Thursday, April 8, 2021

Timing of Supreme Court ruling ending Evers health order cost Wisconsin millions in food assistance

From JSOnline:
Molly Beck
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin will lose tens of millions in food assistance for the month of May following a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling eliminating the state's public health emergency declaration.

If the ruling had been made a day later, the funding would have been preserved, according to the Department of Health Services.

"Because the Wisconsin State Supreme Court chose to rule March 31 and not in April, families will not receive their emergency FoodShare allotments for May.... and each month thereafter, leaving tens of thousands of families without access to much-needed nutritious foods," DHS spokeswoman Elizabeth Goodsitt said.

Whether the additional funding for Wisconsin's food stamp program known as FoodShare would be lost had been in question until Wednesday, when Goodsitt confirmed the money was lost for May and would be in jeopardy for the future if lawmakers do not act to enact an emergency declaration. 

"The ripple effects of this change will be immediate and devastating for individuals, families, and entire communities," Goodsitt said.

"Last week, UDSA announced even more funding for this emergency food program, increasing the loss that Wisconsin families are experiencing in terms of healthy food, as well as what local grocery stores are losing in revenue," Goodsitt said. "We are still working on calculating the exact dollar amount, but Wisconsin will lose millions more."

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