MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s statewide mask mandate would be overturned by the Republican-controlled state Legislature under a resolution that could be voted on as soon as Tuesday.
Twenty-seven Republican lawmakers signed on to the resolution that was introduced on Thursday. It would have to pass both the Senate and Assembly in order to end the public health emergency and undo the mask mandate issued by Gov. Tony Evers that runs until March 20. The mask mandate took effect in August and Evers has renewed it three times.
Republican leaders in the Senate and Assembly did not immediately return messages Friday asking if the resolution would be voted on and when. Neither Assembly Speaker Robin Vos nor Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu are co-sponsors of the resolution. Senate President Chris Kapenga is a co-sponsor.
Evers’ mask order is also being challenged in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which heard arguments in the case in November but has yet to issue a ruling.
The resolution argues that Evers didn’t have the authority to issue his latest public health emergency because the Legislature didn’t renew the original one that was issued in March at the beginning of the pandemic. State law allows governors to declare public health emergencies that last 60 days but can be extended by the Legislature.
Evers argues that each emergency order is new and addressing ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic.