believe it would be on my desk today if it weren't for her early and persistent advocacy for this bill and for the people of Wisconsin.”

Former State Representative Deb Kolste served in the Wisconsin State Legislature representing Wisconsin's 44th Assembly District since 2013. She introduced this bill over multiple legislative sessions before retiring from the Legislature in 2020. 

“Pharmacy benefit managers play an outsized role in patient access to medications and in the health and wellness of our state,” said former State Representative Deb Kolste (D-Janesville). “Despite their ubiquity and importance to prescription drugs, there is virtually no regulation of these businesses in Wisconsin. Thankfully, that changes today. This is an important consumer protection and first step in increasing transparency in prescription drug pricing.”

Senate Bill 3, now Wisconsin Act 9, among other provisions:

  • Requires a PBM to be licensed by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI);
  • Requires a PBM to submit an annual report to the OCI regarding the amount of rebates received from the drug manufacturer and what percentage of that rebate was retained by the PBM and not passed down to consumers as cost savings;
  • Empowers OCI to require reports or conduct examinations of licensees to prevent misconduct and ensure consumer protections;
  • Prohibits PBM gag clauses that prevent pharmacists from informing patients of more affordable alternative options;
  • Requires two-weeks notice from a PBM before an audit of a pharmacy and prohibits retroactive claim reductions or denials by PBMs with certain exceptions;
  • Prohibits a PBM from charging a copay greater than the amount that the pharmacy would charge a patient not using insurance;
  • Requires 30 days written notice of any drug formulary changes that removes the individual's prescription drug from the formulary or that reassigns the drug to a benefit tier with a higher deductible, copayment, or coinsurance; and
  • Ensures pharmacies post signage informing customers of legal drug substitutions and how to find the FDA's approved list.
Last Updated on Saturday, 27 March 2021 10:12
Wisconsinites Discuss Rising Prescription Drug Costs PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 26 March 2021 10:15

drug-costGovernor hosts roundtable on the rising costs of prescription drugs, says picking up your medications shouldn't break the bank. Many Wisconsinites affected by this crisis firsthand.

Evers to Join #StopAsianHate Virtual Day of Action PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 26 March 2021 08:19

asian-american-pacific-islanderAction and Healing Needed in Wake of Increasing Violence Against Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers announced on Thursday that he will join the #StopAsianHate Virtual Wisconsin Day of Action and Healing tomorrow, Fri., March 26, 2020, and encourages Wisconsinites to participate in support of our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and to reach out to their AAPI family, friends, and neighbors.

tony-evers“Bigotry, discrimination, and racialized violence toward Asian American and Pacific Islander elders, families, and community members is not new in our country. But over this past year, we’ve seen an alarming increase in anti-Asian harassment and violence as individuals even at the highest levels of government have used xenophobic and racist rhetoric to stoke fear around the coronavirus pandemic,” said Gov. Evers.

Anti-Asian incidents and violence against Asian Americans have surged over the past year as there has been increased racist rhetoric surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. Since March of last year, according to Stop AAPI Hate, there have been nearly 3,800 hate incidents self-reported by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, though those numbers are likely higher due to underreporting. The governor last week echoed President Joe Biden's calls for attacks on Asian Americans to stop. The next day, on March 16, 2021, six of eight people killed in an Atlanta mass shooting were Asian American women. Wisconsinites across the state last week hosted rallies against anti-Asian violence and in support of the AAPI community. The governor spoke with members of the AAPI community as there is more work to be done in partnering to support our AAPI communities across the state.

“The harassment, attacks, and violence against our Asian American and Pacific Islander family members, friends, and neighbors has to stop,” Gov. Evers said. “I call on Wisconsinites to help end this dangerous rhetoric and condemn racist harassment, attacks, and violence. We can all do more.”

Tomorrow, March 26, the AAPI Coalition of Wisconsin is hosting a #StopAsianHate Virtual Wisconsin Day of Action and Healing and joining AAPI organizations and community leaders across the country in a #StopAsianHate Virtual Day of Action and Healing. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. More details for joining are available here. A day of action toolkit is available here for those who are unable to join the virtual event but who are interested in joining the conversation on social media.

Vaccination Clinic in Marathon County Opens April 6 PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 26 March 2021 07:55

covid-19-vaccine-shotFourth DHS community-based vaccination clinic to open

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced today that the fourth community-based vaccination clinic in the state will open in Marathon County on April 6. The site will be located at the Northcentral Technical College—Center for Business and Industry Building in Wausau.

tony-evers“Through the dedication of our vaccine team, local public health, and other partners, the first three community clinics have been successful, and Wisconsin continues to be a national leader in using available supply. We are excited to build upon these partnerships and be able to open this vaccination clinic in Wausau,” said Gov. Evers. “These vaccination clinics continue to serve Wisconsin by giving folks more options to get vaccinated. And in doing so, bring us all one step closer to getting back to our Wisconsin way of life.”

Initially, the clinic plans to administer at least 400 doses per day and has the ability to do up to 1,000 doses per day. The number of doses administered will depend on how much vaccine Wisconsin receives from the federal government. The clinic will first schedule vaccinations for those on the Marathon County Health Department’s waitlist with priority for those who are age 65 and older, educators, and child care staff. After those appointments are scheduled, the clinic will then begin scheduling appointments for anyone currently eligible for the vaccine.

The clinic will be open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Individuals must register for an appointment using the Wisconsin COVID-19 Vaccine Registry. After registration, eligible individuals will be notified of the opportunity to schedule their appointment when openings become available. For vaccine-related questions and appointment registration support, individuals can call toll-free at (844) 684-1064. For more information on available COVID-19 vaccination options, visit the Where can I get vaccinated? webpage.

“For seven years, I had the privilege to serve Marathon County as their Public Health Officer and called Wausau home for many years,” said DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk. “I want to encourage everyone in north central Wisconsin to get vaccinated as soon as they have the opportunity. These vaccines are not only incredibly safe but they are very effective at preventing illness from COVID-19. And these vaccines save lives.”

The DHS community-based clinic in Marathon County is operated by AMI Expeditionary Healthcare through collaboration with Marathon County Health Department, Northcentral Technical College, area health care system providers, and other local partners. Locations are selected to address gaps in vaccine access and support vaccination efforts. Various factors including population demographics, local health capacity, operations, and concentration of other vaccine providers are taken into consideration when planning for clinics.

Other DHS community-based vaccination clinics include Rock County that opened on February 16, La Crosse County that opened on March 9, and Racine County which opened on March 23. As of March 20, the Rock County location has administered 5,703 total vaccine doses, and La Crosse County has administered 2,021 total vaccine doses.

For up-to-date information about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, visit the DHS COVID-19 webpage. We encourage you to follow @DHSWI on Facebook, Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram for more information on COVID-19.

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 March 2021 08:05
Ho-Chunk Nation's Beloit Casino Proposal Good for Economy PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Thursday, 25 March 2021 10:33

hochunknation-membersBeloit project expected to create more than 1,500 long-term jobs, 2,000 construction jobs.

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