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Business, Health Groups At Odds Over New Republican COVID-19 Bill

Business and health groups were largely at odds Tuesday as the state Assembly’s health committee heard public testimony about a brand-new, GOP-backed proposal to respond to COVID-19 in Wisconsin.

Republicans are lauding the wide-ranging bill, which includes more than 44 provisions, as a long-awaited response to the virus’ social and economic effects across the state, while Democrats point out it includes numerous provisions Gov. Tony Evers has called “poison pills.” Those provisions include stricter requirements on schools that want to provide virtual instruction and limits on local health officials’ power. The bill would also provide legal immunity for businesses that don’t follow local, state or federal requirements aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.

During testimony, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, who is sponsoring the plan, said it would provide “much-needed relief to the citizens of our state.”

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