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Supreme Court: Gov. Evers exceeded his authority in issuing multiple COVID-related public health emergency orders

In a 4-3 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court today (3/31) ruled that Gov. Tony Evers exceeded his authority by issuing multiple public health emergencies and related orders in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The case was brought last fall by a private citizen who asked the state Supreme Court to take original jurisdiction. Oral arguments took place in November.  The decision holds the governor’s existing emergency order (#105), which was set to expire on Monday, April 5, to be unlawful. 

Writing for the majority, Justice Brian Hagedorn noted, “The question in this case is not whether the Governor acted wisely; it is whether he acted lawfully. We conclude he did not.

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Partisan gaps over use/control of latest federal COVID relief funds are wide

Yesterday (3/29), Gov. Evers unveiled his initial plan for allocating $3.2 billion in federal funding the state of Wisconsin is slated to receive from the recently enacted American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). 

Evers also announced he had vetoed a bill that would have given the Legislature more say over the use of those funds, according to a statement from the administration.

Legislative Republicans who control both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature had passed legislation requiring legislative oversight and approval of the federal funds, but Evers vetoed Senate Bill 183, saying it would prevent funds from going out to people who need them the most.  

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Starting Monday, everyone 16 and older will become eligible to get a COVID vaccination

Gov. Tony Evers announced today (3/30) via Twitter that everyone 16 and older will be eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 starting Monday.  

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DPI clarifies collection of “in-person hours” data for allocating ESSER II distribution

In an email to district administrators last Friday (3/26), the DPI clarified how it will calculate the allocation of certain federal ESSER II funds to 174 Wisconsin local education agencies (school districts). 

This calculation affects the distribution of so-called “set-aside” funds under Joint Finance Committee Motion #16., which altered of the DPI’s proposed allocation of the 10% set-aside of funds provided under the December 2020 federal COVID relief act knows as the CRRSA Act. (more…)

Spring ballot features 69 local school district referendum questions

In addition to the race for State Superintendent and races for local school board seats on the April 6 ballot, there will be 69 important school district referenda on the ballot as well.   

The April 6 Spring Election marks the final time school districts can place a referendum before district voters during calendar 2021.  The next opportunity won’t come again until the Spring Primary in February 2022.

The 69 ballot questions on this year’s Spring ballot compares with 57 school referenda in April 2020 and 51 school referenda on last November’s ballot.

Here is a rundown of school district referenda on the Spring Election ballot:

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