U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin discusses importance of American Rescue Plan for state, local governments

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – The pandemic is not behind us yet, but U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) said Wednesday the passing of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan will finally put it in the “rearview mirror.”

The bill includes direct stimulus checks to Americans, along with funding for vaccine distribution, small businesses, schools. state, and local governments.

Under this bill, Wisconsin would receive $5.5 billion dollars in federal funding.

Sen. Baldwin said it’s critical that communities get this money to move past the pandemic.

“This legislation will allow local governments in particular to, I hope, reverse some of the layoffs they’ve had to engage in. Wisconsin has seen some the most severe layoffs in local government in the country.”

La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat was one of several local officials that sent a letter to Baldwin about the need for federal emergency funding to support local governments across Wisconsin.

“Cities like La Crosse continue to experience the economic downturn of this pandemic and our recovery will take months, even years. Our residents and small businesses are struggling. That is why it is absolutely critical that the Senate approves the American Rescue Plan, providing La Crosse direct relief from the federal government. Last year the economic devastation resulted in a loss of more than $4.5 million in city revenues, causing layoffs, furloughs, and positions to go unfilled – including staffing in public safety. I urge our Senators to support emergency fiscal assistance to local governments now,” Kabat said.

The House passed the bill Saturday with two Democrats and all Republicans voting against it.

Now, it’s on the floor of the Senate for deliberation and will need support from every democrat for it to pass.