Wisconsin Senate set to vote on effort to repeal mask mandate

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin State Senate is scheduled to vote on Tuesday on a measure that will end the latest mask mandate Democratic Gov. Tony Evers issued earlier this week.

Members of the legislature have threatened this action before, but this is the first time Republicans have brought the challenge to the public health order this far.

Republicans who are pushing for this are encouraging Wisconsinites to back it. They say the governor can issue one emergency but not multiple for the same cause.

“From day one, I’ve been ready to repeal Governor Evers’ unconstitutional edicts,” said state Sen. Julian Bradley, R-Franklin and co-author of the resolution, in a statement. “The governor has grossly overstepped his authority.”

The governor’s office replied frustrated, given the legislature still hasn’t passed more COVID relief since last spring.

“While Gov. Evers works to keep Wisconsinites healthy and safe and distribute vaccines across our state, Republicans continue their efforts to hinder our state’s response,” said Britt Cudaback, a spokesperson for Evers.

Right now 27 Republicans have signed onto the resolution, which isn’t enough to pass it though more could join in during a vote next week.

By law, the legislature can repeal a public health emergency with a resolution that passes both chambers.

Assembly leaders haven’t said if their members will vote on it, but if the resolution does pass the legislature is unlikely to pass anything requiring masks.

Republicans who control the branch have resisted such orders – even amongst themselves – and they’ve voted down efforts by Democrats to require masks in the capitol.