The Wisconsin state legislature overturned Democrat Governor Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate on Thursday, making the Badger State the first in the country to overturn a mask order from a governor.
The resolution will take effect on Friday and alleges that Gov. Evens “repeatedly” and “unlawfully” extended the state’s orders declaring a public health emergency due to COVID-19.
“Legislative oversight is vital to ensuring the governor’s proper exercise of the emergency powers… legislative oversight is rendered useless if the governor ignores the temporal limitations on the emergency powers by continuously reissuing emergency declarations for the same emergency,” the resolution states.
“Any extension of the declaration of emergency caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus requires a joint resolution of the legislature.”
Both the Wisconsin state Assembly and Senate are led by Republicans. The state Senate voted 18-13 last week in favor of the resolution.
Shortly after it voted in favor of the resolution, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, said the chamber “took a stand for liberty and the rule of law.”
“Governor Evers has abused his limited authority for far too long by repeatedly issuing unlawful orders beyond his 60-day emergency powers. The Senate voted to end the executive overreach and restore our constituents’ voice in the legislative process,” he added.
Conversely, Democrat Representative Robyn Vining, D-Wauwatosa, said during debate in the Assembly, “Pandemics aren’t partisan — we should be wearing masks, masks save lives.”
“There is nothing redemptive about this resolution. You pass this, you don’t save a single life … you just hurt people, you threaten the economy and people really might die,” she added.
Of course, residents of Wisconsin are still able to wear facemasks as often as they want, however, come Friday it will be legal not to do so.
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