Wisconsin receiving less federal stimulus than expected

Wisconsin will receive $700 million less than initially expected in federal coronavirus relief money and get it in two payments a year apart, news that Gov. Tony Evers and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin said Tuesday was problematic.

The state was informed of the spit in payments, and the total it would receive, on Monday. Evers and Baldwin asked U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday to reconsider breaking the payments in half spread out by a year.

"This will significantly reduce the funding that will be available for Wisconsin’s current pandemic response operations and to continue to meet immediate needs and restore economic well-being," Baldwin and Evers wrote.

Evers has emphasized wanting to spend the money quickly to help those hurt worst by the pandemic. He has cited that desire for speed in vetoing Republican-authored bills that dictated how the money would be spent.

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Evers has announced generally how he wants to spend the money, while holding off on details pending the federal guidance that came Monday.

Evers had said he wanted to spend $2.5 billion on economic relief for families, tourism, workers and small-business owners, $500 million on the continued pandemic response and $200 million on infrastructure, including broadband.

Evers has not said how the state’s reduced payment will affect his plans for spending the money.