Evers back Senate’s COVID-19 bill

Gov. Tony Evers addresses latest COVID-19 numbers during a Dept. of Health Services' news...
Gov. Tony Evers addresses latest COVID-19 numbers during a Dept. of Health Services' news conference on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020.((WMTV))
Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 2:58 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is pledging to sign the state senate’s version of a COVID-19 relief package, calling the deal that was reached with Republican lawmakers “a good start.”

“I’ve been grateful to work together with Republican Majority Leader LeMahieu to find common ground and pass a bill on COVID-19 that reflects a good faith effort in compromise and bipartisanship,” the Democratic governor said.

Evers and Republican legislative leaders had been trying to hammer out a compromise package for weeks to no avail before reaching Tuesday’s bargain.

In a joint statement, GOP state senators described the compromise as “the unified governance our state needs right now.”

“It’s refreshing to start off the year and legislative session with a comprehensive, bipartisan plan we can confidently share with constituents as we continue to combat COVID-19 and safely re-open our state,” the senators continued, adding they are looking forward to the governor signing the bill.

Assembly Republicans passed a bill last week, but Evers opposes it and the Senate’s version scales back some of its more controversial measures.

They removed provisions that would prohibit local health officials from ordering businesses closed for more than two weeks at a time and block mandatory vaccinations.

The Senate passed it on a 29-2 vote on Tuesday and sent it back to the Assembly. An aide for Speaker Robin Vos didn’t respond to a message asking about the bill’s chances.

The compromise legislation would still have to pass the Assembly before reaching the governor’s desk, which Evers urges they should do “without delay.”

Copyright 2021 WMTV. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.