MON AM News: Evers’ budget includes several dozen recommendations from Climate Change Task Force; COVID case average rises to one-month high of 589

— Gov. Tony Evers’ budget includes some three dozen recommendations from his Climate Change Task Force, including tens of millions of new investments in green jobs, conservation efforts and renewable energy.

One of the high-profile items: creating an Office of Environmental Justice within the Department of Administration to coordinate state efforts in addressing the impacts of climate change on low-income and minority residents. The guv also wants to double how much utilities pay into the Focus on Energy program, and require the Public Service Commission to include the social costs of carbon when determining whether to approve new power plants.

Business groups argue many of the policies, which will face a tough sell in the GOP-controlled Legislature, will drive up energy costs. Meanwhile, environmental groups are praising them as critical to solving public health, economic and equity crises statewide. A Wednesday budget hearing likely will air the different views.

Altogether, the provisions call for spending about $60 million in state funds, issuing $187 million in bonds and reducing taxes $10.3 million, according to a tally.

On top of that, Evers wants to reallocate more than $10 million in settlement money the state is receiving from Volkswagen to fund electric vehicle charging stations and redirect $2.5 million to bolster a fund that helps cover costs incurred during disasters. Meanwhile, the provision to increase how much utilities pay into the Focus on Energy program would add $200 million over the biennium to energy efficiency projects.

Read more about the recommendations at 

— The seven-day average for daily confirmed cases is the highest it’s been in over a month — 589 cases per day. 

Wisconsin reported 584 new COVID-19 cases coming into today and removed one death from its toll.

“The -1 death data reflects a change in a previously reported case,” DHS explained on Twitter. The seven day average for COVID-19 deaths is six deaths per day.

The state has 7,297 active cases, 579,877 cases since the start of the pandemic and 6,639 deaths from the virus.

See the Wisconsin COVID-19 Timeline: 

— Ahead of the holiday weekend, the Department of Health Services released warm weather guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during the spring and summer.

The updated guidelines include recommendations for both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people for a variety of spring and summer activities, such as attending or hosting gatherings, such as graduation ceremonies or farmers markets.

“As we start to get back to some of the activities we love this spring and summer, it’s critical we continue following public health best practices,” said DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk. “Please continue to wear a mask in public, keep six feet apart from others, get tested if you have symptoms, and get vaccinated when you are able.”

The new variants of the virus, which spread more easily and rapidly than the original strain of coronavirus, continue to be identified in Wisconsin. The state reports 139 cases of the U.K. variant, eight cases of the South African variant and two cases of the Brazilian variant. 

The updated guidance aims to help individuals, businesses and organizations lower risk when planning or taking part in community activities.

See the Staying Safe in Your Community webpage: 

— Today everyone age 16 and older is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. 

With increased vaccine supply and an accelerated vaccination pace in recent weeks, the state was able to open eligibility to everyone four weeks earlier than expected. Wisconsin has administered more than 3 million COVID-19 shots. 

The state has fully vaccinated over 1.1 million residents or about 20.1 percent of the population. Herd immunity requires about 80 percent of the population to be vaccinated, health officials have said. 

Thirty-three percent of the population or nearly 2 million people have gotten at least one shot of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

<i>For more of the most relevant news on the coronavirus outbreak, reports on groundbreaking health research in Wisconsin and links to top stories, sign up today for the free daily Health Care Report from and

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— In lieu of the Manufacturer of the Year Awards, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce has partnered with Michael Best and Baker Tilly to feature state manufacturers in a podcast series.

The latest episode features Teel Plastics of Baraboo. In March 2020, former Vice President Pence’s office asked Teel to increase COVID-19 test kit production. In response, Teel shifted production to ramp up swab stick handle supply for the kits.

Listen to the podcast: 

See all the podcasts:

— Gov. Tony Evers says the road improvement programs in his proposed budget will boost local economies and improve the quality of life for Wisconsinites.

In a video message, Evers and Department of Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson highlighted the guv’s investments in roads and infrastructure over the past two years and dollars to come in the next biennium budget.

“Many of the state’s most important industries—such as agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism — rely on our transportation system to move raw materials, products, and people. And as Wisconsin begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will depend on our transportation system to boost our economic recovery,” Evers said. 

His 2021-23 budget proposal includes increases in local road programs and help for local transit systems to buy new vehicles and expand service. The guv claims his budget plan will also make it easier for communities to build bicycle and pedestrian facilities. 

See the video message that also features Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg, La Crosse County Highway Commissioner Ron Chamberlain and Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach: 


# Barrett, VISIT Milwaukee want MLB to bring All-Star game here

# Madison Area Technical College offers free week of classes to encourage students to enroll

# Municipalities Across The State Ease Pandemic Restrictions



– With The Wolf Delisted, Farmers And Landowners Are Taking Steps To Remove Problem Wolves 


– Despite soaring lumber prices, home building stays strong in Chippewa Valley 


– Looking At The Tax Impacts From Biden’s Infrastructure Plan 


– Summer Term course helps students understand, navigate science communication challenges 


– DNR: Wisconsin Is Well Ahead Of Its 5- And 10-Year Wildfire Averages 

– DNR Launches Lake Protection Network To Prevent Spread Of Aquatic Invasive Species 


– Mayo Clinic to begin offering COVID-19 vaccines to patients 16 and up 


– West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. expands coverage footprint 


– Fond Du Lac County Prosecutor Eric Toney Announces Run For Attorney General 


– Milwaukee Tool to have 450 employees in Milwaukee by March 2022 


– Irgens plans two office buildings at UWM Innovation Campus in Wauwatosa 

– 44-acre Loomis Crossing redevelopment could receive $30 million in city help 


– Eau Claire County Health Department aims to lift event restrictions in July 


– Jrue Holiday, Bucks agree to 4-year extension worth at least $134 million 


– Not just cows and cold weather: State’s tourism strategy highlights ‘unexpected’ images of Wisconsin 


– Broadband Expansion is Critical to Health Care Access in Wisconsin 


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

– Dept. of Natural Resources: Seeking public comment for environmental review of the city of New Holstein Safe Drinking Water Loan Program Project

– National Federation of Independent Business: Wisconsin entrepreneurs are raising compensation at the highest level in past 12 months

– Knupp & Watson & Wallman: Appoints Jennifer Savino to CEO

– DHS: Releases guidance for spring and summer activities