Committee cancels lawsuit meeting with Kaul

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republicans who control the Legislature's finance committee have scuttled a meeting with Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul on whether to settle a handful of lawsuits.

Republicans passed a law in a December lame-duck session that requires Kaul to get the committee's permission before settling lawsuits. But Kaul won't discuss any settlements unless committee members sign non-disclosure agreements. He says confidentiality is a key part of many settlements.

The committee's attorney, Andrew Phillips, signed a confidentiality agreement on the panel's behalf last week. The committee had planned to meet with Kaul on Wednesday afternoon to discuss settling seven lawsuits.

But Kaul said Wednesday he wasn't happy with the agreement because he feels it doesn't bind individual members to remain silent.

The committee's co-chairman, Rep. John Nygren, announced about an hour and a half before the meeting with Kaul was set to take place that the two sides wouldn't get together thanks to Kaul's opposition to the agreement. Nygren says the next move is up to Kaul.