Day after State of State address, COVID bill appears stuck

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A Wisconsin COVID relief bill is stuck, and after the governor's State of the State address, there doesn't appear to be a quick fix to the log jam.

The governor negotiated a bill with the state Senate, but the state Assembly passed its own version. There's no clear path to getting a bill passed.

"We will continue to work to reach a consensus as equals but we will never compromise our conservative ideals in the name of political expediency," said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. (R-Rochester)

After the governor called for lawmakers to pass a COVID relief bill in the first week of the year, and repeated it in his State of the State address, that effort appears stuck.

"This is a representative democracy, you're not going to get everything you want," said State Representative LaKeshia Myers. (D-Milwaukee)

The Assembly bill includes a ban on COVID vaccine mandates.

"We will not allow anyone to mandate vaccinations on our citizens," said Vos.

The speaker's red line comes as he criticized the governor's rollout of the vaccine.

In a letter Tuesday, Vos wrote "As we have seen demonstrated in the past, most recently with your administration's handling of the unemployment claim backlog, problems like this cannot and should not be ignored..."

State date show Wisconsin has received 373,100 doses of the vaccine. 163,371 doses have been administered.

The governor has also called a special session for the legislature to overhaul the state's unemployment system.

"We felt the effects of that when we first started getting a major push towards individuals having (unemployment insurance) claims, and the system couldn't handle it," said Myers.

Myers wanted the state to answer phone calls 24 hours a day, but the current computers system can't process claims at all hours.

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