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Capitol Divide: state legislators continue to work toward a coronavirus relief plan

Legislators explain where they're at in the process, but no meetings are scheduled right now...
Legislators explain where they're at in the process, but no meetings are scheduled right now for party leaders.(WMTV)
Published: Nov. 13, 2020 at 6:27 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 13, 2020 at 6:33 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Wisconsin’s leadership has shown little to no unified messages or plans to fight the pandemic.

It’s been more than six months since anything related to the coronavirus has passed.

Republicans expect Gov. Tony Evers to release the details of a new pandemic relief plan next week. However, no meetings have been scheduled for party leaders to talk about it.

“It’s been frustrating,” Wisconsin State Sen. John Erpenback (D-District 27) said. “We, as a state, are way behind the curve when it comes to dealing with this.”

That’s how Erpenbach sums up working in state-government during the pandemic. He wants to work on a plan, but said it’s been tough to do that, when many of Gov. Evers’s COVID-19 safety orders ended in legal battles.

“We know what the governor wants to do, but we don’t know what republicans want to do because they keep going to court,” Erpenback said.

Across the aisle, State Rep. Todd Novak (R- District 51) said Republicans met this week and talked about ideas for both coronavirus relief and working with the governor.

“That is not a court case to get rid of the mask mandate, that revolves around the governor’s authority,” Novak said in response to allegations related to legal battles. “We’re at the second phase of this with the spike, we will work with him, and my hope is to come together and work on another package.”

Now, it’s a matter of how long it will take until both parties can make an agreement.

“It’s time for republicans to sit down with the governor and work this out,” Erpenbach said.

“I think everybody realizes and understands that we need to do something. And I think we need to understand that COVID-19 is the enemy, not my colleagues or the governor,” Novak said.

As of now, no relief plan details have been released.

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