Instead of actually helping people

Benjamin Yount:

The state of Wisconsin has spent most of its $2 billion in federal coronavirus stimulus money on itself.

Gov. Tony Evers announced a new dashboard to track just where the state’s share of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act money went.

“We are investing these funds in the resiliency of Wisconsinites by providing support to the folks who need it most during these challenging times,” the governor said in a statement. “Our new website will allow Wisconsinites see for themselves how these critical funds are being invested in communities across our state.”

Most of the state’s CARES Act money, according to the new dashboard, has gone toward state government.

State agency operations received $200 million and “surge operations” got another $445 million.

That $645 million is far and away more than what Wisconsin spent on personal protection equipment (PPE) distribution ($150 million), payments to health providers ($110 million), and public school aid ($174 million).

The state spent another $55 million on testing, $75 million on tracing, and $3 million on what’s being called a pandemic plan. Most of that money also went to or through government offices or agencies.

Local governments across Wisconsin got about $200 million in coronavirus stimulus money, and the UW system got another $37 million.

By comparison, the dashboard says farmers in Wisconsin received $50 million. The state spent $25 million on rental assistance.

In all, Evers’ said, Wisconsin has spent $1.7 billion of the $2 billion it has received in CARES Act money.

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