MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers is acknowledging that the federal government’s decision to send Wisconsin $700 million less in stimulus dollars than expected could result in less money for broadband expansion and pandemic response.
The state was in line to receive $3.2 billion, which Evers planned to use to bolster small businesses, expand broadband and shore up the state’s pandemic response.
But the state learned it will receive only $2.5 billion. Gov. Tony Evers and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin on Tuesday called that news problematic and asked U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to reconsider breaking the payments in half spread out by a year.
They say that will hurt the state’s ability to quickly help those hurt most by the pandemic.
The state was informed of the spit in payments, and the total it would receive, on Monday.
Evers said during a news conference Wednesday that the reduction “hurts” and may impact amounts his administration can spend.
His spokeswoman, Britt Cudaback, said Evers still plans to spend about $620 million he had initially planned for small business, children’s mental health services and tourism grants.