Governor Evers, Republicans Discuss Regional Reopening of Wisconsin

Republican legislative leaders talked with Democratic Gov. Tony Evers on Monday about opening some parts of Wisconsin less affected by the coronavirus pandemic sooner than others.

Evers met with Republican and Democratic legislative leaders for the first time to talk about the virus response. The meeting came the day before the Wisconsin Supreme Court was scheduled to hear oral arguments in a case brought by Republican legislative leaders seeking to block Evers’ “safer at home” order that is slated to run until May 26.

“The basic question to be answered is, what is their plan?” Evers said ahead of the meeting. “It doesn’t have anything to do with the court case or getting in front of the court case.”

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said the lawmakers talked with Evers about the possibility of a regional approach to reopening the state. Vos didn’t say if Republicans offered a specific plan.

“It’s a safe and reasonable approach that I hope we can begin working on developing,” Vos said in a statement. “What’s needed for Wisconsin right now is a bipartisan reopening strategy that is safe, gradual and regional. We shouldn’t have a Republican plan or a governor’s plan, we need a Wisconsin plan that the entire state can get behind.”

Evers has loosened numerous restrictions in recent days. Republicans, along with the state chamber of commerce, have been pushing for a more rapid reopening, including easing restrictions more rapidly in areas not as affected by the virus.