Wisconsin state, local governments projected to get $5.7 billion under Covid-19 relief bill

Sun shines on the Wisconsin State Capitol
Photo by Logan Rude

The state of Wisconsin as well as its counties and municipalities would get about $5.7 billion total in federal aid under the American Rescue Plan, President Joe Biden’s Covid-19 relief legislation set to pass the House Wednesday for a second time after the Senate approved a modified bill.

About $3.2 billion would go to Wisconsin’s state government out of the $350 billion set aside for states, and another $2.5 billion to smaller local governments according to estimates provided by Senate Democrat leadership. Dane County is set to get about $106 million, and the city of Madison $49.2 million under the current version of the bill. The estimates provided represent more than double the $2 billion received last year in federal coronavirus aid.

The Senate made changes to the $1.9 trillion bill passed in the House, including eliminating a proposal to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, keeping federal unemployment insurance payments at $300 a week rather than the proposed $400, and lowering the income eligibility cutoff for the direct stimulus payments. Under that modification, payments would phase out at $80,000 rather than $100,000–or $160,000 from $200,000 for couples filing jointly.

Wisconsin’s GOP Congressional delegation all voted against the bill both in the House and the Senate, with the state’s Democrats voting in favor. Republicans have criticized the bill for not being targeted enough, and in particular have opposed the aid to state and local governments.

State Republican leaders are trying to pass a law that would give them more legislative oversight through the end of June, 2022 over how Covid-19 government aid is spent. Under current law, Gov. Tony Evers has the authority to receive and direct federal funds for Wisconsin. The proposal, unlikely to receive his approval, would require him to submit a plan to the Joint Finance committee for a 14-day review on expenditures.

Top 10 projected allocations for major Wisconsin cities

Milwaukee: $405.7 million

Madison: $49.2 million

Racine: $47 million

West Allis: $32.3 million

Kenosha: $27.9 million

Green Bay: $25.2 million

Wauwatosa: $25.2 million

Sheboygan: $22.9 million

La Crosse: $22 million

Top 5 projected allocations for major Wisconsin counties

Milwaukee County: $183.4 million

Dane County: $106 million

Brown County: $51.3 million

Waukesha County: $78.4 million

Outagamie County: $36.4 million