March 30, 2021 – Slinger, WI – Earlier today, Representative Rick Gundrum (R-Slinger) spoke at a press conference along with several legislative colleagues on how $3.2 billion in federal stimulus funds for the COVID-19 pandemic should be prioritized. After the press conference, he issued the following statement:
“As chairman of the Assembly Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care, it is imperative that we use funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to support nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. It has recently been revealed that almost half of the COVID-19 deaths in Wisconsin have occurred in long-term care facilities. Governor Tony Evers dropped the ball when he distributed less than 10% of federal discretionary funds from the CARES Act to them. Facility residents are the most vulnerable of our population. It is likely deaths could have been prevented had the facilities received more support.
“Residents at long-term care facilities were forced to isolate from their loved ones. For many months family and friends had to resort to window visits when visiting these facilities. I commend the work of the staff, who were pushed to the limit to protect the health and safety of their residents. These are not ordinary times for the long-term care industry. Many residents lost their lives and their family members never had an opportunity to say goodbye.
“Last week the state legislature passed the Truth in Spending Act. I co-sponsored this bill because we need to have legislative oversight over how the federal funds will be distributed. Unfortunately, the governor vetoed the bill and will again act unilaterally without legislative input. I hope Governor Evers uses the tax dollars he has received to support those who were amongst the hardest hit during the pandemic.”