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Governor-elect Tony Evers tours Milwaukee health care facility

Tony Evers

MILWAUKEE – Democratic Governor-Elect Tony Evers met with executives from the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center in Milwaukee Wednesday afternoon. After touring the facility, which offers comprehensive health services for Medicaid recipients and people without health insurance, Evers spoke about the need for health insurance coverage at a news conference.

“We just can’t afford to have a society where some people have health care and some don’t,” Evers said.

Last week, Evers announced he might try to end a federal waiver requiring some Medicaid recipients to work for their benefits. Federal officials granted that waiver to Republican Governor Scott Walker in October. If the waiver, which would affect healthy, childless adults, is not withdrawn, it will take roughly a year to implement it. Republicans are considering using a lame-duck session to make it harder for Evers to withdraw the waiver. Evers spoke about the potential for a lame-duck session at the Sixteenth Center.

“I just think at the end of the day, if there’s going to be a special session, it should be something productive rather than pitting people against each other,” Evers said. “But, it’s hard for me to make a guesstimate of whether it’s going to happen or not.”

Senate and Assembly Republicans each met separately yesterday to set the agenda for a lame-duck session. Another idea that Republicans have discussed for the session is moving the 2020 presidential primary from April to March to avoid coinciding with the state’s Supreme Court election.

“When the clerks of the counties, the election clerks say it’s going to be really difficult essentially running three elections between the primary in February, now there’s something in March and there’s something else in April, that’s putting a heavy burden on the municipalities.”

Wisconsin Senate Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said on Tuesday that lawmakers are considering the move to improve election chances for conservative Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly. If the presidential primary date remains unchanged, it’s expected to have a high Democratic turnout.

Fitzgerald told reporters that the other issues being discussed regarding a lame-duck session are “real inside baseball legislative kind of stuff.”

A lame-duck session could begin as early as next week. Evers has called the possibility of the session a last-ditch effort by Republicans to hold onto power.

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