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Enbridge says it will defy Michigan's demand to shut down an oil pipeline that runs through a channel linking two of the Great Lakes.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November moved to revoke a 1953 state easement that allowed Enbridge's Line 5 to be placed along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac.

The Democratic governor said the company had violated the terms and put Lake Michigan and Lake Huron at risk.

The Wisconsin Senate has overwhelmingly passed a pared-down COVID-19 relief package. And Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has promised to sign it if it clears the Assembly. 

Evers and Republican legislative leaders have been trying to hammer out a compromise package for weeks.

Assembly Republicans passed a bill last week, but Evers opposes it. Senate Republicans scaled the measure back.

They removed provisions that would prohibit local health officials from ordering businesses closed for more than two weeks at a time and block mandatory vaccinations.

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A new report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum shows that Wisconsin’s state and local tax burden dropped below the national average and taxes as a share of income in 2020 reached its lowest level in at least half a century.

The report released Tuesday showed that state and local taxes as a share of income was 10.2% in 2020.

That is its lowest point since at least 1970.

Overall taxes increased by 2.3% in in the past fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2020.

Michigan.gov

State health officials say police and firefighters in Wisconsin will be eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine starting Jan. 18.

Gov. Tony Evers estimates in a letter made public on Monday that members of the general public won’t be vaccinated until June. Evers renewed his call for faster distribution of the vaccine from the federal government while state Republicans introduced a new response bill.

PIXABAY.COM

Wisconsin Senate Republicans have unveiled their own scaled-back COVID-19 response plan.

The measure released Monday goes father than Gov. Tony Evers wanted in many areas but that takes out several provisions he opposed that included in a bill passed by the Assembly last week.

The same bill must pass both the Senate and Assembly and be signed by Evers before becoming law. Evers has voiced opposition to the Assembly bill and he had no immediate reaction to the Senate version.

A Senate committee planned to hold a hearing and vote on their plan on Monday.

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A state committee looking into COVID-19 shots says it might open vaccinations to people 70 and older and limited groups of essential workers once most health care workers and nursing home residents are immunized

Members of a state vaccine committee have agreed on slight departures from federal guidelines, which call for moving next to ages 75 and older and more types of essential workers.

However, some disagreed on whether to add group home residents and prison and jail inmates.

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The Wisconsin Legislature’s Republican-controlled budget committee has approved reimbursing Milwaukee and Dane counties for costs incurred during the recount requested and paid for by President Donald Trump. The reimbursement was hung up by the committee, but co-chair Rep. Mark Born said Friday that objection was removed after the counties submitted additional details about their costs. The counties say the recount cost them combined about $2.4 million, which was less than the original projection of $3 million.

PIXABAY.COM

Security breaches at the U.S. Capitol and statehouses around the country haven't led to any changes at the state Capitol building in Madison. Gov. Tony Evers closed the building in March to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Lawmakers have been allowed to continue working in the building and the public has been allowed inside to watch their proceedings. But for the most part, the building is a silent hulk. Before the closure the building was wide open, with no security checks. Thousands of protesters occupied the building for three weeks in 2011.

Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says he has not made a decision yet on his political future as the vocal backer of President Donald Trump faces two years in the minority and mounting calls for him to step aside.

The update from the Republican comes after the U.S. Capitol was stormed by Trump supporters.

Johnson texted The Associated Press on Thursday to say he had not yet made a decision.

He is weighing whether to seek a third term, run for governor, or step down.

PIXABAY.COM

Update 2:45 p.m.: The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature is divided on a coronavirus response bill that the state Assembly has passed but that the Senate GOP leader says his chamber opposes.

Even if the current bill were to somehow pass the full Legislature, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has signaled his opposition and would likely veto the measure. Evers and Assembly Democrats have their own proposals that Republicans don't support.

Two Wisconsin Republicans objected to certifying Joe Biden’s victories in a pair of states before his win was confirmed in a meeting of Congress that was interrupted by the storming of the Capitol by a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump. 

Reps. Tom Tiffany and Scott Fitzgerald, the state’s two newest members of Congress, objected to certifying votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Those were the only two states where votes on objection were taken.

buildbackbetter.com

Congress has confirmed Democrat Joe Biden as the presidential election winner, hours after violent protesters loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Lawmakers resolved to work almost through the night to uphold the will of the voters. The Capitol was under siege for hours Wednesday, forcing lawmakers into hiding before being evacuated by police.

Earlier, at a huge rally near the White House, the president had urged his supporters to march to Capitol Hill to protest his election defeat.

Iron Mountain VA Medical Center

Michigan will begin vaccinating seniors and front-line workers such as teachers and police against the coronavirus next week.

State officials on Wednesday announced a plan to accelerate access for people who are at least 65 years old.

The state had planned to next immunize those 75 and older and essential workers including first responders, prison guards and child care providers. But residents age 65 to 74 will be included, too.

PIXABAY.COM

Wisconsin surpassed 5,000 deaths from COVID-19, as the total number of cases neared half a million.

The state Department of Health Services reported 60 additional deaths on Wednesday, bringing the total to 5,039. There have been nearly 495,000 positive cases to date.

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin peaked in mid-November and had been declining since, but started to rise again in late December.

The seven-day average of new cases on Wednesday was 2,493. That is the highest it has been since Dec. 24.

PIXABAY.COM

As demonstrators swarmed the U.S. Capitol, Congress has been forced to abruptly halt deliberations over Republican challenges to Joe Biden’s presidential victory.

Republicans in a joint session of Congress were mounting their first formal challenge to Biden’s election win.

Outside, meanwhile, demonstrators are protesting the joint session, which is to confirm Biden's victory in the Electoral College.

The typically routine proceeding, required by law, was anything but ordinary.

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