- Associated Press - Thursday, October 31, 2019

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Latest on the Legislature’s Republican-controlled budget committee’s efforts to settle the first lawsuit under the GOP’s lame-duck laws (all times local):

12 p.m.

The Legislature’s Republican-controlled budget committee has approved settling the first lawsuit under the GOP’s lame-duck statutes.

Republicans passed legislation in December that forces Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul to get committee approval before settling lawsuits. Kaul has refused to discuss any cases with the committee, saying settlement negotiations are confidential.

But Kaul asked the committee on Thursday to sign off on a settlement with the owners and operators of a Milwaukee mini-mart accused of selling synthetic cannabinoids. The state Justice Department and the defendants agreed to allow the settlement terms to become public in the case, clearing the way for committee consideration.



No one from the Justice Department appeared before the committee Thursday. Legislative Council Director Anne Sappenfield told the members the settlement was for $350,000 and includes an injunction barring the defendants from selling synthetic cannabinoids.

The committee approved the settlement unanimously. Democrats on the committee still complained that 18 more cases are waiting for settlement approval and the lame-duck laws have ground the legal process to a halt.

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8:50 a.m.

Republicans who control the Legislature’s budget committee are set to consider settling the first lawsuit under their lame-duck statutes.

The GOP passed legislation in December that forces Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul to get committee approval before settling lawsuits. Kaul has refused to discuss any cases with the committee, saying settlement negotiations are confidential.

But Kaul and the committee scheduled discussions Thursday on settling a case in which the state has accused the owner and manager of a Milwaukee mini-mart of selling synthetic cannabinoids.

Rep. John Nygren is co-chair of the budget committee. Nygren aide Nathan Schwanz says defense attorneys in the case have agreed that settlement discussions can take place in the open. But he says Republicans and Kaul still haven’t established an umbrella protocol for handling settlements.

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