Wisconsin Could Receive $2.2 Billion from Coronavirus Stimulus Funds

Wisconsin state and local governments could receive more than $2.2 billion from the federal government as part of the $2 trillion stimulus package signed Friday to address the economic fallout caused by the new coronavirus.

The estimate was provided by the Legislature’s nonpartisan budget office Friday, the same day the U.S. House passed and President Donald Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Part of the act sets aside $150 billion in direct aid payments to state and local governments.

According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Wisconsin could receive about $2.26 billion of that funding based on its population. About $1.9 billion would go directly to state government, according to the Fiscal Bureau.

The rest of Wisconsin’s direct aid payments would go to local governments with populations greater than a half-million people. They include the city of Milwaukee ($102.7 million), Milwaukee County ($164.5 million) and Dane County ($93.4 million).

The Fiscal Bureau memo suggested it was unclear whether states could use the funding to fill budget shortfalls that result from the coronavirus pandemic. Other outstanding questions include whether the state could use the funding to help cities and counties with populations smaller than a half-million people.

The memo was prepared at the request of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau. In a statement released Friday night, Vos said the funding should focus on emergency health care.