The latest emergency orders issued by Governor Evers Sunday will make it easier for people to keep and get back utility services during the coronavirus pandemic, while easing teaching hour requirements for school districts.
One order allows the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to direct regulated utilities in Wisconsin to take the following steps.
– Stop utility disconnection for nonpayment for all customers, including commercial, industrial and farm accounts.
– Cease assessing late fees to customer accounts.
– Halt the practice of requiring deposits from customers for reconnection of service.
– Allow deferred payment agreements for all customers who request them.
– Remove any administrative barriers for customers establishing or reestablishing utility service.
– Authorize water utilities to provide budget billing arrangements to customers.
“I want to thank the governor for his prompt action on this and our utility providers for their continued efforts to keep our homes and businesses supplied with light, heat, and water,” said PSC Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq. “This is a difficult time for many. We’re asking that those who are able to pay their utility bills, please continue to do so. For those who can’t, today’s order allows them to remain connected.”
In his other order issued Sunday, Governor Evers is allowing the Department of Public Instruction to suspend administrative rules related to hours of instruction, student teacher assessments, and general flexibility during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
“As we continue to face challenges surrounding COVID-19 in Wisconsin, it’s critically important that school district administrators, educators, students, and parents have the peace of mind knowing we’re working to address concerns about hours of instruction, making sure our student teachers will graduate on time, and ensuring the department has flexibility as we move forward to do what’s best for our kids, educators, and schools across our state,” said Evers.
The issue of instructional hours has been a concern for districts since all buildings were forced to close last week to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Many districts are continuing education through use of online services an instructional materials sent to a student’s home.