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Assembly Speaker Vos announces task force membership

From the Speaker’s office: “Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) would like to announce the members of the newly formed Speaker’s Task Force on Racial Disparities, which is chaired by Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) and Rep. Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison). The task force will be comprised of four legislators and 28 community members who will focus on ways to address racial disparities, educational opportunities, public safety, and law enforcement policies and standards.

“The first gathering of the task force will be an introductory meeting at 1 p.m., October 28 in 412 East at the Wisconsin State Capitol.”

We are following the work of this task force because, when it was announced, one of the focus areas was “educational opportunities”. See the full membership below: (more…)

DPI: Wisconsin to receive $10 million federal grant to expand student mental health services

DPI: Wisconsin to receive $10 million federal grant to expand student mental health services

From DPI: “The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction received a federal grant award to aid Wisconsin schools in expanding priority areas in student mental health. Through a competitive grant process, Wisconsin was one of six states selected to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education earlier this month. The federal grant totals $10 million over five years and will fund the DPI’s School-based Mental Health Professionals Federal Grant Program.

“For more information and for a full news release, visit https://dpi.wi.gov/news/releases/2020/wisconsin-schools-mental-health-grant.”

DPI: Wisconsin to receive $10 million federal grant to expand student mental health services

DPI releases certified general aid amounts, student count data

From the Department of Public Instruction: “DPI today posted state general school aids school districts will receive during the current school year. The information published includes certified general school aid amounts for each school district, as well as 2020-21 student enrollment numbers for independent charter schools and private schools participating in state parental choice programs. For more information, and for a full news release on the certified general aid amounts, visit https://dpi.wi.gov/news/releases/2020/dpi-releases-numbers-2020-21-general-school-aids.

“The DPI today also published information on fall student counts and school district revenue limits for the 2020-2021 school year. For more information on fall student counts and revenue limits, and for a full news release, visit https://dpi.wi.gov/news/releases/2020/dpi-releases-fall-student-count-and-revenue-limit-information.”

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OCI Bulletin: Telemedicine coverage request related to COVID-19

OCI Bulletin: Telemedicine coverage request related to COVID-19

From the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI):

“On October 1, 2020, Governor Tony Evers and Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm issued Emergency Order #2 regarding aid to healthcare facilities providing treatment for COVID-19.  OCI was directed to “continue working with health insurers to minimize out-of-network barriers for insured patients seeking telemedicine services.”  OCI is issuing this Bulletin in compliance with that directive.

“As outlined in the emergency order, COVID-19 is placing a strain on the capacity of healthcare facilities and the contagious nature of the disease may result in non-COVID-19 related health treatments being canceled or delayed. Because of these issues, Health Plan Issuers are once again strongly encouraged to remove any barriers to their insureds utilizing telemedicine services. Health Plan Issuers are reminded to review provisions in current policies regarding the delivery of health care services via telemedicine and ensure their telemedicine programs with participating providers are robust and will be able to meet any increased demand. (more…)

51 school referenda on Nov. 3 ballot

A total of 51 local school district referenda questions in 41 school districts will be before voters when they go to the polls on Nov. 3.  

Twenty-one of the 51 ballot questions request permission to issue debt for construction of new facilities or the maintenance or remodeling of existing school facilities.  Overall, voters will be asked to approve nearly $927 million in borrowing for these projects. The largest asks are in Madison ($317 million); Wausau ($155 million) and Oshkosh ($107 million). The ballot questions in these three districts alone account for 62 percent ($579 million) of the overall borrowing requested statewide.

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Gov. Evers mask mandate remains in place after judicial review

Gov. Evers mask mandate remains in place after judicial review

A Wisconsin judge declined a request from a conservative legal group to block the statewide mask mandate ordered by the Evers administration.

From Wispolitics.com: “Judge Michael Waterman rejected arguments from the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty and GOP lawmakers that Evers had exceeded his authority in issuing the mandate.

“State law allows guvs to declare public health emergencies for up to 60 days unless extended by the Legislature. WILL and GOP lawmakers argued the three public health emergencies Evers called each relate to the same crisis and thus are beyond his powers. (more…)