Federal COVID relief coming to Wisconsin and its local governments totals $20 billion

Patrick Marley:

Congress is showering Wisconsin and its local governments with $20 billion in help because of the coronavirus pandemic, a report released Friday shows.

Since last year, Congress has passed five major spending bills to address COVID-19 and its toll. The two biggest ones cost more than $4 trillion, deepening the federal deficit but softening the economic blow of the pandemic.

The spending packages have given Gov. Tony Evers wide latitude to spend more than $5 billion. They have also provided more than $4 billion in assistance for Wisconsin workers who were laid off and they have infused about $3.7 billion into schools, colleges and universities, according to the report from the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum.