QUORUM CALL

Republicans abruptly shifted tactics today on COVID-19 legislation and a resolution to overturn Gov. Tony Evers’ public health declaration.

Assembly Republicans, on a party-line 59-35 vote, again amended the COVID-19 bill, this time with a provision designed to ensure the state wouldn’t lose enhanced federal food stamp benefits by overturning Evers’ public health declaration. The amendment also was written to make sure the state would qualify for funds from future federal action, a provision that wasn’t in a Senate version of the amendment.

The Senate, which wasn’t expected back in until mid-February, will instead meet tomorrow in extraordinary session to approve the revised bill, which Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, called a “true consensus.”

The Assembly also had originally planned to vote on its own joint resolution to end Evers’ public health declaration. That would’ve required Senate approval. Instead, the Assembly plans to take up the resolution that cleared the Senate last week. If approved as expected, it would immediately end Evers’ order.

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