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Wisconsin roundup: Evers vows to forge ahead amid lame-duck session targeting executive authority; more state news stories

Gov.-elect Tony Evers vows he will do what he can to keep his power.

Members of the Republican-controlled Legislature are meeting in a lame-duck session starting Monday to pass a series of proposals to weaken his authority. After a Monday public hearing at the Capitol, a vote is expected Tuesday. This is the first lame-duck session in Wisconsin since 2010. Republican Gov. Scott Walker is expected to sign the proposals before he leaves office next month.

Wisconsin Democrats criticized the GOP leadership's extraordinary legislative session planned for this week. State Rep. Melissa Sargent of Madison said in a statement, "a special session designed to strip the authority of Governor-elect Tony Evers and his administration is a maniacal power grab and tone deaf to the needs and wants of the people of Wisconsin."

Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Speaker Robin Vos say "Wisconsin law written by the Legislature and signed into law by the governor should not be erased by the potential political maneuvering of the executive branch." Their top priorities include ensuring people with pre-existing conditions have health care coverage and keeping the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation open for business.


1 dead, 2 critically injured in Washburn County house fire

Investigators are working to find the cause of a fire near Spooner in northwest Wisconsin that left one person dead and two critically injured.

The Washburn County Sheriff's Office says smoke and flames were coming from the mobile home Thursday night when fire crews arrived. Authorities were able to see two unconscious people inside the home and needed to remove a door to get the man and woman out safely. The victims were in critical condition in Friday. Deputies say the body of another man was later found in the debris and taken to the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy. The State Fire Marshal is assisting local fire officials.


Congressman Kind a ‘no’ on Pelosi for speaker

Western Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind says choosing Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House would mean going back to the same leadership, with no changes.

The La Crosse Democrat, whose district includes Pierce County, says he wasn't one of the 203 votes for Pelosi when she was nominated Wednesday. The veteran California politician needs 218 votes in January to assume the powerful position she has held in the past. Kind says there are several Democrats who would be good choices for the job. He says he'd like to see a speaker who is more of a caretaker, than an "autocrat" who tries to run every single issue.


Evers to take case for Medicaid expansion to voters

Incoming Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers says he will push for expansion of Medicaid coverage while talking to voters statewide.

Evers wants to add about 75,000 low-income residents to the federally funded program. Exit polls showed health care was the most important issue for the voters who supported Evers in the general election. Gov. Scott Walker has consistently opposed the idea of accepting the federal funding.


Packers to announce Paul McCartney concert at Lambeau

The Green Bay Packers will hold a Tuesday news conference to announce details of a major concert date for Lambeau Field.

Former Beatle Paul McCartney will perform at an event next summer. Tuesday's announcement will reveal the concert date and when tickets will go on sale. Music fans got a hint earlier this year when an ad on McCartney's Facebook page in September read: "GREEN BAY! Tour dates could be announced soon!"


Fewer Wisconsin residents enrolling for health insurance under ACA

With about two weeks left for open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, fewer people are signing up this year in Wisconsin.

About 62,000 had enrolled as of last week and that's about 20 percent less than in 2017. With the window of opportunity closing, local government and non-profit organizations are increasing efforts to help people purchase health insurance coverage through what has been called Obamacare.


Walker mourns death of George H.W. Bush

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is among those mourning the loss of President George Herbert Walker Bush at age 94.

Walker issued a statement Friday night following the death of the 41st President of the United States. Walker said," In 1988, I cast my first vote for President for him. I am proud of that vote today. He was a true gentleman and our country is better because of his service." Walker says he and First Lady Tonette are sending their love and prayers to the Bush family as America mourns the loss of one of our greatest patriots.