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Evers’ pick to lead health agency wins committee approval

Andrea Palm, Secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, speaks on March 12 at a meeting with reporters. Palm, Gov. Tony Evers' pick to head the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, has received a legislative committee's approval and is likely to go for a vote before the full state Senate in October. (AP Photo/Scott Bauer)

Andrea Palm, Secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, speaks on March 12 at a meeting with reporters. Palm, Gov. Tony Evers’ pick to head the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, has received a legislative committee’s approval and is likely to go for a vote before the full state Senate in October. (AP Photo/Scott Bauer)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers’ pick to head the Wisconsin Department of Health Services has won approval from a Republican-controlled legislative committee.

The Senate’s health committee voted 4-1 Wednesday to approve the appointment of Andrea Palm to serve as secretary of the state health department. That agency oversees Wisconsin’s Badger Care Plus Medicaid program, SeniorCare and a host of other public benefits programs.

Palm’s nomination now goes to the full Senate, which is expected to vote in October. Republicans hold a 19-14 majority in that chamber.

Sen. Andre Jacque, a Republican, voted against confirmation, citing concerns about Palm’s hiring a former Planned Parenthood lobbyist as a deputy.

Palm and all of Evers’ other Cabinet secretaries have been working all year pending confirmation votes in the Senate. If rejected, they would lose their jobs.

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