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The Latest: Republicans disappointed with Evers speech

January 23, 2019

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ State of the State speech (all times local):

8:10 p.m.

Republicans say they are disappointed with Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ priorities as outlined in his first State of the State speech.

Evers touted his plans for cutting income taxes for the middle class, raising spending on K-12 schools and expanding Medicaid.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he was disappointed with the speech, saying “he spent a lot of money and I don’t even know where the revenue’s coming from for some of these proposals.”

Fitzgerald says Evers should “give up” on his call to expand Medicaid.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says “it sure seemed to be an awful lot of partisan rhetoric” but he thinks there are areas where the GOP can work with Evers.

Vos says he won’t scale back a corporate tax credit program as Evers wants to pay for a middle class tax cut.

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7:05 p.m.

Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is calling for bipartisan solutions in his first State of the State speech.

But that appears unlikely to happen given Republican opposition to many of his proposals.

Evers on Tuesday called on the Republican controlled Legislature to scale back a corporate tax credit program to pay for middle class income tax cuts. He also calls for “sacrifice” to find a bipartisan solution for road funding and work together to bolster spending for schools to help close the achievement gap.

He’s also calling for expanding Medicaid, reducing the number of lead water service lines and working to improve the economy.

He says the magnitude of the challenges facing the state “requires us to put people first.”

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2 p.m.

Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is using his first State of the State speech to call for bipartisanship and for Republicans who control the Legislature to take up the budget he proposes and not write their own.

Evers is delivering his first State of the State speech Tuesday night. His office released excerpts ahead of the address.

Evers says he expects the Legislature to deal with priorities of the state “instead of being distracted by division and preventing us from working together to get things done.”

Evers says he expects bills to pass with “broad support and in the spirit of bipartisanship.”

The priorities he names include improving the economy, making communities healthier and spending more on schools, better roads and infrastructure.

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9 a.m.

New Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is set to deliver his first State of the State speech to the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Evers, a Democrat, is slated to speak in the state Assembly chambers at 7 p.m. It will be the first time in eight years someone other than former Republican Gov. Scott Walker has delivered the address. Evers narrowly defeated Walker in November’s elections.

Tensions are already running high between Evers and GOP legislators after Republican leaders passed lame-duck legislation that weakened Evers’ powers.

He’s currently embroiled in a fight over a GOP-authored bill guaranteeing health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions. Evers wants numerous changes to the bill, including preventing insurance plans from setting annual and lifetime limits, coverage for mothers and newborns and prescription drug coverage.

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