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The Latest: Vos says too soon to comment on Evers offer

January 17, 2019

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Wisconsin Legislature (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says it’s “too early to tell” whether Republicans will accept changes sought by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to a bill guaranteeing health insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

Evers met Thursday with Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald to discuss the measure. Vos responded to a shouted question as he walked into Fitzgerald’s office later Thursday.

The Assembly Health Committee earlier Thursday advanced the measure, making it ready for a vote before the full Assembly on Tuesday, its first day in session.

Evers says he won’t sign the bill unless several changes are made.

Evers tweeted that he wants the proposal to prevent insurance plans from setting annual and lifetime limits for health care protections. He also wants it to cover services for mothers and newborns and prescription drug costs.

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3:15 p.m.

The Wisconsin Assembly’s Health Committee has approved a Republican-authored bill designed to guarantee insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

Two Democrats voted with all Republicans on the panel Thursday to advance the measure. The vote sets it up for a vote by the full Assembly on Tuesday.

But Gov. Tony Evers says he won’t sign the measure unless several changes are made.

Evers tweeted that he wants the bill to prevent insurance plans from setting annual and lifetime limits for health care protections. He also wants it to cover services for mothers and newborns and prescription drug costs.

Evers says he will not sign a bill that “fails to fully protect Wisconsinites like me who have pre-existing conditions.” Evers is a cancer survivor.

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2:40 p.m.

Gov. Tony Evers is seeking changes to a Republican bill designed to guarantee insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

The Democrat Evers tweeted Thursday that he met with Republican legislative leaders and asked them to consider a number of changes to the bill.

Evers says he wants the bill to prevent insurance plans from setting annual and lifetime limits for health care protections. He also wants it to cover services for mothers and newborns and prescription drug costs.

Evers says he will not sign a bill that “fails to fully protect Wisconsinites like me who have pre-existing conditions.” Evers is a cancer survivor.

Assembly Republicans plan to vote on passing the bill Tuesday.

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2:05 p.m.

The Republican chairman of the Wisconsin Assembly Health Committee says Gov. Tony Evers is working with GOP leaders on a compromise for a bill guaranteeing health insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

Assembly Republicans are moving quickly to pass a bill next week. The Health Committee met Thursday to vote on passing it.

Chairman Rep. Joe Sanfelippo says the governor was meeting with Republican legislative leaders to talk about changes that both sides could support to win passage. Sanfelippo says other proposed changes were going to be put on hold in hopes the governor could reach a deal with lawmakers.

Evers has said he will only sign a bill that has the same or better protections that are currently in federal law.

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1 p.m.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers opposes a Republican income tax cut plan.

Evers’ spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff says the plan unveiled Thursday “falls short” of what the governor wants to do.

While both $340 million plans target the middle class, the difference is in how they’re paid for.

Evers wants to cap tax breaks under a manufacturing and agriculture credit program that Republicans created. Republicans want to pay for the tax cut plan by tapping a nearly $600 million budget surplus.

Baldauff faults Republicans for rejecting federal money to pay for Medicaid expansion and hiring outside attorneys for lawsuits targeting last months’ GOP lame-duck session, moves she says “leave taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars.”

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10:40 a.m.

Wisconsin Assembly Republicans are proposing a 10 percent income tax cut similar to what Democratic Gov. Tony Evers says he wants.

Republicans unveiled their plan Thursday. Evers campaigned on paying for an income tax cut by reducing a corporate tax cut program by about $340 million.

But Republicans don’t want to do that. Instead, they would pay for it using a budget surplus.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says the plan keeps Evers’ campaign promise without jeopardizing the Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit program Republicans enacted under former Gov. Scott Walker.

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8:34 a.m.

Wisconsin Assembly Republicans say they have a plan to help middle class families.

The move Thursday comes while Republican leaders squabble publicly with Democratic Gov. Tony Evers over, of all things, when they can find time to meet.

Both sides are jockeying for position and attempting to get the political upper-hand as Wisconsin policy makers feel their way under divided government for the first time in more than a decade.

Evers has already said he wants to cut income taxes 10 percent for the middle class. But he wants to pay for it by scaling back a corporate tax break Republicans support.

Meanwhile, Republicans are moving ahead with a bill guaranteeing insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Evers has signaled opposition to the measure and both sides are struggling to find an agreeable time to meet to discuss the issue .

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