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Evers to Buy Ventilators and Masks

Gov. Tony Evers is purchasing 10,000 ventilators and 1 million protective masks. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau said the administration could make the large purchase without lawmaker approval thanks to the federal legislation approved Friday that will send $2 billion to Wisconsin to fight the coronavirus.

Evers had been waiting to hear from Republican legislative leaders about the March 21 bill he send them that called for spending more than $700 million on the pandemic. GOP lawmakers said on Saturday they would not take up the bill. But both the Legislative Fiscal Bureau and Republican legislators said Evers could make the purchase for supplies under the federal legislation.

The governor is also asking legislators to pass a resolution to indefinitely extend the public health emergency he declared on March 12. Under the law, the emergency cannot last more than 60 days with approval by lawmakers. Senate Majority leader Scott Fitzgerald said they will consider the matter closer to the expiration date.

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