Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued a new statewide mask order on Thursday, an hour after the Republican-controlled Legislature voted to repeal his previous mandate saying he didn’t have authority to make such a decree.
If the Legislature keeps playing politics and we don’t keep wearing masks, we’re going to see more preventable deaths, and it’s going to take even longer to get our state and our economy back on track,” Evers said.
Republicans say the issue isn’t about masks, but whether Evers can legally issue multiple emergency health orders during the pandemic. The Legislature argues he can’t, and must secure their approval every 60 days. Evers contends the changing nature of the pandemic allowed him to issue multiple orders and mask mandates.
“I know you want to make it about masks. It’s not,” said Republican Majority Leader Jim Steineke. “It’s about the rule of law.”
The Supreme Court could end the legislative back and forth with a ruling in a pending case that says Evers must secure lawmakers’ approval every 60 days. The court could also say he doesn’t need approval, thus forcing the Legislature to repeal every order Evers issues if it wants to stop him.