Legislative Update for Wisconsin Technical Colleges

April 13, 2020


Legislature plans Extraordinary Session to address COVID-19


The Legislative organizing committee has issued a paper ballot, due today, which will call an Extraordinary session and allow the Legislature to meet virtually. It is expected the Assembly will act sometime on Tuesday, with the Senate to follow on Wednesday. The sessions are being held virtually and will be made available by WisconsinEye. Among the many provisions to considered, a preliminary summary of items of interest to technical colleges is found below. More detailed information, and the legislative language, is expected to be released later today.




Employee Transfer Authority. Authorizes the Secretary of DOA the ability to transfer employees between agencies.

Limited-Term Employee Hours. Allows DOA to increase or suspend the number of hours for a limited-term appointment.




Transfers from Sum Sufficient Appropriations. Allow the Joint Committee on Finance to transfer up to $75 million from sum sufficient appropriations during the current public health emergency and for a period of up to 90 days after the termination of the public health emergency. Transferred funds could be used for expenditures related to the public health emergency.




Rehired Annuitants in Critical Positions. Specify that a Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) participant who is hired by a participating employer during the public health emergency may elect to not suspend his or her annuity for the duration of the public health emergency if: (a) at the time of terminating employment, the participant does not have an agreement with any participating employer to return to employment or enter into a contract to provide employee services; and (b) the position for which the annuitant is hired is a critical position. Further, specify that the current break-in-service requirement of 75 days would not apply to a participant who is hired for a critical position during the public health emergency if at least 15 days have elapsed between the termination of employment and becoming a participating employee. Require the head of each state agency and each local health department, based on guidance provided by the Secretary of the Department of Health Services, to determine which positions within the respective state agency or local government are critical, for the purposes of administering the provisions applicable to rehired annuitants.




Governmental Deadlines and Training Requirements During a Public Health Emergency. Allow state or local government to suspend deadlines associated with program that the governmental unit administers.

Exemption from Civil Liability for Manufacture of Medical Supplies During Public Health Emergency. Exempt manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of emergency medical supplies that donate or sell their products in response to the public health emergency from civil liability associated with injury or death caused by those products.




Hours of Instructional Programming for Nurse Aides. Prohibit the Department of Health Services from requiring an instructional program for nurse aides in Wisconsin to exceed the federally required minimum total training of 75 hours.

Renewal of Emergency Medical Services Credentials. Prohibit DHS from requiring an ambulance service provider, emergency medical services practitioner, or emergency medical responder that holds a license, training permit or certificate renewal requirements, such as continuing education, during the public health emergency and for the 60 days following the date that the state of emergency is terminated.




No cost Sharing for COVID-19 Testing. Require any self-insured health plan offered by a local government or school district, any health insurance policy, and any state health plan that generally covers testing for infectious diseases to provide coverage of testing for COVID-19 without imposing any copayment or coinsurance on the individual covered under the policy or plan, for any such testing done prior to March 13, 2021.

Prohibit Coverage Discrimination Based on COVID-19. Prohibit any insurer, pharmacy benefit manager, or self-insured health plan from using a current or past diagnosis, or suspected diagnosis, of COVID-19, as the basis for denying coverage or establishing rates.

Any questions about this information may be directed to Layla Merrifield