(The Center Square) – As people across Wisconsin wait for Gov. Tony Evers to reopen the state, a handful of free-market think tanks and advocates have some ideas to help workers recover from the coronavirus quarantine as quickly as they can.
The Badger Institute, Americans for Prosperity in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, and the MacIver Institute hosted a webinar on Monday that focused on what Evers and Wisconsin lawmakers can do right now to help workers in the next few weeks and months.
“Our economy has never seen anything like this as far as this immediate shutdown because of the global public health emergency,” Megan Novak with AFP Wisconsin said. “I saw estimates from the state of Wisconsin that unemployment could hit 27 percent. Just in Wisconsin.”
Novak said it is an “astounding” response to a public health crisis.
The groups have a list of seven suggestions that they say will help restart the economy and help workers in the state.
That list includes:
- Place a moratorium on “nonessential” new regulations.
- Direct state agencies to review rules and allow for rapid cuts to red tape.
- Suspend or rescind energy, transportation, or environmental regulations that disrupt supply chains and unintentionally impact health and safety.
- Encourage home-based businesses.
- Waive new taxes on workers teleworking across state lines.
- Allow Work-Share requirements to apply to businesses of any size.
- Allow alcohol delivery and pickup options.
“Many regulations are necessary and sufficient to combat this public health emergency. And we’ve praised the governor for some of the work that he’s done there,” the Badger Institute’s Julie Grace said. “Many others are simply not necessary. They take up a lot of time at a time when many Wisconsinites and Wisconsin businesses have much different focuses.”
A tie that binds the groups’ suggestions is balance. Novak with AFP said there needs to be a recognition that during the coronavirus outbreak there is a need for government action, but there is also a need for government to act to free things up as well.
“I think it’s really an important thing, the balance between allowing for quick government responses and removing red tape and other restrictions that we have on the books, while also ensuring that government doesn’t get out of control,” Novak added.
There are a lot of people asking questions and offering suggestions to Evers about how and when to reopen the state. His Safer at Home order lasts until April 24, but business groups and Republican lawmakers are urging him to start to plan to reopen now.
Evers on Monday refused to answer questions about what needs to happen with the coronavirus outbreak for him to reopen the state. He also refused to say if he is looking to extend his Safer at Home order past the current deadline.
Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square. Reposted with permission.