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The Latest: Kaul asks GOP to drop health care lawsuit

January 24, 2019

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Gov. Tony Evers’ attempts to withdraw Wisconsin from multi-state lawsuit challenging federal health care law. (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

Attorney General Josh Kaul has filed a request with the Legislature to withdraw Wisconsin from a multi-state lawsuit seeking repeal of the federal health care law.

The letter comes after Kaul told Gov. Tony Evers he could not fulfill his request to get out of the lawsuit. Kaul said that power rests only with the Legislature’s budget committee.

That Republican-controlled committee is unlikely to side with Evers and end Wisconsin’s involvement in the lawsuit.

Spokesmen for the co-chairs say they got the request, but had no immediate comment.

Evers campaign on the promise to get out of the lawsuit, which will continue whether Wisconsin is a party or not. A federal judge in Texas found the law to be unconstitutional, but that ruling is on hold pending appeal.

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10:40 a.m.

The next move in Gov. Tony Evers’ attempts to withdraw Wisconsin from a multi-state lawsuit seeking repeal of the federal health care law may come in the Legislature.

Evers’ spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff said Thursday that Attorney General Josh Kaul intended to ask the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee to approve withdrawing from the lawsuit. Her comment comes after Kaul told Evers he did not have authority to drop the state from the case.

But Kaul also does not say in his letter to Evers that he would seek committee approval. Kaul’s spokeswoman Gillian Drummond did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Evers campaigned on removing Wisconsin from the lawsuit it led, but Republicans changed the law taking away his authority to do that.

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10:16 a.m.

Attorney General Josh Kaul is rejecting Gov. Tony Evers directive that he withdraw Wisconsin from a multi-state lawsuit seeking repeal of the federal health care law.

Kaul tells the fellow Democrat Evers in a letter Thursday that he can’t do that without approval of Republican lawmakers.

The news is a setback for Evers a day after he announced his directive to Kaul in his first State of the State speech.

Evers reversed himself less than a day after giving the speech, saying Wednesday that he wasn’t directing Kaul “to take any specific course of action.”

A law passed by Republicans in last month’s lame-duck session gives authority to the GOP-controlled Joint Committee on Finance to decide on withdrawing.

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