Petition and Communications
State of Wisconsin
Office of the Governor
Relating to a Special Session of the Legislature on Expanding BadgerCare
WHEREAS, for Wisconsin to bounce back from this pandemic and better, its elected leaders must set aside politics, put people first, and focus on making fiscally and morally responsible decisions that will improve not only our healthcare system but the health and wellness of our people;
WHEREAS, 38 red and blue states across the country have opted to improve both their healthcare and their budgets by taking advantage of the Affordable Care Act’s offer to states to access federal funds while expanding access to affordable healthcare;
WHEREAS, expanding BadgerCare would make affordable healthcare coverage available to an additional 90,000 Wisconsin residents, tens of thousands of whom are currently uninsured, while generating over $600 million in state tax dollar savings over the next biennium and, due to additional incentives included in the American Rescue Plan Act, the state will realize an additional $1 billion in new savings;
WHEREAS, access to these incentives and savings is even more essential now that improvements in Wisconsin’s unemployment rate mean a reduced share of federal coronavirus relief money;
WHEREAS, Wisconsin risks sacrificing its ability to bounce back from the pandemic stronger than before if it continues to reject the billions that are available to us by expanding BadgerCare, resulting in billions in taxpayer dollars going to other states such as New Jersey and Illinois;
WHEREAS, expanding BadgerCare is not just a fiscal issue but a moral issue, as states that have implemented expansion have seen decreases in their mortality rates, improved access to care, specifically preventative healthcare services and mental health or substance use disorder treatment, reduced out-of-pocket costs at the individual level, reduced premiums in the private insurance markets, and have kept hospitals open at the community leave especially in rural issues;
WHEREAS, by not passing BadgerCare expansion, lawmakers are not only ignoring the will of the people, as a 2019 Marquette University Law School Poll found 70 percent of Wisconsin voters support BadgerCare expansion, but they will have less funding to pay for critical investments, such as improvements in healthcare access, equity, and affordability, support for our kids’ schools, and vital updates to roads and statewide infrastructure;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, TONY EVERS, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Laws of the State, specifically Article IV, Section 11 and Article V, Section 4 of the Wisconsin Constitution, hereby require the convening of a special session of the Legislature at the Capitol in the City of Madison, to commence at 12:00 pm on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, solely to consider and act upon LRB -3568/1 and LRB-3581/1, relating to: expanding eligibility under the Medicaid Assistance program; funding infrastructure, land acquisition, and building projects; providing assistance and local government grants; maintain and opioid and methamphetamine data system; transferring moneys to the budget stabilization fund; creating a University of Wisconsin System partnership program and admissions application fees; providing an exemption from rule-making procedures; and making an appropriation.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin to be affixed. Done in the City of Middleton this nineteenth day of May, in the year two thousand twenty-one.
By the Governor:
  Secretary of State
Senator Kapenga, with unanimous consent, asked that the May 2021 Special Session of the Senate stand adjourned pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 1.
1:03 P.M.