The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. Angela Major / WPR
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Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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Gov. Tony Evers on Friday vetoed the first COVID-19 relief package the GOP-controlled Legislature approved in 10 months, the latest development in a political fight that has paralyzed the Wisconsin’s response to the pandemic. 

The Democrat had supported a previous version of the bill that cleared the Senate and was deemed a compromise, but he objected to several more recent amendments, including changes that would limit his powers over emergency declarations and give the Legislature control over federal COVID-19 relief dollars.

“We had a bill that Republicans and Democrats supported — and one that I said I would sign if it was sent to my desk — that passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote,” Evers said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Republicans once again chose to put politics before people, abandoned that compromise, and passed a bill they knew I wouldn’t sign.” 

Mitchell Schmidt has the full story for the Wisconsin State Journal.

Top Stories 

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. Angela Major / WPR

In reversal for jobless Wisconsinites, DWD continues to waive work search requirements WPR

Tony Evers vetoes GOP-authored COVID-19 legislation Wisconsin State Journal 

Hundreds of MPS students struggle to find affordable driver’s ed classes during pandemic Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service 

Health care leaders explain why Wisconsin rose to top 20 in vaccines administered nationally NBC26 Green Bay 

Biden seeks to go big, fast and alone on COVID relief Associated Press 

People with overbooked COVID-19 vaccine appointments at Appleton exhibition center will be assigned new ones starting next week Appleton Post-Crescent 

Early graduation, virus lower Janesville School District enrollment Janesville Gazette 

Blank: UW-Madison faces $320 million pandemic loss by June Associated Press 

UW-Madison’s new saliva-based testing regimen creates difficult transition for spring semester Madison365

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Quotable

“I really see that we should have a state mandate for this, or a national mandate for this. … COVID-19 does not stop at the Eau Claire County borders … this is really best done at a state level.”

— Lieske Giese, director of the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, speaking to the Leader-Telegram about masking during the pandemic

Data to note

Wisconsin on Friday topped 6,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths during the pandemic, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. More than 1,000 have died in the past month. 

DHS continues to log fewer daily infections, with cases now at their lowest levels since mid-September, but it still reports a seven-day average 23 new deaths per day. 

Public health officials continue to urge Wisconsinites to wear masks and practice physical distancing until vaccinations are more widely distributed. 

WisContext offers this visualization of Wisconsin COVID-19 infections and deaths.

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DHS offers these snapshots of the state’s progress in administering vaccines. 

Calculate your exposure risk

In Wisconsin, even small gatherings can carry a big risk of exposure to the coronavirus, according to a nationwide tool that estimates the danger by the size of gathering and county in which it is held. Data scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Stanford University developed the tool, which you can find here

Resilient Wisconsin

People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us: tips@wisconsinwatch.org

‘Bring your glove and get on the field’: A baseball league for people with autism and disabilities is on deck for Madison Cap Times 

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