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Assembly to Take Up Amended COVID-19 Bill

By John Forester | January 22, 2021

From WisPolitics.com …

The Assembly will convene Tuesday to take up the COVID-19 bill that the Senate amended earlier this month.

Still, the notice Majority Leader Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, sent to members didn’t detail whether Assembly GOP leaders plan to sign off on the Senate’s changes or take other action on the bill.

According to Steineke’s office, the Assembly plans to convene at 1 p.m. He also asked members to reserve Jan. 28 as a potential session day with details to come later.

The offices of Steineke and Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment this afternoon.

The Senate earlier this month approved a stripped-down version of the COVID-19 bill after Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, reached an agreement with Gov. Tony Evers. That revised bill included a series of provisions that Evers had worked on with LeMahieu and Vos, including a proposal to provide liability protections to businesses, non-profits, schools, churches and others from COVID-19 lawsuits.

The provisions the Senate pulled from the bill included proposed bans on mandatory COVID-19 vaccines, stripping state and local officials of their powers to restrict gatherings in places of worship, and adding new restrictions for schools that provide only virtual learning opportunities.

Senate Republicans broke out those provisions in a string of standalone bills that had a public hearing today.

LeMahieu’s office declined comment on the Assembly coming in next week on the bill.

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