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The Latest: Assembly declares evergreen is Christmas tree

November 12, 2019 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on an Assembly resolution recognizing Thanksgiving week as National Bible Week (all times local):

4:10 p.m.

The state Assembly has passed a resolution declaring the giant evergreen the state Department of Administration places in the state Capitol every December is officially a Christmas tree.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers called the tree a holiday tree on Friday. His predecessor, Republican Scott Walker, had said the tree was a Christmas tree. Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald called Evers’ move “PC garbage.”

Republican Rep. Scott Krug introduced the resolution on Monday. Assembly Republicans added it Tuesday’s floor calendar. Krug told the body in a floor speech that Evers is trying to exclude Christians from the holiday season.

Democrats railed against the resolution. Rep. Jonathan Brostoff, who is Jewish, said if Republicans want to help Christians they should pass gun control legislation to stop them from getting killed.

The Assembly ultimately adopted the resolution 64-30.

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2:15 p.m.

The state Assembly has overwhelmingly approved a resolution recognizing National Bible Week.

The Republican-authored resolution recognizes Thanksgiving week as National Bible Week. It declares that reading the Bible has contributed to the moral fiber of society. The Freedom from Religion Foundation has criticized the resolution, saying it’s inappropriate and legislators are promoting their own religion.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told reporters before lawmakers took the floor Tuesday that the chamber has traditionally recognized different religions.

The Assembly approved the resolution 86-9 with no debate. All the legislators who voted against it are Democrats.

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1:25 p.m.

The state Assembly’s top Republican says he doesn’t see any problem with a resolution that recognizes Thanksgiving week as National Bible Week.

The Assembly is set to vote Tuesday on a resolution that recognizes the week and declares that the reading the Bible has contributed to the moral fiber of society.

Democratic Minority Leader Gordon Hintz told reporters it seems like GOP lawmakers are starting “holy wars” to distract from a lack of a real agenda.

Speaker Robin Vos told reporters the Assembly traditionally recognizes different faiths’ holidays and “many of us are Christians.”

The vote comes days after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers called the evergreen the state Department of Administration places in the state Capitol every December a holiday tree. Evers’ predecessor, Republican Scott Walker, had declared it a Christmas tree.

Vos says it’s clearly a Christmas tree. He says Evers is going through “machinations” to please a tiny group of easily offended people.

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12:30 p.m.

Assembly Republicans want to recognize Thanksgiving week as National Bible Week.

The chamber is set to vote Tuesday on a resolution that says reading the Bible has contributed to “the molding of the spiritual, moral and social fiber of our citizenry.”

The resolution was introduced before Democratic Gov. Tony Evers last week decreed that the official tree in the Capitol rotunda would be called a holiday tree, rather than a Christmas tree as his predecessor, Republican Scott Walker, called it.

The change drew the ire of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, both Republicans. Walker told Fox News on Tuesday that people should acknowledge Christmas just like other religious holidays, adding that a menorah is not a “holiday candle holder.”