- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 27, 2019

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Latest on the Legislature’s finance committee’s deliberations on whether to grant Attorney General Josh Kaul permission to settle an unknown lawsuit (all times local):

1:25 p.m.

Republicans who control the Legislature’s finance committee are refusing to allow Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul to settle an unknown lawsuit.

The GOP passed laws during a December lame-duck session that require Kaul to get the finance committee’s approval to settle lawsuits. Republican lawmakers sued Kaul earlier this month alleging he hasn’t complied with the law.

Kaul contacted the committee late Friday afternoon requesting authorization to settle a lawsuit. The committee met in closed session Tuesday to consider approval. Kaul said in a subsequent open session that the settlement is confidential and he wants committee members to sign non-disclosure agreements before he could discuss the case.



The Republicans refused to sign the agreements and didn’t grant him permission to settle. Co-Chairman John Nygren complained that Republicans have no idea what the case is about.

Democrats on the committee complained that Kaul is stuck. He can’t discuss the case and he can’t move forward with a settlement unless he discusses it with the committee. Rep. Evan Goyke called the entire process an unworkable mess.

___

11:50 a.m.

Attorney General Josh Kaul is meeting with the Legislature’s finance committee behind closed doors to discuss a legal settlement for the first time under laws Republicans passed during a lame-duck session last year.

Republicans passed laws during a December lame-duck session that require Kaul, a Democrat, to get the GOP-controlled Joint Finance Committee’s approval to settle lawsuits. GOP lawmakers sued Kaul earlier this month alleging he hasn’t complied with the law.

Kaul appeared before the committee Tuesday to begin discussions on an unknown case.

Committee Chairman John Nygren, a Republican, moved the meeting into closed session. Democrats complained about the move, saying the open records law only allows such a move to consult with an attorney and the committee doesn’t have one.

It was unclear when the panel would return to open session.

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