MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature is divided on a coronavirus response bill that the state Assembly was passing on Thursday but that the Senate GOP leader said his chamber opposes.
Even if the current bill were to somehow pass, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has signaled his opposition and would likely veto the measure.
Evers and Assembly Democrats have their own proposals which Republicans haven’t gotten behind. The Legislature hasn’t passed anything related to the pandemic since April and recent talks between Evers and Republican leaders has failed to result in a deal.
When he introduced the Assembly bill on Monday, Speaker Robin Vos said Senate Republicans supported it. But Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said Thursday that was incorrect.
“That is not the case,” he said. “There is a reason that was an Assembly bill and not a Senate bill.”
Vos did not immediately return a message asking why he had said Senate Republicans were on board if they are not.
The measure up for Assembly approval contains many provisions Democrats oppose, including waiving liability for COVID-19 claims for businesses, making it more difficult for schools to remain all virtual and giving the Legislature control over future federal money for pandemic response.