Twenty-seven Republican senators and representatives in Madison on Friday signed a resolution tp overturn the governor’s order to keep coronavirus restrictions in place until mid-March.
(The Center Square) – The pressure for lawmakers to cancel Gov. Tony Evers’ coronavirus emergency order is growing.
Wisconsin law allows the legislature to overturn a governor’s emergency order by resolution. The Wisconsin Senate has placed the resolution on its calendar for next Tuesday.
“Given that legislative oversight is vital to ensuring the governor’s proper exercise of the emergency powers granted by section 323.12 of the statutes, 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.
“You’ll recall the last time the MU Law Poll asked about support for face coverings in October 2020: ‘In October, 72% agree that masks should be required in public places, while 26% disagree with requiring masks. In August, 69% supported a mask requirement and 29% were opposed,’,” the governor’s office said in a statement. “‘Support for a mask requirement exceeds 60% in all regions of the state.’.”
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Gov. Evers on Friday side-stepped questions about his ability to continue the emergency order, or even if it is necessary given Wisconsin’s falling coronavirus numbers. Instead the governor said coronavirus restrictions, and the state’s mask mandate are popular.
But the Republican lawmakers say the issue is not the popularity of a mask requirement or other coronavirus restrictions, rather the governor’s abuse of power.
The governor added: “Ending the public health emergency would eliminate one of the few tools left the state has to mitigate the spread of the virus that is killing our friends, families, and fellow Wisconsinites while we work to distribute the vaccine across our state.”
Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly agreed.
New Republican Senator Julian Bradley, R-Franklin, called the governor’s emergency order ”unconstitutional.”
This is not the first time Republicans have called to override Gov. Evers’ emergency orders, but it is the first time their call has been placed on the legislative calendar for a vote.
“Regardless of political persuasion, everyone should be greatly troubled by a governor who steadfastly refuses to recognize limits on his authority,” Justice Kelly told The Center Square. “Instead of gracefully recognizing the limits placed on him by the law, Gov. Evers has issued a string of executive orders, each declaring the same emergency over and over again, as if they were incantations for bringing expired powers back to life. His executive orders are nothing but camouflage for straight-up power grabs.”
By Benjamin Yount | The Center Square
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Reposted with permission