Governor Tony Evers said Tuesday that he’s on board with a coronavirus relief bill passed by the state Senate, and that he wants the state Assembly to send it to him for his signature.
The Senate approved the measure on a voice vote, after Democrat Chris Larson and Republican Steve Nass voted against an amendment to the bill which was passed by the Assembly last week.
The Senate bill retains liability protections for businesses, schools, churches and non-profits to which Evers had initially objected. But in a statement, the Democratic governor said he worked together with new Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu to find common ground.
I’ve been grateful to work together with Republican Majority Leader @SenatorDevin to find common ground and pass a bill on COVID-19 that reflects a good faith effort in compromise and bipartisanship.
— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) January 12, 2021
Evers said in a statement that “AB 1 as amended by the Senate is a good start to support our state’s response to this pandemic.” He urged the Assembly to pass it.
However, Assembly Majority Leader, Representative Jim Steineke, quickly indicated that was an unlikely outcome.
“The state Senate passed a bill that fails to address so many of the issues we’re hearing from constituents from all over the state,” Steinke said.
I am incredibly disappointed that today, the state Senate passed a bill that fails to address so many of the issues we’re hearing from constituents from all over the state. The message from our neighbors has been loud & clear: we must open WI while keeping our vulnerable safe.
— Rep. Jim Steineke (@RepSteineke) January 12, 2021
“We will continue to advocate for the priorities of our constituents over the next few weeks as we move towards a response to the Senate’s actions during our next floor period later this month.”
The recent Assembly and Senate actions represent the first legislation to address the global pandemic since an initial response bill passed by both chambers last April.